Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Call for Proposals on Formulative Assessements in Legal Education

Detroit MercyThe material below was supplied by Prof. Julia Belian:


The Impact of Formative Assessment: Emphasizing Outcome Measures in Legal Education

The University of Detroit Mercy Law Review is pleased to announce its annual academic Symposium to be held on March 3, 2017, at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. The Symposium will contemplate how the American Bar Association’s emphasis on outcome measures in its revised Standards for Approval will affect law students’ educational experience. Specific topics may address, but are not limited to, the following issues:

  1. The Need for and Benefits of Incorporating Formative Assessments into the Classroom: The importance of self-regulated learning and qualitative feedback; the benefits of formative assessment versus using only summative assessment; the effect of formative assessments on professors’ teaching experience.
  2. Methods for Incorporating Formative Assessments into the Classroom: The types of formative assessments that satisfy the ABA’s requirements; when qualitative feedback is most effective for student success; ways in which to implement formative assessments to improve student learning.
  3. Measuring the Success of Formative Assessments: The methods by which law schools can conduct ongoing evaluation of the assessment methods to adequately “measure the degree to which students have attained competency in the school’s learning outcomes” as required by the new ABA Standards.    

The Law Review invites interested individuals to submit an abstract of 250-300 words that detail their proposed topic and presentation. Since the above list of topics is non-exhaustive, the University of Detroit Mercy Law Review encourages all interested parties to develop their own topic to present at the Symposium. Included with the abstract should be the author’s name, contact information, and a copy of their resume/curriculum vitae. Abstracts should indicate whether the proposal is for presentation and publication or for presentation only. Although publication is not required to present at the Symposium, preference will be given to proposals that include a commitment to produce a publishable article for the Symposium edition of the Law Review (to be published Fall 2017).

The deadline for abstract submissions is October 31, 2016. Individuals selected to present at the Symposium will be contacted by November 14, 2016.

Submissions, and any questions regarding the Symposium or the abstract process, should be directed to Law Review Symposium Director Erin Cobane at cobaneer@udmercy.edu.

You may also contact Prof. Belian at belianju@udmercy.edu or 313-596-0225.  

October 13, 2016 in Conferences & CLE, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 8, 2016

ACTEC Law Journal Call for Articles


Below is a Call for Articles issued by the ACTEC Law Journal:

The ACTEC Law Journal has an opening in its spring 2017 issue and therefore will be conducting exclusive reviews over the next few weeks. Any contribution submitted to the ACTEC Law Journal between now and October 24, 2016 will be evaluated for publication purposes by November 1, 2016.  By submitting an article or essay, the author agrees to immediately accept a publication offer with the ACTEC Law Journal should one be extended.  The author is not required in advance to withdraw any article or essay previously or contemporaneously submitted for consideration elsewhere. However, the author may not accept an offer of publication from another journal for any article or essay submitted to the ACTEC Law Journal’s exclusive review process during this window, unless the ACTEC Law Journal indicates that the submission will not receive a publication offer. Author requests to further expedite the exclusive review process will be accommodated to the extent practicable.  Any contribution accepted through this exclusive review process will be published in the ACTEC Law Journal's second issue of the year, which is slated for publication in early spring 2017. 

The ACTEC Law Journal is a faculty-edited, peer-reviewed academic journal that explores tax, trust and estate topics in depth, and also deals with the practical consequences and applications of the rapidly changing rules in these areas of law. We welcome submissions of articles of traditional length for scholarly articles; shorter pieces of 2,000 to 10,000 words are welcome as well.

If you have an article you would like to submit, please e-mail Bridget Crawford a copy of the article and your CV to  bcrawford@law.pace.edu with the subject line "ACTEC Exclusive Article Review." We look forward to reading your submissions.


October 8, 2016 in Articles, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Wealth Transfer Law in Comparative and International Perspective -- Call for Papers

ACTECThe University of Iowa College of Law and The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel’s Legal Education Committee are organizing the 7th academic symposium financially supported by the ACTEC Foundation. The symposium, Wealth Transfer Law in Comparative and International Perspective will be held at the University of Iowa College of Law on Friday, September 8, 2017. The keynote address will be given by Professor Lionel Smith of McGill University and King’s College London.

Among the objectives of this symposium are:

            (1) To bring together prominent and up-and-coming scholars for the discussion of important issues in wealth transfer law from a comparative and international perspective;

            (2) To spur leading-edge research on wealth transfer law, looking beyond the borders of any one jurisdiction;

            (3) To encourage U.S. professors of trusts and estates to incorporate comparative and international perspectives into their scholarship and teaching; and

            (4) To promote collaborations and exchanges between U.S. and non-U.S. scholars.

Papers presented at the symposium will consist of papers selected from this Call for Papers and papers from invited speakers. The papers will be published in the Iowa Law Review.

If you would like to be considered to present a paper, please submit an abstract of your paper to Professor Thomas Gallanis by email (thomas-gallanis@uiowa.edu) by November 1, 2016. The Iowa Law Review will notify individuals chosen to participate in the symposium no later than December 1, 2016. Symposium speakers will be required to submit a draft of their papers by August 1, 2017, so that the panel commentators will have sufficient time to prepare their commentary.

Symposium speakers will be reimbursed for their travel expenses (economy airfare, the cost of ground transportation, and up to two nights’ hotel for speakers within North America and up to three nights’ hotel for speakers from beyond North America). Speakers will be invited to dinner on the evenings of Thursday, September 7, and (for speakers staying Friday evening) Friday, September 8.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided to speakers and attendees on Friday, September 8, courtesy of the ACTEC Foundation.

Questions about the symposium or this call for papers should be directed to Professor Gallanis at the email address above.

October 5, 2016 in Conferences & CLE, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 3, 2016

Starting a Charitable Fund in Memory of a Loved One

Memorial fundsIn memory of lost loved ones, some choose to erect plaques, statutes, or buildings while others start foundations, scholarships, or memorial funds. Although no minimum financial requirement exists to start a foundation, the process can be cost intensive and filled with responsibilities. To alleviate some of these burdens, there are options that can make the process easier to manage. One way is to raise money on the Internet through crowdfunding platforms. Other ideas include outsourcing the management of the funds and paperwork to companies that help individuals who are unable to do so on their own. 

See Abby Ellin, Honoring a Loved One with a Charitable Fund, NY Times, September 30, 2016. 

Special thanks to Joel Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.


October 3, 2016 in Estate Planning - Generally, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

SEALS Trusts and Estates Proposed Programming

SealsA team of law professors is hoping to encourage more trusts and estates programming at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools conference, which will be held from July 30-Aug. 6, 2017, in Boca Raton.  The team will be proposing two discussion groups, described below, one which focuses on pedagogy and one on scholarship; please let them know if you would like to participate. In addition, please feel free to propose a panel or discussion group yourself; here is the submission information, http://www.sealslawschools.org/submissions/.

Thank you!  If you have any questions, then please contact Naomi Cahn at ncahn@law.gwu.edu.

SEALS T and E Resource Team: Mark Bauer, Naomi Cahn, and Karen Sneddon.


Many trusts and estates courses have historically focused their teaching techniques on the traditional Socratic method, and much of trusts and estates scholarship has focused on the development of doctrine within the field itself.  This half day of programming will include two plenary discussion groups that explore pedagogy and scholarship that are expanding the ways of teaching and studying trusts and estates, and related doctrines. The additional discussion groups will address 1) innovations in teaching, including both skills and doctrine; 2) new research that uses trusts and estates concept in other areas of the law, including Elder Law, Family Law, Property, and Professional Responsibility.

August 16, 2016 in Conferences & CLE, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 18, 2016

Central States Law Schools Scholarship Conference

CSLSAThe Central States Law Schools Association 2016 Scholarship Conference will be held on Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24, 2016 at the University of North Dakota School of Law in Grand Forks, ND.  

CSLSA is an organization of law schools dedicated to providing a forum for conversation and collaboration among law school academics. The CSLSA Annual Conference is an opportunity for legal scholars, especially more junior scholars, to present working papers or finished articles on any law-related topic in a relaxed and supportive setting where junior and senior scholars from various disciplines are available to comment. More mature scholars have an opportunity to test new ideas in a less formal setting than is generally available for their work. Scholars from member and nonmember schools are invited to attend. 

Registration will formally open in July. Hotel rooms are already available, and more information about the CSLSA conference can be found on our website at www.cslsa.us.

April 18, 2016 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Different Options For Paying College Tuition

Tuition puzzleCollege is getting more expensive and coming up with the money to pay tuition costs can be a difficult.  This article discusses some of the different option that people have for paying college tuition costs.  Students will often need to scrape together family savings, work study loans, financial aid, grants, and scholarships.  It is also common for Universities to offer some sort of tuition payment plan.  This article also explains how people can spend money on tuition from 529 accounts.  According to this article a family that has the money should try paying for tuition up front to avoid having to take out a loan.  People could also consider spending from a retirement account like a 401(k), though there are risks involved with this approach. It might be a good idea to meet with a financial adviser to discuss different options for paying tuition costs.

See Beth Pinsker, It takes a village of options to pay college tuition, Reuters, April 7, 2016.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse for bringing this article to my attention.

April 9, 2016 in Estate Planning - Generally, Income Tax, Scholarship, Trusts, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Call for Contributions - Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tax Opinions

The U.S. Feminist Judgments Project seeks contributors of rewritten judicial opinions and commentary on those opinions for an edited collection entitled Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tax Opinions. This edited volume, to be published by Cambridge University Press, is part of a collaborative project among law professors and others to rewrite, from a feminist perspective, key judicial decisions. The initial volume, Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court, edited by Kathryn M. Stanchi, Linda L. Berger, and Bridget J. Crawford, will be published in 2016 by Cambridge University Press. (That book’s Introduction and Table of Contents are available here.) Subsequent volumes in the series will focus on different courts or different subject matters. This call is for contributions to a volume of tax decisions rewritten from a feminist perspective.

Tax volume editors Bridget Crawford and Anthony Infanti seek prospective authors for 8 to 10 rewritten tax-related opinions covering a range of topics. Authors are welcome to suggest cases of their own choosing or to consult the editors or others for ideas. All tax-related cases are appropriate for rewriting. Possible cases from U.S. courts are listed here, but that is not an exhaustive list. Cases may come from any jurisdiction and any court, including non-U.S. jurisdictions. The volume editors conceive of feminism as a broad movement concerned with justice and equality, and welcome proposals to rewrite cases in a way that bring into focus issues such as gender, race, class, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, and immigration status.

As the core of the Feminist Judgments Project is judicial opinions, proposals must be either to (1) rewrite a case (not administrative guidance, regulations, etc.) or (2) comment on a rewritten case. Rewritten opinions may be re-imagined majority opinions, dissents, or concurrences, as appropriate to the court. Feminist judgment writers will be bound by law and precedent in effect at the time of the original decision (with a 10,000 word maximum for the rewritten judgment). Commentators will explain the original court decision, how the feminist judgment differs from the original judgment, and what difference the feminist judgment might have made (4,000 word maximum for the commentary). Commentators and opinions writers who wish to work together are welcome to indicate that in the application.

In suggesting possible cases for rewriting, the volume editors have had the input and advice of an Advisory Panel of distinguished U.S. scholars including Alice Abreu (Temple), Patricia Cain (Santa Clara), Joseph Dodge (Florida State), Mary Louise Fellows (Minnesota), Wendy Gerzog (Baltimore), Steve Johnson (Florida State), Marjorie Kornhauser (Tulane), Ajay Mehrotra (American Bar Foundation, Northwestern), Beverly Moran (Vanderbilt), Richard Schmalbeck (Duke), Nancy Shurtz (Oregon), Nancy Staudt (Washington University), and Lawrence Zelenak (Duke).

The U.S. Feminist Judgments Project approaches revised judicial opinion writing as a form of critical socio-legal scholarship. There are several world-wide projects engaged in similar efforts, including the U.K.-based Feminist Judgments: From Theory to Practice (2010); Australian Feminist Judgments: Righting and Rewriting Law (2014); the Women’s Court of Canada; ongoing projects in Ireland, New Zealand, and a pan-European project; and other U.S.-based projects currently under way.

Those who are interested in rewriting an opinion or providing the commentary on one of the rewritten tax cases should fill out an application here.

Applications are due by February 29, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. eastern. Editors expect to notify accepted authors and commentators by April 15, 2016. First drafts of rewritten opinions will be due on August 15, 2016. First drafts of commentary will be due on September 15, 2016.

February 4, 2016 in Conferences & CLE, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Article On The History Of Old Age In The Age Of Medicaid

ArticlePictureMary Ann Case (Professor, University of Chicago School of Law) recently published an article entitled, When someday is today: carrying forward the history of old age and inheritance into the age of Medicaid, 40 Law & Soc. Inquiry 499-505 (2015). Provided below is an abstract of the article:

This review essay of Hendrik Hartog's Someday All This Will Be Yours undertakes a brief overview of some of the massive changes in middle-class planning for old age and inheritance in the United States over the course of the past century, focusing on the increased role of the state as a source of funding and regulation, the rise of the elder law bar, and the resulting new tools and motives for the transfer of property in exchange for care in the age of Medicaid.

October 29, 2015 in Articles, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Estate Planning & Community Property Law Journal Seeks Articles


The Estate Planning & Community Property Law Journal (EPJ) at the Texas Tech University School of Law is seeking traditional law review articles for Volume 8.

The EPJ is the only law school published legal journal of its kind committed to community property law, and is only the second in the nation devoted to estate planning. The EPJ is host to some of the most highly regarded scholars and practitioners in the field of estate planning and community property law. In fact, Professor Bryan Camp’s article entitled “Protecting Trust Assets from the Federal Tax Lien,” was selected as the Texas Bar Foundation’s Outstanding Law Review Article for 2009.

This is your chance to join the EPJ in advancing legal scholarship, providing thought-provoking commentary and guiding practitioners in the field by publishing the finest articles written both nationally and internationally! If you have an article you would like considered for publication please email the EPJ a copy along with your resume at brenda.montoya@ttu.edu.  

August 1, 2015 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)