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Robert Anderson
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The results for the February 2018 California bar exam are out, and the statistics are grim. Only 27.3% of those who took the exam passed, which is the lowest passing rate for any bar examination in California's records. The low passing rates are certain to reignite the debate over whether... Continue reading
Posted 7 hours ago at W I T N E S S E T H:
How long does it take to write a law review article? This question sometimes arises as law faculties balance the competing expectations of teaching, service, and scholarship. The main asset that a law school has is its reputation, which the school is continually attempting to advance through its activities (of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2018 at W I T N E S S E T H:
In many law schools and other university departments, faculty are recruited, evaluated, and granted tenure largely based on their research productivity and influence. That system works reasonably well to motivate faculty members prior to tenure, but degrades after that. The best faculty members often are recruited by other institutions and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2018 at W I T N E S S E T H:
The US News ranking system determines much of how law schools currently admit students. Schools are ranked in large part based on the incoming student medians for undergraduate GPA and LSAT. As a result, many schools attempt to maximize these measures in an attempt to move up in the rankings... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2018 at W I T N E S S E T H:
The most significant change in law school admissions in a generation is silently underway. A couple dozen law schools undertook a pilot program to determine whether the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) predicted law school grades as well as the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The results, recently compiled into a... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2017 at W I T N E S S E T H:
The July 2017 California bar exam results are out and the results are a big relief to many applicants. The passing rate for first-time takers from ABA-accredited schools increased to 70%, a five-year high and a big increase over last year's 62% rate. The increase isn't enough for California law... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2017 at W I T N E S S E T H:
The overall pass rate on the California Bar Examination has declined since 2008, reaching a 30-year low of 43% in 2016. As a result, there's a great deal of speculation about what the pass rate will be for the July 2017 exam, which is still being graded. The California bar... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2017 at W I T N E S S E T H:
In March, the ABA Council of the Section of Legal Education issued a proposal for changes to the ABA Standards for law schools. The proposal would drop from Standard 403(a) the current requirement that full-time faculty teach more than one-half of the total credit hours. This change would allow adjunct... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2017 at W I T N E S S E T H:
The California Supreme Court announced today that it will leave the California bar examination passing score at 1440 (144 on the national scale) for now. The Court said that "balancing all considerations, the court is not persuaded that the relevant information and data developed at this time weigh in favor... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2017 at W I T N E S S E T H:
A new entrant has emerged in the law school rankings debate, as Christopher Ryan and Brian Frye recently posted their paper, A Revealed-Preferences Ranking of Law Schools (forthcoming in the Alabama Law Review). The paper presents a ranking of law schools based exclusively on LSAT and undergraduate GPA, on the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2017 at W I T N E S S E T H:
The State Bar of California and the California Supreme Court are currently considering reducing the passing score of the California Bar Examination, possibly with retroactive effect to July 2017. To provide additional evidence that had been missing from this debate, several months back Derek Muller and I posted a paper... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2017 at W I T N E S S E T H:
The public debate over the passing score for the California bar exam is raging. Deans of California law schools are pushing hard for the State Bar and the California Supreme Court to lower the score required to pass. The deans believe lowering the required passing score is so urgent that... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2017 at W I T N E S S E T H:
Two years ago I blogged about my decision to use an older edition of my Contracts casebook instead of the newer edition. This saved my contracts students about $200 each which totaled about $10,000 for the class. The law of Contracts changes only glacially, and the students miss out on... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2017 at W I T N E S S E T H:
It is no secret that law school students are drawn disproportionately from humanities and social sciences, with only a small proportion coming from science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Indeed, the political science major alone accounts for far more law students than all STEM fields combined. There are many... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2017 at W I T N E S S E T H:
The Supreme Court decided today the case of Matal v. Tam, a highly anticipated case in trademark and First Amendment law. The case dealt with a rock group that called itself "The Slants," a term which the Court described as "a derogatory term for persons of Asian descent." The issue... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2017 at W I T N E S S E T H:
Today Google Scholar released a new collection of "Classic Papers: Articles That Have Stood The Test of Time." The new collection appears to gather the most cited papers in each year published approximately 10 years ago (2006). Although it's a bit "chronocentric" to label papers from 2006 as "classic" and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2017 at W I T N E S S E T H:
A few days ago, my colleague Derek Muller and I posted a draft of a paper on SSRN entitled, The High Cost of Lowering the Bar. The paper analyzes a large dataset of lawyers in California and argues that the current proposal to lower the required passing score for the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2017 at W I T N E S S E T H:
The pass rate on the California bar exam last July was the lowest since 1984. This has sent many people scrambling for an explanation for the dive in the pass rate. In reality, however, the reason for the drop is not mysterious. The main reason the bar pass rate dropped... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2017 at W I T N E S S E T H:
The American Bar Association has released the new 2016 employment data for law schools. Every year, this release prompts significant commentary about how the data should be interpreted. The disclosures contain over 100 categories of employment information, making it difficult to determine whether a particular school has performed well in... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2017 at W I T N E S S E T H:
Why is Delaware so dominant in corporate law? The traditional story among most practicing corporate lawyers is that Delaware's superior corporate law, judiciary, and responsiveness allowed it to win an interstate competition for corporate charters. According to this perspective, Delaware is "just better." But as many, many academic papers have... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2017 at W I T N E S S E T H:
As my loyal reader(s) know, Professor Brian Leiter took to his blog yesterday to take issue with two posts I wrote about the Whittier Law School closure (you can read my posts here and here). In the two short paragraphs about me, he called me "ignorant," "egregious," "presumptuous," "blowhard," "guilty,"... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2017 at W I T N E S S E T H:
This week I published two posts related to the sad Whittier Law School story. The first laid out the argument that Whittier's closing could have been avoided had other law schools responded appropriately to market demands in the years following the application decline after 2010. The second responded to one... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2017 at W I T N E S S E T H:
A kerfuffle has erupted in the normally staid blogosphere of legal academics. Stephen Diamond of Santa Clara Law, a defender of law professor prerogatives, wrote a post blasting the decision to close troubled Whittier Law School and praising the professors' lawsuit. Daniel Rodriguez, Dean of Northwestern Law, responded with an... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2017 at W I T N E S S E T H:
The decision to close Whittier Law School has been widely reported and debated throughout the law school world as it's the first fully ABA-accredited school to shut its doors in recent memory. Whittier has served an important role in the Southern California legal ecosystem for 50 years, and its disappearance... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2017 at W I T N E S S E T H:
The topic of "fake news" is everywhere in the "real news" these days. Facebook is working to reduce fake news by weeding out those who promote it. Schools and universities are holding seminars to help gullible students identify and disregard fake news. The Russians are purportedly foisting fake news on... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2017 at W I T N E S S E T H: