Law Professors

We know that tuition keeps going up at American law schools. And, for the most part, we know where the money goes. Law schools use tuition money and alumni donations to fund capital projects and law professor salaries. And, at some schools, the law school kicks back some money to the larger university. Law schools are cash cows, and everybody likes money.

Who is to blame for this? It’s hard to say. I tend to blame the American Bar Association, since the ABA is one of the few entities with regulatory authority over legal education (some law students are trying to get the Department of Education involved).

If the ABA will not act, it’s only natural for people to make as much money as possible, with reckless disregard to who gets trampled along the way. But one can find other culprits if you look hard enough. You could blame law school administrators, who are more concerned with money than education. You could blame the students themselves, for willingly forking over all of this cash. You could blame the federal government, for seemingly giving away money without making sure the taxpayers are getting a return on their investment.

But you know who you shouldn’t blame? Law school faculty. That’s right — they might get fancy new buildings and make six-figure salaries, but it’s not really their fault that the cost of a legal education has outstripped its value.

Who among us would not take more money and more perks for doing our same job?

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There is this automatic assumption in any legal environment that Asians will have a particular talent for bitter labor. There was this weird self-selection where the Asians would migrate toward the most brutal part of the labor…. White people have this instinct that is really important: to give off the impression that they’re only going to do the really important work. You’re a quarterback. It’s a kind of arrogance that Asians are trained not to have.

Tim Wu, Columbia law professor and author of The Master Switch, quoted in a very interesting New York magazine piece by Wesley Yang, Paper Tigers: What happens to all the Asian-American overachievers when the test-taking ends?

You have seen our dishonorable mentions; now it’s time to take a look at the very best videos law students were able to come up with. It’s time to meet the finalists in this year’s Law Revue Video Contest.

Some of these videos you have seen before. Others will be new to you. All of them will provide a modicum of fun and a welcome break from the drudgery of finals or whatever post-graduate job you’ve gotten yourself into.

So check them out and prepare to vote. It will work like American Idol: expert judges Kashmir Hill, David Lat, and Elie Mystal will share their thoughts, but the voting is up to you, the viewers.

Who will follow in the footsteps of UVA and Northwestern and bring the funny all across the land? Did your law school or alma mater make the cut?

Let’s find out…

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Where’s she going? Let’s find out….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “It’s Official: Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld, aka the Tiger Cub, Has Made Her College Decision!”

[T]he never-ending stream of futile petitions suggests that habeas corpus is a wasteful nuisance. By almost any measure, the use, and abuse, of habeas by convicted state prisoners is a failure, one that could corrode one of the most revered pillars of our legal system.

– Professors Joseph Hoffmann and Nancy King, in an interesting and persuasive New York Times op-ed piece, arguing that habeas review of state criminal cases should be limited to “capital cases and cases in which the prisoner can produce persuasive new evidence of his innocence.”

Yale Law School

* The delightful Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld, daughter of Yale law professors Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld, explains how she turned out so normal, despite having a Tiger Mother. [new tiger in town]

* Elsewhere in Yale Law School news, congrats to YLS student Vanessa Selbst, who successfully defended her title at the North American Poker Tour championship at Mohegan Sun. How much did she win this year? [Law Shucks]

* Selbst won her money in person — which is lucky, because the feds just brought the hammer down on online poker. [New York Times]

* Speaking of money, here are some ideas for how to spend your spring bonus money. [Vault]

* There are too many wives conflicting judicial authorities in this litigation involving the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. [Salt Lake Tribune]

* Some tips for young lawyers looking to get active online. [An Associate's Mind]

* Instead of adopting humane practices, Iowa farmers and ranchers would rather cover up the way they kill animals and slaughter the First Amendment while they’re at it. [Legal Planet]

* When extreme pro-life views turn monstrous, they reduce women to mere vessels, who exist only as incubators. Check out this Indiana woman who is being charged with murder for attempting to kill herself while pregnant. [Feministe]

* Okay, we’ve extracted our pound of flesh from Professor Stephen Bainbridge. Can we please move on now? [The Daily Bruin]

* Justice Kennedy on the “quiet revolution” wrought by information technology with respect to coverage of the Supreme Court. [Josh Blackman]

* Don’t forget: the deadline for the ATL Law Revue Contest is this SUNDAY, APRIL 17, at 11:59 PM (Eastern time). [Above the Law]

Remember Lawrence Connell, the professor at Widener Law School who got in trouble for coming up with teaching hypotheticals in which he killed Dean Linda Ammons? Well, perhaps Professor Connell wishes the dean’s death was more than hypothetical.

Apparently Professor Connell wants to slay Dean Ammons — in a court of law. He has sued the dean for defamation.

Suing your current boss or employer — as opposed to suing after you’re gone, a la Matthew Kluger v. Fried Frank — can be awkward. Just ask JoEllen Lyons Dillon of Reed Smith or Raymond Carey of Foley & Lardner, two partners who have sued the law firms where they still work.

But they don’t have tenure, unlike Larry Connell. Let’s see what the good professor is suing over….

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You know, given the fact that most law school professors act like they are doing you a favor by grading your exams, it’s a wonder this kind of thing doesn’t happen more often. Of course, since it doesn’t happen more often, this is a noteworthy occurrence.

A criminal law professor out in California figured out there were grading errors from her fall semester course. She figured this out last week. But the errors were so significant that it changed the class rank of some students.

Yeah, so if you got dinged from a summer associate position because your first semester grades were too low, or if perhaps you didn’t even apply for some positions because you didn’t meet a percentile cut-off, whoops, your professor might have screwed up.

Which law school needs to examine its motives?

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* The Southern District of New York: gay bench, or the gayest bench? Like fellow S.D.N.Y. nominee Paul Oetken, Alison Nathan is an openly gay lawyer who clerked for SCOTUS and served as an associate White House counsel. [Poliglot / Metro Weekly; Main Justice]

* Maybe this is why Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld decided to leave New Haven and head up to Harvard. [Slate]

* Speaking of the Harvard-bound hottie, if you’re waiting for her to fail at anything, don’t hold your breath. [Disgrasian]

* Dolce & Gabbana say “Ciao!” to Italian tax evasion charges. [Fashionista]

Jeannie Suk

* Belated congratulations to Jeannie Suk, one-half of celebrity couple Feldsuk, who’s now the first Asian-American woman to serve as a tenured professor at Harvard Law School. [The Careerist]

* A cute April Fool’s joke from UT Law: check out the offerings in Dean Larry Sager’s Law Bodega. [Etsy]

* Elsewhere in April Fool’s news, “Dear SCOTUS FOIA Officer”…. [Law Librarian Blog]

* This is not a prank: a full ride to NYU Law. [Vault]

* These lawyerly lovebirds met as 1Ls at Georgetown Law and would love the support of ATL readers in Crate & Barrel’s “ultimate wedding” contest. [Ultimate Wedding Contest / Crate & Barrel]

Yale law professor Amy Chua, author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, has received a great deal of criticism — and, to be fair, book royalties — since her controversial parenting memoir’s publication in January. Many observers criticized her harsh, so-called “Chinese” parenting style as excessive, even abusive.

You can criticize all you want, but you can’t argue with success. Above the Law has confirmed that Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld, the oldest daughter of Amy Chua and fellow YLS professor Jed Rubenfeld, received her Harvard acceptance earlier this week. Sophia has already made up her mind that Harvard is where she’ll attend college. (Can you blame her for wanting to trade New Haven for Cambridge?)

UPDATE: Please see the update added to the end of this post. Sophia hasn’t officially accepted her Harvard acceptance (as her Yale professor mom insisted to the Yale Daily News). She is also considering Yale.

Some readers of Amy Chua’s book wondered whether it was premature of her to “end a parenting story when one child is only 15,” in the words of Elizabeth Chang of the Washington Post. Well, now we know how the story ends — very, very happily. As I previously observed, speaking from my own personal experience, “to Asian parents, sending a child to a top college is the ultimate vindication.” And colleges don’t get more “top” than Harvard (which is #1 in the current U.S. News rankings; but even if it weren’t this year, it would still be #1 in the minds of many Asian parents). [FN1]

Of course, it shouldn’t be shocking that Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld, who’s now 18, got into Harvard….

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