October 31, 2014
MBE posts largest drop in scores in its history
What explains it? Too many ill-prepared students being admitted to law school? If that was the case with the just-graduated class, then we would expect further drops to come.
October 29, 2014
Thomas Jefferson Law School reaches restructuring agreement with majority of its bondholders
TJLS news release is here (via Blog Emperor Caron).
October 27, 2014
Signs of the times at "the top 25": can we make you teach more without paying you more?
A law colleague at Washington University, St. Louis forwards the following "internal audit" memo sent to the faculty "as a sign of how things are changing even at higher-ranked law schools. I am particularly concerned that the questionnaire is silent about scholarship even though it was sent to all tenured and tenure-track faculty. Many of my colleagues are also referring to the questions as 'interrogatories.'" The auditors' questionnaire:
1. What is your understanding of your current and future required teaching load and what is the basis for this understanding?
2. Do you plan to teach additional classes beyond your required teaching load in this academic year or in 2015-16 or 2016-17?
- If yes, please describe the classes and the semester in which you are teaching or expect to teach these additional classes.
- If yes, please describe the compensation that you are receiving now or expect to receive for this additional teaching.
3. Are you currently receiving or do you expect to receive additional pay from WULaw for any non-teaching activities?
- If yes, please briefly describe these activities.
- If yes, please describe the compensation you now receive and expect to receive in the future for these activities.
4. Do you currently administer or have discretionary control over any WULaw funds, excluding faculty research accounts?
- If yes, what funds do you administer or control?
- If yes, how much money is in the fund?
- If yes, what are the oversight protocols to assure the funds are spent appropriately?
5. Do you expect WULaw to hire adjuncts for specific programming purposes in this academic year or in 2015-16 or 2016-17?
- If yes, whom do you expect WULaw to hire and why?
- If yes, what is the compensation that you expect the adjuncts to get paid in each year?
6. What is your understanding of the annual amount of money deposited into your faculty research account?
7. If you receive a summer stipend, what are you expectations as to the amount of that stipend?
October 26, 2014
8.1% drop in LSAT takers in September from last year
LSAC data here. Since the trend appears to be for applicants to apply later in the cycle, the final decline for this year is likely to be less than 8% (in the last few years, the September/October drop was always greater than the final total decline). But a continued decline of any kind means that law schools uncertain about whether to hire new faculty will likely err on the side of not hiring.
October 15, 2014
More than two dozen Harvard Law faculty object to University's new procedures on sexual harassment...
...for multiple violations of due process and fairness in proceedings, among other things. Signatories include David Shapiro, Duncan Kennedy, former Dean Robert Clark, Bruce Hay, Martha Field, Robert Mnookin, Lucie White, and Janet Halley, among others.
October 14, 2014
Judge Posner's dissent in the Wisconsin Voter ID case
October 10, 2014
Signs of the times, cont.: Elon Law cuts tuition, creates 2 1/2 year degree for all students
October 08, 2014
Why do hiring schools look for "signals" from other hiring schools?
Barry Friedman (NYU) writes with an excellent set of questions and observations:
Here’s a thought worth maybe tooting on your blog. It never ceases to catch my attention how much school hiring is driven by signals from other schools. School X will interview candidate Y and love him/her, or will love him/her on paper, but will never move forward for an interview absent a strong signal from some number of schools they consider competitive. Yet, in this tight market, those signals get fewer – especially at the call back and offer stage. It has the effect I think of killing candidates that otherwise would get interviews or offers. Yet, paradoxically, if schools had confidence in their internal assessments (and it is not like this is one person deciding; it is an entire faculty or faculty committee) this sort of market provides a real opportunity to steal that person you loved without a fight.
So why do schools do this? I think in most cases it is because they lack confidence in their own judgments. But what do readers think? I would prefer signed comments, but you must, in any case, include a valid e-mail address, which will not appear.
October 06, 2014
Signs of the times, cont.: Cooley Law issues "Notice of Intent to Close"...
...its Ann Arbor campus (Cooley has several other campuses, however).
October 03, 2014
Another sign of the times: Roger Williams continues with tuition reduction and three-year tuition guarantee
RWU's news release here.