Sunday, June 30, 2019

South Carolina legislature cuts law school tuition by $5k to make it more competitive

The South Carolina state legislature earmarked $1.9 million of taxpayer money to the University of South Carolina School of Law for the purpose of lowering in-state tuition for each student by $5,100. It means the cost of tuition will drop from $29,608 - what it cost last year - to $24,508 for the 2019-20 academic year. The purpose of the tuition discount is to make the school more competitive with neighboring state law schools and in so doing, help recruit and retain the kind of students who will help improve the school's USNWR ranking. has more details:

Cash injection by lawmakers leads to law school tuition cut


South Carolina residents will pay less to go to the state's only public law school next year, with the full price of in-state tuition falling $5,100 next year at the University of South Carolina School of Law.


The State newspaper of Columbia reports that as the General Assembly injected money into public colleges and universities, they made a special effort to cut law school tuition.


House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Murrell Smith, a Sumter Republican, said lawmakers boosted spending at USC by $8 million this year, with the understanding that $1.9 million would specifically go to lower law school tuition. Smith said that when he was attending the law school leading up to his 1993 graduation, tuition was less than $4,000 a year.


"I literally could (work as a law) clerk during the school year and summer and pay my law school tuition," Smith said. "I know those days are gone, but ... we're not doing our young people any favors by leaving them with enormous debt."


The full tuition price for law students last year was $29,608. Now it will by $24,508. Some students pay less because of scholarships and financial aid.


While other South Carolina colleges and universities are raising tuition only modestly, the law school is only one so far to lower tuition for in-state students.


Law School Dean Robert Wilcox said South Carolina has been losing students to out-of-state law schools because of cost.


"When you go to school out of state, the odds increase dramatically that you will stay out of state for your career," Wilcox said. "This will keep more good students in South Carolina."


. . . . 

Continue reading here.


June 30, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Revised law student assistance booklets

Larry Krieger is once again offering his law student assistance booklets at a very low cost.  Here is the announcement:

Hello friends, It is time for the summer announcement of the student assistance booklets (now updated) that I’ve been doing for several years.  Some of you may want to provide them to incoming or present classes at your school.  Please note: We will be away from July 15-30, so if you need these little books for early August, please let me know in the next 7-10 days ideally.  There are informational notes for the revisions and links at the bottom here – for views, contents, costs, etc.  If you have questions, just email me directly, [email protected]  .  If you wish to order, have any questions, or wish to view the entire contents before ordering,  just email me directly (before ordering, see links below for the information needed).

This is the second printing of the revision I accomplished last fall, updating and expanding on the material in both previous booklets. This edition applies new research to guide students both to minimizing law school stress and making wise, science-based job/career choices. For colleagues who used the first printing last year, the current edition has two small improvements.  First, the ink impression last year was a bit lighter; this second printing is bolder.  Second, the chart that shows the small to nil “happiness values” of success factors (i.e. class rank, law review, income, lack of debt, partnership in a firm), compared to the exceptional value of human factors like integrity and purpose, is also redone to be clearer.   

I wish you all a wonderful summer and appreciate your great efforts for the health, happiness, and success of our students.  Thanks again, Larry


Notes:  (1) The new book is in two primary parts; students can read it for one or both purposes -- stress prevention during law school and finding career satisfaction.  (2) Happily, the printer was very efficient so the end cost of this larger publication has remained around $1.40 each for typical sized orders.

View ordering info. and costs:

Timing for use of the material, especially for entering 1L’s.  Orientation is convenient but also presents some potential problems. If interested, see:

(Scott Fruehwald)

June 27, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

A Blueprint for Using Assessments to Achieve Learning Outcomes and Improve Students’ Learning by Rogelio Lasso

Here is an excellent article on formative assessments:

A Blueprint for Using Assessments to Achieve Learning Outcomes and Improve Students’ Learning by Rogelio Lasso.


"For over a decade, there has been agreement among legal educators that assessments are a critical tool to improve students’ learning. We are beginning to understand that the types of assessments we use have the greatest influence on how and what students learn. As a result of recent ABA accreditation requirements, there is now a scramble in law schools to adopt assessments that improve students’ learning and bar passage rates so as to satisfy these new requirements. Nevertheless, there has been no clear methodology to assist doctrinal faculty in creating an effective assessment program. After twenty-seven years of developing assessment programs that have improved students’ learning and bar passage rates, this article is an attempt to provide faculty and administrators a blueprint for incorporating an effective assessment program.

The article is divided into four parts. Part one recounts how the assessments the author has used over the years have evolved to become an assessment program to help students improve their learning skills, perform better in law school, and pass the bar exam. Part two describes how to design assessments that relate to course learning objectives and help students in developing critical analytical and self-learning skills. Part three describes the difference between general and individual feedback, explains why individual feedback is the most important feature of an effective assessment program, and enumerates the characteristics of effective individual feedback. Part four includes specific steps that faculty, administrations, and academic achievement professionals should take in order to create an assessment program to improve students’ self-learning and analytical skills."

(Scott Fruehwald)

June 26, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 24, 2019

Morals and Mentors: What the First American Law Schools Can Teach Us About Developing Law Students' Professional Identity by Benjamin V. Madison & Larry O. Natt Gantt, II

Morals and Mentors: What the First American Law Schools Can Teach Us About Developing Law Students' Professional Identity by Benjamin V. Madison & Larry O. Natt Gantt, II


This article examines what the first American law schools can teach current legal educators about how best to develop law students’ professional identity. Drawing upon the seminal reports of Educating Lawyers and Best Practices for Legal Education, the article underscores legal educators’ responsibility to cultivate our students’ professional identity and instill in them the key normative values of the profession. Turning to the lessons we can learn from early American law schools, the article then discusses how legal educators in America, from colonial times through the late nineteenth century, sought to teach aspiring lawyers both legal analysis and the study of — and reflection on — ethical and moral principles underlying the law. The article next considers how a variety of influences led to a de-emphasis on ethical formation in the instruction of law students and to the development of teaching legal analysis as the primary mission of law schools. This part also discusses related changes in the legal profession which accompanied these changes in legal education. The final part explores the elements of early law school education related to values formation, including the role of mentoring, and provides recommendations on how these elements can be integrated into modern law school teaching. The article concludes that law schools today can best marry present and past by employing modern pedagogical practices to re-emphasize the importance of developing “lawyer-statespersons” who exhibit practical wisdom and share a passion for pursuing the common good.

(Scott Fruehwald)

June 24, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 23, 2019

In Memoriam: Ralph Brill

We have received the sad news that Ralph Brill has passed away.  Ralph had been a member of the Chicago-Kent faculty since 1961.  For 14 years, he was director of the Chicago-Kent's unique three-year legal research and writing program, for which he is widely known. He is past chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning and Research, and a former director of the Legal Writing Institute and of the Association of Legal Writing Directors.  He is co-author (with S. Brody, C. Kunz, R. Newmann and M. Walter) of the American Bar Association publication, A Sourcebook on Legal Writing Programs.

Ralph was greatly loved in the legal writing community.  Numerous tributes to Ralph have appeared on the legal writing listserve over the last 24 hours.  I met him many times at conferences, and he was always a friendly face and a joy to talk with.  He was a mentor to many of the younger professors in legal writing.

From Chicago-Kent Dean Harold J. Krent:

“Ralph Brill has left an indelible mark on all of the students, faculty and alumni who have been part of the Chicago-Kent community for the past 58 years,” said Dean Harold J. Krent. “He leaves behind an enduring legacy of excellence in teaching and innovation in establishing a top flight legal writing program that has been emulated far and wide.”

Ralph will be missed, and he will be remembered for his many contributions to his law school, the legal writing profession, and his students.

Please feel free to leave comments below.

(Scott Fruehwald)

June 23, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 22, 2019

How to combat "public interest drift" among law students

The phrase "public interest drift" refers to the phenomenon that many students come to law school wanting to do "good" by engaging in public service but then get diverted from their goals for various reasons over the next three years of law school. Professors Alexi Freeman and Katherine Steefel (both of DU) have recently published an article discussing strategies for combating "public interest drift" in the context of clinical education. Their article is entitled Uniting the Head, Hands, and Heart: How Specialty Externships can Combat Public Interest Drift and is available at 25 Clinical L. Rev. 325 (2019) and here on SSRN. From the abstract:

Many students come to law school because they want to use their law degrees “for good,” to help people, have an impact on society, or create social change. As has been extensively documented, these plans often dissipate at some point during their three years. Public interest drift, as this phenomenon is commonly referred, is a crisis caused by numerous factors. It requires a full-fledged, multi-faceted effort to push back against it. In this article, we propose the development of public interest specialty externship programs as one tool to combat drift. These programs offer students the ability to extern at a specific group of placements, unified not necessarily by practice type but by a central public interest theme, and to enroll in a corresponding seminar that explores such a theme in more depth in a classroom setting. Using two case studies from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law as examples, this article explores how specialty programs can work intentionally to maintain students’ commitment to using their law degrees to promote the public good, helping them rediscover their passions, and in turn, uniting their heads, hands, and hearts.


June 22, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 21, 2019

The case for breadth over depth as the best path towards expertise

Here's an interesting new book by David Epstein, that posits in apparent contrast to Malcolm Gladwell's groundbreaking book Outliersthe key to developing expertise in one's chosen career is not 10,000 hours of mindful practice and specialization but one should instead strive for breadth and its companion serendipity.  Mr. Epstein's book is called Range Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World and here's an excerpt from the New York Times review:

Are you a generalist or a specialist? Do you strive for breadth or depth in your career, in your life? After all, you can’t have both. Your time on earth is finite, as are your energy and attention. If you concentrate on doing one thing, you might have a chance of doing it really well. If you seek to do many things, you’ll taste a wider variety of human goods, but you may end up a well-rounded mediocrity — a dilettante.


Folk wisdom holds the trade-off between breadth and depth to be a cruel one: “jack-of-all-trades, master of none,” and so forth. And a lot of thinking in current pop-psychology agrees. To attain genuine excellence in any area — sports, music, science, whatever — you have to specialize, and specialize early: That’s the message. If you don’t, others will have a head start on you in the 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice” supposedly necessary for breakout achievement.


But this message is perversely wrong — so David Epstein seeks to persuade us in “Range.” Becoming a champion, a virtuoso or a Nobel laureate does not require early and narrow specialization. Quite the contrary in many cases. Breadth is the ally of depth, not its enemy. In the most rewarding domains of life, generalists are better positioned than specialists to excel.


If true, this is good news. It means that excellence and well-roundedness naturally go together; that each of us — in principle, at least — can realize the “comprehensiveness and multiplicity,” the “wholeness in manifoldness” that Nietzsche celebrated as the essence of human greatness. (Nietzsche, by the way, was himself quite the generalist, achieving distinction as a philosopher, a classicist and a composer before he came to a sticky end.)


. . . . 

Continue reading the review here.


June 21, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Designing a better legal research course

UNH's Franklin Pierce's School of Law Library Director and Professor Susan Zago has a new article in the Legal Reference Services Quarterly that addresses just that - leveraging student passion for several legal practice areas to design a better legal research course for 1Ls. Her article, Playing to Their Passion: A Legal Research Course That Resonates With Law Students, can be found at 37 Legal Ref. Serv. Q. 75 (2018) and here on SSRN. From the abstract:

The first year of law school is often chocked full of new experiences. Students can become overwhelmed in the face of so much change that they forget why they chose law school as a career path. They often lose sight of their end goal and need a touchstone to ground them back to their initial interests. Legal Research is the ideal first year class to connect needed legal skills with interesting topics to encourage students’ engagement in their present and future learning. Legal Research naturally utilizes the “learning by doing” mentality but I suggest expanding this approach by providing a subject context to the class and incorporating contextualized learning and active learning techniques to improve student engagement and student learning. This article discusses the transformation of a generic, required, first year legal research course to one that divides into four small (18-20 student) classes, each with one of four topics; patent, trademark and copyright, traditional practice and social justice. In addition, it envisions future innovations to improve student engagement and student learning.


June 19, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Forgetting Curve by Steven Friedland

Excellent summary on how learning theory informs teaching and learning.

Steven Friedland, The Forgetting Curve


"Unlike a brain file, though, that information may well be forgotten, thanks to the Forgetting Curve.   The initial discovery of the Forgetting Curve occurred in 1885 when Ebbinghous postulated that humans forget much of the information they have learned.  We now know that after only twenty minutes, we lose approximately 50% of what we have learned.  After nine hours or so, we forget around 70%."

(Scott Fruehwald)

June 19, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

I'll temporarily be away from the blog as I recover from back surgery

First off, my apologies to my co-blogger Scott and our loyal readers for my inconsistent blogging activity over the past few months. A large part of my time was consumed by my duties as EIC of Perspectives - Teaching Legal Research and Writing (and here for info on submitting articles) including appointing a new board, adopting our first bylaws in 27 years, establishing term limits for board members, and an open application process for anyone interested in serving on the board. These changes will help make Perspectives a stronger, better publication going forward in light of the changes that have taken place generally in the legal academy whereby more LRW professors and law librarians are now expected to publish in journals like Perspectives as part of their jobs. Having one guy working part-time on the weekends to publish Perspectives twice a year might have worked fine back in the early 90's when the journal was originally founded but it was clearly not a sustainable model going forward given the volume of articles we receive and the effort needed to produce a quality publication which is why I implemented these reforms over the past few months. 

The other circumstance that's going to keep me away from the blog for the next several weeks is that I'm having spinal fusion surgery today to correct a slipped vertebrae (a condition called spondylolisthesis) as well as a fractured vertebrae which I've been living with since February. So, yeah, I was literally teaching LRW the last two months of the semester with a broken back. Due to my surgeon's schedule and my health insurance plan, I've had to wait all this time before I could get the procedure scheduled. And even though the pain the first few weeks was excruciating - I lost 12 lbs because of it - to the insurance companies pain is not life-threatening so you have to learn to live it with for a while. Anyway, the recovery means it's going to be difficult to sit in front of a computer for several weeks so I'll blog when I'm able until the point when I can tolerate longer stretches at a desk. In the meantime, my stalwart co-blogger Scott (thank you, again!) will be holding down the fort. Please get in touch with Scott directly over the next few weeks if you have news or an announcement you'd like posted.



June 18, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Barry Currier (Managing Director, Accreditation and Legal Education, ABA), The ABA Law School Accreditation Project: The $5M Solution to a $65M Problem

"If the ABA law school accreditation process did not exist, someone would invent it. It is a very efficient solution to an important problem. Here’s why that is so."

"An efficient solution. This is where the ABA law school accreditation project comes into play. All jurisdictions accept a J.D. degree from an ABA-approved law school as satisfying their educational requirements for eligibility to sit for the bar examination. In many states, earning a J.D. from an ABA-approved school is the only way to meet that education requirement. Jurisdictions retain their authority, but exercise it by accepting that a J.D. degree from a school approved by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar demonstrates that the graduate has had an appropriately rigorous and comprehensive legal education. The ABA-approved law school J.D. becomes a transportable credential, relieving the school and the graduate from concerns about varying education requirements among the states."

"The Council’s budget for doing this work is about $5,000,000. The efficiency of the process is compelling – if it didn’t exist, someone would invent it. It solves a $65 million problem."

(Scott Fruehwald)

June 18, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 17, 2019

The 2016-17 Survey of Applied Legal Education

The 2016-17 Survey of Applied Legal Education by Robert R. Kuehn & David A. Santacroce.


This report presents the results of the 2016-17 Center for the Study of Applied Legal Education (CSALE) Survey of Applied Legal Education. The survey was composed of four parts – a Master Survey directed to each ABA accredited U.S. law school; Law Clinics and Field Placement Course Sub-Surveys distributed by the schools to the persons responsible for each distinct law clinic or field placement course at the school; and a Faculty Sub-Survey distributed by the schools to each person teaching in a law clinic or field placement course. Ninety-four percent of law schools and over 1,100 clinical teachers participated in the survey.

The results provide valuable insight into clinical programs and law clinic and field placement courses in areas such as design, capacity, administration, funding, and pedagogy, and into the role and status of clinical legal education and educators in the legal academy. This is the fourth triennial survey, following up on surveys in 2007-08, 2010-11, and 2013-14.

(Scott Fruehwald)

June 17, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 16, 2019

The six skills needed to land a job as in-house counsel

These tips come to us from the Corporate Counsel website by way of legal outsourcing firm ZentLaw. Whether you've got already got some experience as an associate who's looking to make a lateral move or instead are a law student contemplating an in-house job right out of law school, Corporate Counsel suggests you acquire the following legal skills to increase your chances of being hired:

  • First-rate legal finesse. Corporate law, litigation, commercial or intellectual property law are necessary skills for any in-house lawyer. If you’re still in law school, acquiring these skills may mean working through school and over the summer, paid or unpaid, to gain relevant experience. If you practice a different type of law, acquiring these skills may mean volunteering for projects or pro bono work outside your current employer.

  • A knack for networking. Networking is a key skill to hone. Talk with many different types of lawyers to learn what they do and what they like and dislike about their role. Join networking groups that meet in person, as well as online forums and business networking sites like LinkedIn. Take advantage of the expertise in your network and ask questions to learn what’s involved in day-to-day in-house practices in different industries.

  • Serious service skills. Lawyers must recognize that they are in a service industry. A good business lawyer acts as a true facilitator of what the business needs while balancing that with legal risk. That is why prior work experience in a service-oriented role demonstrates to potential employers that you have a “service mindset.” Don’t discount early work experience of this nature. In my book, early work experience involving working with the public such as working as a barista, retail sales associate, or bank teller, is always useful.

  • Tech competence required. With an increasing likelihood for a duty of tech competenceto be legislated in your state (if it’s not already) ensure you have that part covered. Whether it’s creating and managing documents, using spreadsheets and word processing programs, communicating via services like videoconferencing and chat, and conducting legal research, you must be able to check the box on tech competence. Most new hires in a first in-house role won’t have a designated executive assistant, so it’s important to know how to navigate these technologies independently.

  • Broad business ability. In-house lawyers need to understand the practical aspects of business. It is important to have knowledge of finance and budgets, understand how customer service fuels the business, and recognize the importance of protecting assets like facilities or intellectual property. These skills can come from a wide range of experiences, such as starting your own company, working at a business your parents had owned, or having worked within the industry of your in-house role in another capacity.

  • Be humble. Being humble enough to understand that when you start out you don’t know everything, is an underrated value. Take the time to listen, absorb as much as you can from those around you, and learn. More senior in-house counsel are more likely to want to help a humble junior lawyer than one with an arrogant attitude. Recognizing that learning can come from many different sources and environments will help you gain greater wisdom in your role, which will help you in the long run.

Continue reading at Corporate Counsel here.


June 16, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 15, 2019

June 10, 2019 MEMORANDUM: Withdrawal of Approval: Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Friday, June 14, 2019

Harold Anthony Lloyd, Law and the Cognitive Nature of Emotion: A Brief Introduction

Harold Anthony Lloyd, Law and the Cognitive Nature of Emotion: A Brief Introduction


"This article is the introductory article for the Wake Forest Law Review’s symposium edition for their February 22, 2019 symposium on “Cognitive Emotion and the Law.”

This article addresses common misunderstandings of the relation between emotion and reason in legal reasoning. As discussed, such misunderstandings arise from multiple sources: C.C. Langdell’s errant notion of law as an inductive science based upon redacted appellate cases, common misconceptions that equate emotion with feeling, and common misconceptions that equate emotion with irrationality.

Clearing up such confusion, this article briefly examines the cognitive nature of emotion, including its six elements: (1) intentionality involving at least one object, (2) an appraisal or other such cognitive response, (3) resulting desire or motivation, (4) core themes that distinguish different emotions, (5) acuteness, and (6) personal stake or concern.

As a practical example of cognitive emotion, this article explores and parses anger and frustration on a personal level. It also does the same at the doctrinal level by noting the benefits and drawbacks of contract law’s privileging frustration over anger in favoring damage awards over penalties. This article also explores and parses guilt, remorse, and regret as a means of improving lawyer mental health and emotional intelligence.

This article closes by noting insights of modern neuroscience on the interrelation of emotion and reason and provides an appendix distinguishing four affective states: emotions, moods, sentiments, and traits."

(Scott Fruehwald)

June 14, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Dan Rodriguez, Innovation in Legal Education Is a Data Desert

Dan Rodriguez (Northwestern), Innovation in Legal Education Is a Data Desert

"The direction of change in the modern American law school is a positive one, and there are real reasons to be encouraged – indeed enthusiastic – about the momentum that close observers and stakeholders see in our long-conservative academy.

But yes there is a “however,” and that is this: Many of these strategic efforts at real innovation are taking shape without adequate data. To a remarkable and troubling extent, law school innovation is a data desert. We develop natural experiments, we try out initiatives which we hope will move the needle, and yet we scarcely build upon real data – not never, but not enough.

This post has a blunt polemical point and it is this: Legal educators must develop effective data; we must overcome whatever collective action problems stand in the way of developing these data; we must take scrupulous care to analyze data in creating and implementing reform strategies; and we must, in the end, make change on the basis of evidence wherever possible, not conjecture."

"I can say from my own experience, which includes full-time service at four diverse law schools, and service as dean at two law schools for a total of nearly fourteen years, that we are fundamentally inadequate, and at times border on the functionally illiterate, when it comes to collecting, synthesizing, and analyzing data."

"The collective problem is a severe one, indeed nearly fatal when it comes to serious innovation and reform.  How can we come to know what changes to our educational, economic, and engagement structures mean for the improvement in our graduates’ performance as new lawyers or business professionals or entrepreneurs or . . .  Moreover, how can we come to know what innovations in legal education mean for the progress of the legal system?"

I agree completely with Dean Rodriguez's arguments.  However, I am concerned that the need for additional data will serve as an excuse to delay innovation in legal education.  There has been a great deal of research on education in other areas, which law schools should not ignore in making immediate reforms.  General education researchers have demonstrated the importance of active learning, teaching students about metacognition, using formative assessment, encouraging students to become self-regulated learners, etc.  While doing needed research, law schools should immediately integrate such proven innovations into legal education.  The Carnegie Report and Best Practices came out over ten years; the time is now.  Our students deserve it.

(Scott Fruehwald)

June 11, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Little Humor

Since things are a little slow right now, here's a little humor from the NYT:

Dear Diary:

A few years ago, I took my 95-year-old father to see the rejuvenation of Coney Island. While he enjoyed the scene from a bench, I walked to get us lunch: hot dogs and drinks, naturally. 

When I returned, he told me how, as a youngster, he would walk from Sea Gate to the movie palace on Surf Avenue, but that he never had enough money to get a drink across the road at Nathan’s.

He took a sip of his orange drink.

“All my life I’ve been craving this,” he said. “And it’s terrible.”

— Mike Brenner

(Scott Fruehwald)

June 11, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Symposium on "Classical Rhetoric as a Lens for Contemporary Legal Praxis" - Request for proposals and works in progress

Here are the details from Professor Angela Morrison (Texas A & M):

Classical Rhetoric as a Lens for Contemporary Legal Praxis is a symposium of the Nevada Law Journal and will be held on September 26 & 27, 2019. Lori Johnson, associate professor of law at the William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada Las Vegas, and Susan Provenzano, William Trumbull Professor of Practice at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, are the chairs/organizers of the conference. Following the symposium, there will also be a workshop on September 28. The workshop seeks proposals from scholars with works in progress (WIPs) that explore the intersections of classical rhetoric (broadly defined) and contemporary law. All events are at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.


More information about the symposium and a registration link are here:


Workshop work-in-progress (WIP) proposals are due by July 15, 2019, and the organizers will notify accepted WIPs by August 1, 2019. Drafts of WIPs are due by September 13, 2019. If you want your WIP to be considered for the workshop, please e-mail [email protected] and attach an abstract of no more than one page describing your WIP. Please include a title or working title.


June 5, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

A Tax Professor's Guide to Formative Assessment by Heather M. Field

I love this article!!!  Someone has written a detailed, practical article on formative assessment for tax class.  Actually that someone is Heather Field, who has also written one of my favorite articles on professional identity development, Fostering Ethical Professional Identity in Tax: Using the Traditional Tax Classroom.  Her formative assessment article should not only be read by tax professors, but by anyone who wants to use formative assessment in their classes.

A Tax Professor's Guide to Formative Assessment by Heather M. Field.


"The ABA Standards now require formative assessment to be integrated into law school courses, and there is extensive literature, both in legal education and education more generally, about the goals and methods for formative assessment. This Article makes the key insights of that literature accessible and actionable for professors teaching tax courses. This crash course on formative assessment is intended to enable tax professors to integrate formative assessment into their classrooms effectively and efficiently without having to become legal pedagogy scholars in addition to being tax law scholars. The formative assessment techniques discussed herein range from those that require relatively little time and effort to those that may be particularly impactful but that require additional time and work. This Article also discusses strategies for reducing the burden of even the work-intensive approaches. Ultimately, by using numerous examples from basic federal income tax, corporate tax, and partnership tax courses, I hope to make it easier for tax professors to figure out which approach(es) to formative assessment is(are) likely to work best for their students, make it easier for tax professors to implement their chosen formative assessment techniques in their classrooms, and make it easier for tax professors to achieve their goals for their classes as successfully as possible, all at as little cost as possible."

This article gives some great advice on how to incorporate metacognition into formative assessment.

(Scott Fruehwald)

June 4, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Legal Education In Canada

Adrien Habermacher, A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Crisis of Legal Education


"Douglas Adams’s character from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, Marvin, is a depressed android. He is constantly bored and morose. His personality can illustrate the feelings that the proclaimed crisis of legal education triggers. Legal education is in crisis. We are facing unprecedented challenges and we urgently need to reform law schools to face these contemporary needs. Or at least, this is the prevalent discourse today. It was also the prevalent discourse a generation ago, and a generation prior too, and since the beginning of university legal education in Canada. This perception of crisis has been a constant, cyclically coming back and haunting legal educators. This is not to say that there aren’t important challenges today, nor that there weren’t important ones in the past as well; there certainly are and were. It is striking to observe that despite such frequent calls to thorough reforms, the key characteristics of legal education in Canada have not budged much over time. Moreover, when there have been substantial changes in the field of legal education, they seem to have been the results of powerful forces outside of legal education or accidents along the way rather than concerted efforts by legal educators to achieve a better outcome. In short, legal education, by in large, has been reacting to social changes rather than leading it. It is this repetitive phenomenon that triggers depressed and morose feelings when the topic of the crisis of legal education comes back around once again."

(Scott Fruehwald)

June 4, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)