May 09, 2024

Federal judges (most in Texas) now threaten to boycott Columbia University graduates

This routine is getting tiresome.

UPDATE:  Professor Stephen Burbank (Penn) writes (with permission to quote from Professor Geyh's forthcoming piece):

It is not only tiresome but may violate the Code of Conduct for United States Judges. In a forthcoming article in Law and Contemporary Problems, in response to an earlier, smaller, boycott of clerkship applicants from Yale, Professor Charles Geyh proposes that the Judicial Conference’s Committee on Codes of Conduct[1] … issue an advisory opinion on the ethics of a judge’s hiring practices. It should admonish judges that the duty to appoint clerks “on the basis of merit,”[2] coupled with the proscription on lending the prestige of judicial office to advance their personal interests,[3] forbids blackballing qualified clerkship applicants who graduated from law schools with which the judge has an ideological beef.”


[1] The Committee on Codes of Conduct is a Subcommittee of the Judicial Conference of the United States.

2 Code of Conduct for U.S. Judges, Canon 3(B)(3).

3 Id.,Canon 2(B).

May 9, 2024 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

May 01, 2024

Elite law firms are now recruiting 1Ls in spring, bypassing the traditional on-campus recuirtment process

On FB, Mark Lemley and Kate Litvak brought to my attention this Bloomberg story; an excerpt:

On-campus interviews, long the chief recruiting method for major firms and controlled by law schools and the National Association for Law Placement, now take a back seat to direct hiring by firms who want first crack at talent. The coveted summer associate roles are the most common path to Big Law careers, serving as a tryout for full-time positions after graduation.


“This direct hire process will likely be filling about 50% of our class, at least,” said Nicole Wanzer, director of attorney recruiting at Morrison Foerster. “Were we to wait for traditional OCI and lean only on traditional OCI, we feel like we would be missing out on some of the talent that’s getting picked up earlier in the process.”


The shift has had a snowball effect. Weil Gotshal & Manges has already opened applications for its 2025 summer program, allowing first-year law students to apply directly—a process dubbed “pre-OCI”. Other prominent players such as Jones Day, Milbank LLP, Paul Hastings, and Davis Polk & Wardwell open up their direct applications as early as mid-April for jobs that start the summer after the second year of school is completed. MoFo is launching its own advanced consideration application system for first-year students this year, which opens May 1.

May 1, 2024 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

February 28, 2024

ABA revisits "diversity" standard in wake of SCOTUS ruling on affirmative action at universities

The Blog Emperor has the basics (14 "identity" factors under consideration!).

February 28, 2024 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

February 26, 2024

Chat GPT goes to law school, again

And its grades are improving, this time at the University of Maryland.

February 26, 2024 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

February 20, 2024

Against the ABA proposal to increased required "experiential" learning credits

Lawprof Joshua Silverstein's submission to the ABA raises some interesting issues:  Download Silverstein Josh Comments Attachments re. Std 303 (and see also the attachments, including letters from then Stanford Dean Magill and UVA Dean Mahoney about the last proposal to increase the "experiential" learning requirement).

(Earlier coverage.)

February 20, 2024 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

February 06, 2024

Harvard Law latest school to announce a free ride for students based on economic need

How many students will actually be affected by this is unclear from the announcement.

February 6, 2024 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

January 29, 2024

$500,000 is the new "norm" for signing bonuses for Supreme Court clerks

Wow!  Perhaps some empirical legal studies scholars will examine whether hiring SCOTUS clerks really confers the appellate advantage some firms seem to think they do.

UPDATE:  Professor Jeff Gordon (Columbia) writes:  

Don't you think that one consequence of these lavish bonuses for Sup Ct clerks has been a marked fall off in the number of entry level profs who have clerked on the Court?  Yes, there is an interdisciplinary turn  which is inconsistent with the now 3 year path to the Sup Ct, but -- it's hard to turn down $500K for the $75K (maybe) in an academic fellowship with uncertain prospects thereafter.  

I suspect this is right, and while I haven't scrutinized the data systematically, it comports with my own impression of the rookie market in recent years (the SCOTUS clerks we do see typically have been out for several years).   Thoughts from readers?

January 29, 2024 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink | Comments (3)

January 02, 2024

Law schools, barred from considering "diversity" in admissions, adopt new approaches

Some are described here.  What, I wonder, prevents an applicant from writing a "perspective statement" (as HLS calls it) that creates the impression that he or she is a racial minority, when they are not?  I imagine this will start to happen, and unless an applicant flat out lies about something, I can't see that law schools can do anything about it.

January 2, 2024 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

December 04, 2023

Annals of garbage "reporting" about law schools

No, it's not from the trashy online tabloid Above the Law (their garbage reporting wouldn't be news to anyone), but rather the right-wing Washington Free Beacon and its reporter Aaron Sibarium.  Mr. Sibarium has become well-known for his selective interest in free expression issues on campus, and especially at law schools.   But his latest is pure fiction and innuendo:  he implies that Gillian Lester will step down as Dean of Columbia Law School at the end of this academic year (after nine years as Dean, an impressively long tenure!) because of recent "antisemitism" controversies, and then he writes, "Though the law school has not announced Lester’s replacement, an alum with ties to the administration said that David Schizer, who served as dean from 2004 to 2014, is the leading candidate."  Maybe this is an alum of Columbia College in Chicago, rather than Columbia University in NYC, since this is also fiction.

What an embarrassment for a journalist who recently benefitted from a puff piece in Politico.

December 4, 2023 in Law in Cyberspace, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

November 27, 2023

ABA considering increasing *required* experiential hours, which is a terrible idea

This won't have any benefits for legal education (and certainly won't make it more "practical"), although it will be a windfall for those who teach in these areas.   There may be schools whose student body and local legal markets mean that it would make sense for them to require more "experiential" courses and clinics; but not all schools are the same, and there is no justification for imposing this on all American law schools.  Yet another reason the ABA should be stripped of its regulatory authority.

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November 27, 2023 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink