Thursday, April 14, 2022

Experiential Legal Education: An Antidote to Law Student Stress

How does experiential education affect law students' stress levels?

Bloomberg Law: Experiential Legal Education: An Antidote to Law Student Stress

"A recent Insight suggested that one source of law students’ stress is the expansion of experiential learning. Three New York University School of Law professors disagree, and say experiential learning is active, engaging, and helps to bring meaning to students’ legal education. This experience—and closer work with instructors—helps law students learn to manage stress, they contend."

(Scott Fruehwald)

April 14, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 11, 2022

Teaching Law Students Cross-Cultural Competence

The ABA recently made significant changes to the standards for legal education.   Among these changes is a new requirement to include cross-cultural competence training in the curriculum.  Here is a new book to help law students learn cross-cultural competence.

A Guide to Help Lawyers, Law Students, and Business Professionals Develop Cross-Cultural Competence by E. Scott Fruehwald (2021).

We live in a diverse world, and cross-cultural competence is important for everyone. This is especially true for lawyers and business professionals.

A key part of being a lawyer or business professional is the ability to deal with others. Part of this ability is the recognition that the people you will deal with come from many different cultures and backgrounds. We are all human, but there is a great deal of variation among humans. This is why I have written this book.

While cross-cultural competence has been an essential part of medical education and business for years, it is not usually part of legal education. However, it is essential to attorney competence, and it can give practitioners a competitive edge. Similarly, lack of cross-cultural competence can cause international business failure and ruin careers.

"Cross-cultural competence" is the "ability to understand people from different cultures and engage with them effectively." It involves "‘the ability to function effectively in another culture', consisting of three interdependent dimensions: 1) an affective dimension (personality traits and attitudes), 2) a cognitive dimension (how individuals acquire and categorize cultural knowledge), and a communicative, behavioral dimension (being an effective communicator)."

(Scott Fruehwald)

April 11, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Honoring Deborah Jones Merritt

Claudia Angelos (NYU), Mary Lu Bilek (Dean, CUNY), & Joan Howarth (UNLV), The Deborah Jones Merritt Center for the Advancement of Justice

Abstract

When invited to write an essay on clinical legal education honoring our friend, we were struck by the importance of a focus on clinical legal education in any collection of work paying tribute to Professor Deborah Jones Merritt. Legal education has benefited from a fifty-year movement for clinical education. This movement necessarily interrogates and seeks to overcome the anachronistic, inherited Langdellian paradigm that dominates and continues to define the curricula and policies of our law schools. But the movement for clinical education has been exponentially confounded by contemporary legal education’s shape as a pyramid of statuses and privileges accumulated over time and embedded in the straight, white, male, ableist, classist structures of American universities, our legal system, and our laws.

Progress has been made. Thousands of lawyers now enter the profession with the advantage of having practiced under the supervision of faculty who choose to live in the fray of the reality of clients’ lives, the ambiguity of the real world, and the politics of the profession. Thousands of lawyers have learned through clinical education the habits of planning, doing, and reflecting that are otherwise invisible in the academy.

But clinical faculty typically work at lower pay in smaller offices on cases that don’t run on an academic timetable, in physical and ideological structures that are ill-suited for law practice, and in statuses that deprive them of the ability to build a better-suited environment. Perhaps most cruelly in an academic environment, clinical faculty have faced the pervasive stigma of the foolish but well-entrenched notion that classroom teaching far removed from practice demands a higher order of intellect. Professor Merritt understood this to be untrue, unjust, bad for students, and potentially disastrous for their future clients.

With the ambition to undertake her best work and motivated to hew her efforts to their highest calling, Professor Merritt unflinchingly and joyfully crossed the divide to become a clinician. At the height of an exceptional professorial career, Professor Merritt cheerfully changed course. She had learned from her students that she should become a different kind of professor so they could become the lawyers they wanted to be, the lawyers their future clients deserved. We are humbled to write in honor of such a clear-eyed colleague.

(Scott Fruehwald)

April 2, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Chapman business law prof sues his own students for posting final exams on the web

The New York Times recently reported that a professor who teaches business law at Chapman University's George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics has sued his own students for copyright infringement after discovering that they had posted his midterm and final exam from last spring on a website called "Course Hero."   The website is used by students to share lecture notes, quizzes, syllabi and similar course related materials. Or as Course Hero itself describes it:  "a peer to peer study platform through which students and faculty can upload documents to share with one another - almost like a library."  Like the Chapman professor, I'd never heard of Course Hero before either but he stumbled across it in January where he discovered that his final exam from the previous spring had been uploaded to the site. Course Hero allows students who upload documents to get free access to some documents while the site also sells monthly subscriptions for $9.99 for full access (sounds a bit like the old Napster/Grokster peer sharing model).  

The professor told the NYT that his copyright infringement suit is not aimed at recovering damages from his students but instead he wants to identify them so that he can refer the matter to his university's honor court. Before filing the lawsuit, he registered his final exams with the U.S. Copyright Office so he could then sue in federal court and then seek to serve a subpoena on Court Hero turn over the names of the offending students. 

Hoping to Identify Cheaters, a Professor Sues His Own Students

The professor, David Berkovitz, who teaches business law at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., filed a lawsuit against an unnamed group of his students — identified only as “Does” — after he discovered in January that the midterm and final exams he had given in the spring of 2021 had been uploaded to a popular website that students use to share lecture notes, sample quizzes, syllabuses and other documents.

 

In filing the suit, which accuses the students of copyright infringement, Professor Berkovitz hopes to force the website, Course Hero, to identify those who uploaded the exams along with sample answers that were also on the website, his lawyer, Marc E. Hankin, said on Thursday.

 

If successful, Professor Berkovitz plans to turn over the names to Chapman’s honor board, Mr. Hankin said. Because Chapman’s business school requires grading on a curve, Professor Berkovitz is worried that students who cheated may have unfairly caused their classmates who played by the rules to receive grades lower down on the curve.

. . . . 

“The moral and ethical failing notwithstanding, the real concern is these students are hurting their fellow classmates,” Mr. Hankin said.

Students whose scholarships are tied to a minimum grade point average could lose those scholarships through no fault of their own and could even have to leave school, he said. “That’s the real harm he’s trying to prevent,” Mr. Hankin said.

. . . . 

More from the New York Times here.

(jbl).

March 30, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Precedent and Similarity by Frederick Schauer & Barbara A. Spellman

Here is an excellent article that uses cognitive science to show how judges apply precedent:

Precedent and Similarity by Frederick Schauer & Barbara A. Spellman.

Abstract

Given that no two acts, events, situations, and legal cases are identical, precedential constraint necessarily involves determining which two different cases and situations are relevantly similar. One traditional view posits that these determinations are made on the basis of the rationale in the earlier case, another traditional view sees similarity in the facts of the earlier case plus the outcome, and the Legal Realist view insists that determinations of similarity are ex post attributions based on a judge’s outcome or policy preferences. In contrast to all of these positions, however, is a view informed by research in cognitive psychology. This research supports the conclusion that outcome-independent perceptions of similarity, perceptions based on the experiences and background of the perceiver, not only play a role in the determination of similarity, but often lead precedential reasoners to reason from particular to particular without the conscious mediation of any rule or principle.

(Scott Fruehwald)

March 27, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Megan Bess, Transitions Unexplored: A Proposal for Professional Identity Formation Following the First Year

Megan Bess, Transitions Unexplored: A Proposal for Professional Identity Formation Following the First Year

Abstract

Like students in other professional fields, law students experience significant transitions during their education. These transitions consist of intense learning periods associated with major change as students develop their professional identities. These challenges and experiences allow students to develop and internalize the skills needed to be a successful lawyer. Law schools are in a unique position to create and reinforce structures to help students navigate these transitions and maximize professional identity formation. This paper will detail some of these transitional challenges and provide suggestions for law schools to further support students during transitions—most notably during the summer following their 1L year.

Summer employment is a key transition point and a crucial opportunity for professional development and growth. The challenge for law schools is that summer employment falls outside their curriculum and oversight. But even when such transformational experiences occur outside of the traditional curriculum, law schools can still prepare students to maximize their development and internalization of professional values by utilizing effective pedagogy for professional identity formation. Externship pedagogy uniquely aligns with professional identity formation. By implementing common externship pedagogical tools, such as goal setting, reflection, and skills assessment, law schools can help students maximize development of professional identity in real world practice settings, particularly over the summer after 1L year. This article proposes that law schools implement professional identity formation programs comprised of key externship pedagogical tools and provides suggestions for creating stakeholder buy-in for such programs.

(Scott Fruehwald)

March 27, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Congratulations . . . to me!

At the recent 20th Anniversary meeting of the Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference, I received the "Envisioning Award" for my role in founding the conference a little more than 20 years ago when I was a legal writing professor at the University of Colorado School of Law (Boulder!). I very much appreciated having my contributions recognized in this way. Thank you.

And an interesting bit of trivia about the founding of the conference . . . . As we batted around ideas about what to call it (my first suggestion was to call it the "Southwest Legal Writing Conference" but we quickly realized that wasn't going to work as there was already a Southwest School of Law in Los Angeles), I then thought the most geographically appropriate name was the "Mountain Region Legal Writing Conference" since that would take into account the variety of mountain ranges in the general vicinity that includes Utah, Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado (with which I was familiar due to my fanatical devotion to skiing at the time). But the others liked the sound of "Rocky Mountain Conference" better even though it doesn't accurately describe the area that we had hoped to draw participants from. But since I was employed by CU at the time, I had no objection to calling it the "Rocky Mountain Conference" and so it became. Yet another example of a "happy accident" that worked out for the better since I now agree that "Rocky Mountain Conference" rolls off the tongue a wee bit better than "Mountain Region Conference."

View this photo

Finally, to our loyal readers, I confess my embarrassment at how much I've been slacking in my blogging duties over the past year. I don't have a really good excuse except to say that I've been feeling pretty burned out (no doubt exacerbated by the pandemic). However, the Legal Skills Prof Blog is still very much alive and kicking (though concededly languishing a bit) so please keep those tips, stories, and other news items rolling in . . . . . We will report them in due course. 

(jbl).

March 17, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

A Book for Teaching Professional Identity

As mentioned below, the ABA made significant changes to the standards for legal education at their mid-year meeting.   Among these changes is a new requirement to include professional identity training in the curriculum:

303 b) A law school shall provide substantial opportunities to students for:. . .

(3) the development of a professional identity.

Interpretation 303-5
Professional identity focuses on what it means to be a lawyer and the special obligations lawyers have to
their clients and society. The development of professional identity should involve an intentional
exploration of the values, guiding principles, and well-being practices considered foundational to
successful legal practice. Because developing a professional identity requires reflection and growth over
time, students should have frequent opportunities for such development during each year of law school
and in a variety of courses and co-curricular and professional development activities.

Law schools need to plan how to implement this new requirement.  I have written a text for students on how to develop their professional identities.

Developing Your Professional Identity: Creating Your Inner Lawyer (2015, 2020).

Professors can adopt this book as a text, or students can use it on their own.  It is chock full of exercises for developing professional identity.

Abstract: "Who will I be as a lawyer? This is the most important question any law student can ask. Yet, in traditional legal education, this question rarely comes up. The purpose of this book is to change this. Professional identity is a lawyer’s personal legal morality, values, decision-making process, and self-consciousness in relation to the practices of the legal profession (legal culture). It provides the framework that a lawyer uses to make all a lawyer’s decisions. This book takes a variety of approaches to help you develop your professional identity.

Chapter One asks you to take a close look at yourself by asking questions about your childhood, your college years, and who you are today. It is important to know who you are before you can fit into a profession. Chapters Two (Becoming a Self-Regulated Learner), Six (Overcoming Cognitive Biases), Seven (Behavioral Legal Ethics), and Eight (Attorney Well-Being) give you the tools you will need to develop your professional identity. Chapter Two introduces you to “practical wisdom,” an important approach to understanding and solving ethical problems. Chapters 3, 4, and 5 deal with professional identity within certain topics–the attorney-client relationship, the lawyer and society, and attorney advertising and solicitation of clients. Chapter Nine presents the legal profession’s and society’s views on lawyers and the legal profession. Chapter Ten focuses on your role as a lawyer. It asks you what area of law you want to practice, how you will deal with clients, your place in the legal profession, standards of civility in the legal profession, and working with subordinates. Finally, Chapter Eleven contains a variety of extended problems to help you further develop your professional identity. The revised edition adds a chapter on behavioral legal ethics, focusing on ethical blindness."

(Scott Fruehwald)

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February 15, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 14, 2022

ABA Passes Revisions to Legal Education Standards

Despite some strong opposition, the ABA House of Delegates has just passed the revisions to 205, 303, 507, and 508.  Summary of changes.  Comments welcome.

(Scott Fruehwald)

Update: Karen Sloan, U.S. law students to receive anti-bias training after ABA passes new rule.

February 14, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Justice for All: Repairing American Criminal Justice (Introduction and Sample Chapter) by Charles MacLean & Adam Lamparello

Justice for All: Repairing American Criminal Justice (Introduction and Sample Chapter) by Charles MacLean & Adam Lamparello.

Abstract

This book highlights infirmities in the criminal justice system that have led to pervasive unfairness, inequality, and injustice. But make no mistake. No one is a victim. Your choices, not your circumstances, determine your destiny.

Notwithstanding, unfairness, injustice, and inequality plague the criminal justice system in many areas, such as in policing, adjudication, and sentencing. Identifying the problem, however, is not sufficient. Likewise, it is not sufficient to simply acquire knowledge and regurgitate facts.

Anyone can do that.

But it solves nothing.

It helps no one.

Developing practical and sustainable solutions is imperative if injustice is to become a thing of the past and equality a reality in the present and a staple of the future.

Leaders propose solutions. And leaders recognize that, no matter how compelling or sensible a policy proposal, real change requires great people. Talented people. Visionary people. As the legendary football coach Woody Hayes said, “You win with people.”

Leaders are bold, creative, and courageous. They strive to effectuate meaningful change that improves people’s lives.

That is the point of this book: to develop meaningful solutions that address the flaws in the criminal justice system. To that end, each chapter challenges you to be a leader by proposing solutions that will change the lives of others and reaffirm the values on which this country is based: equality, fairness, and justice – for all.

This book has neither a liberal nor conservative bias. Unfortunately, some professors are ideologically biased and strive to impose their views on students. This is professionally irresponsible and unethical. Professors should teach students how to think, not what to think. They should welcome diverse perspectives from across the political spectrum and encourage civil discourse. Sadly, many professors and universities have made the decision to replace instruction with ideology, and emphasize conformity over critical thinking. In so doing, the quality of education – and its ability to train students for the real world – has been compromised. If you experience this at your university, you are not alone – but you are not helpless. On any given issue, research and respect all perspectives. Form your views based on facts and evidence, not emotion and bias.

We have no ideological agendas and have no regard for people whose opinions are driven more by underlying agendas than critical analysis and study. We likewise rely on facts and evidence. We hope you will too.

Most importantly, we hope that you embrace the challenge of not merely learning, but creating ideas and solving problems.

And in that process, you will discover if you really can be the change you want to see in the world.

(Scott Fruehwald)

February 14, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Transitions Unexplored: A Proposal for Professional Identity Formation Following the First Year by Megan Bess

Important new article on professional identity development: Transitions Unexplored: A Proposal for Professional Identity Formation Following the First Year by Megan Bess

Abstract

Like students in other professional fields, law students experience significant transitions during their education. These transitions consist of intense learning periods associated with major change as students develop their professional identities. These challenges and experiences allow students to develop and internalize the skills needed to be a successful lawyer. Law schools are in a unique position to create and reinforce structures to help students navigate these transitions and maximize professional identity formation. This paper will detail some of these transitional challenges and provide suggestions for law schools to further support students during transitions—most notably during the summer following their 1L year.

Summer employment is a key transition point and a crucial opportunity for professional development and growth. The challenge for law schools is that summer employment falls outside their curriculum and oversight. But even when such transformational experiences occur outside of the traditional curriculum, law schools can still prepare students to maximize their development and internalization of professional values by utilizing effective pedagogy for professional identity formation. Externship pedagogy uniquely aligns with professional identity formation. By implementing common externship pedagogical tools, such as goal setting, reflection, and skills assessment, law schools can help students maximize development of professional identity in real world practice settings, particularly over the summer after 1L year. This article proposes that law schools implement professional identity formation programs comprised of key externship pedagogical tools and provides suggestions for creating stakeholder buy-in for such programs.

(Scott Fruehwald)

February 10, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

ABA Journal: Which law schools overperformed on the bar exam? Some are unranked by US News

BA Journal:

Which law schools overperformed on the bar exam? Some are unranked by US News

"'Overall, top-performing schools are “not spending extravagantly more resources, and in many instances are spending less, than other schools to achieve bar success,' the study said."

The top overperforming law schools were:

  1. Florida International University

  2. Stanford University

  3. The University of Southern California

  4. The University of California at Berkeley

  5. The University of North Carolina

  6. Belmont University

  7. The University of Michigan

  8. Florida State University

  9. The University of California at Los Angeles

  10. The University of Virginia

  11. Campbell University

  12. Yale University

  13. Louisiana State University

  14. The University of Georgia

  15. Duke University

  16. Harvard University

  17. Wake Forest University

  18. Georgia State University

  19. The University of Chicago

  20. The University of Pennsylvania

  21. The University of Illinois

  22. Baylor University

  23. Washington & Lee University

  24. Liberty University

  25. Vanderbilt University

(Scott Fruehwald)

February 9, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Pushing Back Against Langdell by Emily Zimmerman

Pushing Back Against Langdell by Emily Zimmerman.

Abstract

Legal education is dominated by the study of court opinions, which are the product of litigation. This focus on the law in the context of litigation can have detrimental consequences for law students. First, law students may come to believe that the vast majority of disputes are resolved by litigation, which is not the case. Second, law students may believe that the vast majority of law practice is litigation focused, which is also not the case. Third, law students may develop a warped view of the world in which situations and relationships (both business and personal) are destined to end in catastrophe and breakdown. This Article explores how legal education can remedy the tyranny of litigation, particularly during the first year of law school. In particular, the Article highlights the need for transparency with our students about the focus on litigation in the law school curriculum and the impact that such a focus may have on our students. We should remind students that most relationships do not end in litigation, most situations do not end in catastrophe, and most disputes are resolved in ways other than litigation. The Article also describes how engaging students in alternatives-to-litigation counterfactuals can help students develop a broader and more realistic view of relationships, dispute resolution, and the role of lawyers.

(Scott Fruehwald)

February 8, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Law Students Face Mandatory Bias Training Beginning In Fall 2022 Under Proposed ABA Diversity Accreditation Requirement

From Reuters.

Excerpts:

"Law schools would have to train students in bias, racism and crosscultural competency under a proposal before the American Bar Association’s policymaking body this month.

The ABA’s House of Delegates on Feb. 14 will consider a series of changes to its law school accreditation rules, including a new requirement that schools provide bias training at least twice during a student’s time on campus — once at the start of their studies and at least once more before they graduate."

"But the proposal has garnered skepticism from some inside and outside the legal academy. The majority of public comments the council received warned that requiring bias training would interfere with curricula or convey a particular ideology. Some also said the proposal is too vague."

"'It is more constructive to foster spaces that encourage the free exchange of ideas than to impose consensus through mandatory training and courses,' the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education said in a comment it submitted."

"A group of 10 Yale law professors wrote that requiring bias training is an 'unwarranted intrusion' on the autonomy of law schools."  (here)

"The organization is also slated to consider the addition of ethnicity, gender identity and military status to the accreditation standard prohibiting discrimination, as well as requirements that schools provide information about student well-being resources and student loan repayment."

(Scott Fruehwald)

 

February 6, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 17, 2022

More on Professor Robert Kuehn's study of the changing demographics of legal skills faculty

An astute reader pointed out that some key graphics that help illustrate Professor Kuehn's data on the changing demographics of legal skills faculty didn't make it into my previous post (even after more than a decade of using this blogging platform, I still get befuddled by idiosyncrasies of Typepad). My apologies to Professor Kuehn. To see the results of his research including the helpful charts and graphics, please go here to SSRN where you can download his study yourself.

Here's an abstract of his article:

This paper tracks law school faculty demographics by gender and race/ethnicity since 1980. While the diversity of law school faculty has been increasing over the past four decades, it still lags behind the gender and racial/ethic diversity among law students. Also, the demographics of faculty subgroups diverge widely, particularly by gender, with women continuing to be disproportionately hired into traditionally lower status/lower paying clinical and legal writing positions.

(jbl).

January 17, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 14, 2022

Professor Robert Kuehn on the changing demographics of legal skills faculty

Here's an excellent, short article by Professor Robert Kuehn (Washington University - St. Louis) on the changing demographics of law faculty, particularly among legal skills faculty like clinicians, field placement teachers and LRW faculty.  From Professor Kuehn:

Shifting Law School Faculty Demographics 

 

In 1980, one-third of law students and only 14% of all law teachers were female, and a mere 9% of students and 4% of faculty were identified as non-white. Today, law faculties are more diverse by gender and race/ethnicity. Yet, the demographics of faculty subgroups diverge widely and, importantly, faculty remain less diverse than their students.  

 

Focusing principally on law clinic and field placement teachers (full time, excluding fellows), over two-thirds identified as female (cis or trans) in the latest 2019-20 Center for the Study of Applied Legal Education (CSALE) survey. The graph below reflects a trend of increasingly female clinical faculty beginning in the late 1980s/early 1990s and continuing through all five tri-annual CSALE surveys:[1]

 

By comparison, 47% of all full-time law teachers were identified as female in 2020 law school ABA annual reports, an increase from 40% in 2011, 32.5% in 2000, and 24% in 1990. However, ABA results include the overwhelmingly female clinical and legal research and writing faculties. If clinical (67% female) and legal writing (70% female) faculty are removed from the 2020 ABA totals, women constitute fewer than 38% of full-time non-clinical/non-legal writing faculty, as illustrated below.[2] In contrast, 54% of J.D. students in 2020-21 were female, compared to 47% in 2010, 48% in 2000, 43% in 1990, and 34% in 1980.

 

Faculty have increased in racial and ethnic diversity since 1980. The percentages of full-time clinical teachers by race/ethnicity are shown in the table below. Surveys indicate steady, but slow, growth in the percentage of full-time non-white clinical teachers (excluding fellows) over the last four decades.

 

Clinical Faculty Race/Ethnicity

SALT 1980[3]

SALT 1986

AALS 1998[4]

CSALE 2007

CSALE 2010

CSALE 2013

CSALE 2016

CSALE 2019

White

95%

92%

87%

87%

86%

83%

80%

78%

Non-White

5%

8%

13%

12%

13%

15%

17%

18%

Other/2 or More Races

<1%

1%

1%

3%

3%

3%

           

            Among newer clinical teachers of three years or less, the percentage of white teachers was slightly lower at 76%. Within clinical teaching, 77% of primarily law clinic instructors and 83% of primarily field placement teachers are white.

 

            In the 2020 annual reports, 21% of full-time law faculty were identified by their schools as “minority,” an increase from approximately 17% in 2011, 14% in 2000, and 10% in 1990. The most recent ALWD/LWR survey identified 13% of legal research and writing faculty as non-white, multiracial or other, compared to 12% reported non-Caucasian in its 2010 survey.  

 

            Similar to gender, law school faculty are less racially/ethnically diverse than their students: 34% of students were identified in 2020 annual reports as minority, an increase from 24% in 2010, 21% in 2000, 14% in 1990, and 9% in 1980.

 

            Available surveys and reports do not include recent information on the age of law faculty. There has been no change, however, over the five CSALE surveys since 2007 in the median number of years of prior practice by those teaching full time in a law clinic or field placement course, remaining approximately eight years. Excluding those hired into temporary fellow positions, similarly across CSALE surveys the median number of years of prior practice experience among newer faculty teaching three years or less in a law clinic or field placement course has been eight years.

 

            In sum, while the diversity of law school faculty has been increasing over the past four decades, it still lags behind the gender and racial/ethnic diversity among students. And even though schools are hiring increasingly more female faculty, women continue to be disproportionately hired into traditionally lower status/lower paying clinical and legal writing positions.[5] There may be no easy fix to these issues, but the first step towards addressing them is to be aware of the numbers.

 

[1] “SALT” percentages are from Richard H. Chused, Hiring and Retention of Minorities and Women on American Law School Faculties, 137 U. Pa. L. Rev. 537, 556-57 (1988) (also reporting 14% of all law teachers as female and 5% as non-white in 1980). “Angel” percentages are from Marina Angel, The Glass Ceiling for Women in Legal Education: Contract Positions and the Death of Tenure, 50 J. Legal Educ. 1, 4 (2000).

[2] The 2020 ABA annual reports identified 4,399 female and 4,986 male full-time faculty (5 reported as “other”). Removing 1,157 female clinical teachers (67% of the 1,727 full-time clinical faculty reported by the 95% of schools that participated in the CSALE survey) and 649 female legal research and writing teachers (70% of the 927 full-time LRW faculty at the 169 of 203 ABA schools that participated in the 2019-20 ALWD/LWI Legal Writing Survey) results in 2,593 full-time female non-clinical/non-legal writing faculty. Further removing 848 male faculty identified in the CSALE and ALWD/LWI surveys results in 38.5% full-time non-clinical/non-legal writing female faculty. If the missing 5% of schools in the CSALE survey and 17% in the ALWD/LWI survey are accounted for, 37% of 2020 full-time non-clinical/non-legal writing faculty were female.  

[3] The 1980 and 1986 SALT surveys excluded faculty from minority operated schools and, therefore, likely underrepresented non-white faculty.

[4] “AALS” percentages are from an AALS Clinical Section database reported in Jon C. Dubin, Faculty Diversity as a Clinical Legal Education Imperative, 51 Hastings L.J. 445, 448-49 (2000).

[5] Robert R. Kuehn, The Disparate Treatment of Clinical Law Faculty (2021), https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3760756.

Thanks again to Professor Kuehn and his continued support of the LSP blog!

(jbl . . . who's back!)

January 14, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Learning Outcomes in a Flipped Classroom: A Comparison of Civil Procedure II Test Scores Between Students in a Traditional Class & a Flipped Class

Learning Outcomes in a Flipped Classroom: A Comparison of Civil Procedure II Test Scores Between Students in a Traditional Class & a Flipped Class by Katharine Traylor Schaffzin.

Abstract

By now, many legal educators have heard of a “flipped classroom,” even if they may not be familiar with its meaning. The odds are great that more and more law students have experienced a flipped classroom in high school, college, or even in law school, although they may be unfamiliar with the pedagogical term. After learning about how the flipped classroom is being adapted for the law school course, I became convinced that such an approach to teaching could benefit my students’ learning outcomes.

In January 2014, I decided to adapt my own Civil Procedure II materials to this new format. Unbeknownst to my students, I tracked the performance of this class to compare it to that of my Civil Procedure II class from the preceding year. Assigning the same readings from the same texts in both 2013 and 2014, I changed only the mode in which I delivered the material to my students. Information I had previously presented to my class in 2013 in the form of a lecture interspersed with Socratic dialogue I now provided to the 2014 class online in advance of class and indefinitely thereafter in the form of PowerPoint slides with my lecture interposed as voiceover. Although I had also assigned hypothetical problems to the class in 2013, it was not uncommon that we would not have time to discuss all of those assigned problems in class. Inside the classroom in 2014, however, the class worked through assigned problems and many more requiring students to apply the content read and viewed in advance of class to hypothetical situations. I administered final examinations in both April 2013 and 2014 that were fifty percent identical. The content of the course and half the examination were the same in 2013 and 2014. The only thing that had changed was how I delivered that content to students.

(Scott Fruehwald)

December 29, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, December 11, 2021

NY Post: CUNY law students warring with faculty members over anti-Israel resolution

NY Post: CUNY law students warring with faculty members over anti-Israel resolution

Excerpts:

"The student government of CUNY’s law school passed a resolution ripping the Jewish state last week — prompting an enraged rebuttal from a group of faculty members."

"The Law Student Government Association demanded that CUNY sever ties with Israel and accused the school of being “directly complicit in the ongoing apartheid, genocide, and war crimes perpetrated by the State of Israel against the Palestinian people through its investments in and contracts with companies profiting off of Israeli war crimes.” 

"That salvo was met with outrage from an opposing group of CUNY faculty members who argued that the group was attempting to stifle pro-Israel opinion and demonize Jewish students."

From the faculty resolution:

On June 10 the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) of the City University of New York passed a grievous resolution littered with viciously demonizing misrepresentations of Israel and modern-day libels of Jews. The CUNY Alliance for Inclusion (CAFI), a group of CUNY faculty enthusiastically endorsing civil dialog and exchange of ideas and vehemently opposed to demonization, arose in response. Sadly, on December 2, the CUNY Law Student Government Association (LSGA) further magnified the PSC’s offense by passing a resolution that, following in historic antisemitism’s unreserved disparagement of Jews, “proudly and unapologetically” endorses Boycott Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS). The LSGA resolution attacks Israel with the mendacious, ahistoric chant of “apartheid, genocide, war crimes.” It launches a wholesale offensive maligning and attacking Jewish student groups and programs as well as faculty research and collaborations with a host of universities and corporations, attempting to shame such groups by name. Its 24 supporting organizations seek to exclude Jewish students who support Israel from a host of groups including those advocating for work against climate change, and those fighting for women’s rights. It thereby appropriates for itself the right to separate good from bad Jews and to quash Jewish self-expression it disfavors as it trashes academic freedom by seeking to bar opinions contrary to its own from CUNY and its groups. This directly contradicts Dean Capulong’s 2021 stated Law School goal to "recognize and respect one another's right to be part of our community."

The LSGA’s resolution reeks of historic redemptive anti-Judaism that demonizes Jews and Jewish institutions as satanic, with slanders that are precise inversions of the truth. For example, it is truly shameless to charge that Israel – whose people have experienced genocide in the recent past - with genocide against the Palestinian people, a population that has expanded manyfold since Israel’s founding, all while some Palestinian leaders actually call for the genocide of Jews. It is sad that, after millennia of being labeled stateless outsiders, the LSGA portrays the Jewish State as the outsider amongst nations. It is disheartening that this portrayal is from students supposedly learning to think clearly and rigorously in the service of fairness and justice who now misguidedly oppose these ideals. The rights of both pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian students must be supported.

A frenzy of anti-Semitic vilification of Israel under the cover of “anti-Zionism” is sweeping American education and, is metastasizing into attacks on Jewish life in the United States. In April 1933, the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service excluded Jews and the “politically unreliable” from civil service, including teaching at universities in Germany. Further legislation that month targeted Jewish student enrollment. Many German university administrators, professors and student fraternities supported these restrictions. In response to the CUNY LSGA resolution, which echoes a tragic period of Jew hatred, responsible CUNY administrators and officials in NYC and beyond must now speak out. A great university must champion diversity and cultivate a tradition of inclusive civil discourse and engagement on complex issues and conflicts and stand against historic hatreds and limitations upon speech and association."

(Scott Fruehwald)

 

 

December 11, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 22, 2021

Professor Akhil Amar blasts Yale Law School over ‘trap house’ Incident

Here.  Excerpts:

"Legal scholar Akhil Amar says Yale Law School is ‘not living up to its highest standards.’

A prominent Indian American Yale Law School professor has blasted the school administration’s treatment of law student Trent Colbert and the Federalist Society, calling it 'dishonest, duplicitous, and downright deplorable.'"

"'I am not and have never been a member of the Federalist Society,' Amar said, adding that he is a life-long liberal Democrat, according to The Washington Free Beacon."

"But 'ideological diversity' is important for challenging 'implicit bias'—not just against members of other races, but those of other political persuasions, he said."

"Amar also spoke of the tension between 'real professors' and 'administrators,' who now outnumber faculty at Yale, and took a tacit shot at the law school’s diversity director Yaseen Eldik, who took the lead in the school’s conversations with Colbert."

"People 'who aren’t themselves educators are playing an increasingly large role in universities,' the Sterling professor of law was quoted as saying, adding that administrative bloat is a 'real problem.'"

"Law school dean Heather Gerken has announced an investigation into the situation but has thus far taken no concrete action, according to the Free Beacon."

(Scott Fruehwald)

 

November 22, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Students suing Yale Law show America’s elites have a low opinion of minorities

Students suing Yale Law show America’s elites have a low opinion of minorities by Glenn Harlan Reynolds.

Excerpts:

"Yale Law School is failing."

"Now things have taken a turn for the worse. Two Yale Law School students have filed a federal lawsuit accusing the law school’s dean, Heather Gerken, associate dean, Ellen Cosgrove, and Diversity and Inclusion Director Yaseen Eldik of far more egregious behavior. The lawsuit claims that the defendants “worked together in an attempt to blackball two students of color from job opportunities as retaliation for refusing to lie to support the University’s investigation into a professor of color.” That professor was Amy Chua.

The two students charge that the law school administration tried to blackmail them into making false accusations against her. There’s much more, but that’s bad enough."

"In addition, the law school administration publicly shamed another student of color, who announced a Native American Law Students Association party in conjunction with the conservative Federalist Society, for, well, basically white supremacy. The student’s e-mail used the term “trap house,” a joking reference to drug culture, which the administration interpreted as a reference to black people (which seems kind of racist in itself). But the administrators were really unhappy about the Federalist Society, which they seem to regard as presumptively bad because, well, it’s not on the left.

The invitation’s author, law student Trent Colbert, was told, 'The e-mail’s association with FedSoc was very triggering for students that already feel like FedSoc belongs to political affiliations that are oppressive to certain communities through policies. . . . That of course obviously includes the LGBTQIA community and black communities and immigrant communities.'"

"Uh-huh. Meanwhile the administration summoned the Federalist Society’s president for a meeting and blamed him for somehow making the Native American student send the allegedly offensive e-mails: “I think you as a cis/het white man decided to have some fun and convinced a man of color with a backyard to send out an e-mail announcing a costume party where it wouldn’t be frowned upon if people came in blackface to eat some fried chicken while dancing to trap music.” (Note: The e-mail said nothing like that.)

In the eyes of the Yale Law School administration, apparently only “cis/het white men” have any agency, and minority men are just putty in their hands."

"But leaving aside this bit of straight-up racism, the administration also threatened the students that a failure to play ball and apologize would put their chance of taking the bar at risk, presumably because of a negative reference from Yale Law School, just as it threatened the future employment of the two students who refused to lie about Professor Chua."

"What can you say about an institution that is willing to break faith with its members and engage in blackmail and the subornation of false statements to wage a political vendetta?"

(Scott Fruehwald)

Question: When is the Yale Law School faculty going to stand up to its senior administration?  Deans and diversity officers should not be bullying students.

November 18, 2021 | Permalink | Comments (0)