February 03, 2014
On "financial exigency"
Stephen Diamond (Santa Clara) comments.
January 31, 2014
Signs of the times: Albany Law School declares financial crisis...
...and is threatening to fire faculty, including possibly tenured faculty. It is not clear, however, that there really is a financial crisis there (follow the link to the Albany AAUP website). Albany did, however, suffer an S&P downgrade last year. Any firings of tenured faculty are likely to result in costly lawsuits, given the evidence in the public domain.
Note that Albany Law School is a freestanding law school, and is not part of the State University of New York system. It is also one of four law schools in "upstate" New York (the others are Syracuse, SUNY-Buffalo and Cornell, though Cornell is not sending graduates primarily into the upstate markets). The New York City area is served by Columbia, NYU, Fordham, Cardozo, Brooklyn, NYLS, St. John's, Hofstra, Pace, Touro, Seton Hall, and Rutgers-Newark (not to mention the many schools farther from New York that send large numbers of graduates there).
January 30, 2014
More factual problems for law school bashers: law students are not unhappier now than they were before the recession
An amusing, but related anecdote: a former student told me he tried to challenge one of the hysterical scam bloggers about his claim that "a very large percentage of alumni wind up out of the law within a few years and much of the remainder had higher earnings potential at 35 than they do at 55" and that "most BigLaw associates are gone by year 5 to lower-bracket employment options." The challenge consisted of: what is the evidence for these claims (since none had been cited or linked)? The scam-blogger didn't even approve the question for the comment section, and no answer has been forthcoming. Hardly surprising, since the law school bashing has become an utterly fact-free pastime (at least when it doesn't devolve into cyber-harassment and sexist abuse.)
January 28, 2014
The latest in idiotic journalism purportedly related to law schools
It's James Stewart's absurd New York Times piece on a former Dewey partner filing for bankruptcy; Adam Levitin (Georgetown) destroys it. At moments like this, one can only quote Karl Kraus: "No ideas and the ability to express them: that's a journalist."
California bar passage rates...
UPDATE: Blog Emperor Caron breaks out the data in a chart. Here's how the school's rank by percentage of first-time test-takers who passed the bar between 1997 and 2011 (the number in parentheses is the rank for the period 2007-2011, which gives a sense of which schools have improved their performance, and which have not):
1. Stanford University (1)
2. University of California, Berkeley (3)
3. University of California, Los Angeles (4)
4. University of Southern California (2)
5. University of California, Hastings (7)
6. University of California, Davis (7)
7. Pepperdine University (5)
8. Loyola Law School, Los Angeles (6)
9. University of San Diego (13)
10. University of San Francisco (9)
January 24, 2014
July 2013 California bar exam results
Here. Good news esp. for Loyola-LA, Chapman and Western State (among others), less so for Irvine, Hastings, McGeorge, and Thomas Jefferson (among others). Here's the breakdown by percentage of first-time takers by school who passed:
January 22, 2014
More signs of the time: Villanova
Fewer students and many more full rides! That's pretty dramatic to be able to offer full rides to nearly a third of the first-year class! Villanova Law clearly has substantial resources and/or university support to be able to do this.
January 15, 2014
A New Dean at Roger Williams...
January 14, 2014
American legal education...
January 13, 2014
LSATs Administered: December figures
According to LSAC, 28,363 LSATs were taken in December 2013, which is down 6.2% from December 2012. October 2013 LSATs administered were down 10.9% from October 2012, and June 2013 LSATs were down 4.9% from the prior year. (LSAC doesn't report how many are repeat test-takers--since it is now easier to get into law school than just a few years ago, one would imagine that creates less incentive to re-take, but what the actual numbers are we do not know.)
Judging from the last few years, there's a reasonable chance that the number of applicants may stabilize in the next year or two, since this year's declines are much smaller than the prior years. So, for example, LSATs taken jumped 15.6% in December 2009 from the prior year, then fell 16.5% in 2010, dropped another 14.9% in 2011, and another 15.6% in 2012, but only dropped 6.2% this year. The pattern is similar with the other test months.