Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Is Law School Worth It??

Going To Law School Proceed With Caution is an interesting December 14, 2009 National Law Journal article. The article questions whether law school is worth it? Why? Because of the time commitment, the expense, the difficulty in finding a job, any job-not just a high paying job. The article also quotes a study involving law students where 21% of them regret going to law school.

I could not disagree more. Law is a wonderful profession. One does not only have to practice in a law firm to be a lawyer. A law degree can be very valuable in business, for example. Dare I say it is more valuable than an MBA-except perhaps if you are going to read balance sheets all day.

Yes, it will be difficult to find a job. But guess what, those $170,000 big firm Wall  Street firm jobs are nothing to write home about. Most attorneys (partners too) who work in those firms will tell you that they do not like it. The trick in law, like the trick in any profession, is doing something you enjoy.

If you are into unions and labor relations (like me), then strive for a job in labor relations. If your into business, then get a job in business. If you cannot get a job now, then start taking steps that will get you that job. Become active in a bar association, go to meetings, volunteer, write an article etc.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

December 15, 2009 in Law Schools, News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Institutional Age Discrimination In The Legal Academy

I am sorry to say that most professors realize that there is institutional age discrimination in the faculty hiring process.Schools prefer candidates with just a few years of practice. They advertise for specialists in particular fields, but prefer newly minted P.h.D's. Proving this is another matter as the faculty that is hired always has steller credentials.

Now, one lawyer is trying. The August 20, 2009 National Law Journal reported on a a Michigan attorney who  hit the University of Iowa College of Law with a discrimination lawsuit charging that the school passed him over for a faculty job in favor of younger contenders.

I, of course, no nothing about this case. However, I am sure that law schools around the country are watching it-as they should.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein 

August 24, 2009 in Appointment Information, Full Time, Employment Discrimination, Law Professors, Law Schools, News, Lawyer Employment, Lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

South Texas College of Law Announces New President and Dean

South Texas College of Law has named Donald J. Guter to be its new president and dean.  Guter is currently on the faculty of Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh where he was dean from 2005 to 2008.  The school's press release making the announcement is here.

Craig Estlinbaum

March 24, 2009 in Law Schools, News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Alternative to LSAT??

Study Offers A New Test of Potential Lawyers is a very interesting March 10, 2009 article from the New York Times. It discusses a test that has been developed by a retired law professor to come up with an alternative to the LSAT. The goal of this test would be to predict success as a lawyer. The LSAT has been criticized for years as not being a predictor of anything. Interestingly, the Law School Admissions Council, which developed the LSAT, funded this study. The article states in part:

Ms. Margolis added, “We think it would be difficult to predict success as a lawyer prior to law school.”

But that is exactly what Professor Shultz and Prof. Sheldon Zedeck, a colleague in the university’s psychology department, wanted to do.

To find out what applicant traits should figure in admissions decisions at law schools, they coordinated individual interviews, focus groups and ultimately a survey of judges, law school professors, law firm clients and hundreds of graduates of Berkeley’s law school.

They asked, among other things, “If you were looking for a lawyer for an important matter for yourself, what qualities would you most look for? What kind of lawyer do you want to teach or be?”

The survey produced a list of 26 characteristics, or “effectiveness factors,” like the ability to write, manage stress, listen, research the law and solve problems. The professors then collected examples from the Berkeley alumni of specific behavior by lawyers that were considered more or less effective.

Using the examples, Professor Shultz and Professor Zedeck developed a test that could be administered to law school applicants to measure their raw lawyerly talent.

Instead of focusing on analytic ability, the new test includes questions about how to respond to hypothetical situations. For example, it might describe a company with a policy requiring immediate firing of any employee who lied on an application, then ask what a test taker would do upon discovering that a top-performing employee had omitted something on an application.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

March 15, 2009 in Law Schools, News | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Seton Hall Law School Graduate Earns U.S. Supreme Court Clerkship

A Feb. 2, 2009 press release from Seton Hall Law School announces that Lucas Townsend, '04, has secured a clerkship with Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, commencing in July 2009. Justice Alito was an adjunct at Seton Hall while he sat on the Third Circuit. The press release describes Mr. Townsend's bio as follows:

While a student at Seton Hall, Lucas served as Executive Editor of the Seton Hall Law Review and was a research assistant to Professor Glynn.  He was inducted into the Order of the Coif upon graduation. From 2004 to 2006, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Harold A. Ackerman on the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, and from 2006 to 2007, as a law clerk to the Honorable Maryanne Trump Barry on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

In 2007, Lucas was hired by the United States Department of Justice through its Honors Program. He currently works for the Office of Intelligence, a component of the Department of Justice's National Security Division. Lucas was also a recipient of the Samuel Heyman Fellowship, which is awarded to Seton Hall students who pursue public service in the federal government. 


Mitchell H. Rubinstein


February 8, 2009 in Law Schools, News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Budget Cuts Threaten UNLC Boyd School of Law

InBusiness ran an interesting Aug. 1, 2008 story about UNLV Boyd School of Law. The school is facing serious budget cuts. Tutition may increase from $9,800 last academic year, to $20,000 in 2011. As the article states:

Hat Tip:

Expected state budget cuts could put Nevada's only law school into a free-fall, causing the Boyd School of Law to drop out of national rankings, lose vital community legal aid programs and leave students paying much more for a lot less education.

The Boyd School for the past decade has built a well-respected curriculum amid low tuition and high community support.

It recently announced increases in tuition meant to take Boyd into its second phase of building a great law school.

But state-mandated budget cuts could reverse that progress.

Already this year, higher education and other government-funded programs have been asked to make across-the-board budget cuts of 4.4 percent. The state recently requested they cut another 4 percent.

Boyd Dean John White said that although UNLV has not yet informed the school of exactly how much it will be expected to cut, he is certain it won't be spared or treated with kid gloves.

The law school already has a small faculty and staff compared with similar schools across the nation.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

August 2, 2008 in Law Schools, News | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Law School Graduation Speakers

Dean Paul Caron, Editor in Chief of the Law Professor Blog Network and Editor of the TaxProf Blog has complied a list of law school graduation speakers.  The list is impressive and includes several Supreme Court Justices and Members of Congress. The most unusual speakers who seem out of place are:

Columbia:  Cynthia McFadden (Co-anchor, ABC News)

Hofstra:  Adam Liptak (Reporter, New York Times)

Loyola-New Orleans:  Scott Turow (legal novelist)

Northwestern:  Jerry Springer (TV show host; former Mayor, Cincinnati

Virginia:  Timothy Finchem (Commissioner, PGA Tour)

U. of Washington:  Sherman Alexie (author)

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

April 28, 2008 in Law Schools, News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Whittier Law School Appears Headed Towards Full ABA Accredition

We have previously followed Whittier Law School's ABA accreditation problems. They have been on probation for a number of years and at one point, they were in jeopardy of loosing their provisional accreditation. However, a March 14, 2008 letter from Dean Cogan states that the school's bar passage rate has improved and is in-line with recently amended ABA standards. As Dean Cogan states: 

Because our bar passage rates in 2003-07, the pertinent five-year period under the new rule, are well in compliance, we have requested to be removed from probation. The ABA Accreditation Committee will consider that request on April 17-19, and the ABA Council will review the Accreditation Committee’s recommendation on June 6-8. I expect that after those meetings, the ABA will remove the Law School’s probationary status.

While this is certainly good news for Whittier, I am a bit troubled by the Dean's response. Specifically, he did not include the school's bar passage rate. Additionally, he did not discuss why the school now complies with ABA standards. Were the ABA standards lowered??

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

April 9, 2008 in Law Schools, News | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney to Speak at Univ. of Baltimore School of Law April 8

AFL-CIO President Sweeney is scheduled to speak at the Univeristy of Baltimore School of Law on April 8 2007 at 4 pm. The event is free and open to the public. This is the first time I have heard of President Sweeney speaking at at law school. This is welcomed news.  The School's Press Release describes the event as follows:

Sweeney will discuss the current state of organized labor, and consider the prospects of some industries that appearing to be gaining new momentum in a changing global economy, such as steel and energy. Russian steelmaker OAO Sverstal's plan to buy Baltimore's Sparrows Point steel mill and increase its output to maximum volume is an example of a labor issue that some might not have predicted just a few short years ago. Demands for new sources of energy are leading to similar questions about organized labor's role in matters that touch on geopolitics and environmentalism. Clearly, these issues reflect new frontiers for organizations like the AFL-CIO.

Sweeney's talk will launch the School of Law's newest lecture series, "Leaders in Labor." This annual event will bring a speaker to the School of Law each spring to discuss issues relevant to the American labor market. "Leaders in Labor" will be free and open to the public.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

March 29, 2008 in Law Schools, News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, November 9, 2007

St. John's Law School Wins NITA Competition

Sjulawschool_2  I am pleased to report that St. John's Law School won this years NITA competition. Pictures are available here.  St. John's press release is available here.


Mitchell H. Rubinstein

November 9, 2007 in Law Schools, News | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 6, 2007

Judge Robert Keeton Dies

Prossorkeeton Judge Robert Keeton (87) known to generations of law students for his treatise, Prosser and Keeton on Torts has died. An article in the August 5, 2007, New York Times (available here) describes the influence Keeton has had on the law.

Robert Keeton was a professor at Harvard Law School from 1953 until 1979 when President Carter appointed him to the federal bench. Judge Keeton retired from the bench just last year.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

Hat Tip:

August 6, 2007 in Law Schools, News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Another Law School?? is reporting that Wilkes University Board of Trustees voted unanimously with one abstention on June 8, 2007 to hire a legal education leader to develop plans for establishing a law school. According to this article,  preliminary plans for a law school call for the enrollment of 80 first-year students in 2009.

Wilkes University is located in Wilkes-Barre, PA. It will be interesting to see how this develops.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein 

June 9, 2007 in Law Schools, News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Justice Alito Commencement Speaker At Seton Hall Law School

The Associated Press is running a story in the May 25, 2007 Washington Post by Jeffrey Gold entitled " Alito Speaks to Seton Hall Grads" which describes Justice Alito commencement address at Seton Hall Law School. Justice Alito issued a plea for religious tolerance and stated that we must guard against returning to days when a persons faith made them unfit for office.

Justice Alito is a former Adjunct Professor of Law at Seton Hall Law School in Newark, New Jersey.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein   

May 27, 2007 in Law Schools, News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Adjunct Law Professor and Lawyer Becomes Dean

LSU named Jack Weiss, a noted First Amendment Scholar, a former Adjunct Professor of Law at several law schools and a partner at Gibson Dunn as the law school's new Chancellor.  A news article  discussing his appointment states that as an Adjunct, Mr. Weiss taught more classes than many sitting Deans. Congratulations.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

May 27, 2007 in Law Schools, News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)