Southern New England School of Law/Umass

Ed. note: In honor of Columbus Day (and Canadian Thanksgiving), we’ll be on a reduced publication schedule today. We’ll be back in full force tomorrow.

* Should Biglaw firms bill by the result instead of by the hour? When some of the results-oriented strategies involve reading less and writing faster to improve work efficiency, we’re not sure how well this would work in a law firm setting. [New York Times]

* Roller coaster of employment: after losing 1,400 jobs in August, the legal sector added 1,000 jobs in September. Alas, there are way more than 1,000 new bar admittees gunning for all of those paralegal and secretarial positions. [Am Law Daily]

* “They were throwing furniture at both of us.” Both sides on the Jacoby & Myers non-lawyer firm ownership case took a beating before the Second Circuit during oral arguments, but who won? [New York Law Journal]

* This fall, Floridians will vote on constitutional amendments that deal with abortion and separation of church and state. Meanwhile, half the voters won’t read the entire ballot, so there’s that. [New York Times]

* A love triangle + an Arkansas Wal-Mart = a judicial suspension for Circuit Judge Sam Pope after an all-out brawl with… Bill Murray? Hey, at least this guy’s estranged wife got three punches in. [National Law Journal]

* Tyler Clementi’s family won’t file suit against Rutgers University and Dharun Ravi — instead, they’ll use the publicity from their son Tyler’s suicide for “positive purposes,” like supporting gay and lesbian youths. [CNN]

* “This guy is a bully, and he uses the court system to do it.” Robert V. Ward Jr., former dean of UMass Law, had to deal with Gregory Langadinos, a serial law school litigant, and it wasn’t pretty. [Boston Globe]

* Only 44% of Americans approve of how the Supreme Court is doing its job, but that’s probably because the other 56% wouldn’t know what the Supreme Court was unless the justices were contestants on a reality show. [New York Times]

* Having nothing to do with the outcome of this Tenth Circuit appeal, apparently a juror in the underlying case had no idea when the First Amendment was adopted. As Bush II would say, is our children learning? [U.S. Tenth Circuit / FindLaw]

* Who’s going to win the “Super Bowl” of Android patent trials? Nobody. Judge Richard Posner has issued a “tentative” order which noted that both sides of the Apple/Google case ought to be dismissed. [Reuters]

* You should’ve “known better”: in case we didn’t make it abundantly clear when we spoke about NALP’s data for the class of 2011, the job market for new law grads is being classified as “brutal.” [National Law Journal]

* U. Chicago Law revolutionized the field of law and economics, but much to the school’s chagrin, everyone copied them. Now they’re thinking up new ways to do the same things. Gunners gotta gun. [Businessweek]

* Say hello to Mary Lu Bilek, the woman who’s been appointed as the new dean of UMass Law. Hopefully she’s not keen on using school credit cards for personal spending like the last dean. [Wall Street Journal]

* Occupy Wall Street protesters can’t sue NYC, its mayor, or its police commissioner, but they can sue the police. And with that news, “F**k tha Police” was sung in drum circles across the tri-state area. [Bloomberg]

We’ve followed the story of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School of Law (f.k.a. Southern New England School of Law) ever since its inception. Southern New England was a private, unaccredited law school that was acquired by UMass to become the first public law school in Massachusetts.

I’ve been critical of UMass Law, because there was no evidence whatsoever that Massachusetts needed another law school. I’ve been dismissive of the people who have said, “No no no, Massachusetts needs a public law school,” because even though the word “public” connotes something that is good for everybody, I struggle to see how paying $24,178 per year to go to an unaccredited law school helps anybody.

But now it looks like UMass will receive ABA accreditation. I can’t wait to see what they’ll do with their tuition next….

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Apparently Google thinks this Mob Wife is a 'cheap hooker.' If nothing else, she totally dresses like one.

* The harsh realities of post-recession practice: will Biglaw leaders have to resort to alternative billing practices in order to survive? Well, they better, or else they’re “not going to have a law firm for very long.” [Washington Post]

* I don’t think “secret service” means what you think it means. Listen up, agents, prostitution might be legal in much of Columbia, but it makes America look bad when you can’t afford a $47 hooker. [New York Post]

* Jessica Recksiedler, the judge assigned to oversee George Zimmerman’s case, may have a conflict of interest thanks to her husband. Somebody’s getting banished from the bedroom this week. [Bloomberg]

* Law firms with ties to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie have seen record profits compared to their take under Jon Corzine’s rule. That said, even if he called them “idiots,” it was totally worth it. [Star-Ledger]

* UMass Law is being reviewed for accreditation by the American Bar Association, and opponents are throwing some major shade. As if Dean Ward’s scandalous resignation wasn’t enough. [South Coast Today]

* Is this house haunted as a matter of law? That’s what this New Jersey couple is hoping that a judge will say about their rental home. Hey, it wouldn’t be the first time it’s happened in the tri-state area. [ABC News]

I told you so.

Longtime Above the Law readers will remember the Southern New England School of Law. We extensively covered the purchase of that unaccredited private law school by the University of Massachusetts, which turned it into the state’s first public law school, renamed the UMass School of Law. I opposed the transition.

But nobody listened to me and the plans went forward, with UMass Law supporters talking about what a great thing the school would be for the people of Massachusetts. Just over a year ago, UMass Law Dean Robert Ward was crowing about the school’s re-opening and the record number of applications it received.

Today, Dean Ward is resigning, under a cloud of scandal….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Dean of the New UMass Law School Resigns”

UMass School of Law (fka Southern New England School of Law) is open for business. Orientation happened last week, and students started classes yesterday, at Massachusetts’s first public law school.

As has been well-documented in these pages, I’m unimpressed. Put simply: there isn’t enough of a demand for new lawyers right now to justify a revamped public law school — no matter how many times you emphasize the word “public” in your press releases.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to voice my concerns to the dean of UMass Law, Robert Ward, on NPR’s Radio Boston program. Click here to listen (I start running my mouth at the 8:30 mark).

I was asked on the program to provide an alternative perspective to the dean, and that’s what I did. But the mentality of the callers was particularly interesting. They really illustrated why there is so much support for more law schools…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “UMass Law School is Open: Law Dean Robert Ward and I Talk About It”

We’ve done so many posts about UMass acquiring the Southern Poverty Law Center New England School of Law that I actually thought people were paying attention.

I was wrong.

The ABA Journal reports:

More than 400 students have applied at the new law school at Dartmouth,

There’s more to that sentence but I had to stop right there to dry my crying eyes…

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Southern New England School of Law logo.jpgSome days, it feels like trying to help prospective law students is like trying to stop lemmings from jumping off of a cliff. The ABA Journal reports:

Applications tripled in February after the Southern New England School of Law merged with the University of Massachusetts, creating the first public law school in the state.
Looking only at February data, the school has received triple the number of applications over the same month last year, the Herald News reports. Overall, applications at the school have jumped 132 percent so far for the 2010 school year, with 123 would-be students seeking admission.

Have I taught you nothing? Don’t you wanna-be UMass lawyers care about yourselves? How can I help you if you won’t lift a finger to help yourselves?
The Boston Herald reports:

A “robust recruitment effort” will begin in the next few weeks, the announcement said.
The UMass law school will initially enroll 278 students, slightly higher than its enrollment this year. Enrollment will grow slightly each year, reaching 559 students in fall 2017.

I heard a strange noise. It was… screaming. Some kind of screaming, like a child’s voice … Lambs. The lambs were screaming. First I tried to free them. I… I opened the gate to their pen, but they wouldn’t run. They just stood there, confused. They wouldn’t run. They wouldn’t run.
Would-Be Students Clamor to Apply at New UMass Law School [ABA Journal]
UMass Law applications soar after approval [Boston Herald]
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Southern New England/ UMass Law School

Southern New England School of Law logo.jpgEd. Note: We apologize for our technical difficulties. The commenting function should now be working again.
It’s official. Southern New England School of Law will be converted into the first Massachusetts public law school by the University of Massachusetts. The Boston Globe reports:

The Board of Higher Education today approved the creation of Massachusetts’ first public law school, a historic vote that opens the doors for the initial class of students to enroll in the fall. Under the controversial plan, vehemently opposed by three private law schools, UMass-Dartmouth will acquire the private Southern New England School of Law, which is donating its campus and assets to the state.

Of course the plan wasn’t just opposed by private law schools. It was also opposed by a number of people who actually care about whether or not graduates from UMass Legal will be able to spin off their legal education into an actual practice.
But, it sounds better to say that only “private” interests were arrayed in an anti-competitive attempt to block the new school. Never let facts get in the way of a good story.
More spin after the jump.

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Southern New England School of Law logo.jpgAs we mentioned in Morning Docket, late last week the University of Massachusetts board of trustees approved the plan to convert the Southern New England School of Law into the state’s first public law school. The vote went 14 to 4. The Boston Globe reports:

“A public law program will fill a conspicuous gap in the Commonwealth’s public higher education curriculum,” said UMass president Jack Wilson. “It will give our students the public law option that exists in 44 other states. . . . This is about students and about educational opportunity. It is not about which private law school may face more competition.”

Oh please. This is not about the students. And it’s certainly not about educational opportunity — unless by “opportunity” you mean the invitation to saddle yourself with tens of thousands of dollars of debt in exchange for a degree from an unaccredited law school in the midst of the worst market for legal jobs anybody can remember.
We all know what this is about: money. Lenders have it, the state wants it, the financial future of citizens of the Commonwealth be damned.
After the jump, we don’t even have to read between the lines to see the true motives in Massachusetts.

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