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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).

Posted by Brian Leiter on January 31, 2014 in Faculty News, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink

Berkeley Dean candidate finalists

Here; Judge Fletcher from the 9th Circuit, Professor Bagenstos from Michigan, Professor Choudhry from NYU, and Acting Dean Lester.

Posted by Brian Leiter on January 31, 2014 in Faculty News | Permalink

January 30, 2014

More factual problems for law school bashers: law students are not unhappier now than they were before the recession

Indeed, a solid majority report themselves "satisfied" with their law school experience.  As with all inconvenient facts, this will have no impact on the cyber-crazies

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.)

Posted by Brian Leiter on January 30, 2014 in Law in Cyberspace, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

January 29, 2014

NYU's Revesz to be new Director of the American Law Institute

He succeeds Columbia's Lance Liebman (another former Dean) in the role.

Posted by Brian Leiter on January 29, 2014 in Faculty News | Permalink

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."

Posted by Brian Leiter on January 28, 2014 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

California bar passage rates...

...over time.

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)

Posted by Brian Leiter on January 28, 2014 in Legal Profession, Rankings, Student Advice | Permalink

January 27, 2014

In Memoriam: Roy Schotland (1933-2014)

Alas, another passing to report: Professor Schotland was emeritus at Georgetown and a leading election law expert.  Rick Hasen (UC Irvine) has more.

Posted by Brian Leiter on January 27, 2014 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

January 26, 2014

In Memoriam: Randall Bezanson (1946-2014)

I am sorry to report that Professor Bezanson, a leading constitutional law scholar and a longtime member of the University of Iowa law faculty (who also served as Dean at Washington & Lee), has passed away

Posted by Brian Leiter on January 26, 2014 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

January 24, 2014

DePaul Dean, Gregory Mark,stepping down at end of the academic year

He took over only in 2011, coming to DePaul from Rutgers-Newark.   I have heard various reports about why he is stepping down so soon, but so far there's no reliable public information.  Dean Mark came in after an earlier fiasco involving heavy-handed administrators (who are not implicated in this resignation).

Posted by Brian Leiter on January 24, 2014 in Faculty News | Permalink

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:

Stanford 91%
UCLA 88%
Loyola-LA 87%
USC 86%
UC Berkeley 85%
UC Davis 85%
Pepperdine 81%
Chapman 77%
UC Irvine 77%
UC Hastings 76%
USD 75%
USF 75%
Western State 75%
Southwestern 74%
Santa Clara 73%
California Western 69%
La Verne 68%
McGeorge 67%
Whittier 65%
Golden Gate 56%
Thomas Jefferson 50%

Posted by Brian Leiter on January 24, 2014 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Student Advice | Permalink