September 21, 2014
Signs of the times: Thomas Jefferson Law School misses bond payment, seeks restructuring of debts
MOVING TO FRONT FROM SEPT. 17: UPDATED
Story here. TJLS is a free-standing law school in San Diego, facing two better-established competitors in the local market, California Western and University of San Diego.
UPDATE: Blog Emperor Caron reports bad news for TJLS from one of the ratings agencies (not that they have much credibility, but....).
September 18, 2014
$50 million naming gift for Drexel's law school
September 17, 2014
One lawyer, one law professor receive MacCarthur Fellowships (CORRECTION: TWO lawyers)
They are: William Mitchell law professor and Native American advocate Sarah Deer, civil rights lawyer Mary Bonauto, and criminal defense lawyer Jonathan Rapping.
(These used to be called "genius" awards until it became clear they weren't really being awarded for "genius." Now they recognize people doing innovative [often political or social] work in a wide variety of fields.)
(Thanks to Orin Kerr for the pointer.)
ANOTHER CORRECTION: Rapping is also a law professor, at Atlanta's John Marshall Law School.
September 16, 2014
Entertaining profile of Hastings Dean Frank Wu
September 07, 2014
What's actually going on at Suffolk Law?
Various blogs picked up on a brief, and unsourced, line in a longer story about Suffolk University to the effect that all tenured faculty were being offered buy-outs. All the tenured faculty? Really? I can imagine that like a number of schools seriously affected by declines in enrollments, retirement incentives and/or buy-outs are being made available, but it's hard to see the sense in buying out all your tenured faculty. If someone from Suffolk would like to confirm or clarify, I'm opening comments for that purpose. Please include a valid e-mail address (which will not appear).
August 28, 2014
Signs of a rebound in the legal market?
Some Philadelphia firms are hiking starting salaries.
August 08, 2014
More signs of the times: Albany Law School exploring "operational alliance"...
...with the State University of New York at Albany (which does not have a law school--there's only one state law school in New York, at Buffalo; there's one other public law school, in the City University of New York system).
UPDATE: You can get a sense of the extent of the faculty buyouts at Albany from the much-expanded list of emeriti, many rather youthful by current retirement standards. The new emeriti faculty includes Albany's most nationally eminent scholar, the legal historian Paul Finkelman.
August 05, 2014
Summary of proposed changes to ABA regs governing law schools
NLJ has a useful account, but it seems an exaggeration to describe this as a "makeover." Some (like the pointless increase in required clinical hours for law students) will raise the cost of legal education, but others (no minimum student-faculty ratio, no requirement of private faculty offices [!], greater latitude in granting variances from the other regs) may, at the margins, reduce costs, but only at the margins--the majority of law schools, who want to compete for students and faculty are not going to let their student-faculty ratios go sky-high or stop providing faculty their own offices. My guess is that, in the end, this is all much ado about nothing, except for the windfall for experiential teachers. The real changes afoot are being brought on by the declining applicant pool, which is affecting, in differing ways, 90% of the law schools in the country; most are contracting, some are increasing the teaching loads of their faculty, and a handful will probably close, barring a sudden turnaround.
July 22, 2014
Bargain tuition leads to notable initial applicant pool for new U North Texas law school
Story here. At roughly 14K per year that's going to put some real pressure on SMU and Texas Wesleyan (now Texas A&M) which are significantly more.
July 12, 2014
June 2014 LSAT takers down 9.1% from prior year
Blog Emperor Caron has the details. One pattern that seems to be emerging is that applicants are applying later in the season (recall that we actually saw a slight increase in February 2014 LSAT takers compared to the prior year). But a 9% decline in June takers almost surely guarantees that the law school teaching market this coming fall will be as bad as last year, since schools can't re-enter the market for new faculty without the ability to project enrollments into the future.