Thursday, February 20, 2014

Law firm hiring, the latest NALP report for fall 2013

Good, not great:  much better than the depths of the recession, and holding steady or improving from last year in most parts of the country, but not close to being back to pre-recession levels (no surprise there).

February 20, 2014 in Legal Profession, Rankings, Student Advice | Permalink

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Harvard's own survey of employers about what classes students should take

Here.  Unsurprisingly, "experiential" learning of the kind a minority is trying to force upon everyone does not loom large.

UPDATE:  Blog Emperor Caron breaks out charts showing the results.

February 19, 2014 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A survey for academics and practitioners in the transactional/business law areas

Eric Talley (Berkeley) asked me to share this; it might shed some light on whether law schools are really equipped to offer the "experiential" learning that some are trying to mandate ill-advisedly.


To: Practitioners and Educators in Transactional/Business Law

From: Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy (BCLBE)

                        UC Berkeley School of Law

Re: Assessing skills/competencies for transactional attorneys

Date: 14 Feb. 2014

We write to ask two small (but important) favors of you that are directly related to law schools' pedagogical mission as well as the rapidly changing future of legal education.

As you may know, an ABA task force has recently proposed to establish minimum requirements within ABA-accredited law schools for "experiential" learning related to building practical skills and competencies. (Similar proposals are percolating up from state bar association task forces as well.)  We believe this endeavor to be an intriguing and important invitation for law schools to re-imagine how they deliver legal education, and on this basis we are generally supportive.  At the same time, a challenging question that the ABA and other task forces face is the question of what topics constitute "skills and competencies." Within business law, this challenge is perhaps greatest for attorneys whose practice is principally "transactional" in nature (in contrast to work that is oriented around litigation).  It is unclear how much input transactionally-oriented business law practitioners (attorneys, other professionals, educators) have had on the process of drafting the proposed guidelines, or whether there has been much systematic analysis of what topics constitute important "skills" for entering transactional attorneys. 

To address these gaps, we have developed an on-line survey instrument to help gauge what sorts of core competencies established professionals in transactional practice areas consider important.  We hope the results of the survey will help both practitioners and legal educators assess (and if necessary, work to amend) the current proposed guidelines.  Although largely directed to practicing attorneys, the survey is also open to other professionals who work closely with practicing attorneys in transactional practices (such as bankers, accountants, financial advisers, etc.).  

Here are the two favors we ask of you:

(1) Please take a few moments yourself to fill out the survey.  It will not take longer than 5-10 minutes of your time.
(2) Please ask your colleagues, partners, associates, co-workers, and other professional contacts to consider filling out the survey.  


The more input we can get from experts in the area the better advice we'll both receive and be able to give.

The survey is available on-line, at


When complete, results of the survey will be made available on the website for the Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy (BCLBE), at


Many thanks for considering this - we very much appreciate it.


Eric Talley

Faculty Co-Director, Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy

UC Berkeley

February 18, 2014 | Permalink

UCLA Law's student body now only about 3% African-American

Students have made a video about the experience; there is also a thoughtful response from Dean Moran at the end of the linked article.

February 18, 2014 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Monday, February 17, 2014

More price competition between law schools

Sunday, February 16, 2014

New preface to the forthcoming paperback edition of...

...Why Tolerate Religion? (Princeton University press, cloth edition 2013, paper edition forthcoming 2014).

February 16, 2014 in Jurisprudence | Permalink

Friday, February 14, 2014

Hanover Research Higher Ed consultants recommend reading this blog...

...since, as they note, "Law school deans around the nation follow Professor Brian Leiter of University of Chicago Law School."  The quality of the readership is the main reason I continue blogging!

February 14, 2014 in Law in Cyberspace | Permalink

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Former Georgetown Dean Judith Areen named new Executive Director of AALS

I think that is a very welcome development, and wish Dean Areen good luck in her new role.

February 13, 2014 in Faculty News | Permalink

Roithmayr on Chua & Rubenfeld

Daria Roithmayr (USC) has a pretty devastating take-down of Chua & Rubenfeld's strange new book.  I'd say more, but I have to get to a meeting of the international Jewish banking conspiracy, where the Chua & Rubenfeld book will be discussed.

February 13, 2014 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A dozen years out, most law school graduates glad they went

Once again, we may be certain that actual evidence will have no effect on cyber-ranting, but it hopefully will have an effect on rational observers; among the preliminary results:

Graduates of the top 10 law schools who worked full-time earned median pay that was $73,500 more per year than graduates of Tier 4 schools. And among graduates of Tier 3 schools, grades made a big difference. In that group, those with the highest grade point averages had median pay that was $121,500 more than those with the lowest grades....

The 2012 respondents were largely happy with their decision to attend law school. Asked to rate their satisfaction with their decision to become a lawyer on a 1-to-5 scale, the average was 3.92.  Asked whether law school was a good investment on a 1-to-7 scale, the average was 5.5. Asked whether would go to law school if they had it to do over again using a 1-to-7 scale, the average was 4.91.

The findings show a movement from private practice to business since the first wave of the study. The percentage of respondents working in the business sector was 27.7 percent in 2012, compared to only 8.4 percent in 2003. At the same time, the percentage of respondents in private practice was 44.1 percent in 2012, compared to 68.6 percent in 2003.

The median remaining educational debt for the survey respondents in 2012 was $50,000, compared to $70,000 in 2003. Nearly 48 percent had no debt remaining in 2012, compared to only about 16 percent in 2003.

February 11, 2014 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink