May 04, 2023

How to de-escalate confrontations...

...for lawyers and citizens, via lawprof Walter Effross (American).  Some good techniques!

May 4, 2023 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

May 02, 2023

Purdue has been runnning "Concord Law School" online in Indiana since 2017, and wants to avoid ABA oversight (UPDATED)

A concerned Indiana law professor writes:

Purdue's [Concord] law school enrolled 798 students last year.


Only 8 [out of 17 first-time takers] passed the bar exam


These facts are not mentioned in the Indiana Supreme Court's proposed rule change to exempt Purdue from ABA oversight, nor the working group report behind it.


If the exemption passes, Purdue will be free to advertise itself as "Indiana approved," with no obligation to continue disclosing its lackluster attrition bar passage and attrition rates.


The Indiana State Bar Association opposes the exception.


Locals expect the court to approve the exception as a favor to Purdue, whose outgoing President, Mitch Daniels, appointed Chief Justice Loretta Rush in his prior role as Governor.


Concord Law School is part of Purdue University Global, Mitch Daniels' flagship initiative. The online arm has an F rating from the Better Business Bureau, due to persistent complaints of fraud.


There is no public outcry in Indiana, where the legislature is busy debating transgender policy and criminal penalties for librarians who distribute banned books.  Indiana University's general counsel has discouraged its faculty from engaging in "activism."

UPDATE (MAY 4):  A colleague elsewhere (not Indiana) writes:

               The Concord bar exam pass rate document linked to is only for the California Bar Exam.  8 students passed in 2022 as first-time takers, but it was not out of 798 as the Indiana law professor implies, but out of 17 sitting for the exam for the first time.  That’s a 47% passage rate.  That’s dismal, but on par with Elon and Cooley, and better than a few ABA accredited schools.  

               The real issue is that only 17 students took the California bar.  Perhaps others took the bar in other jurisdictions, but that generally requires an ABA-accredited JD.  And yet Concord only seems to graduate 25-40 students per year.  Most of the students who matriculate never make it to graduation—the attrition is crazy high:  In 2021 there were 535 1Ls.  In 2022 there were 122 2Ls.  That’s 78% attrition after 1L year.  Where did the other 413 former 1Ls go?   

May 2, 2023 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

April 06, 2023

Professor Shugerman on the Trump indictment

Here.  Curious to hear from knowledgeable law professors whether they agree with Professor Shugerman's assessment.  (Submit your comment only once, it may take awhile to appear.  Use a full name and valid email address [the latter will not appear].)

April 6, 2023 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink | Comments (4)

April 03, 2023

SCOTUS clerks now have a lot more prior clerkship experience than in the past

Lawprof Derek Muller (Iowa) looks at the data.  I suppose this is a bit like the "credential inflation" that has affected all areas of life in the affluent capitalist societies in recent decades.

April 3, 2023 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

March 30, 2023

Professor Lawsky's "Entry-Level Hiring Report" for the 2022-23 season...

MOVING TO FRONT FROM MARCH 8--PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR INFORMATION! now open and collecting information.  When you accept an entry-level position this year, submit your information to Professor Lawsky please.

March 30, 2023 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

March 22, 2023

Stanford Law Dean Martinez's letter to the SLS community about the disruption of Judge Duncan's talk

It's a very methodical and substantial letter, worth reading by Deans and other academic administrators faced with situations like this.  The Associate Dean who contributed to the disruption of the event is currently on leave.  Individual students will not be disciplined because of the difficulty of identifying the perpetrators, and because the administrator present exacerbated the disruption rather than instructing students correctly about university rules.  (Dean Martinez's explanation is more nuanced than this simple summary suggests.)

The Dean also alludes, more than once, to the threats and abuse directed at members of the Stanford community in the wake of the media coverage.  It would be nice if law enforcement actually went after those making unlawful threats:  those people are as bad or worse for the functioning of society than the disruptive students.

March 22, 2023 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

March 20, 2023

NY Times catches up with the Amy Wax case at Penn...

...but doesn't understand academic freedom, in ways that are typical.  The reporter says that Dean Ruger's move to sanction Wax threatens "one of tenure’s key tenets — the right of academics to speak freely, without fear of punishment, whether in public or in the classroom."   That "or" conceals a world of difference! 

Continue reading

March 20, 2023 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

March 15, 2023

Stanford law students protest the apology to Judge Duncan

That's the story according to this journalist (with a somewhat selective interest in free speech matters in my experience).  I'd be curious to hear from those at Stanford, faculty or students, whether this is accurate.  Please use a valid email address, which will not appear.  (Submit your comment only once, it may take awhile to appear.)

March 15, 2023 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink | Comments (1)

March 11, 2023

The Stanford Law disaster involving a FedSoc event with Judge Duncan

UPDATE:  The Stanford President and Dean Martinez in the law school have now issued an appropriate apology for this fiasco, including an acknowledgment (unlike in Dean Martinez's letter to the SLS community) that Dean Steinbach's conduct was inappropriate.

=======original post follows==========

The video online gives a sense of the chaos and heckling which disrupted the event.  F.I.R.E. offers a summary of the events, as well as a transcript of the peculiar and inappropriate remarks of Dean Steinbach, the DEI Associate Dean at the Law School.

Stanford is a private university, so the Law School could, of course, adopt the rule that they will not permit Republican-appointed judges to speak on campus, and they will not permit a student chapter of the Federalist Society.  They do not do that, I assume for a mix of reasons of principle and prudence.  Moreover, they have a free speech policy that specifically prohibits disrupting speakers invited to campus.

SLS Dean Martinez's letter to the community is posted below the fold.  I do not think it is a particularly good response (it is in the "mistakes were made, but we have good intentions" genre), but readers will judge for themselves.  A better response would have been simpler:

On March 9, students disrupted a speech by a federal judge invited by a student group.  This violates law school policies, and a disciplinary investigation has commenced, and students found to have participated in the violation will be subject to the appropriate disciplinary procedures.  We apologize to Judge Duncan for the disruption of the event, and administrative staff will receive training about how to manage situations like this to insure that an invited speaker may address students.

Dean Martinez's actual email in response to these events is below the fold:

Continue reading

March 11, 2023 in Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink

March 06, 2023

Academic freedom and diversity

Rutgers lawprof Stacy Hawkins argued in the Chronicle of Higher Education that "Sometimes Diversity Trumps Academic Freedom," and I point out some errors in her analysis.

March 6, 2023 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink