December 07, 2013
Judge Baer vs. Justice Alito
From a Reuters item:
A federal judge this week defended his custom of urging lead law firms in class actions to staff the lawsuits with women and minority lawyers, two weeks after U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito took the unusual step of criticizing the practice....
Alito likened the practice to "court-approved discrimination" and said it might warrant further review by the high court.
In an interview with Reuters on Wednesday, Baer, 80, said that Alito lacked "either understanding or interest" in the discrimination faced by blacks, Latinos and women....
In court orders, Baer has written that the practice is warranted under a federal rule governing the certification of class action lawsuits. The rule says a judge may, among other things, "consider any other matter pertinent to counsel's ability to fairly and adequately represent the interests of the class."
In the interview, Baer said that he does not require the firms to assign minority and women lawyers to cases. Instead, he said he notes the value of taking race and gender into account, and only in cases where the plaintiffs are mainly minorities and women.
If plaintiffs were "all white Anglo-Saxon Protestants," Baer said, "I would not likely be making these comments."
Baer, whom President Bill Clinton nominated to the bench in 1994, said Alito's salvo did not surprise him.
"I think the tongue-in-cheek answer would be that I was surprised because of how much he's done in the way of supporting anti-discrimination laws over the years," Baer said. "But that would be just a facetious comment."
Judge Baer for the win!
December 06, 2013
Standard & Poor's: stand-alone law schools most at risk
With the caveat that Standard & Poor's track record is pretty abysmal, I should note that their latest credit report on U.S. law schools notes that stand-alone law schools are most vulnerable in the current economic climate for legal education. This is hardly surprising, but I guess now it's "official" in the make-believe world of financial analysis. S&P did not evaluate all law schools, let alone all stand-alone law schools, but they singled out five stand-alones for credit downgrades: New York, Brooklyn, Albany, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Cooley. Of these, my guess is that Thomas Jefferson is the most vulnerable, especially given the continuing lawsuit, but also given its market position as the third best law school in San Diego (after USD and Cal Western, both well-established), and its even weaker position in Southern California (where UCLA, USC, and, probably soon, UC-Irvine will dominate, while Loyola-LA, and Pepperdine are powerful regional players--I have less sense of the relative positions of Whittier and Southwestern, but they are better-established than Thomas Jefferson). Credit downgrades notwithstanding, I fully expect New York, Brooklyn and Albany to be training lawyers ten years from now. Thomas Cooley's business model is a bit opaque to me, so I venture no opinion!
(Thanks to Dean Rowan for the pointer.)
Iowa Regents Mandate 16.4% cut in law school tuition for Iowa residents...
...though with no indication how the law school is supposed to make up the lost revenue, apart from hand-waving about increased enrollment. In-state tuition at Iowa was already quite low (about 25K per year). What a mess.
December 05, 2013
More on when law school graduates and jobs will be in equilibrium: 2018 or 2019 it is
A further analysis here, which incorporates the important point that 100% employment has never been the norm, even during peak employment times. The earlier estimates had all assumed that, even though some number of law school graduates do not seek employment. Given current trends in enrollments, and BLS and NALP data, the number of law graduates seeking employment and the number of avalable jobs will match by 2018 or, at the latest, 2019 (i.e., the classes starting in fall 2015 or, at the latest, fall 2016).
Rutgers-Camden Law School sanctioned by ABA for admitting a small percentage of students who had not taken the LSAT...
...but had taken the GMAT or GRE. Curious.
December 04, 2013
Sheppard on Tamanaha on law schools
Another critical take.
Cyber-cesspools and civil rights
December 03, 2013
Rubenfeld on rape
He's been generating quite a bit of discussion!
December 01, 2013
Culpability for the "Blue Book"?
Blame Yale! (Scroll down to the second letter.)
November 27, 2013
Windfall multi-million dollar gift from 1940 alumnus...
(Thanks to Nicholas Marritz for the pointer.)