University of Washington

* Congress could throttle tech innovation with two words. Thankfully, I don’t think Congress knows any two words beyond “defund Obamacare.” [Slate]

* The University of Washington was slapped with a $720,000 fine for withholding documents from a professor suing the school for gender discrimination. Every time something bad happens to the University of Washington, an angel gets its wings. Go Ducks! [Chronicle of Higher Education]

* The ABA has issued its draft report on the future of legal education. Highlights include recommending a 50% tuition cut. Ha! Just kidding. [Associate's Mind]

* Congress is targeting the people who are really making off like bandits: poor people on food stamps. But there’s another link in the federal agriculture spending chain that might make more sense to target if you really wanted to save the government money. Silly me, budgetary discipline has nothing to do with budget cuts. [Volokh Conspiracy]

* Here are 15 things wrong with the criminal justice system. Only 15? [Boston Review]

* Lessons on the defense of others from Back to the Future. I’m still waiting for a legal analysis of buying plutonium from Libyans. Is that legal? I’m kind of fuzzy on that one. [The Legal Geeks]

As I mentioned Friday, the National Jurist (subscription) came out with a very interesting ranking of law schools. As Tax Prof Blog explains, the publication looked at schools that helped people pass the bar despite their low LSAT scores.

It’s an interesting methodology: the Jurist predicted a bar passage rate for people, state-by-state, based on their LSAT scores, then looked at the 25th percentile LSAT scores at each school, and figured out which schools had the largest deviation from the predictions. High-ranking law schools were the ones that significantly outperformed the bar passage rate expected from their low-scoring students.

These could be significant findings: while poor performance on the LSAT doesn’t necessarily mean the student is dumb, it almost certainly means the students is bad at taking standardized tests. If schools have students who go from being bad at taking a relatively easy standardized test (the LSAT) to passing one of the hardest and most stressful standardized tests out there (the bar exam), it sounds a lot like they are educating people, instead of simply benefiting from the achievements of motivated admitted students.

But, should the law school get the credit for the success? Or are there some test prep companies that should take a bow?

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