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Robert Anderson
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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 7 days ago 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:
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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:
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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:
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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:
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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:
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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:
The law review submission process is a mess. Authors submit to dozens, even hundreds, of journals simultaneously. Many journals receive thousands of submissions that they cannot possibly review carefully. It is often (but not always) difficult to get the attention of higher ranked law reviews without expediting from a lower-ranked... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2017 at W I T N E S S E T H:
One of the important skills tested on law school exams is issue spotting. Although profs differ on how important issue spotting is, I would think virtually all would agree it's an important skill for law students. Yet we design law school exams to eliminate much of the issue spotting potential.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2017 at W I T N E S S E T H:
Quite a few law school commentators have been talking about the 2016 annual report of the Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE). The report provocatively calls law school merit scholarship policies "engines of inequity." In his Foreword, Frank Wu says that law school scholarships cause a "'reverse Robin Hood'... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2017 at W I T N E S S E T H:
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Of note in the otherwise dismal July 2016 California bar exam results is that San Joaquin College of Law in Clovis, California held its own against several ABA-accredited schools on the bar exam. It tied three ABA schools in bar passage rate (31%) and beat one by a wide margin.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2016 at W I T N E S S E T H:
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I have been blogging for years about bar exams in general and the California bar exam in particular. One of the themes of my blogging has been how much higher California's required passing score is than the passing score in other states. This year, the California bar exam results were... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2016 at W I T N E S S E T H:
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On Thursday a number of California law deans wrote pieces in the Daily Journal criticizing the State Bar of California over the abysmally low bar passage rates some of their schools achieved on the July 2016 exam. Many of the deans' perspectives displayed a profound lack of understanding of how... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2016 at W I T N E S S E T H:
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I see so many myths about the bar exam repeated over and over that I decided to collect some of them together in this post. I may add to the post as I see others. Please feel free to leave comments with other myths you come across. These myths are... Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2016 at W I T N E S S E T H:
Marty Lipton is again railing against "short-termism" in corporate governance, while confusing operational horizon short-termism (maximizing profits in the accounting sense in the short-term, which nobody advocates) with investment horizon short-termism (maximizing the stock price in the short-term, which is a plausible objective). The facile assumption that investment horizon short-termism... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2016 at W I T N E S S E T H:
The State Bar of California recently announced that the pass rate for the July 2016 California bar exam was 43%. This is a multi-decade low, and has affected virtually every law school in California. Even among ABA-accredited law schools' first time takers, the passage rate was only 62%. Particularly hard... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2016 at W I T N E S S E T H:
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Last week I posted an analysis of the ABA employment data that ranked law schools by collapsing all the employment data (109 pieces of information) down to a single dimension. I posted this in response to The Faculty Lounge blog's post by Dan Filler that had some strange results, such... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2016 at W I T N E S S E T H:
The July 2016 California bar exam data came out a couple of weeks ago and the results were rough. Only about 42% of those who took the exam passed, which is a multi-decade low. In this short post, I break down some information about the bar exam, focused on those... Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2016 at W I T N E S S E T H:
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On Tuesday The Faculty Lounge carried a post by Dan Filler ranking law schools using ABA employment data. The ranking included a few oddities, such as Kentucky Law being tied for #2 and Georgetown Law being tied for #78. I think these types of results should put a person on... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2016 at W I T N E S S E T H:
On July 14, Google released the 2016 version of its Google Scholar rankings of journals. Bryce C. Newell collected the rankings for flagship law reviews in a post on Prawfsblawg. Brian Leiter colorfully refers to the rankings as "BS," asserting that Google Scholar is "worthless for measuring journal impact." Leiter... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2016 at W I T N E S S E T H:
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The law school world is currently enthralled with the idea of "experiential education." The push for experiential education comes from bar associations, accrediting agencies, and especially from lobbying groups of a certain segment of the law professoriat. I am a big supporter of what I call "practical education" in law... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2016 at W I T N E S S E T H: