Law schools — as Elie likes to remind readers on a frequent basis — are businesses. Like any good CEO should, Duke Law School dean David Levi has written an editorial defending his product: young lawyers.
In the National Law Journal, he starts off by acknowledging that the legal market for young lawyers is in worse shape than Duke’s reputation after the lacrosse scandal, and that this is “understandable” given the laws of supply and demand. (A subtle acknowledgment of there being too many law schools?) He then writes:
What is not understandable is the surprising amount of criticism heaped upon younger lawyers, offered as if to justify placing a disproportionate share of the economic downturn on their shoulders.
The criticism comes from law firm managers, in-house counsel and former lawyers who now comment on the legal profession…
Ahem. *Uncomfortable pause.*
They most likely represent a minority view, but they are vocal. They say that clients are no longer willing to pay for the work of young associates because their work is “worthless.” We might expect clients to make any argument that could lead to a lower bill, particularly during an economic downturn. But it is wrong and surprising for experienced lawyers inside and outside of firms to acquiesce in, even reinforce, this line of argument.
Yesterday, we brought you the news of Fordham Law School Dean William Treanor’s appointment as dean of Georgetown Law School, when we posted a message that went out to Georgetown law students at 4 p.m. We soon learned that we blindsided Fordham students and alumni with the news. They weren’t happy to get the “Surprise! Your dean is bouncing!” message from us, instead of from Fordham or from the dean himself.
One alum g-chatted us:
I can’t believe Treanor is leaving Fordham… All of my friends are shocked and now in the anger/betrayed phase.
Treanor was well-liked at Fordham, but his hasty departure left a bitter taste in the mouths of some of his former students. One commenter said:
Congratulations Georgetown you just earned a Dean who left Fordham Law without any sense of warning or notice to Fordham students after years of issuing statements of how Fordham is a “community” and a “home.” Oh! and how convenient after he was a strong cause for Fordham dropping in the rankings from 25 to the 30′s. Oh ya Bulldogs. That was a great steal.
Let this be a lesson to other deans who plan to jump to a higher-ranked ship. Make sure you send your farewell message before your new school sends out its welcome message.
Dean Treanor did send out an email to Fordhamites, but it was sent over two and a half hours after Georgetown kids got the giddy news, and two hours after our post went up. A two-hour delay may seem inconsequential to some, but in the world of instant news and communication, it’s unforgivable in the minds of some Fordham folk. Did he make up for the faux pas in the email?
Georgetown Law, ranked #14 by U.S. News, is getting a new dean. Here’s part of the letter from the Georgetown president, John DeGioia:
Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community:
It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of our new Executive Vice President and Dean of the Georgetown University Law Center, William M. Treanor, effective August 16. Dean Treanor joins our community from Fordham University, where he has served as Dean of Fordham Law School since 2002.
No word on whether or not Dean Treanor has any deeply personal message he’d like to share with the entire GULC community via Facebook.
But what will new Dean Treanor bring to GULC? Is there any chance for a better-than-#14 finish in Georgetown’s future?
Usually when we talk about the crushing price of legal education, we focus on law school administrations who are raising tuition even as the legal economy continues to falter. Occasionally, we look at prospective law students themselves — a group of people who are evidently too addled to act with rational self-interest. Always, the American Bar Association’s utter failure to regulate law schools on behalf of aspiring lawyers looms as the 800-pound gorilla that keeps taking a dump in the middle of the room.
Rarely, if ever, does the media turn its gaze towards law professors and their culpability in the epic scam of taking money from kids who don’t know any better and will never be able to pay off their debts. Most law professors don’t set tuition rates. They don’t determine the scope of loan forgiveness programs. They don’t mislead the world via U.S. News in order to pad employment stats. Hell, most of them aren’t even directly engaged in recruiting the next class of minnows that will keep the scam alive. All they do is teach, research, and take as much money as the market will offer.
But Washington University law professor Brian Tamanaha thinks that his professorial colleagues need to step up to the plate and start taking some responsibility for what is happening to law students — especially law students at low-ranked law schools. He says that professors can no longer turn a blind eye to the sadness of their students….
If Boston College Law Dean John Garvey was a J.R.R. Tolkien character, he’d be about to shadow fax in his letter of resignation to the BC administration. Eagleionline reports:
John H. Garvey, Dean of Boston College Law School, will be named the new President of Catholic University of America tomorrow…
The Catholic University of America (CUA), is the national university of the Catholic Church in the United States. Founded and sponsored by the bishops of the country with the approval of the Holy See, CUA states that it “is committed to being a comprehensive Catholic and American institution of higher learning, faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ as handed on by the Church.”
Regular ATL readers know that Dean Garvey has defended the Catholic interpretation of Jesus Christ before…
We’ve done a lot of reports on schools that have instituted grade reform to make it easier on their students. But at DePaul College of Law, the administration decided to strictly enforce its curve as a way of combating wanton grade inflation.
Apparently not all of the professors were on the same page. Professor Howard Rubin taught Legal Profession this past spring and graded the class the way he always has. But his grades were curve-busting, and the administration asked him to lower those grades to match the school’s curve.
Professor Rubin refused to do this — and, well, now we’ve got emails…
Last month we covered the somewhat salacious suit that law professor Kyndra Rotunda filed against her former employer, George Mason University School of Law; a GMU law professor, Joseph Zengerle; and the law school’s dean, Daniel Polsby. As we reported, most of the counts, including the juiciest sexual harassment claims, were dismissed.
Some state-law claims for assault and battery were still kicking around. Now those claims have also been settled, according to the ABA Journal.
Last year, law professor Kyndra Rotunda filed a federal lawsuit against her former employer, George Mason University School of Law; a GMU law professor, Joseph Zengerle; and the law school’s dean, Daniel Polsby. Rotunda raised claims of sexual harassment, retaliation, pay discrimination, and constructive discharge, alleging that she was sexually harassed by Zengerle when they worked together at a legal assistance clinic for military service members.
Rotunda claimed that the law school “knowingly” tolerated Zengerle’s behavior and that the administration did not respond properly when she raised complaints about Zengerle. Before filing her suit, Rotunda declared: “I was sexually harassed at one of America’s upper-tier law schools, and they shouldn’t be able to get away with it.”
Last week, a judge dismissed much of Rotunda’s lawsuit. From Tony Mauro of the BLT:
A federal judge on Friday dismissed most of law professor Kyndra Rotunda’s sexual harassment lawsuit against George Mason University School of Law professor Joseph Zengerle, the school’s dean and the school itself. Judge Leonie Brinkema of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled from the bench after a hearing on motions to dismiss the case.
“It was a very good day,” said law school dean Daniel Polsby, who described the lawsuit as a “very serious abuse of the system.” He added, “The civil rights laws are very important. When they are abused, they are attacked.”
So what’s left in the lawsuit after the dismissal?
Ted Vogt, University of Arizona 3L and Arizona Representative
Arizona’s harsh new immigration laws are causing debate across the country. Apparently, having to show your papers for being brown might not conform with federal law. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is considering getting involved, threatening to file a federal lawsuit against the state, according to the Washington Post, based on the “doctrine of ‘preemption’ — arguing that the state’s law illegally intrudes on immigration enforcement, which is a federal responsibility.”
As we’ve written before, the national debate has caused some local acrimony at the University of Arizona College of Law. Third-year law student Ted Vogt was appointed to the Arizona State House of Representatives in March, and voted yes on two of the controversial bills. Prior to becoming a state politician, he was voted by his classmates to represent the class as a student speaker at the Law Center’s graduation ceremony in May.
As the immigration debate heated up though, some students regretted their decision to give Vogt a platform. They said they wanted him to step down or they would protest by holding big signs, turning around when he speaks, handing out flyers, and demanding “a certified copy of his birth certificate” before he will be allowed to talk. A vicious debate broke out on the law school list-serv, between those who oppose and support Vogt, those who oppose and support the new immigration laws, and those who see the laws as fundamentally racist.
The dean has weighed in on the debate, stating that he is in support of both Vogt and those who wish to protest him. We also reached out to funny 3L and now-controversial politician Ted Vogt and have a statement from him…
If your firm is in ‘go’ mode when it comes to recruiting lateral partners with loyal clients, then take this quiz to see how well you measure up. Keep track of your ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses.
1. Does your firm have a clearly defined strategy of practice groups that are priorities of growth for your office? Nothing gets done by random chance, but with a clear vision for the future. Identify the top practice areas for which you wish to add lateral partners. Seek input from practice group leaders and get specifics on needs, outcomes, and ideal target profiles.
2. In addition to clarifying your firm’s growth strategy, are you still open to the hire of a partner outside of your plan? I’ve made several placements that fit this category. The partner’s practice was not within the strategic growth plan of my client, but once the two parties started talking with each other, we all saw how it could indeed be a seamless fit. Be open to “Opportunistic Hires.” You never know where your next producing partner might come from, so you have to be open to it. I will be the first to admit that there is a quirky element of randomness in recruiting.
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
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