April 19, 2017

Whittier in California to close its law school

This, I believe, is the first genuine closure of an ABA-accredited not-for-profit law school since the economic collapse of 2008 and the subsequent downturn in law school applications.

(Thanks to Rick Hasen for the pointer.)

UPDATE:  Whittier law faculty are suing to stop the closure of the school, basically on breach of contract grounds (the complaint takes the position that the faculty contracts incorporate the faculty handbook provisions on academic freedom and tenure, and that no financial exigency exists which would justify terminating their employment, that no educational reasons exist for doing so, and that faculty in any case have not been included in the decision-making process, as they should have been under the AAUP rules in the handbook).


April 19, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

April 17, 2017

UNC's Gene Nichol blasts politically motivated attack on Civil Rights Center, as well as university leadership

A searing indictment, and an embarrassment for the university and the state.


April 17, 2017 in Faculty News, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

April 12, 2017

February Bar Exam, Florida results

The big winners were graduates of Florida International University and the University of Miami.


April 12, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

April 07, 2017

The latest from LSAC on applicants

"As of 3/31/17, there are 319,072 applications submitted by 47,916 applicants for the 2017–2018 academic year. Applicants are down 1.9% and applications are up 0.3% from 2016–2017.  Last year at this time, we had 87% of the preliminary final applicant count."


April 7, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

April 06, 2017

More on Judge Gorsuch, plagiarism, and Oxford

Leslie Green, who holds one of the two statutory (i.e., university-wide) Chairs in Philosophy of Law at Oxford, has now expanded on his thoughts about the Gorsuch plagiarism case and the claims of John Finnis (who held a personal chair in legal philosophy, but is now emeritus).  (Earlier posts here and here.)


April 6, 2017 in Jurisprudence, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

April 02, 2017

New York Times Reporter Elizabeth Olson Claims That Professors Earning Less than First Year Associates are Paid like Law Firm Partners (Michael Simkovic)

New York Times reporter Elizabeth Olson recently complained that the Dean of the University of Cincinnati College of Law was suspended after attempting to slash faculty compensation (“Cincinnati Law Dean Is Put on Leave After Proposing Ways to Cut Budget”).  According to Olson, “law schools like Cincinnati [pay hefty] six-figure professor salaries that are meant to match partner-level wages.” 

Olson goes on to cite the compensation of the current and former Dean of the law school.  This makes about as much sense as citing newspaper executive compensation in a discussion about reducing pay for beat reporters.

Data from 2015—the latest readily publicly available—shows that law professors at Cincinnati earned total compensation averaging $133,000.  A few professors earned less than six figures. Only one faculty member—a former dean and one of the most senior members of the faculty—earned more than $180,000.  Including only Full Professors—the most senior, accomplished faculty members who have obtained tenure and typically have between seven and forty years of work experience—brings average total compensation to $154,000 per year.

As Olson herself reported less than a year ago, first year associates at large law firms earn base salaries of $180,000 per year, not counting substantial bonuses and excellent benefits.  With a few years of experience, elite law firm associates’ total compensation including bonus can exceed $300,000.  Law firm partners at the largest 200 firms can earn hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars per year according to the American Lawyer, and often receive large pensions after retirement.

Continue reading


April 2, 2017 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Legal Profession, Ludicrous Hyperbole Watch, Weblogs | Permalink

March 31, 2017

Bureau of Labor Statistics: another strong year for legal employment and incomes

Details here.


March 31, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

March 14, 2017

University of Florida embarrasses itself...

...by promoting random movement in the "overall" US News rank as meaningful, rather than noise.  This only came to my attention because their PR office actually sent it to me!  They should do some research about whom they send this stuff too!  What's especially unfortunate about press releases like this is that it legitimizes the US News metrics, which can only come back to haunt schools when the "overall" nonsense number moves in the opposite direction for no discernible (or, in any case, meaningful) reason.

UPDATE:  More superficial reporting, treating random movements as having meaning, or as worthy of note.  95% of movement in the US News "overall" rank is attributable to schools puffing, fudging or lying more than their peers in how they report the data to US News (or the reverse, for schools that drop); US News, recalls, audits none of the self-reported data.


March 14, 2017 in Legal Profession, Rankings | Permalink

March 09, 2017

Harvard Law to join U of Arizona in accepting GRE, as well as LSAT, for admissions purposes

March 01, 2017

Daniel Schwarcz (Minnesota) and Colleen Chien (Santa Clara) win American Law Institute Young Scholars Medal (Michael Simkovic)

The press release is here.  The award is highly selective.  The ALI--publisher of the influential Restatements of Law and co-creator of the Uniform Commercial Code--selects two out of thousands of eligible "young scholars" every two years for work that has the potential to change the law for the better.  

Congratulations to Dan and Colleen!

Continue reading


March 1, 2017 in Faculty News, Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink