Wednesday, September 20, 2017
One of the biggest criticisms made against law schools is the large amount of law student indebtedness. This can be fixed. "One of outgoing dean Daniel Rodriguez’s biggest achievements at Northwestern Law: bringing down average student indebtedness by roughly a third." (here)
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Apparently the hot, new trend in corporate mentoring is something called "flash" mentoring that involves bringing together multiple people at one place and time to turbocharge their networking opportunities (edit note: I'm not sure I understand how this differs from most other networking events that seek to do the same thing, but whatever). The way this article from Law.com (subscription may be required) describes it, however, "flash" is like social networking applied to career mentoring. SMU has embraced the idea by creating a networking platform for its law students called Mustang that allows them to seek out and make connections with as many mentors as they want. The mentors, who consist of practitioners, judges and alums, must agree to join the program though so far it hasn't been a problem since 250 have already signed up since the program was first launched. SMU has set up a pretty snappy webpage where mentors can apply to be included in the program - check it out here.
Students can then surf the network, view each mentor's profile and then reach out to as many contacts as they like. The advantage over more traditional law school mentoring programs where an administrator pairs students with volunteers from the community is that students get to choose their own mentors based on who most closely matches their specific interests. In addition Mustang leverages for students the power of having multiple contacts in their portfolios. According to a school spokesman, the response among students and mentors has been "incredible." You can check out more details about SMU's new mentoring program at Law.com here.
AALS President Paul Marcus has asked five prominent legal educators to share their thoughts on specific areas of American legal education, as those areas have changed in recent years. Each contributor is a national figure who has made significant contributions to the high quality of our system:
- Barbara A. Bintliff, Joseph C. Hutcheson Professor in Law and Director, Tarlton Law Library/Jamail Center for Legal Research at the University of Texas School of Law.
- Susan L. Krinsky, Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Communications at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and Immediate-Past Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Law School Admission Council.
- Katherine Kruse, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at the Mitchell/Hamline School of Law.
- Vincent D. Rougeau, Dean at Boston College Law School and member of the AALS Executive Committee.
- Kellye Y. Testy, President of the Law School Admission Council and AALS Immediate Past President.
All are worth reading; however, I think the essays by Barbara Bintliff and Susan Krinsky have the most to offer.
You can access these brief essays here.
Fifth Colonial Frontier Legal Writing Conference: Drafting Statutes and Rules: Pedagogy, Practice, And Politics
Last week, I linked to the Forward of the Fifth Colonial Frontier Legal Writing Conference: Drafting Statutes and Rules: Pedagogy, Practice, And Politics. Here is the table of contents for the conference:
· Jan M. Levine, “Foreword: Fifth Colonial Frontier Legal Writing Conference: Drafting Statutes and Rules: Pedagogy, Practice, And Politics,” 55 Duq. L. Rev. 1 (2017).
· J. Lyn Entrikin & Richard K. Neumann Jr., “Teaching the Art and Craft of Drafting Public Law: Statutes, Rules, and More, 55 Duq. L. Rev. 9 (2017).
· Jamie R. Abrams, Experiential Learning and Assessment in the Era of Donald Trump, 55 Duq. L. Rev. 75 (2017).
· Ann L. Schiavone, Writing the Law: Developing the “Lawyer Citizen” Identity Through Legislative, Statutory, and Rule Drafting Courses, 55 Duq. L. Rev. 119 (2017).
· Lisa A. Rich, Teaching Public Policy Drafting in Law School: One Professor’s Approach, 55 Duq. L. Rev. 151.
· Rex D. Frazier, Capital Lawyering & Legislative Clinic, 55 Duq. L. Rev. 191 (2017).
The papers will be online this week here.
Monday, September 18, 2017
The Florida bar results are out, and Florida International University has the top rank for the fourth year in a row. (here) This is no coincidence; FIU has established a rigorous program of legal education. FIU's success proves that law schools can improve bar scores if they want to.
FIU achieved these remarkable results by adopting techniques from general educational research. Among the skills the program teaches students are metacognition, self-regulated learning, spaced repetition, mixed practice, cognitive schema theory, and self-testing (retrieval practice). For more information see, Louis N. Schulze Jr., Using Science to Build Better Learners: One School's Successful Efforts to Raise Its Bar Passage Rates in an Era of Decline.
If you give a person the answer, that person will have knowledge for a day. If you teach a person how to learn, that person will have knowledge for a lifetime.
In this article, Valerie Rainford, formerly of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and now Head of Advancing Black Leaders & Diversity Advancement Strategies at JPMorgan Chase, offers advice on getting ahead. She says networking is not enough; you need to get noticed:
Success = excellence + exposure
Exposure means that, in addition to doing good work, you make sure the right people know you’re doing it. But, Rainford says, “A lot of people think about building relationships the wrong way. They think about it as ‘networking,’ about how to meet people over a drink.” Instead, she advises, “I think about it as, how do you get to know the people who benefit from what you do? Find out who these people are, and establish a relationship with them around work.”
For more advice, please click here.
The ABA House of Delegates recently passed a resolution urging all courts and all bar associations to provide judges with debiasing training. I recently published a book that can be used for this purpose: E, Scott Fruehwald, Overcoming Cognitive Biases: Thinking More Clearly and Avoiding Manipulation by Others (2017).
The Report supporting the Resolution states, "Everyone carries with them implicit biases formed throughout their life. While sometimes innocuous and generally subconscious, these biases inform our everyday lives. They help us make decisions, for better or for worse, and they are ever present in our interactions with others. The judiciary is not immune. Judges, after all, are only human and come to the bench with implicit biases that could, if unabated, leak into their decision-making. As with everyday individuals, judges likely do not notice their own biases and may not fully understand the effect such biases have on their decision-making."
A law school study "concluded that 'judges harbor the same kinds of implicit biases as others; that these biases can influence their judgment; but that given sufficient motivation, judges can compensate for the influence of these biases.'"
My book can help judges overcome their biases. Not only does it provided detailed explanations of each bias, it includes numerous exercises to help people recognize and overcome their biases and see the biases in others. You can download a sample chapter here.
Sunday, September 17, 2017
At the Hollands & Hart law firm blog, we find descriptions of four pillars of persuasion. They are commitment, community, complementarity, and reciprocity. Rather than explaining each, I will give examples of how each applies in the jury trial.
Commitment: Asking jurors, for example, to set aside any ideas they have about plaintiffs in general in order to look at this particular plaintiff is a good step. It won't reveal bias and shouldn't inform your strikes, but it will serve as an inducement for your juror to want to be consistent with what they have said.
Community: We also gain our opinions from what our community, and more specifically, our 'tribe' within that community, thinks. [Robert] Cialdini refers to one of his own studies that, "found that guests were 29 percent more likely to reuse their towels if they were told that most other guests chose to reuse the towels. The percentage went up to 39 percent when they heard the majority of guests who had stayed in that room reused their towels."
Complementarity: [Being liked] often boils down to similarity (e.g., 'we're both from the same city,' or 'we're both self-made individuals'), and can be augmented by sharing some humor or showing that you're human.
Reciprocity: For example, in voir dire, an attorney's own candor ('Here's what I'd be biased against,') can be reciprocated by greater candor from jurors. In opening statement, an open admission of some of the weaknesses in your case might be reciprocated by a greater willingness to see you as honest when you're talking about your strengths.
You can read more here.
Below is a description of the new clinic from the YLS press release followed by information about applying for the directorship position:
A key ambition of Yale University is “to provide an unsurpassed campus learning environment that cultivates innovators, leaders, pioneers, creators, and entrepreneurs in all fields and for all sectors of society.” Yale Law School is contributing to that goal by forming a new Entrepreneurship Clinic, which will provide transactional services and related legal advice to individuals or entities seeking to start or expand their own ventures. The Entrepreneurship Clinic is expected to become a central component of the Yale University student innovation ecosystem, which encompasses both curricular programs (such as the Yale School of Management Programs on Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise), as well as independent, cross disciplinary centers (such as the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale). Although it is envisioned that clients for the Entrepreneurship Clinic will come primarily from these programs, there may be opportunities for creating partnerships with the Office of Cooperative Research (which focuses on faculty ventures) and with the greater New Haven entrepreneurial community.
In addition to being a central component of the Yale University student innovation ecosystem, the Entrepreneurship Clinic will become an integral part of the business law programs at Yale Law School. Yale Law School has a rich tradition in corporate law (http://ccl.yale.edu/history-business-law-yale) and has two Centers devoted to corporate and commercial law, the Center for the Study of Corporate Law (http://ccl.yale.edu/) and the Center for Private Law (https://law.yale.edu/centers-workshops/yale-law-school-center-private-law). The Centers sponsor lectures, panels, and symposia, which bring together academics, policymakers, and members of the bar and business communities. There is also a large and vibrant student group, the Yale Law & Business Society. In addition, Yale Law School has a strong partnership with the Yale School of Management, as evinced by the joint J.D./M.B.A. program, which students can complete on an accelerated track in three years, as well as in the more conventional four years.
As the inaugural director and a member of the full time law faculty, the director will shape the future of the Entrepreneurship Clinic. The responsibilities of the position include:
- designing the curriculum for the seminar component of the Clinic, which may cover, among other things: pre venture counseling; entity selection and tax planning; entity formation or entry into joint ventures or strategic alliances; intellectual property; licensing and regulatory compliance; employee management; non-profit ventures; and start-up financing, and teaching the seminar;
- arranging the fieldwork component of the Clinic and supervising law student representation of clients, including transactional drafting, review, or negotiation, as appropriate, of organizational documents, founder 2 agreements, non- disclosure agreements, employment agreements and accompanying equity compensation agreements, independent contractor agreements, supplier or other vendor agreements, debt documents, and venture investment term sheets;
- building and maintaining relationships between the Clinic and the Yale student innovation programs; and
- participating in the intellectual life of Yale Law School, including interaction with academic and clinical faculty and Centers or Workshops that may touch upon substantive aspects of entrepreneurship.
Yale Law School is open to director candidates at varying stages of their career. If not currently a member, admission to the State Bar of Connecticut will be required before the end of the first year of full time appointment. Salary is commensurate with experience.
Applicants should have a J.D. degree and a minimum of three plus years of relevant transactional experience, concentrating on startups or venture capital, or transactional experience in related areas, such as mergers and acquisitions, private equity, capital markets (especially initial public offerings), or intellectual property. A strong candidate will have excellent supervisory and communication skills, the ability to work effectively with students and clients, and an interest in developing clinical experiences for students within a community that supports interdisciplinary collaboration and innovative, passionate teaching.
To apply, please submit a letter of interest, resume, and list of three references to Professor Roberta Romano, Chair, Entrepreneurship Clinic Appointments Committee, at email@example.com. Please write “Entrepreneurship Clinic Application” in the subject line of the email. Review of applications will begin on October 15, 2017 and will continue until the position is filled.
Information about clinical and experiential legal education at Yale Law School can be found at: https://law.yale.edu/studying-law-yale/clinical-and-experiential-learning ; additional information about corporate and commercial Law at Yale Law School can be found at: https://law.yale.edu/studying-law-yale/areas-interest/corporate-commercial-law
Yale University considers applicants for employment without regard to, and does not discriminate on the basis of, an individual's sex, race, color, religion, age, disability, status as a veteran, or national or ethnic origin; nor does Yale discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
(back online after Irma knocked out our power for a week).
Saturday, September 16, 2017
From cbc news:
Some of Canada's biggest universities are beginning the new school year with a record number of international students on campus.
The steady upswing in foreign applicants began several years ago, then started to spike after the U.S. presidential election in 2016. The challenge for the Canadian government now is to maintain that trend amid competing countries, and to encourage more from the talented pool to stay on as permanent residents.
The University of Toronto, Canada's top draw for international students, enrolled 17,452 international students in undergraduate and graduate programs last year, making up about 20 per cent of the overall student body.
That compares to 7,380 international students comprising about 10 per cent of the total student population a decade ago, in 2007.
The university's steady increase became a spike after U.S. President Donald Trump was elected.
You can read more here. After the U.S. President’s destruction of DACA, Canada should ready itself for a greater flood of students.
Friday, September 15, 2017
From the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law Library (here):
- 12 Legal Research Apps for iOS Mobile legal research is finally maturing thanks to a rapidly expanding selection of high-quality iOS apps by John Edwards, Law Technology News
12 new apps article is dated 12/31/2014.
from the ABA
UCLA School of Law Guide
from Attorneys at Work
Legal Skills Prof Blog
- Apps, Apps and More Apps: an Annotated List of Free and Low-Cost iPad Apps for Attorneys and Paralegals
by Cheryl Neimeier, RES GESTÆ, SEPTEMBER 2012
Robert Ambrogi Esq
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Professor Bradley A. Areheart has calculated rankings of law schools based on US News rankings over the past ten years. In this article, he explains his methodology and answers questions that critical readers might ask.
For the article and chart, please click here.
Fifth Colonial Frontier Legal Writing Conference Drafting Statutes and Rules: Pedagogy, Practice, and Politics (Foreword)
On December 3, 2016, the Duquesne University School of Law hosted the first national conference on drafting statutes and rules, as our fifth biennial conference on legal writing pedagogy, resulting in this issue of the Duquesne Law Review. The conference theme and agenda was developed by the faculty of the Legal Research and Writing Program and was supported by our law school administration and our generous alumni, with additional assistance from LexisNexis and Wolters Kluwer Legal Education. The theme of this conference was “Statutes and Rules: Pedagogy, Practice, and Politics.”
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Three new iPhones, the fanciest one will cost $1000. From newser.com
It was an iPhone bonanza on Tuesday, with Apple announcing not one, not two, but three new iPhones during its annual conference, ABC News reports. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus—starting at $699 and $799 respectively—are a continuation of the iPhone as we know it and feature improvements in durability, speed, cameras, and more.
But the real star of the show was the iPhone X, a celebration of the iPhone's 10th anniversary that CEO Tim Cook calls the "biggest leap forward since the original iPhone." The iPhone X will start at $999 and be released Nov. 3. Here's everything you need to know about Apple's big day:
Wiredhas a whole lot more on the iPhone X. It has a screen that takes up the entire front of the phone, the home button is gone, it can shoot in 4K, and Face ID will let users unlock the phone, make purchases, and more just by looking at it.
You can read more here.
Does your writing style have the hallmarks of truthfulness?
From Legal (Lady) Writer:
Social psychologist James W. Pennebaker has found that the language a person uses can suggest whether a person is lying or telling the truth. While no person, machine, or program currently in existence (including polygraphs) can detect lies at a rate any better than about 65%, Pennebaker’s studies suggest some hallmarks of truthfulness. According to Pennebaker, in general, people telling the truth use:
More words and details
Longer and more complex sentences (including use of exclusive words such as except, but, and without)
More self-references (I-words)
You can read more here.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
At least two prominent university presidents are accusing senators of religious bias for challenging a Catholic judicial nominee over her faith-driven views during a confirmation hearing last week.
University of Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins and Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber both wrote letters objecting to lawmakers' pointed questions on the topic to Notre Dame law professor Amy Barrett last week, whom President Donald Trump has nominated to the Chicago-based 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
Jenkins wrote directly to the Senate Judiciary Committee's ranking Democrat, Dianne Feinstein of California, taking issue with her statements that Barrett's worldview seems strongly driven by "dogma."
"Your concern, as you expressed it, is that 'dogma lives loudly in [Professor Barrett], and that is a concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for years in this country,'" Jenkins wrote. "I am one in whose heart 'dogma lives loudly,' as it has for centuries in the lives of many Americans, some of whom have given their lives in service to this nation. Indeed, it lived loudly in the hearts of those who founded our nation as one where citizens could practice their faith freely and without apology."
You can read more here. I am not among those who think prejudice against this country’s main religions is a thing of the past.
From the Wisconsin Lawyer (Sept. 2017):
Last month, media buzz surrounded a Wisconsin tech company, Three Square Market, that announced its employees could elect to have microchips, the size of a grain of rice, implanted into their skin. More than 40 employees have volunteered. Why?
Convenience and efficiency. The chip allows employees to access the building and other facilities, quickly log in to computers, or purchase snacks without a wallet.
Companies in Sweden and Belgium started chip implant programs as early as 2015. So is this the wave of the future or a privacy and security nightmare? It depends on your perspective.
You can read more here.
Monday, September 11, 2017
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post on how law students could be attracted to law school by adding value to their educations. (here) As I mentioned briefly last week, David I.C. Thomson and Stephen Daniels have published an empirical study demonstrating that experiential education can attract law students. Today, I discuss their study in detail.
The authors write, "Our purpose here is to explore one of the 'natural experiments' cited by the Task Force: the Experiential Advantage™ (EA) program at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law (Denver Law). EA was developed as a part of a greater general focus on experiential learning and is built upon the three 'Carnegie Apprenticeships' -- 'the intellectual or cognitive,' 'the forms of expert practice,' and 'identity and purpose.' It was implemented at Denver Law starting with entering students in August 2013."
They continue, "This article is a first report on the findings of an extensive case study -- a three-year survey-based study of Denver Law students concerning this natural experiment."
Sunday, September 10, 2017
Over at Attorney at Work, consultant Jay Harrington encourages newbie lawyers to think in economic terms. A firm hires and trains you and expects a return on its investment (ROI). Your job is to show the firm that you have value—that you are indispensable to the firm and are a good return on the firm’s investment:
Law firms rely on leverage, which means having lots of associates in place to work and bill. Young associates should understand they are typically less valuable (in terms of dollars and cents) to their firms than mid-level and senior associates. It’s a fact of life in today’s economic environment that clients are less willing to (as they see it) subsidize the on-the-job training of young lawyers by paying for unproductive time. This means that as a young lawyer you must be productive and effective — and not just busy — to stand out.
How do you show that you have value?
Indeed, developing a reputation as the “go to” person to get the job done is the single most important thing you can do to get noticed as a young associate — to get the plum assignments, and to accelerate your career development. One of the biggest blind spots many young associates have is failing to appreciate just how much partners value excellent associates who take ownership over their work.
This posting give extensive advice on how to develop and show your value. You can access it here.