November 29, 2016

A tangle of lawsuits at Brooklyn Law School

U.S. LLM Programs Probably Benefit International Students (Part 1): Students Who Stay in the U.S. (Michael Simkovic)

At a conference I recently attended, some law professors and administrators seemed willing to assume the worst about LLM and international JD programs.[1] They seemed to think that LLM programs provide revenue to law schools but do little to help students. This stoked my curiosity about international law programs. It seems likely, as conference attendees suggested, that LLM admissions are less exclusive than JD admissions at comparable institutions. But lower selectivity does not imply that LLM programs fail to help their students.

Immigrants are generally at a disadvantage relative to those born in the United States because of language, culture, and legal issues. But comparing immigrants to U.S.-born individuals tells us nothing about the benefits of U.S. education for immigrants. Instead, we can either compare immigrants to those from their countries who stay home, or compare immigrants to each other by education level.

Decades of peer reviewed labor economics research indicates that additional education boosts earnings. Moreover, Immigration to the United States can often dramatically boost earnings for immigrants over the long term. Are foreign LLM programs or international JDs exceptions to widely observed trends regarding benefits of education and immigration?

While data is limited, the unsurprising answer appears to be: Probably not.

Using U.S. Census data (ACS), I found (in a very preliminarily, quick analysis intended primarily to satisfy my own curiosity) that an LLM might boost long term annual earnings by as much as $25,000 on average compared to a bachelor’s degree (depending on unobserved selection effects, the causal boost could be lower since these are cross-tabbed means by race sex and education level). The earnings boost from a JD for immigrants might be around two or two and a half times as high as the boost from an LLM.

Continue reading

November 29, 2016 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

November 25, 2016

Law schools ranked by average indebtedness of graduates

The listing also includes the percentage of graduates with debt--the differences here between schools are sometimes striking.

November 25, 2016 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Student Advice | Permalink

November 22, 2016

July 2016 California bar exam "carnage"

That's the Blog Emperor's characterization of the latest results, though California still has many graduates of non-ABA-accredited law schools taking the California bar and passing at very low rates (1 out of 4 or less).

November 22, 2016 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

November 21, 2016

Interesting 7th Circuit opinion on CDA 230

The Court reverses a lower court decision dismissing the plaintiff's defamation claim against Gawker Media pertaining to comments on one of its websites--see the discussion that starts at p. 13.  Here's the crucial bit:

A company can, however, be liable for creating and posting, inducing another to post, or otherwise actively partici-pating in the posting of a defamatory statement in a forum that that company maintains. See Chi. Lawyers’ Comm., 519 F.3d at 671; see also Fair Hous. Council of San Fernando Valley v. Roommates.Com, LLC, 521 F.3d 1157, 1166–67 (9th Cir. 2008) (en banc) (concluding that a website was not a "passive transmitter of information provided by others" but instead helped develop the information by "requiring subscribers to provide the information as a condition of accessing its ser-vice, and by providing a limited set of pre-populated an-swers"); FTC v. Accusearch Inc., 570 F.3d 1187, 1199–1200 (10th Cir. 2009) (concluding that a website developed the in-formation by "solicit[ing] requests" for the information and then "pa[ying] researchers to obtain it").


Huon argues that the Act is inapplicable here because Gawker’s comments forum was not a mere passive conduit for disseminating defamatory statements. Rather, Gawker itself was an information content provider, insofar as the Gawker Defendants: (1) "encouraged and invited" users to defame Huon, through selecting and urging the most defa-mation-prone commenters to "post more comments and con-tinue to escalate the dialogue"; (2) "edited," "shaped," and "choreographed" the content of the comments that it re-ceived; (3) "selected" for publication every comment that appeared beneath the Jezebel article; and (4) employed indi-viduals who authored at least some of the comments them-selves.

I wonder what role worries about this issue played in the decision awhile back of Above the Law (also a defendant at an earlier stage in this litigation) to eliminate its comment sections?



November 21, 2016 in Law in Cyberspace, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

November 17, 2016

Bureaucratic resistance to executive misconduct

Interesting points by my colleague Jennifer Nou.

November 17, 2016 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

November 16, 2016

Letter from attorneys opposing Bannon appointment to White House

It's a good letter, I've just signed, I hope others will too.

UPDATE:  If you want to know more about Bannon's reactionary and bizarre worldview, see this.

November 16, 2016 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

10% of law school enrollment is now non-JD students...

...more than double what it used to be twenty years ago, while only 30% of non-JD graduates pass the bar on the first try.

November 16, 2016 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

November 15, 2016

New York switches to "Uniform Bar Exam" and overall pass rate rises 4%

Details here.  NYU, Columbia, and Cornell had the three best pass rates, but it's striking that Syracuse came in 4th, ahead of Fordham, Brooklyn, and Cardozo among others.  So whatever Syracuse is doing, other schools should take a look!

November 15, 2016 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

November 14, 2016

Understanding working-class voters

Another fine piece, this one by Joan Williams (Hastings), that helps make sense of what happened and what a rational electoral strategy would look like.

November 14, 2016 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink