University of Miami School of Law

Everything's coming up Miami.

The University of Miami School of Law has been one of the schools that has made real efforts to keep law school affordable and valuable for its students. You’ll remember that back in 2009, the school decided to defer some of its incoming class because there were just too many of them. The people who were not deferred just graduated as part of the class of 2012, and I bet they’re happy they aren’t competing with even more graduates for a job. The school’s dean, Patricia White has also fought to keep tuition low.

In fact, Dean White promised the class of 2014 that their tuition would not go up while they were at Miami. A tipster sent us in video of Dean white making the promise — along with an announcement that tuition would be going up at Miami for the 2012-2013 academic year.

But have no worries, Miami friends. After we contacted Dean White’s office, she told us that she’d be keeping her promise to the class of 2014…

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Apparently, suing law schools isn’t a fool’s errand.

Thomas Jefferson School of Law filed a motion to dismiss its class action lawsuit over its employment statistics this summer. On a conference call with Team Strauss/Anziska today, we learned that TJSL’s motion has been denied.

Guess that means we’re in for the long haul with these lawsuits.

Three other law schools have filed motions to dismiss — New York Law School, Cooley Law, and Florida Coastal. Will this be the start of a trend?

When we last checked in with the attorneys responsible for the law school litigation movement, we were informed that “a very big announcement” would be coming in the “next few days.” With a promise to make 2012 the “year of law school litigation,” Team Strauss/Anziska is working hard to remain true to its word. March isn’t even over, and they’ve already sued 12 law schools. In fact, they’re so efficient that we only had to wait one day for the big reveal.

Today, the lawyers leading the law school litigation squad announced that they are planning to target 20 more law schools for class action lawsuits over their allegedly deceptive post-graduation employment statistics. This time around, you may be surprised by some of the law schools that appear on their list.

Is your law school or alma mater going to be a defendant?

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I am just a horny guy.

– a comment allegedly made to the police by University of Miami law professor D. Marvin Jones, upon being arrested for a prostitution-related offense last month.

(This is not the first time Professor Jones has been accused of such a crime. Back in 2007, we named him a Lawyer of the Day after he was charged with soliciting a prostitute. The charge was later expunged.)


D. Marvin Jones

Back in 2007, Professor D. Marvin Jones of the University of Miami School of Law was hit with a misdemeanor charge of soliciting a prostitute. We found it interesting that a criminal procedure professor was charged with, well, violating the criminal law. We bestowed Lawyer of the Day honors upon Professor Jones.

This did not sit well with Professor Jones, who sued us in November 2009. After his complaint received widespread criticism, however, he voluntarily dismissed his lawsuit.

Well, it seems that Professor Jones is back. Multiple University of Miami law school sources have alerted us to a new charge against him….

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* Not a wardrobe malfunction, my ass. Nancy Grace would sooner allow Casey Anthony to babysit her kids than admit that she had a nip slip on live television. [New York Post]

* When you have a “superior legal mind,” it’s easier for your feelings to get hurt. Gregory Berry now claims that Kasowitz Benson was “extraordinarily vindictive.” [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* Irving Picard’s suit against Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz has been dismissed (for the most part). This is the best thing to happen to the Mets since Bill Buckner. [Bloomberg]

* In the past, when a wife cried in Massachusetts, a judge would wipe her tears with her husband’s checkbook, but alimony just ain’t what it used to be. [New York Times]

* Apparently judges in San Luis Obispo, California have banged one gavel too many. They’ve been reaching verdicts outside the courtroom to pad their own benefits packages. [Legal Newsline]

* Florida International isn’t just dominating the University of Miami in football this year. FIU schooled Miami when it came to Florida’s bar exam results, too. [Miami New Times]

Judge Sam Sparks

* Remember the “kindergarten party” that Judge Sam Sparks (W.D. Tex.) was planning to hold? His Honor has canceled the festivities. [WSJ Law Blog]

* John Althouse Cohen — yes, son of La Althouse — discusses one way in which Texas might be emulating… Europe? [Jaltcoh]

* Professor Paul Campos opens up a can of whoop-ass on people who say students go to law school — and take on six figures of debt — “for the chance to make a difference.” [Inside the Law School Scam]

* Musical Chairs: Mr. Quinn Goes To Washington (with the help of three Alston & Bird partners). [ABA Journal]

* The latest news on Stephen McDaniel / Lauren Giddings: if the blue gloves don’t fit, you must acquit? [Macon Telegraph]

* Above the Law — of animal cruelty? Steven Seagal, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a dead dog, and a rooster massacre. [TPM Muckraker]

Steven Seagal

* After a judge shot down the effort by NBA star Gilbert Arenas to stop “Basketball Wives: Los Angeles” from airing, Arenas’s ex-fiancee, Laura Govan, was allowed to strut her stuff on television — and it wasn’t pretty. [Sister2Sister]

* Congratulations to super-mensch Stanley Levy, senior counsel at Manatt, on winning Am Law’s Lifetime Achievement Award for 2011. [American Lawyer]

* And congrats to Masimba Mutamba, a 3L at Miami Law, who has just been awarded an apprenticeship with Waller Lansden’s innovative Schola2Juris program. [University of Miami School of Law]

En garde, esquire!

Ladies, admit it. Sometimes you dream of going back in time to the days where damsels in distress were rescued by swashbuckling romantics on noble steeds. But in today’s day and age, there seems to be a shortage of heroic knights. And that’s mostly because the crop of men with swords handy leave certain things to be desired — things like good looks, social skills, and the ability to refrain from speaking in Elvish.

But when we heard about Terry Lee Locy, a Florida lawyer educated at the University of Miami School of Law, we thought that maybe this self-described “popular young gentleman known for his quick wit and his athletic physique” could assist his sword-wielding brethren. After all, the last guy we wrote about who was into medieval attire and sharp objects has been accused of murder.

But alas, Terry Locy will be unable to act as the great redeemer for this generation’s battalion of renaissance men. Facing counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence battery, he could be sent to his kingdom’s dungeon for up to five years.

Why? Because he’s accused of challenging his girlfriend to a naked duel….

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Sheryl Crow

* I’m standing in the middle of a desert, waiting for my ship to come in. But now no joker, no J.D. degree, can take your losing hand, and make it win; you should be leaving Las Vegas. [WSJ Law Blog]

* If Miami Law could somehow figure out a way to actually do this, they would usher in a new era where law schools might still be expensive, but not useless. At some point, the way we educate future lawyers has to change, doesn’t it? [Roy Black]

* The law and law enforcement will always be behind the curve when trying to police cutting-edge techniques employed to unwittingly photograph naked women. Still not sure if you want to click on the link? How about: “This is why Kash is afraid to pee.” [Not-So Private Parts / Forbes]

* I don’t understand and/or don’t care why so many lawyers have a problem with the “and/or” construction. [Legal Blog Watch]

* Listening to Lat and Bess Levin discuss the various things can happen to meth users was the highlight of my day at the office, but seriously kids, don’t do drugs. [Dealbreaker]

* What do you get for the billionaire who has everything? His own prison. [Sentencing Law & Policy]

Chris Christie

* Wait, John Grisham stories are fictional? Man, I always thought that nobody offered to pay off my debts and buy me a house and a car in Memphis because of my race. [ABA Journal]

* New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is going to be okay. [Slate]

* Scott Drake asked me to do a podcast just after I read Rick Matasar’s response to the New York Times. This recording was made after I calmed down. [Legal Broadcast Network]

Is your law school being a crybaby?

We’ve already noted that there was no change at the very top of the 2012 U.S. News Law School Rankings. The best schools remain the best schools.

Further down the list, we start to see some volatility. Now, every year there needs to be some change in the rankings; how else is U.S. News going to get people to buy new magazines? When you cede control of your legal education system to the list-making skills of a for-profit magazine, those are the kinds of realities you just have to live with.

But the way U.S. News tweaked its methodology this year is special. This year, U.S. News tweaked things ever so slightly to make their rankings just a little bit more output-oriented. While the rankings are still unabashedly focused on the qualifications of students on the way in than what those kids end up doing on their way out, this year’s list pays more lip service to the employment outcomes of recent graduates. We recently quoted this section of a letter U.S. News editor Brian Kelly sent to law school deans: “[E]mployment after graduation is relevant data that prospective students and other consumers should be entitled to. Many graduate business schools are meticulous about collecting such data, even having it audited. The entire law school sector is perceived to be less than candid because it does not pursue a similar, disciplined approach to data collection and reporting.”

U.S. News placed a little more emphasis on employment after graduation this year, and some schools took a significant hit because of it.

And now? Well, my friends, now we get to hear a couple of law schools squeal — just like their graduates have for the past three years….

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You can’t call it a trend just yet, but the University of New Hampshire School of Law has joined Maryland Law and Miami Law in the fight to keep law school tuition down during a still-recovering economy. The school reports it will not be raising tuition for the 2011-2012 academic year.

It’s a sad state of affairs when a law school holding the line on tuition is breaking news. But with nearly every other law school rushing to bilk students who will pay anything for a legal education (law schools at Stanford, Arizona State, and Minnesota spring to mind), it’s nice to see at least a couple of schools that regard their students as something more than profit centers.

Maryland announced its tuition freeze in December. The National Law Journal reports that Miami recently announced it would be maintaining a tuition freeze already in place. Now UNH Law is joining their ranks. There’s still plenty of room on this bandwagon if your law school would like to take a brief break from molesting your financial future.

Not that UNH Law is cheap, especially for a third-tier law school. But this tuition freeze is another indication that UNH is at least trying to think about legal education in a somewhat realistic way…

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