Wednesday, September 19, 2018

“The Village Voice Made Me a Writer.”

The iconic Village Voice no longer appears in print, but it has survived as a digital publication. From Artforum (here):

After more than sixty years in print, New York’s acclaimed alternative weekly, the Village Voice, will cease to exist as a paper edition, writes Benjamin Mullin of Poynter. Billionaire Peter Barbey, who bought the journal in 2015, said in a statement that the Voice “plans to maintain its iconic progressive brand with its digital platform and a variety of new editorial initiatives and a full slate of events that will include The Obie Awards and The Pride.

Now, it no longer is printing new material.

This sad event has prompted several prominent writers to tell how the Voice helped them get their start. Also from Artforum (here).

My wife’s cousin Guy Trebay got his start with the Voice and now writes for the New York Times.


September 19, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

U. Wisconsin Law School seeking to hire instructor for its VOCA Restraining Order Clinic

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:

Marsha M. Mansfield 
Distinguished Clinical Professor
Director, Economic Justice Institute
University of Wisconsin Law School 
975 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-9142


September 18, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bill would require Supreme Court justices to undergo medical exams

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.


September 18, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

William & Mary Law School seeks to hire "Professor of Practice" for its Veterans Benefits Clinic

Here are the details:

Position Summary


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.


Required Qualifications


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.


Preferred Qualifications


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

[email protected]


September 18, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 17, 2018

For-Profit Chain Will Close Dozens of Campuses

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.

Campus Closures

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.


September 17, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

FIU Scores Highest on the Florida Bar Exam, Again and Again and Again

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."

I have discussed why Florida International has had such great success several times on this blog.  (e.g., here, here, here)  If FIU can do it, other law schools can do it.  Why aren't they?

(Scott Fruehwald)

September 17, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 16, 2018

New York Law School launches "Business of Law Institute" to teach tech and business skills

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.

Also, check out Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz's (McGeorge) post about the NYLS "Business of Law Institute" here at his "What the Best Law Schools Do" blog.


September 16, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Kudos to the American Bar Association

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.


September 16, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Blame Grammar Myths on John Dryden

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.


September 15, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (1)

The former Cooley Law School opens 5th campus in Kalamazoo

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 have stories here and here, respectively. You can also read Cooley's press release here.


September 15, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 14, 2018

The Angriest Lawyer in Town

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.


September 14, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tina Stark on Transactional Skills Training

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 []

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."

(Scott Fruehwald)

P.S. Professor Stark has also posted some of her most important articles on transactional skills.  You can find them here.

September 14, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Justice Kagan's advice to 1Ls

From Harvard Law Today:

Advice to new HLS students from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan ’86


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.


September 14, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Is Legal Writing Becoming More Conversational?

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).


September 13, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Beloit College releases the Mindset List for this year’s first-year students

   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.


September 12, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

"3 Classes Every Law School Should Have"

Here's a hint: One of them should be a clinical experience. From the Thomson Reuters sponsored Findlaw blog:

3 Classes Every Law School Should Have


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?


  1. Starting a Law Firm
  2. Law Practice Clinics
  3. Internships and Externships

. . . . 

Read the entire post here.


September 11, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Survey: The Greatest and Worst Presidents

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.


September 11, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 10, 2018

Forbes: "How Will Legal Education And Training Keep Pace With Change?"

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:

How Will Legal Education And Training Keep Pace With Change?

 . . . .


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.


September 10, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Myers-Briggs Test

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.


September 10, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Each Law Student Must Take Increasing Ownership Over Professional Development During Law School

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."

Key sentences:

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."

(Scott Fruehwald)

September 10, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)