Monday, February 27, 2017

In Memoriam: E. Clinton Bamberger (1926-2017)

Emeritus at the University of Maryland, Bamberger represented the defendant in the Supreme Court case that gave us the "Brady rule" in criminal procedure, requiring the prosecution to disclose to the defense evidence that might help the accused.  The NYT obituary is here.  His Maryland colleague Robert Condlin tells me that, in addition to his well-known work and advocacy for legal services for the poor, he was also active in clinical legal education.

February 27, 2017 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Minnesota Law Professor Parisi...

...charged with sexual assault, stalking.  Pretty serious, and shocking, allegations here!

ADDENDUM:  More context, suggesting a motive for the alleged victim to have fabricated events.

February 23, 2017 in Faculty News | Permalink

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A long piece on where things stand in the Markel murder case...

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Other successful strategies for improving bar performance?

Following up on yesterday's post about Syracuse Law's successful reforms that dramatically improved the bar pass rate of its graduates, I wonder if other schools have similar stories to share?   Signed comments only--full name and valid e-mail address; post your comment only once, it may take awhile to appear (I have a busy day).

February 21, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, February 20, 2017

How Syracuse Law made its graduates into stars of the New York Bar exam

We noted awhile back Syracuse's impressive results on the July 2016 New York bar exam--a pass rate of 89%, fourth highest in the state, behind only Columbia, Cornell, and NYU, and ahead of Fordham, Cardozo, Brooklyn, Buffalo and others.   I recently visited Syracuse, and talked with Professor Christian Day about the changes they made to achieve these results.  He kindly gave me a written version to share; I'm sure this will be of interest to many schools.  Professor Day writes: 

In the later 1990s and early 2000s Syracuse had a terrible bar pass rate. One year it was dead last among the 15 New York law schools.  A faculty ad hoc committee was created and it developed a program over several years. 

 

Under Dean Hannah Arterian’s leadership the faculty adopted 1L and upper-class curves.  The curves are centered on a low B (2.9-3.0) and approximately 8% of the 1L class is dismissed.  Before the implementation of the curve, most of the students who were dismissed were re-admitted and placed on probation.  But only 10% of that group passed the bar for the first time.   With the new curve, a much smaller group of students is re-admitted and placed on probation.  The Structured Curriculum, described below, and a comprehensive bar success program, which includes a staff member dedicated to the bar success effort have provided a foundation for achievement.  We also inaugurated a comprehensive third year bar prep program.   That program was mandatory for those on probation and voluntary for the balance of the student body.

 

A consultant worked with the College and confirmed that bar exam success was correlated to 1L class rank AND the number of so-called “bar courses” students had taken. Syracuse had a 90% pass rate for students in the upper 75-80% of the 1L class who had taken most of the bar courses for grade.  Students who failed the exam took around four of those courses, often on a pass/fail basis.  The faculty adopted the Structured Curriculum that requires all students on probation and those below a 2.50 average at the conclusion of the first year to take the following courses for grade:  Commercial Transactions, New York Civil Procedure, Business Associations, Constitutional Criminal Procedure—Investigation and Adjudication, Wills and Trusts, Family Law, Evidence, and Foundational Skills for Professional Licensing  (a bar prep course taught by faculty or staff that emphasizes exam prep and writing).

 

The efforts have borne fruit. In 2014 Syracuse and St. John’s tied for fourth place among the New York law schools.  In 2016, with the adoption of the Uniform Bar Exam, Syracuse was again in fourth place behind NYU, Columbia and Cornell. 

February 20, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Student Advice | Permalink

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Puzder to withdraw as the nominee for Secretary of Labor

This is another reason Deans probably should not be vouching for political appointees.

February 15, 2017 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Monday, February 13, 2017

Lateral hiring in law schools networks--the diagram

This is amusing, courtesy of law professor Ryan Whalen (Dalhousie), a recent JD/PhD graduate of Northwestern.  One minor drawback is that faculty who retire and move elsewhere are treated as ordinary lateral moves.  (So, too, with moves to assume Deanships:  there too, the reasons for the move are different than ordinary lateral moves.)

February 13, 2017 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

Thursday, February 9, 2017

In Memoriam: Roger Cramton (1929-2017)

Former Dean of Cornell Law School, he also taught at the Universities of Chicago (from which he graduated) and Michigan.   His scholarly work was in the areas of legal ethics and conflicts, and he also held several important public service posts during his career.  The Cornell memorial notice is here.

February 9, 2017 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

TaxJazz

Learn about tax and tax policy, courtesy of Marjorie Kornhauser (Tulane).

February 9, 2017 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

ABA votes to reject change to bar passage requirement for law schools

The proposal would have required that 75% of graduates taking the bar pass within two years of graduation.  I suspect in a Trump Administration, there will be less danger of the ABA losing its accreditation role, but I can imagine a more aggressive Education Department in the future wondering what the explanation could be for rejecting such a standard. 

More details here.

February 7, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink