September 8, 2012
UC Irvine seeking to hire clinical professor
Here are the details:
UCI Law School Clinical Faculty Position
The University of California, Irvine School of Law, invites applications for a full-time clinical faculty position, to begin in July 2013. The Law School’s innovative curriculum emphasizes hands-on learning, interdisciplinary teaching and research, and public service. To this end, the founding faculty adopted as a graduation requirement that each student participate in at least one semester of clinical education in which she assists real clients in solving actual legal problems. The Law School has allocated 10 of its 55 faculty positions for the hiring of clinical faculty to develop six to ten clinics. We intend to create both transactional and litigation clinics, and to provide students with a broad range of options tailored to differing career interests. Thus far, we have hired five full-time clinical faculty, and as of Spring 2013 will offer six clinical courses that fulfill the clinical requirement: Appellate Litigation, Community & Economic Development, Consumer Protection, Environmental Law, Immigrant Rights, and International Justice.
The person selected will either teach in one of the Law School’s existing clinics, or create a new clinic, and will assist in the planning and development of the overall clinical program. The Law School is most interested in applicants desiring to co-teach in the existing Immigrant Rights or CED clinic (perhaps with an emphasis on small or international business transactions) or to develop a clinic in another substantive area. At least five years of practice experience and two years of clinical teaching experience are strongly preferred. This position is available as an academic tenure, clinical tenure, or tenure-track (academic or clinical) position, depending on the candidate’s experience and interests. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.
The University of California, Irvine School of Law is an equal opportunity employer committed to excellence through diversity and strongly encourages applications from all qualified applicants, including women and minorities. UCI is responsive to the needs of dual-career couples, is dedicated to work-life balance through an array of family-friendly policies, and is the recipient of an NSF Advance Award for gender equity.
Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the positions are filled. To ensure full consideration, applications and supporting material should be received by October 1, 2012 . Please note adjunct positions will be posted and filled separately. Interested candidates should submit a cover letter identifying the subject area or areas of interest, and current curriculum vitae to UC Irvine’s on-line application system, RECRUIT, located at https://recruit.ap.uci.edu, and/or to
Professor Funmi Arewa, Appointments Committee Chair, University of California, Irvine School of Law, 401 E. Peltason Drive, Irvine, CA 92697-800. FAX: (909) 824-7336. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications submitted by email are encouraged. Confidential inquiries are welcome. Inquiries may be made to Professor Carrie Hempel, Associate Dean for Clinical Education and Service Learning, by email: email@example.com or phone (949) 824-3575. For more information about UCI Law School, visit our website: www.law.uci.edu.
Did Harvard Mishandle Its Cheating Scandal?
In an article in Forbes, Richard Levick argues that that the answer is yes. In a large class, many students allegedly collaborated on a take home exam. Harvard is now conducting an inquiry. Levick believes that the university has released too much information, which could prove damaging to the students involved—students who eventually might be cleared of wrongdoing.
Apparently, the rules for the exam were unclear, and students may have thought they were acting appropriately. The lesson for us is that when we give take homes or graded assignments for completion outside the classroom, our rules have to be clear, rigid and not open to interpretation.
September 7, 2012
The New York Times on Why Students Cheat
The New York Times has an article on why students cheat here. The article states:
"Studies of student behavior and attitudes show that a majority of students violate standards of academic integrity to some degree, and that high achievers are just as likely to do it as others. Moreover, there is evidence that the problem has worsened over the last few decades. Experts say the reasons are relatively simple: Cheating has become easier and more widely tolerated, and both schools and parents have failed to give students strong, repetitive messages about what is allowed and what is prohibited."
The article continues: "The Internet has changed attitudes, as a world of instant downloading, searching, cutting and pasting has loosened some ideas of ownership and authorship. An increased emphasis on having students work in teams may also have played a role. 'Students are surprisingly unclear about what constitutes plagiarism or cheating,' said Mr. Wasieleski, an associate professor of management."
Cheating happens even at elite colleges, “We want to be famous and successful, we think our colleagues are cutting corners, we’ll be damned if we’ll lose out to them, and some day, when we’ve made it, we’ll be role models. But until then, give us a pass.”
Maybe the problem is that "Few schools 'place any meaningful emphasis on integrity, academic or otherwise, and colleges are even more indifferent than high schools. . .'”
In addition, "Mr. McCabe’s surveys, conducted around the country, have found that most college students see collaborating with others, even when it is forbidden, as a minor offense or no offense at all. Nearly half take the same view of paraphrasing or copying someone else’s work without attribution. And most high school teachers and college professors surveyed fail to pursue some of the violations they find. Experts say that along with students, schools and technology, parents are also to blame. They cite surveys, anecdotal impressions and the work of researchers like Jean M. Twenge, author of the book 'Generation Me,' to make the case that since the 1960s, parenting has shifted away from emphasizing obedience, honor and respect for authority to promoting children’s happiness while stoking their ambitions for material success. . ." “Thirty, 40 years ago, the parent would come in and grab the kid by the ear, yell at him and drag him home.”
As I have said before, students who cheat get nothing from their education. Education should be about learning, not about getting a piece of paper.
President of Rhode Island Bar says "Let's kill all the law schools."
And then reinvent them in a way that provides students with a more practical education. The editorial, "First Thing We Do, Let's Kill All The Law Schools" by R.I. Bar president Michael McElroy, appears in the current issue of the Rhode Island Bar Journal:
Traditionally, the first two years of medical school are spent taking foundation classes such as anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, immunology, how to take a history and a physical, and related courses. Patient care begins in the next two years of medical school, and students are generally rotated through specialties such as internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, neurology,
and emergency medicine.
Comprehensive exams must be passed at the end of the second and fourth years, and the M.D. is awarded. This is followed by a one-year internship, another comprehensive exam, and then, at least two more years of residency. If a doctor wants to specialize, then fellowships of varying additional years are required. Board certifications and hospital privileges must be obtained.
Instead, imagine if we trained doctors solely in classrooms and only for three years, with no patient contact, and had them, almost exclusively, read nothing but medical case studies. Then, without ever having been required to see a patient, give an injection, or work in a hospital or doctor’s office, they are awarded their M.D.
If they pass an exam, they receive their license to practice medicine, and are unleashed on the public. The license would allow them to practice medicine in any field without any further training. Heart surgery? No problem – you are a doctor, you have your license, so grab a scalpel and let’s get started! Well, isn’t that how law schools train lawyers? It was for me.
Most new lawyers have never been inside a courtroom, been to a closing, done a title examination, prepared a will or a promissory note (or even seen one), or learned any of the many skills needed to practice law on a daily basis, with one exception – they know how to read appellate decisions. In my personal opinion, they are no more prepared to represent a client than a doctor with a similar lack of training would be prepared to treat a sick patient.
Up until a few years ago, when the U.S. economy tanked, this legal training gap was filled by law firms, large and small, that would hire new law school graduates as associates and start their internship and residency in the practical aspects of how to represent a client and run a law office. Think of the skills you need to do your job every day. How many of those skills did you learn in law school? My personal experience is that I learned about 5% of what I need in law school. The other 95% I learned from other lawyers, CLE programs, or by just bumbling through.
What do I need to know to run my solo law office? How do I hire (and retain) quality
employees, rent office space, attract and keep clients, track time and expenses, send out and collect bills, handle accounts and file and pay taxes, buy insurance, keep organized, meet deadlines, keep the computers, printers and copiers running?
What do I need to know to practice law?
. . . .
Continue reading here.
Coming in Late October: Microsoft’s New Surface Tablet
Think of it as a competitor for the iPad, but a device that promises more features and that will make the most of Windows 8, also coming out in late October. Here is a set of reviews of prototypes from PC World.
September 6, 2012
Law school dean offers 1L's their money back if they withdraw
Dean Donald J. Guter of South Texas College of Law told the entering class during orientation on August 9 to think long and hard about the decision to attend law school given the state of the profession. Dean Guter is a man literally willing to put his money where his mouth is when he told students: "If you’re not sure you have a passion for the law, do a re-evaluation in the first days [of the semester] so you can have your money back. We don’t want to take your money.” That's right, the Dean said he'd refund tuition to any student who decided to withdraw during the first ten days of the semester because of second thoughts about pursuing a career in law. According to the blog Tex Parte, the school estimates ten students took heed of the dean's advice and have since dropped-out.
Hat tip to Above the Law.
Law firm consultant predicts continuing "disruptive change" for law firms into 2013 and beyond
In this video interview with Bloomberg Law, Kent Zimmermann of the legal consulting firm The Zeughauser Group paints a fairly dire picture for BigLaw moving into 2013 and beyond. Though firms generally saw a slightly improved financial picture during the first half of 2012, Mr. Zimmermann says that's now over. Going forward, Mr. Zimmerman says BigLaw will have to get lean to stay profitable by reducing costs in light of the decline in corporate work due to the economy. That means more law firm lay-offs and less hiring because the work either isn't there or because firms must find less expensive ways to deliver certain services by outsourcing it rather than relying on associates. Indeed, Mr. Zimmermann expects some major firms will fail in the next year or so while others will have to merge to survive, presumably shedding lawyers along the way. To be clear, Mr. Zimmermann does not believe these are temporary circumstances solely attributable to the economy but that many of the legal jobs that have been lost and will be lost in the coming years are never coming back because of structural changes in the way legal services are being delivered. It's a picture that's also consistent with the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics regarding growth, or lack thereof, in the legal profession through 2020 (as explained by Professor Deborah Jones Merritt in this post over at Inside the Law School Scam).
Hat tip to the ABA Journal blog.
The Clint Eastwood Debacle
I’m still thinking about Clint’s odd performance at the Republican National Convention. Although we are on very different political pages, I am a great fan, especially of his Dirty Harry movies, only one of which is too graphic for my taste. The villains are so reprehensible.
I have been thinking about why Clint’s performance went so wrong and what rhetorical lessons we can glean from it. Here are my thoughts.
The guiding principle is to identify who your audience members are and speak to them. Clint’s audience here was expecting a polished speech and instead got an ad lib that failed.
Clint had several audiences. Many of the folks in the auditorium probably enjoyed his crude presentation. I’m willing to bet that the members of the so-called Republican Establishment were groaning in pain. The other audience—the TV audience, which included many who were not true believers—undoubtedly included many who were appalled. I won’t even describe the reaction of the press. Even the Fox commentators waffled. Thus, Clint failed to speak to all his audiences.
A final, speculative thought. Why did Clint think that any of his audiences would find his crude humor to be funny and appropriate? I suspect it’s because he lives in a closed world where that humor is acceptable. He may think it works for his movie audience, though his movie humor isn’t that ugly. His wealthy country club friends may inhabit a culture that would appreciate his performance.
The big lesson: Know your audience; write and speak to your audience.
New Legal Writing Blog
Elizabeth L. Inglehart, a Clinical Assistant Professor at Northwestern University School of Law, has started a legal writing blog called Think Like a Lawyer: Musing of a Legal Writing Professor. She writes that her blog "focuses on advice for achieving success in LRW courses, in law school more generally, and in beginning legal jobs." In particular, "I started this blog as a place where I can provide my law students with helpful information about learning practical legal skills that will be crucial to them as they enter the practice of law."
Good luck with your blog, Elizabeth!
September 5, 2012
Clinical job opening for IP lawyer
U. Richmond is looking to hire a clinical prof to run its IP clinic. Here are the details:
University of Richmond School of Law
The University of Richmond School of Law seeks a full-time clinical faculty member to develop, run, and teach a clinic that would provide non-litigation legal services to small businesses, entrepreneurs, non-profits, authors, and artists on business transactions and intellectual property issues. The Clinical Professor will play a major role in determining the clinic’s specific emphasis and operation.
The Law School has four other in-house clinics, over 60 external clinical placements, and a well developed, structured, sequential skills oriented curriculum. The Law School is also home to the Intellectual Property Institute, which comprises three full-time research faculty members, that offers more than a dozen courses in intellectual property and a certificate program for J.D. students. The Law School also participates in the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Program.
Required qualifications for this position include a law degree, a license to practice in Virginia (or a willingness to become licensed), and significant experience in business transactions, small business start-ups, and intellectual property issues. Entrepreneurial spirit and substantial organizational skills are a must. Prior teaching experience is a plus but not required.
This is a non-tenure track, renewable contract position. Salary and benefits will be commensurate with experience and scope of responsibilities assumed. Starting date is flexible.
Interested applicants should send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and list of references to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Richmond is committed to developing a diverse workforce and student body and to supporting an inclusive campus community.
Poll ranks law schools on job prospects following graduation.
This is interesting because it's a poll being conducted by a business and finance blog, the Business Insider, that's asking readers for feedback on whether, among other things, it's a good idea to attend a law school that falls outside the top tier. Another question asks readers to rank the top 55 schools with respect to job prospects following graduation given the cost of attending. Readers are asked to identify whether they are involved in hiring decisions on behalf of their employers and further invited to leave comments explaining why they think law school is either a good, or bad, investment as the case may be. All of which should make for some interesting reading once the results have been compiled.
Click here to head over the Business Insider to participate.
When to Say "No" to Your Dream Job
From the Estrin Report (August 27):
Have you ever wondered what might have happened in your life if you had chosen one road over another? I mean, what really might have happened?
I don't make a habit of writing about my own experiences but....several years ago while minding my own business (literally). I was approached by a major corporation (big players - cool $5+ billion a year in revenue) to head up their $50 million division. I was pretty happy doing what I'm doing. I love being an entrepreneur in the legal field. I have a successful paralegal training organization, I'm my own boss; and I really wasn't looking to change. In fact, I subscribe to the old adage that you work 80 hours a week just so you don't have to work 40 hours a week for someone else.
So why did she say no? Read down to the closing paragraphs of this well-written and entertaining tale. There are lessons here for both interviewers and interviewees.
September 4, 2012
Labor and employment law is hot practice area right now
While demand for corporate-, real estate- and bankruptcy-related work all dropped 2 to 3 percent, labor and employment work rose nearly 5 percent during the second quarter of 2012 compared with the second quarter of 2011, according to a survey of the nation’s 135 largest law firms by the Hildebrandt Institute’s Peer Monitor Index, a unit of Thomson Reuters. Demand for legal services in the Washington market dropped 2 percent, compared to 0.2 percent nationally.
Although labor and employment work represents a relatively small chunk of the legal market — 8 percent, compared to litigation (33 percent) and corporate (23 percent) — it is the only practice area that has consistently posted growing demand for the past 18 months.
Unlike mergers and acquisitions and other corporate work that tapers off during an economic downturn, employment law tends to be countercyclical. Lingering high unemployment pushes many laid-off workers to sue their former bosses over workplace-related claims — and that means more business for law firms that represent companies.
“In most jurisdictions, employment is at will,” said Constantinos Panagopoulos, a partner at Ballard Spahr. “You can be let go for any reason, or no reason, so the only remedy most employees have is to make a claim of employment discrimination. That’s why you’re seeing a broader uptick in that area. That results in more lawyers being hired to defend those lawsuits.”
Legal action against companies over unpaid wages and alleged employment discrimination surged during the recession, and continues to climb. Charges of workplace discrimination hit an all-time high of nearly 100,000 in 2011, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found.
Similarly, the 12 months ending in March saw a record number of complaints filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the federal law that requires employers to pay minimum wage and overtime to workers, according to data compiled by the law firm Seyfarth Shaw. About 7,000 FLSA lawsuits were filed against employers during that period — more than triple the number from a decade ago.
Continue reading here.
National Law Journal editorial says law school still good investment for African-Americans
From the NLJ:
. . . .
African-Americans who are considering law as a career should not ignore [the] data on law school tuition, student debt load and job placement. Because African-Americans as a group have less wealth than whites to finance law school, the cost of attending law school and the ability to repay that cost while earning a living should be a serious consideration for this group of prospective students.
However, African-Americans should not be dissuaded from attending law school by published law school tuition rates. What prospective students should know is that many students with solid academic credentials or financial need actually do not pay full freight to attend law school. Many law schools award financial aid to students based on their LSAT score and undergraduate grade-point average. This type of aid is called "merit"-based aid, and black applicants with solid academic credentials should seek it once they are admitted to a law school.
Some law schools also award need-based financial aid. This financial assistance is awarded to students whose financial profile indicates that they have few (if any) economic resources to draw on to finance law study. Need-based awards are especially appropriate when a student lacks a credit history or credit-worthy co-signer that would enable the student to obtain many of the private loans that are used to finance legal education. Accordingly, African-Americans with little or no economic resources of their own should seek out law schools that provide need-based aid rather than opt out of legal education altogether. Moreover, law schools that have shifted scholarship dollars away from need-based aid in order to fund "merit" scholarships to aid recruitment of highly credentialed students should understand that this practice has a negative impact on their ability to recruit students with financial need, a disproportionate number of whom are African-American.
Continue reading here.
Tips on Writing
Brain Pickings (August 31) references a number of sources for advice on writing, including:
Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 rules for a great story, David Ogilvy’s 10 no-bullshit tips, Henry Miller’s 11 commandments, Jack Kerouac’s 30 beliefs and techniques, John Steinbeck’s 6 pointers, Susan Sontag’s synthesized wisdom on writing, various invaluable insight from other great writers, and the excellent Several Short Sentences About Writing.
On the other hand, I find it easier to read about writing than actually to write.
Reforming the Third Year of Law School
I have posted several times about the innovative third-year program at Washington and Lee. (e.g., here) Three faculty members at Washington& Lee, Lyman Johnson, Robert T. Danforth, and David Millon, have recently posted an artticle, Reforming the Third Year of Law School, which describes this program in detail.
Abstract: In early 2008, Washington and Lee fundamentally reformed the entire third year law school curriculum. The new curriculum broke with decades-long tradition by focusing entirely on student-centered, experiential learning. It also sharply distinguished the educational approach in the third year from that in the first and second years, thereby creating a strong sense of pedagogical progression. Finally, it more deliberately prepared students for the transition to practice and emphasized the importance of attending to the formation of a professional identity.
This article, a chapter in a new book − Reforming Legal Education (D. Moss & D. Curtis, eds., 2012) – describes in detail the substantive curricular changes made at Washington and Lee. But it also describes more process-oriented factors that are critical to successful curricular reform such as aligning proposed changes with a school’s or university’s larger strategic objectives so as to achieve true institutional “fit.” We also describe the importance of thoughtful implementation of reform, after adoption, through a phased-in “roll out” process. Finally, we relate how our curricular changes included, from the outset, a mandated mechanism for post-adoption assessment on an ongoing basis. Assurance of expected regular occasions for revisiting curricular reform can itself facilitate change and overcome initial resistance.
September 3, 2012
More states should follow Iowa's new lawyer mentoring program
An editorial from the New York Law Journal argues that more states need to follow the lead of the Iowa bar by implementing programs that match new law grads with experienced solos who can help them transition into small town practice. While elite schools like Columbia are expanding academic offerings in highfalutin specialties like international commercial and investment arbitration, the vast majority of law grads will instead be helping clients with more pedestrian tasks like residential real estate closings. And it's here that mentoring programs can really help new lawyers launch a practice.
. . . .Iowa's new state bar plan of pairing solo practitioners with law students they can mentor in hopes they can find, literally, heirs at law, made nationwide news recently. The media angle depicted the program as a sort of expose on what happens to those who can't land that dream big-firm job. They are put out to pasture, apparently, to spend their careers drafting tractor-sale contracts. I half expected to read about Iowa's longstanding courtroom practice of making an objection by simply hitching one's thumbs through one's overalls and puffing twice on a corn-cob pipe; or asking, "Judge, may I John Deere this witness?"
But the truth is that even in the Big Apple, most lawyers are either solos or work at small firms. These "minor players" handle the majority of the cases that flow through the state's courts. Preparing graduates to be actual practitioners—either by copying the Hawkeye state's approach or by adding more practice-centric academic clinics—would be the wisest investment law schools could make.
How Happy are Mid Level Associates?
They’re happier than they’ve been in years, according to the American Lawyer Associates Survey:
The rising satisfaction level among midlevels showed up in almost every facet of this year's edition of our annual 85-question survey. Fifty-seven percent of respondents, for instance, described their firms as appropriately staffed, a 7 percent increase from 2011. Seventy-nine percent described their workload as manageable, a 2 percent gain over last year. Ninety-two percent said that if they had the choice to make again, they would again choose to come to their firms, a 2 percent increase from a year ago.
The fact that they have jobs in these difficult times may have something to do with their satisfaction.
September 2, 2012
New ETL Portfolio: White Collar Crime in Practice
Wes Reber Porter has posted White Collar Crime in Practice on the Educating Tomorrow's Lawyers portfolio page.
I especially like his introduction:
"My goal is for my students to encounter and master situations in class as they will likely encounter in their law practice. Rather than simply cover or discuss a topic, my students internalize, by grappling with, the analyses and skills needed to resolve these situations in a manner befitting of a licensed attorney. In turn, our practical legal education equips our students with skills necessary for real-life lawyering, as well as the confidence to tackle in their future career as lawyers both familiar and unfamiliar situations. "
He writes, "At our law school, in response to the Carnegie Report, we sought to introduce 1L students to substantively engaging areas of practice while infusing practical 'lawyering skills' and core values." He continues, "I use the exciting and current topic of white collar crime as a vehicle to: (i) explore fundamental legal concepts and analysis, (ii) integrate experiential learning, skills training and key values and (iii) engage students' different learning styles. . . . My students assume roles in two intricate white collar crime cases as the course's backdrop. I infuse lawyering skills and core values with the substantive and procedural topics unique to white collar crime." In addition, "I encourage my 1L students to develop an ethical compass and sense of professional identity in the context of criminal representation."
He concludes, "I teach WCC this way to be a welcome contrast to traditional legal education, simultaneously melding substantive law with lawyering skills, creativity and professionalism."
More details, here.
Tips for law students looking to stand out during OCI
OCI seems to start earlier each year - some firms now schedule call-backs before classes even start. If you're looking for tips on how to dress and conduct yourself to maximum effect, check out the following list of tips from FindLaw.com
- Dress Memorably. We're still advocating business attire but include a unique accessory, a differently styled shirt, or an interesting tie that looks fashionable but also professional.
- Prepare Questions. You must be interested to apply so make sure that comes across. Prepare questions ahead of time and possibly even write them down. Organization and genuine interest are both positive traits.
- Know the Industry. If you say you're interested in a certain area of practice, you better be ready to take about relevant cases and law that are affecting that field right now. Be sure your interest shows depth, not just a need to please.
- Choose an Early Slot. In some cases you may have an option between several times for an interview. Try choosing one earlier in the day so that you can be the standard by which everyone else is judged.
- Practice First. Take advantage of mock interviews if your law school offers them. Not only can they help calm your nerves, you can get valuable insight on how best to present yourself.
- Tell a Story. Many law students have similar backgrounds so it's important to make yours as unique as possible. Spend some time thinking about how to craft an engaging storyline around your past experience.
- Smile and Relax. Interviewers might remember a nervous wreck but not for the right reasons. Show that you can stay calm under pressure since law is often a stress-filled career.
Continue reading here.