April 08, 2020
...that will involve remote proctoring. Bar examiners may need to take note of this approach, but kudos to LSAC for coming up with a solution in a timely way. My guess is this will be the new form of the LSAT for the coming year. This is important too because it will allow law schools to gauge demand, which, in turn, will affect their hirng plans. (Recall that after the 2008 Great Recession, law school enrollments went up for two more years, before the downturn began after the ABA mandated better reporting on job outcomes.) I'll have more to say about what law school hiring next year may look like soon.
March 25, 2020
Some law schools (including some that didn't have real grades to start with) have switched officially to pass/fail as classes move online; others have not. Law professor Jonathan Adler (Case Western) argues against switching to P/F, while Noah Zatz (UCLA) argues in favor. My own view is that it probably depends on the school and the course, and that there is no "one size fits all" answer. (An example: I can imagine a school switching a course to P/F for all students if the instructor falls ill for several weeks; or a school might allow students afflicted with illness or caregiving responsibilities to switch to P/F as needed.) I will note that the economic fallout from the pandemic will almost certainly affect law firm hiring significantly, meaning that actual grades will be more important for students than before (again, how important will depend on the school, but we know from the Great Recession of 2008 that all schools will be affected, even if to differing degrees). Mandatory P/F may hurt some students if they are competing against students from schools that continued to grade.
UPDATE: I'm told that many students at Harvard Law School objected when the Dean announced they were switching to P/F.
March 20, 2020
March 19, 2020
The UCLA Federalist Society had the temerity to invite Professor Doriane Lambert Coleman from Duke Law School, a former competitive female athlete who has written carefully and thoughtfully about the complex issues raised by the participation of trans women in female sports (see, e.g., this article). The UCLA Law School chapter of the NLG decided to disrupt the event, apparently wholly unaware of the NLG's traditional staunch support for academic freedom, most famously during the Mcarthy era, but continuing to the present. As the former faculty advisor to the NLG chapter at the University of Texas, I decided to point out their betrayal of NLG principles on Twitter; I was then derided as a "neoliberal white man" by these law students (and then subjected to a bizarre defamatory outburst by one Stephano Medina, who also turns out to be a UCLA 3L and not, as I had thought, a creepy teenage boy in his mother's basement). What an embarrassment.
March 18, 2020
March 14, 2020
March 06, 2020
MOVING TO FRONT FROM MARCH 4--SEVERAL UPDATES
Message to the Yeshiva and Cardozo community here.
UPDATE: New York Law School taking precautions as well.
ANOTHER: Promising news out of Cardozo, from the Dean; an excerpt:
There are still no known cases of the Coronavirus in the Cardozo community.
The Manhattan attorney who tested positive for the virus has improved and is in stable condition. Likewise, his son, the undergraduate YU student from the Washington Heights campus who tested positive, has also improved. The son’s roommate and another student, who were considered at risk because of very close proximity, have been tested and the results were negative.
We continue to be in touch with the Cardozo student who has self-quarantined and continues to be symptom free and in good spirits. That person’s last exposure to the attorney who tested positive was 14 days ago. The Health Department tested her late last night, and we are awaiting the results.
SOME GOOD NEWS AT CARDOZO (MARCH 6): The student in self-quarantine has tested negative for the new coronavirus.