Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Graduate Assistant Strike at NYU

Graduate Assistants at NYU have been on strike for awhile. An article discussing the strike and NYU's recent threats from Inside Education can be found here

As readers to this blog as well as my former students all know, in Brown University, the NLRB held that Graduate Assistants were not employees; rather they were primarily students and therefore not protected under the NLRA.

This issue is again pending before the NLRB and I would not be surprised if the Obama Board reverses the Bush Board's Brown decision. But, we will have to wait and see.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein


March 12, 2015 in Labor Law, News, NLRB | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 5, 2014

NY Times Labor Reporter Steve Greenhouse Takes Buyout

Politico reports that NY Times Labor Reporter Steve Greenhouse took a buyout.

As the article states:

Steven Greenhouse, the labor correspondent for the New York Times, took a buyout this week. That decision immediately reduced by 50 percent the number of reporters at major U.S. newspapers who cover labor full-time—even as the dismal situation of the American worker becomes a central preoccupation for American politicians and policymakers. 


To some extent, labor reporters are falling victim to the very same workplace trends they cover. “Newspapers are under the gun financially,” observes Greenhouse, “and they’ve laid off a lot of workers.” Editors, he said, don’t view labor as “the sexiest beat.”

Labor coverage’s decline—like that of labor unions—long predates print journalism’s circulation slide. At Newsweek, for instance, as long ago as 1985, covering labor was no more than an entry-level job. Bob Cohn (today president and chief operating officer at the Atlantic, then my fellow grunt at Newsweek) became labor and workplace correspondent at the tender age of 22. Back then, he and I would swap wisecracks about what a backwater the beat had become.

Read more:

I only met Steve, who is a trained lawyer himself, a few times. Congratulations Steve! Hopefully, the NY Times will recognize the importance of hiring a new labor reporter.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

December 5, 2014 in Labor Law, News | Permalink | Comments (3)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Class Size Reduction at McGeorge

The Sacramento Bee (Mark Glover) reports this morning that the University of Pacific McGeorge School of Law will cut its enrollment from over 1,000 students in Fall 2010 to 600 students over the next three years in response to declines in applications.  The story is here.

Craig Estlinbaum

July 10, 2013 in Law Schools, News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 31, 2013

New Law School In the Works for Tacoma

According to this Tacoma-Seattle report by Kathleen Cooper, a "12-person steering committee working on [a] plan" to bring a new law school to Tacoma, Washington, some 20 years after the University of Puget Sound sold its law school to Seattle University.  The committee is in its earliest "due diligence" stages according to the report and their are some substantial hurdles to admitting the first student, as the report explains.

Craig Estlinbaum

Read more here:"

May 31, 2013 in Law Schools, News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Some Colleges Cut Adjunct Hours Over Health Care Act

Sam Baker (The Hill) reports:

Colleges and universities are reportedly cutting the hours their adjunct professors work in an effort to avoid the employer mandate in President Obama's signature healthcare law.

The Wall Street Journal noted the trend Friday, saying a handful of smaller schools in Ohio and Pennsylvania have begun to cap the number of courses adjunct professors can teach, so that they don't end up working more than 30 hours per week.

The healthcare law requires employers to offer coverage to all employees who work more than 30 hours, or pay a penalty to the IRS.

Full Story.

Craig Estlinbaum

January 23, 2013 in News, Schools | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Vermont Buyouts and Other Law School News

This is a tough time to be a law school dean.  Consider Vermont Law School dean Marc Mihaly, who only four months into the job, is now facing a $3.3 million budget deficit.  With a  14% projected revenue decline on the horizon, Mihaly has announced a voluntary buyout for VLS staff which he says could be extended to faculty if there are not enough takers.  He also announced that VLS will increase its LL.M program and certificate offerings to make up for the revenue loss. Taja-Nia Henderson at Concurring Opinions, has some interesting comments on the problems and risks associated with law school faculty buyout programs.

Meanwhile, Penn State Law dean Philip McConnaughay, facing declining enrollment at the dual-campus school, has proposed to "spin off" the Carlisle campus into a separate, autonomous entity beginning in 2015.  This proposal came after state and local officials rejected his proposal to consolidatete the 1L program into the University Park campus.  Interestingly, Penn State acquired the Carlisle campus in only 12 years ago.

Ten new law schools that are either ABA accredited or seeking accreditation have opened the doors in the last ten years with new schools in Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana and Texas planning to open.  With enrollment declining and legal jobs paying enough to reasonably retire law school debt harder to find, it seems obvious that some industry restructuring, including possible consolidation or school closure, will occur.  We can expect more stories such as the ones coming out of Vermont and Pennsylvania as this process unwinds.

Craig Estlinbaum  


November 28, 2012 in Bar Association Matters, Colleges, Law Schools, Law Students, News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Is Apple Taking Aim At Textbooks Next???

The Huffington Post reports that Apple is introducing a new application to read textbooks. Significantly, this appears to apply to all textbooks-not just college and graduate school. As the article states:

With that, Schiller introduced iBooks 2 and all of its new enhancements for studying. The free application comes with the ability to highlight important passages, view 3D models, videos and images, make flashcards, look up words in the dictionary within the application, search through the book and more. The application is free to download in the iTunes store

With iBooks 2, Apple announced that its first textbooks would be available immediately for $15. The high school texts will initially come from publishing partners Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin, representatives of which were all in attendance at the event.

Maybe my age is showing, but I just can't seem to concentrate as well when I read a long text on my computer even where I can highlight it. However, although I am not an Apple fan, one cannot discount anything that they do.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein


January 19, 2012 in News | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa Labor Day Speech

"We got to keep an eye on the battle that we face: The war on workers. And you see it everywhere, it is the Tea Party. And you know, there is only one way to beat and win that war. The one thing about working people is we like a good fight. And you know what? They've got a war, they got a war with us and there's only going to be one winner. It's going to be the workers of Michigan, and America. We're going to win that war," Jimmy Hoffa said to a heavily union crowd.

"President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Let's take these son of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong. . ." 

Way to go President Hoffa.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein 


September 6, 2011 in News | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, July 29, 2011

ICE Raids University of Northern VA

The University of Northern Virginia is an unaccredited for-profit private university that is apparently very popular with foreign students from the country of India. ICE recently raided them. An NBC news report is here. As of 8:12 am EST today, the school's web site is down or at leat I cannot access it.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein 

July 29, 2011 in Colleges, News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

High Profile Employment Discrimination Case Involving Law School Settled

Kyndra Rotunda, a former director of a clinic at George Mason Law School and the wife of constitutional law scholar Ron Rotunda. Her high profile case against the university was recently settled, but the terms were not disclosed. You can read about it here.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

August 19, 2010 in Employment Law, News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Conn. Wherehouse Killer and Labor and Employment Law

By now all of you have heard about the Conn. employee who killed 8 workers, including his union president, after he was terminated from his job,here. So what does this have to do with labor and employment law? Alot. As far as I can tell, he pulled out a gun after a union grievance challenging his termination. This case demonstrates that labor and employment law issues are serious and emotional issues. It also reminds us that employees are often very frustrated with their unions and can take things out on both their union as well as their employer.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

August 7, 2010 in Labor Law, News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Will Blackberry's Be Going Bye-Bye One Day??

CNN ran an interesting story about Blackberry's which readers may find of interest. Blackberry is the leader in the smart phone industry, but recent polls of users indicate that 58% of BB users will buy another phone when it is time to upgrade. 

So, why is this? I can tell you that I am one of those users. I loved the BB keyboard, but the phone was simply slow. The browser was so slow that it was un-useable at times. Yes, it is a wonderful business tool, but other phones today can perform all of the same functions that BB does. 

To me, the most important function is the availability of 4G. I cannot see purchasing a new BB or any smart phone that is not 4 G ready. Currently, that leaves users with only one option-the Sprint Evo 4G which I just love. 

If you use gmail, you also cannot beat the ability to have your calender and email sync in real time with your desktop. BB enterprise users (business phones) had that capability for years, but now anyone with an Android phone can have this tool for free-at least for gmail. 

BB are you listening??

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

August 5, 2010 in Misc., Non-Legal, News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Copy of Court Decision Enjoining Enforcement of Parts of Arizona's Immigration Law

As most of you are know doubt aware, a portion of Arizona's Immigration Law was enjoined on preemption grounds. I thought readers would be interested in having a copy of that decision, U.S. v. Arizona, ___F.Supp.2d____(D. Az. July 28, 2010).

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

July 31, 2010 in Misc., Legal, News, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Well Known Management Lawyer Sues His Former Firm For Age Discrimination

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog reported on April 6, 2010 about a well known management labor lawyer who is suing his former firm, Kelly Drye, for age discrimination. Predicitably, the firm is claiming that the partner is not an employee and therefore, not protected under the ADEA. The firm also is questioning the partner's billable hours. As the article states:

D’Ablemont (who’s still at the firm) claimed that after he hit age 70, his compensation was slashed by the firm, which has a policy of de-equitizing partners upon their 70th birthday. (Click here for a copy of the complaint.)

Yesterday, Kelley Drye filed its answer, claiming that because D’Ablemont is a partner, he is an “employer,” not an “employee” entitled to protection under the federal age-discrimination statute.

Sidley Austin famously asserted this defense, to no avail, in an age discrimination suit filed by 32 former partners that was settled in 2007 for $27.5 million. (Here’s a New York Law Journal piece on the Sidley settlement and click here for an NYLJ article on Kelley Drye’s answer in the D’Ablemont matter.)

But Kelley Drye did not simply rest on a legal defense; it came out swinging, questioning D’Ablemont’s work ethic.

Over the last five years, according to the answer, the attorney’s billable hours have ranged from 195.4 to 324.2 ─ “7 to 10 times less, annually, than the hours he billed prior to becoming a life partner.” According to the answer, Kelley Drye also alleges D’Ablemont has a “history of objectionable behavior inconsistent with the expectations for a Kelley Drye partner.”

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

May 29, 2010 in News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Former Labor Secretary Willard Wirtz Dies At 98

The New York Times reported that former Labor Secretary Willard Wirtz died at age 98. Wirtz was Labor Secretary during the Kennedy and Johnson Administration. While he has been out of the public spot light for quite some time, lawyers and scholars will recognize his name because it appears on some of the leading FLSA precedents.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

April 25, 2010 in News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Trial Judge Rescinds Texas Death Penalty Ruling

Court watchers may recall that last week, a Harris County, Texas (Houston) district judge held that the Texas death penalty procedures were unconstitutional.  Today, Brian Rogers (Houston Chronicle) reports that the same judge rescinded that earlier order this afternoon and set the matter for further briefing and a hearing next month.

Craig Estlinbaum

March 9, 2010 in Criminal Law, News, Texas Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Jury Acquits West Texas Whistle-Blower

A West Texas jury acquitted Anne Mitchell on misuse of information charges on Thursday after deliberating less that one hour .  Prosecutors charged that Mitchell, while a nurse at Winkler County Memorial Hospital in Andrews, Texas, used her position to collect and transmit confidential medical records to the state medical board with intent to harm the treating physician, Dr. Rolando G. Arafiles Jr.  Mitchell communicated to the board specific allegations against Dr. Arafiles regarding standard of care violations and included references to confidential patient file numbers.   The New York Times has a story on the jury's decision here - for a local point of view, there is this Fort Worth Star-Telegram story.

Mitchell has filed a federal lawsuit against the county, the hospital and several individuals including the sheriff, the physician and the district attorney.  That lawsuit is pending in the Western District of Texas, Pecos Division.  Mitchell's petition is here.

Craig Estlinbaum

February 13, 2010 in Criminal Law, Employment Law, News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Jersey student sues when barred from participating in day of silence anti-abortion protest

The AP reported that a New Jersey high school student has filed suit in federal court, claiming school administrators violated her First Amendment free-speech and religious-freedom rights when they said she couldn't participate in a day of silent protest against abortion.

The student claims she asked the Bridgeton High School principal for permission to join in the Pro Life Day of Silent Solidarity, a worldwide protest organized each year by Stand True, a ministry in Troy, Ohio. But the principal said no, telling her she couldn't do anything "religious."  The student is being represented by a lawyer hired by the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a legal group that takes on religious freedom cases on behalf of Christians. ADF sent an advisory before the day of protest that it would defend students who are barred from participating. Source: Associated Press, 11/17/09, By George Mulvihill

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

January 12, 2010 in Education Law, News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Elementary student in Arkansas vows to refuse to recite Pledge until gays and lesbians attain equal rights

An elementary school student told CNN during an interview that America isn't following the meaning or spirit behind the Pledge of Allegiance, and had decided he won't say the Pledge until gays and lesbians are given the same rights as everyone else. According to Will Phillips, the last line in the Pledge says 'with liberty and justice for all.' But Will says that line is not being applied to people in the gay and lesbian community because they do not enjoy the same rights or liberties as people who are not gay. Will says he has endured taunting and name-calling from fellow students, but he's determined to stand by his First Amendment right to free speech.

Source: KSLA 12 News, 11/17/09, By CNN

January 11, 2010 in Education Law, News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dec. 2009 Economic Data Released. Unemployment Remains Steady at 10%

The Jan. 8, 2010 New York Times carried an article summarizing the latest economic data from Dec. 2009. I am not an economic expert, but it seems to me that things are not getting materially worse, so that's a good thing. Unemployment remained steady at 10%. However, the article states that things may still get worse. There is some good news. As the article states:

The December jobs report included one encouraging milestone: Data for November was revised to show the economy gained 4,000 jobs that month, compared with initial reports showing a net loss of 11,000 jobs. That was the first monthly improvement since the recession began two years ago.

But the December data failed to repeat the trend, disappointing economists, who had generally expected a decline of 10,000 jobs. The report showed continued slowing in the pace of job losses, but it also underscored that companies were reluctant to hire.

For a fifth consecutive month, temporary help services expanded, adding 47,000 positions in December. That buttressed the notion that companies required more labor, even as they held off hiring full-time workers.

“We’re going in the right direction,” said Michael T. Darda, chief economist at MKM Partners, a research and trading firm. “If we just have a little bit of patience, we’ll start to see monthly increases of 200,000 to 300,000 jobs within six months.”

But millions of people still grappling with the bite of the worst downturn since the Great Depression have exhausted their patience — along with their savings and confidence.

In Charlotte, N.C., Kumar G. Navile, 33, says he has applied for 500 jobs in the year since he lost his position as an engineer.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

January 9, 2010 in News | Permalink | Comments (0)