Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Here are the details:
The University of Wisconsin Law School’s Economic Justice Institute is pleased to announce the creation of a VOCA Restraining Order Clinic, We are hiring for the position of clinical instructor for this clinic. More information and the application can be accessed here: http://jobs.hr.wisc.edu/cw/en-us/job/499185/restraining-order-clinical-instructorMarsha M. MansfieldDistinguished Clinical ProfessorDirector, Economic Justice InstituteUniversity of Wisconsin Law School975 Bascom MallMadison, WI 53706(608) 262-9142
From The Hill:
A measure introduced by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., includes a provision that would mandate periodic medical evaluations for Supreme Court justices and federal judges.
Under Issa's Judiciary Reforms, Organization and Operational Modernization, or Room Act, federal justices and judges age 70 and younger would be required to undergo a medical evaluation every five years. Those older than 70 would have to be examined every two years, and those 81 and older would have to go every year.
On the Supreme Court, three of the eight sitting justices are 70 years of age or older. Justice Clarence Thomas is 70, Justice Stephen Breyer is 80 and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 85.
You can read more here.
Here are the details:
The Lewis B. Puller, Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic is seeking an attorney or clinician experienced in veterans law to serve as a Professor of Practice (POP). This is a non-tenure eligible position with a presumption of continuation.
William & Mary Law School, the oldest law school in the nation, prides itself on delivering quality legal education to high-achieving students. The curriculum is challenging, varied, and designed to prepare students to excel in the profession of law. The law school has a vibrant clinical program, offering more than 200 students annually an opportunity to hone their lawyering skills through live-client representation.
The Puller Clinic started in 2008 and includes a beginning and advanced clinical experience for second- and third-year students in the representation of veterans in their disability compensation claims at the administrative agency, Board of Veterans Appeals, and U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. In addition, the Puller Clinic engages in informal advice, counsel and outreach, and offers an online certificate program for those interested in veterans advocacy. The Clinic operates in partnership with graduate psychology clinics and additional medical professionals in order to address both the legal and medical needs of veteran clients.
The POP will work with clinical professors in clinical teaching and supervision, as well as case work and client representation in the area of disability compensation claims. The POP will also assist in maintaining relationships with partner institutions of higher education and community partners, and will supervise Military Mondays, the outreach advice and counsel sessions held at a local Starbucks.
The successful candidate will have a JD and be in good standing as a member of a state Bar, with either currently active status or the ability to become an active member upon beginning employment. William & Mary seeks a candidate with at least two years of experience in veterans law, with client-based advocacy experience and superior research and writing skills. Applicants must possess strong academic credentials, and organizational and collaboration skills that will contribute to the Puller Clinic’s continued success.
Successful teaching or supervision experience in clinics, or the demonstrated potential to succeed in such areas, is desirable.
Patricia E. Roberts
Vice Dean and Clinical Professor of Law
Director, Clinical Programs
Co-Director, Lewis B. Puller, Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic
P.O. Box 8795, Williamsburg, Virginia 23187-8795
757.221.3821 phone; 757.221.1855 fax
Monday, September 17, 2018
Storm clouds for for-profit schools. From Inside Higher Ed:
Education Corporation of America, a for-profit higher education provider with locations across the country, plans to close 26 campuses -- a third of its current total -- by early 2020. The closures would affect almost every chain of colleges operated by ECA, including Brightwood Career Institute, Brightwood College, Ecotech Institute, Golf Academy of America and Virginia College. The company said it is ending enrollment of new students at those campuses immediately because of insufficient demand.
The closures come just a few years after ECA acquired 38 campuses owned by Kaplan College, another for-profit operator. They’re the latest evidence of restructuring in a sector rocked by regulatory crackdowns, negative publicity and falling enrollment as the economy continues to improve.
Brightwood College: Arlington and Beaumont, Tex.; Bakersfield, Fresno, Palm Springs and Sacramento, Calif.; Dayton, Ohio
Brightwood Career Institute: Pittsburgh
Ecotech Institute: Aurora, Colo.
Golf Academy of America: Phoenix
Virginia College: Austin, Tex.; Baton Rouge and Shreveport, La.; Biloxi and Jackson, Miss.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Columbia and Spartanburg, S.C., Columbus and Macon, Ga.; Fort Pierce and Pensacola, Fla.; Tulsa, Okla.; and Huntsville, Mobile and Montgomery, Ala.
“The decision to discontinue enrollment and teach-out our programs was made because of insufficient enrollment demand for our programs in these markets,” said Diane Worthington, a spokeswoman for ECA.
Kevin Kinser, a professor of education at Pennsylvania State University who studies the for-profit sector, said the closures are further evidence that an expansive physical presence is not viable in the current higher ed environment.
“I’m sure the economy and negative publicity have something to do with it, but there are also the changes made to for-profit recruitment practices in response to significant critiques and the uncertain policy environment,” he said. “For-profits are being more careful now in how they recruit and who they recruit, and changed programs to ensure that the cost to students reflects the potential labor market outcomes.”
Douglas Webber, an associate professor of economics at Temple University, said changes in the economy are likely driving enrollment patterns more than any other factor. He noted that many nonprofit colleges have also seen recent declines in enrollment, and an uptick in closures of small private nonprofits could be in store.
You can read more here.
If you think you've seen the headline before, you have, but it's true again for the July 2018 Florida bar. From Howard Wasserman, "A bit of shameless school self-promotion. I am happy to say that FIU College of Law again led Florida law schools in bar passage, at 88.1 %. By my count, this is the sixth time in the past seventh Bar administrations that we have led the state (on the seventh, we finished second, missing by one). We remain a well-kept secret in legal ed."
Sunday, September 16, 2018
According to the NYLS website, the "Business of Law Institute" is launching this fall with the goal of preparing "law students and lawyers to meet evolving needs of 21st-century businesses, law firms, and government agencies."
The Institute’s offerings will include courses, hands-on training opportunities, and extracurricular learning labs related to risk and compliance, privacy, cybersecurity, blockchain, artificial intelligence, e-discovery, and similar fields. More specific goals include:
- Develop, in consultation with industry experts, a series of curricular and extracurricular experiential course offerings to train NYLS students to be effective practitioners in the business of law.
- Build a pipeline of jobs for students who are interested in the intersection of law and technology, especially in the corporate legal counsel space.
- Provide Evening Division students with specialized training as part of their J.D. studies to expand their skill sets and provide a launching pad from their current full-time positions in related fields.
- Bring the entire NYLS community together to harness the technologies most relevant to preparing students for the modern profession.
The Institute will also be offering so-called "master classes" this fall in a cyber security response plans and Artificial Intelligence, Smart Contracts and Block Chain. You can check out more information including schedule of classes and events at the Institute's website here.
Over the past year, the ABA has increasingly flexed its muscle in support of social justice. One way is its decision to issue letters and media releases on the vital issues of the day. Here is the latest: Incoming ABA President Bob Carlson voices the organization’s support of independent immigration courts that are free from political interference.
The ABA strongly supports the independence of immigration judges and immigration courts. These courts should not be subordinate to any executive branch agency, including the Justice Department. Instead, we support the creation of truly independent immigration courts and judges under Article I of the U.S. Constitution. Such an arrangement would remove any perception that politics can play a role in dispensing justice with matters of immigration.
You can read more here.
Saturday, September 15, 2018
Yes, according to Geoffrey Pullum and other scholars, the 17 century poet is responsible for making us and our students crazy with silly rules:
Dryden famously invented the myth that sentence-ending prepositions are an error. Casting aspersions on a line from Ben Jonson’s Catiline, Dryden grumbles: “The preposition in the end of the sentence; a common fault with him” (see Mark Liberman’s “Hot Dryden-on-Jonson Action,” Language Log, 5/1/07). Though he admits immediately thereafter that his own prose shows the same feature; he actually knew that his own writings contained stranded prepositions, but he deprecated the construction anyway.
Nearly three and a half centuries later there are still American writers and academics who think stranding a preposition is something to feel guilty about.
But it seems Dryden was not done with his grammatical trouble-making. Two decades later William Walsh (1662–1708) sent Dryden the manuscript of his Dialogue Concerning Women, asking for comments. Dryden was complimentary but gave a few pieces of advice. Walsh should “avoid the words, don’t, can’t, shan’t, and the like abbreviations of syllables; which seem to me to savour of a little rusticity”; and of course (his views being unchanged from 1672) ending a sentence with a preposition “is not elegant.” But he also cited a new rule:
I find likewise, that you make not a due distinction betwixt that, and who; a man that is not proper; the relative who is proper. That, ought alwayes to signify a thing; who, a person.
This appears to be the earliest source for the entirely false belief that a relative clause modifying a human-denoting noun must never begin with that.
You can read more here at the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Cooley, now known as Western Michigan University School of Law, recently received approval from the ABA, effectively immediately, to open its 5th campus in Kalamazoo, MI. Students may take up to 60 credits at the new campus, which is the equivalent of two years of law school coursework. The ABA Journal Blog and Findlaw.com have stories here and here, respectively. You can also read Cooley's press release here.
Friday, September 14, 2018
This past August in Law Practice Today, attorney Jay Reeves tells us about representing the angriest lawyer in town. He did indeed save the poor guy’s bar license and set him on the course to become a happy lawyer. The big lesson is obvious, but not necessarily followed: “Practicing law is hard enough as it is. We make it even harder when we don’t take care of ourselves.”
You can read this tale here.
Tina Stark is a leader in transactional skills training. Here is what she has to say about the current state of the field.
Tina L. Stark (Independent), Transactional Skills Education: Mandated by the ABA Standards [https://ssrn.com/abstract=3228828]
Abstract: "This article is based on a presentation I made at the 2018 Emory Conference. At that time and in this article, I explain why current ABA Standards require law schools to provide every student a foundation to practice transactional law. In addition, I urge individual schools to add at least one credit to the 1L Contracts course. Why? Because any graduate might join the estimated 50% of lawyers who spend all or part of their time doing transactional work. With respect to adding at least one credit to the 1L Contracts course, I was not, and am not, advocating that professors use the additional time to teach negotiation or drafting. Instead, I propose that we allocate that time to teaching foundational knowledge that builds the infrastructure for additional transactional education. We need to give students a transactional perspective."
Key sentence: "It astounds me that the Academy has not yet recognized the unqualified need to teach an area of law that has existed since at least Babylonian times. Indeed, the Code of Hammurabi recognized the salience of contract law. According to that unimpeachable source, Wikipedia, atleast half of the Code of Hammurabi is devoted to contract law."
P.S. Professor Stark has also posted some of her most important articles on transactional skills. You can find them here.
From Harvard Law Today:
Speaking to new students at Harvard Law School, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and former Harvard Law School Dean Elena Kagan ’86 shared some advice on how to navigate law school.
The best way to approach law school is to be “an active go-getter and to try to speak law,” said Kagan. In a lively conversation with HLS Dean John F. Manning ’85, she discussed being a Harvard law student, professor and dean, Solicitor General of the United States, and – her favorite job of all – U.S. Supreme Court Justice. “I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing,” she said. “It’s bliss to read and talk and write about the law. They’re questions that matter.”
Kagan recalled her own first days at Harvard Law School in 1983. “I was really nervous,” she said. She found the courses intellectually challenging and difficult, with a “puzzle-like quality.”
She recalled being the first one in her section who was “cold-called,” when Professor Abram Chayes called on her in Civil Procedure. It helped her get over her fear of speaking in class very quickly. When Kagan became a law professor herself, she regularly used the Socratic method and cold-called on her students. “It helps people be an active participant – not just a note-taker,” she said.
Kagan advised the audience of 1Ls and graduate students to be sure to make friends at HLS. “You will learn as much from your fellow students as from the faculty,” she said.
. . . .
Continue reading here.
Thursday, September 13, 2018
At Lady (Legal) Writer, Megan Boyd discusses the possible move away from a formal legal writing style to a conversational style. I would view this movement as an effort by lawyers and judges to find their own “voice” as writers.
At her blog, Professor Boyd offers several examples, all from a cert. petition. You can access her blog here (August 28, 2018).
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Beloit, Wis. — When the Class of 2018 arrives on campuses in the coming weeks, they will come with a view of the world quite distinct from their mentors. Most born in 1996, they have always had The Daily Show to set them straight, always been able to secure immediate approval and endorsement for their ideas through “likes” on their Facebook pages, and have rarely heard the term “bi-partisan agreement.”
These students will be our students in just a few years. Find out what they know and think here.
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Here's a hint: One of them should be a clinical experience. From the Thomson Reuters sponsored Findlaw blog:
Nobody really wants to take more classes in law school, but wouldn't it be better if law schools had more classes on real law practice?
Like, how about a class on surviving law firm politics or billing more hours in less time? Actually, that could be one class -- law practice ethics.
Seriously, there are some things you don't learn until you start practicing. But more seriously, don't you wish law school had less theoretical and more practical instruction?
- Starting a Law Firm
- Law Practice Clinics
- Internships and Externships
. . . .
Read the entire post here.
Here is a survey of political scientists ranking the Presidents.
The 2018 Presidents & Executive Politics Presidential Greatness Survey was conducted online via Qualtrics from December 22, 2017 to January 16, 2018. Respondents were current and recent members of the Presidents & Executive Politics Section of the American Political Science Association.
The top greatest presidents (in order): Lincoln, Washington, FDR, Theodore Roosevelt, Jefferson.
At the bottom (from poor to worst): Andrew Johnson, Pierce, Harrison, Buchanan, Trump.
You can learn more here.
Monday, September 10, 2018
A column by Forbes contributor, legal consultant and former BigLaw partner Mark Cohen that mentions the LawWithoutWalls project and The Institute for the Future of Law Practice among other points. Here's an excerpt:
. . . .
The transition of law from lawyer-centric, provincial, labor-intensive guild to a customer-focused, global, digitized industry requires new skillsets and training. Technology and business are now tools of the legal trade and legal education and training have lagged the marketplace. Clients are under intense pressure to “do more with less,” and they are applying that standard to legal delivery. They demand efficient, predictive, cost-effective, accessible, scalable, and agile delivery of legal services.
“Knowledge of the law” alone is insufficient for all but a handful of elite lawyers. “Practice” is narrowing as “the business of delivering legal services” is expanding. The latter requires a suite of new skillsets—project management, data analytics, business basics, technical agility, and collaboration, among others—that have yet to become standard fare in legal training. Bill Henderson, a leader in aligning the Academy with the marketplace, sums up the state-of-play: “Legal education and the legal profession are at an inflection point where traditional models of education and practice no longer fit the shifting needs of the market.”
The Skill Gap
The reconfiguration of legal delivery and the skills now required has created a widening gap between demand and the supply of qualified labor. Most law schools continue to focus on doctrinal law and how to “think like a lawyer.” Their curricula are light on practice skills, marketplace changes, and business of law skills. Law schools prepare students for practice careers even as thedata shows an accelerating market shift from law firms (practice-centric) to law companies (business/tech-centric).
Jae Um wrote a piece examining the human resource challenges-- the skills, knowledge and experiences that people need to realize innovation (change)—and the structural and cultural barrier legal innovation teams confront accessing the talent required. Ms. Um shines a light on the legal industry’s “skill gap” and provides a candid assessment: “high-caliber professionals with the necessary specialized business and technical skills are in short supply.”
The challenge confronting the industry is how to identify, mine, train, deploy and scale talent to fill the gap. The solution is a two-step process that involves: (1) augmenting legal expertise with additional skills focused on technological application and process/project management (as well as data analytics, collaboration, personal branding, and a learning for life mindset); and (2) economic, organizational, and cultural parity among legal professionals. If this sounds like a heavy lift, it is.
. . . .
You can read the full Forbes column here.
I suspect that many of our readers are familiar with this personality test, which tells test-takers into which of four personality types they fall. The seductive part of the test is that the test-taker often believes the test result.
I have long been suspicious of the test. By placing the individual into a category, it limits his or her perception of herself or himself and limits personality growth and a creative growth. Many psychologists agree with me.
From The Ringer, here is an article highly critical of Myers-Briggs. Please read it and see what you think.
I have often stated that the number one goal of law schools should be to develop self-regulated learners. Two legal education experts have written an important article on this subject:
Each Law Student Must Take Increasing Ownership Over Professional Development During Law School by Neil W. Hamilton & Jerome M. Organ.
"This article first analyzes how the competency of internalized ownership over continuous professional development is foundational for legal education’s evolution toward competency-based education. Each student’s growth toward later stages of this competency will provide substantial benefits to students as well as to faculty and staff at a law school. The article then looks at the importance that legal employers give to this foundational competency, and the obvious benefit to a student who can demonstrate evidence to potential employers that he or she is at a later stage of development on this competency. The article finally looks at what we know about effective curriculum to foster each student’s growth toward later stages of ownership."
1. "Student growth toward later stages of ownership of continuous professional development will lead to improved academic performance in general at all the other competencies the faculty and staff want each student to develop."
2. "Growth to later stages of ownership of continuous professional development will benefit particularly those students who are not performing well and are at risk."
3. "A student who grows toward later stages of ownership over continuous professional development should not only improve academic performance but also increase the probability of bar passage and success in the student’s search for meaningful post-graduation employment."
Sunday, September 9, 2018
A leading Neurobiologist argues there is no evidence that digital technologies are changing students' brains
That was one of the popular myths about digital technology and learning I tried to debunk in a recent article (here). Sure, technology has changed student behaviors and habits (some of which are incompatible with learning which is why teachers should be more skeptical of the bromide about meeting students where you find them). But is technology changing students' brains insofar as so-called digital natives learn in fundamental different ways than previous generations? So far the evidence suggests "not so much." In this editorial for the NYT, Dr. Richard Friedman, a professor of clinical psychiatry and director of the psychopharmacology clinic at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, argues in the context of debunking another myth wrought by digital technology - a supposed epidemic of teenage anxiety - that little to no evidence exists that such technologies are changing the brains of these students. Here's a pertinent excerpt:
Relax: The digital age is not wrecking your kid's brain.
. . . .
So what’s behind the idea that teenagers are increasingly worried and nervous?
. . . .
[I]t’s more likely that the epidemic is simply a myth. The more interesting question is why it has been so widely accepted as fact.
One reason, I believe, is that parents have bought into the idea that digital technology — smartphones, video games and the like — are neurobiologically and psychologically toxic. If you believe this, it seems intuitive that the generations growing up with these ubiquitous technologies are destined to suffer from psychological problems. But this dubious notion comes from a handful of studies with serious limitations.
Some studies report an association between increased time spent on electronic communication and screens and lower levels of psychological well-being. The problem is that they show only correlation. It is entirely possible that teenagers who are more anxious and unhappy to start with are more drawn to smartphones to deflect their negative emotions than their better-adjusted peers.
Another group of studies use M.R.I. to examine the brains of young people who are “addicted” to internet video games, and report various structural and functional differences. For example, one study reported that a group of 17 teenagers with online gaming “addiction” had microstructural changes in various brain regions compared with a control group.
But, once again, these studies cannot tell us whether the brain abnormalities are the result of excessive internet use, or a pre-existing risk factor for it.
What about the claim that smartphones can be literally addicting, like illicit drugs? This appears to be based on a few M.R.I. studies that show that kids with online gaming “addiction” have enhanced activation in their brain’s reward pathway when shown gaming images.
No surprise there. If I scan your brain while showing you whatever it is that turns you on — sex, chocolate or money, say — your reward pathway will light up like a Christmas tree. But that hardly means you are addicted to these things.
The real question is whether digital technology can produce the enduring changes in the brain that addictive drugs do. There is little evidence that this is the case. And while an alcoholic deprived of his drink can go into life-threatening withdrawal, I have yet to see an adolescent in the emergency room with smartphone withdrawal — just a sullen teenager who wants his device back.
Considering all this, why do so many parents still insist that their teenager has a problem with anxiety? I fear that it reflects a cultural shift toward pathologizing everyday levels of distress.
. . . .
Read Dr. Friedman's full editorial here.