Friday, May 15, 2015

Pro Bono Populi

A majority of the faculty at the Charleston School of Law have written a letter explaining their opposition to Infilaw's purchase. The letter was published in the Charleston Post & Courier.

The faculty who signed this letter are aware that publishing it will likely cost them their jobs. 

May 15, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A Tale of Two Law Schools


According to the Charleston Post & Courier, the Charelston School of Law is likely closing.

Compare the fate of Charleston with that of Texas Wesleyan School of Law. Texas Wesleyan began as the DFW School of Law. DFW, like Charleston, was a for-profit law school. The difference is that the founders of DFW had a vision of a school that would last well beyond their own lifetimes. They sold their school to Texas Wesleyan University for $1. Now, that law school belongs to Texas A&M, and it is clearly a law school with a great future.

It is a very sad day for the Charleston School of Law, and a very good time for Texas A&M.

May 6, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

New York to Adopt Uniform Bar Exam

This is a major step towards a more rational and consistent system of bar admissions.  I suspect that many other states will be open to the UBE now that New York has signed on.

May 6, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

How Long Do Law Deans Serve?

It is sometimes stated that the typical law dean serves 2-3 years before stepping down.  This is almost certainly inaccurate and may result from a misreading of the great data that Jim Rosenblatt collects.  The median length of service of current sitting deans is 3 years.  This does not mean, though, that this is the typical length of time a dean has served by the end of his or her term. 

One way to look at this is that if every dean now serving suddenly resigned, their median length of service would be 3 years.  But, despite the wishes of those who might see mass resignation as a good thing, most currently serving deans will continue to serve next year and probably longer.  

Most years, there are 30-40 new deans appointed.  This translates to 1/5 or 1/6 of all schools having a new dean.  Therefore, the median tenure of retiring deans is probably in the 5-6 year range. Whether that median is declining is unclear, although that would not be surprising in these tough times for law schools.


May 5, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 1, 2015

Lipshaw: Inside v. Outside Dean is a False Dichotomy


[Post by Rick Bales]

Jeff Lipshaw has a terrific post over at The Legal Whiteboard in which he urges law schools to beware of decanal candidates selling themselves as fundraisers. Jeff makes the excellent point that before a dean can be a great fundraiser, the dean must ensure that s/he has a great product to sell. Here's an excerpt:

Beware the naive view of development.  Beware the pitch that is just about willingness to knock on doors without linking it back to the hard work of building a distinct institution. Beware the person who thinks there's a meaningful distinction between being an "inside dean" and an "outside dean." ... Compelling value propositions take work and require huge amounts of effort within the four walls of the institution before you put them out to customers and investors.  The same is true of schools.



May 1, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)