Law School Accreditation

  • Tracy Morgan

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 09.22.15

    * In case you missed it, on top of her perjury and obstruction charges, Pennsylvania AG Kathleen Kane’s license to practice law was suspended. As a law professor attempting to make a sick burn noted, “She may be at this point our paralegal general.” [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Tracy Morgan made an appearance at The Emmys on Sunday night that earned him a standing ovation, but David Jay Glassman, the attorney representing the Walmart truck driver who hit the comedian’s car last summer, wasn’t applauding. Hmm, perhaps his wife suddenly got pregnant? [The Wrap via Yahoo!]

    * If the former leaders of failed firm D&L are convicted this week, we seriously hope that they’re not so disillusioned as to believe they’ll be shipped to a “Club Fed” facility. How long Dewey think these Biglaw alums will last at a place like Rikers? [Am Law Daily]

    * New Biglaw associates at some firms are being treated to a second college experience filled with orientation programs, resident advisers, summer reading, and even parties. (At least they get to drink champagne, not Franzia.) [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]

    * The president of UMass says its law school will be fully accredited by the American Bar Association within one year’s time. Given that everyone gets a turn when it comes to ABA accreditation, this is one low-expectation-having educator. [Boston Business Journal]

    59 Comments / / Sep 22, 2015 at 8:58 AM
  • Congrats! Welcome to law school!

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 07.20.15

    * “I would hope that we’ve already hit the bottom.” America’s legal educators and admissions deans are wishing, hoping, and praying that the upcoming school year will be the last year that merely having a pulse is a prerequisite for law school admission. [National Law Journal]

    * Bankruptcy court, here we come: We all know that right now, exorbitant law school debt can’t be discharged in bankruptcy, but judges have started to rally in favor of student debtors, noting that the Brunner test is simply incompatible with today’s high tuition costs. [New York Times]

    * “A professional education will never be cheap,” and the ABA has finally decided to give the appearance of caring about the average graduates of private law schools with six figures of loans. Enhanced financial counseling for all! [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]

    * Indiana Tech Law School won’t be appealing its denial of accreditation by the American Bar Association. Before you get too excited about a law school accepting failure and throwing in the towel, it seems that the school is just going to reapply instead. [KPC News]

    * “[O]ne’s face may determine one’s fate, at least in the judicial domain.” Per a new study, the more untrustworthy a criminal defendant looks, the more likely it is that he’ll receive a harsher sentence. Boy, Dewey know defendants in need of a makeover. [WSJ Law Blog]

    26 Comments / / Jul 20, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • Silly partners.

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.24.15

    * Partners at this law firm tried a threesome, but it didn’t exactly work out as expected, so now they’re scaling it back to just one at a time. (And by this, we of course mean that Porter Scott’s three co-managing partners plan was a no-go.) [Sacramento Business Journal]

    * More than 40 class-action suits have been filed since the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, with many litigants alleging that they were “duped” into its purchase. Maybe one of them will pack a better punch than the so-called “Fight of the Century.” [National Law Journal]

    * Just because one Biglaw firm went under, in part, because of its brand-spanking new administrative hub, that doesn’t mean your firm shouldn’t consider opening one. The risk might be worth the reward of saving millions in expenses. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]

    * Concordia Law launched a media campaign to attract students, touting the fact that it’s been kind of provisionally approved by the ABA as its selling point. It’s new slogan is likely “Meh, we’re good enough for the ABA, so we’re good enough for you.” [Idaho Statesman]

    * Here’s some good news for the people who are actually considering taking the D.C. bar exam instead of just waiving in like the rest of civilized society: the D.C. Court of Appeals will finally allow you to type the essay portion of the exam on your laptops. [Legal Times]

    23 Comments / / Jun 24, 2015 at 9:03 AM
  • growing tax

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.10.15

    * The number of law school applicants and applications continues to plummet, with applicants down by 2.5 percent and the volume of applications down by 4.6 percent since last year. For the love of God, students are staying away for a reason. Do some research, people. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Lawyers may be thanking their lucky stars for loan repayment programs like IBR and PAYE, but when their cancellation of debt income comes back to bite them in the ass in the form of a “tax bomb” as early as 2032, they’re going to be crying for mercy. [TaxProf Blog]

    * If the Supreme Court rules against same-sex marriage, life could devolve into chaos for gay and lesbian couples. Sure, SCOTUS could do that, or “a giant meteor could fall on [your] head in the next five seconds,” but one is more likely to happen than the other. [AP]

    * You had one job, Dean Cercone… ONE JOB! After recommending against accreditation back in May, the ABA convened this week to officially deny provisional accreditation to Indiana Tech Law. Its handful of students will be so disappointed. [Indiana Lawyer]

    * Ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert pleaded not guilty in his sex scandal cover-up case and was released on $4,500 bond. Interestingly enough, the judge has volunteered to remove himself due to some potential issues over his impartiality. [New York Times]

    7 Comments / / Jun 10, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • police crime tape

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.09.15

    * Ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert, most recently of Dickstein Shapiro, finally found a lawyer to represent him in his sex scandal cover-up. His new lawyer may not be “the brightest guy in the world,” but he does do white-collar defense at Sidley Austin, so there you go. [National Law Journal]

    * Oopsie! A Tennessee lawyer is currently being held on $15 million bail because he allegedly solicited an undercover police officer to kill his estranged wife. He even gave the guy a “down payment for the murder.” We wonder how much he thought his spouse was worth dead. [Nashville Sun Times]

    * In times like these, you’re going to need a great network in order to get a job after law school, and some schools are superior to others in that department. Check and see if your alma mater made the grade on this ranking. [Business Insider via]

    * Concordia Law just received the gift that keeps on giving from the ABA — provisional accreditation. The news came just in time for its nine remaining third-year students to graduate and take the bar exam (everyone else transferred out). [Idaho Statesman]

    * Kalief Browder, a man used as an example of our broken justice system, was sent to Riker’s Island when he was 16 years old. He never had a trial, and was never convicted, but still spent three years in jail. He recently committed suicide. RIP. [New York Times]

    18 Comments / / Jun 9, 2015 at 8:55 AM
  • ArrowGoingDown

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.05.15

    * Per Dean David Herring, applications have tanked at New Mexico Law (ATL #18) — we’re talking a 30% drop over the past five years. Wait, no, nevermind, the school’s assistant admissions dean says things are great. Oops? [Albuquerque Journal; Albuquerque Business First]

    * Gov. Chris Christie thought he was through with the Bridgegate scandal, but oh, how wrong he was. His former deputy chief of staff’s lawyers want to subpoena Gibson Dunn’s work product, but the firm claims it doesn’t exist. [Talking Points Memo]

    * ¡Ay dios mío! This week, a New York appellate court ruled that Cesar Vargas, an undocumented immigrant, should be eligible to practice law in the state, completely sidestepping federal law and a Justice Department brief to the contrary. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Concordia Law is getting a second chance at obtaining provisional accreditation from the ABA. This would’ve been way more helpful before the majority of its third-year students transferred to an accredited school so they could take the bar exam. [Idaho Statesman]

    * The ex-GC of Zara has filed a discrimination suit against the fashion retailer, claiming that he was fired because he’s Jewish, American, and gay. Apparently senior executives used slurs as ugly as the company’s clothes. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]

    12 Comments / / Jun 5, 2015 at 9:01 AM
  • Marilyn J. Mosby (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 05.04.15

    * This past Friday, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby dropped the gavel on the police officers who were allegedly involved in the death of Freddie Gray. Here are seven interesting facts you need to know about this “certified badass.” [New York Magazine]

    * Which law school placed the most graduates from the class of 2014 into full-time, long-term jobs where bar passage was required that weren’t school-funded? Stop. Before you say Columbia Law, you’re wrong for the first time in years. [National Law Journal]

    * Indiana Tech, the little law school that couldn’t, received a recommendation against accreditation from the ABA on its first try. Not to worry, because law school officials say this is just a “minor setback” for all 59 of its students. ::sad trombone:: [News-Sentinel]

    * “You are not doing that here.” Tough titty: Kelly Noe, one of the Ohio women challenging the same-sex marriage ban in her state before the Supreme Court, was yelled at by a security guard for breastfeeding her baby outside the high court. [Cincinnati Enquirer]

    * If you’re hoping to register a “smutty” or “immoral” trademark, then you may be able to get what you want if this Federal Circuit opinion comes down your way. We’ll soon see if a ban on these offensive trademarks violates the First Amendment. [Corporate Counsel]

    29 Comments / / May 4, 2015 at 8:58 AM
  • ArrowGoingDown-300x294

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.09.14

    * Whoa, the American Bar Association shockingly deferred action on giving InfiLaw its blessing on the takeover of Charleston Law. Perhaps the ABA is turning over a new leaf as to saving law schools? [National Law Journal]

    * Nevermind. The American Bar Association decided to grant provisional accreditation to the beleaguered LMU Duncan School of Law. Perhaps the ABA’s new slogan should be, “Accredit all the law schools!” [Claiborne Progress]

    * Like it or not, despite their financial constraints, it’s likely that many law schools will never close, no matter how terrible they are — so as long as ABA regulation remains lax and the government keeps feeding students loan dollars to attend. [Daily Caller]

    * If you read one piece of long-form journalism today, let it be this special report on the Supreme Court’s “echo chamber,” perhaps better known as the elite members of the SCOTUS bar who hoard all of the cases on the docket for themselves. [Reuters]

    * In other law school-related news, fewer law school graduates are passing the California bar exam. California’s pass rate for the July exam was just 48.6%, and it’s been almost a decade since the pass rate was that low. Ouch! [Los Angeles Times]

    15 Comments / / Dec 9, 2014 at 9:00 AM
  • 'Hmm, do I really need a JD/MBA?'

    Affirmative Action, American Bar Association / ABA, California, Crime, In-House Counsel, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Murder, Old People

    Morning Docket: 08.13.14

    * “I’m 98, and I don’t want to depart this world with this thing hanging over me.” Miriam Moskowitz was convicted more than 60 years ago, and now Baker Botts is trying to help clear her name before she dies. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * “Get a lawyer, you know how this works.” Boston Scientific’s chief counsel was killed earlier this week, and police think that they may have identified a suspect — his former flame — in the brutal murder. [Minneapolis Star-Tribune]

    * According to a recent study, California’s affirmative action ban has done some damage to minority admissions rates at both Berkeley Law and UCLA Law, and now things like this happen to their minority students. It’s quite sad. [Daily Californian]

    * The ABA has delayed taking action on Concordia Law’s bid for accreditation, and instead appointed a fact-finder. We’ll help you with this fact of the day: we don’t need more law schools. [National Law Journal]

    * If you’re thinking about signing up for a JD/MBA, then congratulations, at least one of those degrees may prove to be useful to you in some way, someday. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

    0 Comments / / Aug 13, 2014 at 8:47 AM
  • Girls in my high school brief cases all the time, it was no big deal.

    Abortion, Constitutional Law, Gay, Gay Marriage, Health Care / Medicine, Law Professors, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Technology, Women's Issues

    Morning Docket: 08.05.14

    * According to Patron Saint RBG, the Supreme Court has never really come around on “the ability of women to decide for themselves what their destiny will be.” Gay people are doing well, though, so good for them. [New York Times]

    * Two law professors and a consultant built a model that predicts SCOTUS decisions with 69.7 percent accuracy, and justices’ votes with 70.9 percent accuracy. For lawyers who are bad at math, that’s damn near perfect. Nice work! [Vox]

    * An Alabama abortion clinic statute which required that doctors have admitting privileges at local hospitals was ruled unconstitutional. Perhaps this will be the death knell for these laws. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Idaho’s Supreme Court rejected Concordia Law’s bid to allow grads to sit for the bar before the ABA granted it provisional accreditation. Too bad, since lawyers are needed in Idaho. [National Law Journal]

    * Before you go to law school, you can learn how to gun with the best of them. That’s right, you can practice briefing cases before you even set foot in the door. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

    4 Comments / / Aug 5, 2014 at 8:27 AM
  • summer associate napping

    American Bar Association / ABA, Biglaw, Death Penalty, Job Searches, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Summer Associates

    Morning Docket: 08.04.14

    * All work and no play makes summer associates sad, but they had a really great time this year, what with the lucky law students attending Broadway shows, sporting events, and Russian cabarets. Sounds like fun! [Am Law Daily]

    * Alas, not everyone was getting wined and dined this summer. Some lawyers can’t even find a place to work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the legal services sector lost ~200 jobs during the month of July. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * It may be the “worst time in the history of legal education to go to law school,” but because of new programs being launched, at least some of our recent graduates will be less screwed. [New York Times]

    * “The ABA is used as a whipping boy for standing in the way of innovation,” but soon it’ll vote on revisions to its accreditation standards. Welcome to the party, ABA, thanks for being late. [National Law Journal]

    * It took 15 doses of lethal injection drugs to execute Joseph Wood when it should’ve taken one. Don’t worry, it wasn’t cruel and unusual punishment — the Arizona Department of Corrections says so. [CNN]

    5 Comments / / Aug 4, 2014 at 9:11 AM
  • iStock_000011259011Small

    American Bar Association / ABA, Biglaw, Crime, Intellectual Property, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Native Americans, Paralegals, Rankings, Sports, Trademarks, Vault rankings

    Morning Docket: 06.19.14

    * The latest Vault 100 rankings are out, and it’s time to find out which Biglaw firm is the most prestigious in all the land. Is it Wachtell? Is it Cravath? We’ll have the answer for you, and much more analysis, later today. [Vault]

    * An former office manager at Vedder Price has been accused in a $7M embezzlement scandal. She allegedly used the money to buy “lavish homes, numerous vacations” — it’s as if she were trying to live like a partner. [ABA Journal]

    * Since the Redskins’ trademark was canceled by the Patent and Trademark Office, sports fans are wondering whose offensive team name is next. The Cleveland Indians might get scalped. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * According to ALM Legal Intelligence, paralegal pay is on the rise, and it’s almost $80/hr in top roles. Why should new attorneys care about this? Because they’ll probably have to work as paralegals. [ALM]

    * Double the deanships, double the fun: Penn State Law’s campuses have been approved by the ABA to become separately accredited locations. We’ll take bets on which one closes first. []

    3 Comments / / Jun 19, 2014 at 9:07 AM
  • Police crime scene

    American Bar Association / ABA, Anthony Kennedy, Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Jury Duty, Law Schools, Layoffs, Morning Docket, Murder, Real Estate, SCOTUS, Supreme Court

    Morning Docket: 06.13.14

    * The SCOTUS decision in the Pom Wonderful case could have serious repercussions in terms of deceptive labeling litigation under the Lanham Act. Even Justice Kennedy was misled! [Huffington Post]

    * Dewey know when to WARN people? This failed firm apparently didn’t, and now it has to pay a $4.5 million class-action settlement to the employees it laid off without adequate notice. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * After getting bumped out of the Am Law 100 after a 17-year run, Shook Hardy & Bacon is letting go of three floors of office space it “no longer needs.” Secretaries Paper takes up a lot of room! [Am Law Daily]

    * Minutes after this career criminal was released from jail due to his accidental acquittal, he was stabbed to death with a steak knife. But for the jury’s crazy mistake, he would still be alive. Yikes. [Fresno Bee]

    * LMU’s Duncan Law, perhaps better known as the little law school that couldn’t, is still trying to get ABA accreditation. At least this time they’ll be able to use law schools’ national decline as a scapegoat. [WBIR]

    1 Comment / / Jun 13, 2014 at 9:08 AM
  • Justice Stephen Breyer

    American Bar Association / ABA, Federal Judges, Gay Marriage, Job Searches, Law Schools, Morning Docket, SCOTUS, Sports, Stephen Breyer, Supreme Court

    Morning Docket: 06.09.14

    * If you’ve ever wondered what’s being said about Supreme Court justices during the vetting process, we’ve got a great one-liner about Justice Breyer, who’s apparently a “rather cold fish.” Oooh, sick burn. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]

    * The NLJ 350 rankings are here, and this is where we get to see the big picture about the big boys of Biglaw. In 2013, it looks like headcount grew by 3.9 percent, which is good, but not great, all things considered. Meh. [National Law Journal]

    * A Wisconsin judge is the latest to give her state’s ban on same-sex marriage the finger, and she did it with flair, noting in her opinion that “traditional” marriages throughout history were polygamous. [Bloomberg]

    * The Ed O’Bannon antitrust case against the NCAA is going to trial today before Judge Claudia Wilken. Since it could change college sports forever, here’s everything you need to know about it. [USA Today]

    * According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of those employed in the legal sector is at its lowest level since the beginning of 2014, with jobs still being shed. Welcome, graduates! [Am Law Daily]

    * UC Irvine Law has finally earned full accreditation from the American Bar Association. We’d like to say nice work and congrats, but we’re pretty sure the ABA would fully accredit a toaster. [Los Angeles Times]

    0 Comments / / Jun 9, 2014 at 9:12 AM
  • Kate Moss

    9th Circuit, American Bar Association / ABA, Biglaw, Blogging, Celebrities, Free Speech, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Perks / Fringe Benefits, Pregnancy / Paternity, Suicide, Texas

    Morning Docket: 01.21.14

    * For the first time, a federal appeals court extended First Amendment protections reserved for trained journalists at traditional news entities to bloggers. Yippee, thanks Ninth Circuit! [L.A. Now / Los Angeles Times]

    * If you want a Biglaw firm with a really generous 401(k) plan, look no further than Sullivan & Cromwell. It’s the most generous law firm plan in the country, with O’Melveny & Myers in second place. [BenefitsPro]

    * A brain-dead patient in Texas is being used as an incubator because a state law requires hospitals to continue life support for pregnant women. Calling this the “cruelest pregnancy” is much too kind. [New York Times]

    * Here are some depressing facts: not only are lawyers 3.6 times more likely to be depressed than non-lawyers, but they also rank in fourth place in terms of suicides per profession. Call someone if you need help. [CNN]

    * Florida A&M must be absolutely thrilled that the ABA canceled the school’s show-cause hearing. It appears that the law school will be able to keep its accreditation, for now. [Tallahassee Democrat]

    * If you’re a parent considering going to law school with a young child at home, congrats, because you must be rich to be toying with an idea like that. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

    * Playboy is suing Harper’s Bazaar for using its pictures of Kate Moss without permission. The men’s mag wants $150K per picture posted on the luxury mag’s website — that’s one lavish lapin. [Independent]

    18 Comments / / Jan 21, 2014 at 8:56 AM
  • question-mark-girl

    American Bar Association / ABA, Biglaw, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, Drugs, Law Firm Mergers, Law Professors, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Police, Privacy, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Technology

    Morning Docket: 01.08.14

    * A Supreme Court whose members are still afraid of using email will most likely have the final say on the NSA case, one of the biggest technology and privacy rulings in ages. Well, that’s comforting. [Talking Points Memo]

    * Pittsburgh firm Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney is reportedly in merger talks with Tampa firm Fowler White Boggs. Boy, a merger between two firms from lackluster cities sure sounds promising. [Daily Business Review]

    * Law professors are completely outraged by the ABA’s proposal to cut tenure from its law school accreditation requirements. Quick, somebody write a law review article no one will read about it! [National Law Journal]

    * Struggling to find a topic for your law school personal statement? You should ask someone who knows next to nothing about you and your life for advice. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

    * Michael E. Schmidt, the lawyer killed in a police firefight, had some interesting things in his apartment, including a “green leafy substance,” a “white powdery substance,” and lots of pills. [Dallas Morning News]

    4 Comments / / Jan 8, 2014 at 9:07 AM
  • condom girl

    American Bar Association / ABA, Bankruptcy, Bar Exams, Biglaw, Constitutional Law, Federal Judges, Gay, Gay Marriage, Howrey LLP, Law Professors, Law School Deans, Law Schools, Money, Morning Docket, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, SCOTUS, Supreme Court

    Morning Docket: 08.19.13

    * Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is definitely one of our favorite judicial divas. When asked if she thought the Supreme Court’s work was art or theater, she mused, “It’s both, with a healthy dose of real life mixed in.” [New York Times]

    * According to the Citi Private Bank’s Law Firm Group report on the first half of the year, the legal industry should count itself lucky if it manages to meet last year’s single-digit profit growth. This “new normal” thing sucks. [Am Law Daily]

    * Howrey going to celebrate these “monumental” settlements with Baker & Hostetler and Citibank? The failed firm’s trustee might throw a party when he’s finally able to file a liquidation plan. [Am Law Daily]

    * Uncommon law marriage? A man stuck in an inheritance battle who lived with his late partner since 1995 now asks the District of Columbia to declare him common-law husband. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]

    * The ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar proposed a major overhaul to its accreditation standards. Action, of course, likely won’t be taken until next year. [National Law Journal]

    * Despite the fact that these measures could help struggling graduates, law deans are at odds over the ABA’s proposed changes to tenure requirements for professors. [Capital Business / Washington Post]

    * “Sooner or later you’ve got to make a choice, because you need enough revenue to cover what your expenses are.” Cooley will weather the storm by introducing a massive tuition hike. [Lansing State Journal]

    * “How would you feel if you spent well over $100,000 on law school, only to have to spend an extra couple of thousand dollars on a course to get you to pass the bar?” You’d probably feel like everyone else. [CNBC]

    * Requiring porn stars to wear condoms might not be sexy, but a federal judge says it’s constitutional. Don’t worry, unlike its actresses, the adult film industry won’t go down without a fight. [Los Angeles Times]

    10 Comments / / Aug 19, 2013 at 9:06 AM
  • bar exam

    American Bar Association / ABA, Bar Exams, Law Schools, Minority Issues, Racism

    What’s More Racist? The Trouble With Low Bar Passage Rates At Historically Black Law Schools

    What is to be done about low bar exam passage rates at historically black law schools?

    55 Comments / / Aug 8, 2013 at 10:07 AM