Category Archives: law students

Nov 8
3:36 PM

Bar passage rates down across the country


While we are still awaiting results of the July 2014 California bar exam (due for release November 21, 2014), results from other states have been pouring in over the last several weeks and the numbers don’t look good. Passage rates are down by double digits in 4 states and by more than 5% in an additional 13. A Pepperdine law professor has examined a few of the possible causes, but the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) places the blame (PDF) squarely on poor bar taker performance.


Oct 27
12:54 PM

Metadata: What you don’t know can hurt you!

MetadataLRC Legal Tech Talk Series Episode 5: Metadata
Courts and state bars across the country are weighing in on an attorney’s professional responsibility to understand and appropriately handle metadata in e-discovery and professional communications. Come find out what you need to know about metadata, the professional ethics involved, and how to avoid transmitting privileged metadata:
Thurs., Oct. 30, 2014
12–12:50pm in WH 2A
Food provided! [JML]

Apr 16
9:00 AM
Feb 22
11:06 AM

Have you ever had a law prof use TV or film to illustrate a concept? – News


Image from Shutterstock.

On a recent snowy Friday when only five students could make it to class, Appalachian School of Law professor Paula Marie Young decided that she would screen a long excerpt from the the film The Negotiator.

“It illustrates so many concepts I discuss in my courses,” Young wrote at her blog, The Red Velvet Lawyer. Young teaches certified civil mediation and dispute resolution.
There’s also a TV series Young likes for this purpose: “I could create an entire course based on the negotiation tactics Francis Underwood uses in House of Cards,” she wrote in a short subsequent post. “My idea. Don’t steal it, please.”

Using a fictional dramas to teach law students isn’t unheard of: A William & Mary law professor created a textbook and class titled: The Wire: Crime, Law and Policy, based on the HBO television show. But how often is it really done?

So this week, we’d like to ask you: Have you ever had a law prof use TV or film to illustrate a concept? If so, which program or movie? If you have your own ideas about films or TV shows that lawyers or law students could learn a thing or two from, share that as well. (But be sensitive to your fellow readers—and moderators—and include spoiler warnings if you want to discuss the just-released season of House of Cards.)

via Have you ever had a law prof use TV or film to illustrate a concept? – News. (ABA Journal)


Feb 11
8:04 PM

ABA May Soon Allow Paid Student Externships

An ABA panel recommends that Interpretation 305-3 of ABA Standard 305 be revised to allow law students to receive both academic credit and financial compensation for internship and externship placements. The ABA Law Student Division has advocated on behalf of the change. The ABA’s Council of the Section on Legal Education will still have to vote to approve the change.
Source: ABA Moves Toward Allowing Paid Student Externships

Jan 24
1:48 PM

ABA Task Force Releases Final Report & Recommendation on the Future of Legal Education

The ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education released its Final Report & Recommendations today. The Report addresses both the economics of legal education and the delivery and regulation of legal education. Among other things, the Report concludes that:

  • The current system of pricing and funding in legal education demands serious re-engineering.
  • The law school accreditation system should allow for more variety and innovation in the delivery of legal education and it should encourage law schools to give more attention to services, outcomes, and value delivered to law students. Such changes would likely require repeal or dramatic revision of several of the ABA Law School Accreditation Standards.
  • Notwithstanding some recent progress, law schools should continue curriculum reforms that integrate more focused preparation for legal practice. Law students need the opportunity to develop the competencies and professionalism required of people who will deliver services to clients.
  • State supreme courts, bars and other regulators should consider new or improved frameworks for licensing providers of legal and related services, including (1) bar admission for people whose preparation may be other than the traditional four-years of college plus three-years of classroom-based law school education; and (2) licensing persons other than holders of a J.D. to deliver limited legal services.

You can read more about the work of the Task Force here. [JML]

Nov 26
8:32 PM

Scalia/Ginsburg Opera


llustration by Jeff Dionise,
ABA Journal article

2013 Maryland Law grad Derrick Wang wrote an opera based on words from judicial opinions penned by Justices Ginsburg and Scalia. He previewed portions of the work at the Supreme Court in June. An excerpt from a July 2013 NPR article about the opera:

As the plot unfolds, the two justices find themselves locked in a room, and the only way out is to agree on a constitutional approach. A grumpy Scalia fulminates:

“The justices are blind — how can they possibly spout this?
The Constitution says absolutely nothing about this!
This right that they’ve enshrined — when did the document sprout this?
The Framers wrote and signed words that endured without this;
The Constitution says absolutely nothing about this!”

When Ginsburg enters, Scalia implores her, to strains of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” asking why she can’t seem to read the Constitution properly.

“Oh, Ruth, can you read?
You’re aware of the text.
Yet so proudly you’ve failed to derive its true meaning.”

Ginsburg replies with calm reason, asking Scalia to consider a different approach.

“How many times must I tell you, dear Mister Justice Scalia,
You’d spare us such pain if you’d just entertain this idea.
You are searching in vain for a bright-line solution,
To a problem that isn’t so easy to solve.
But the beautiful thing about our Constitution is that
Like our society, it can evolve.”

Our Founders, of course, were men of great vision, she says, but their culture restricted how far they could go. So to us, they bequeathed the decision to allow certain meanings to flourish and grow.

“We are freeing the people we used to hold captive, who deserve to be more than just servants or wives.
If we hadn’t been willing to be so adaptive, can you honestly say we’d have led better lives?”

In his finale, Scalia replies with characteristic flourish, on a soaring high note, followed by this harrumph: “Anyway, that’s my view, and it happens to be correct.”


Nov 4
1:54 PM
Oct 8
9:12 PM

Gov. Brown Signs Bill Authorizing Admission to California Bar Regardless of Immigration Status

AB 1024 was passed by the California Assembly and Senate in September, largely in response to a pending case before the California Supreme Court. Sergio Garcia graduated from law school and passed the California bar exam. He was initially granted a law license, but it was then rescinded due to his undocumented status.

Garcia had been brought to the U.S. as a toddler, went back to Mexico at the age of 9, then returned to the U.S. as a teenager. He has been waiting for a green card for nearly 10 years. The California Supreme Court heard oral arguments in early September and early indications were that Garcia's bid for admission would be unsuccessful, prompting the legislature to act.


Sep 20
11:02 AM

ABA task force report proposes scrutiny of law school funding, pricing and accreditation standards

The ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education has released its draft report and recommendations

An ABA task force is recommending wholesale changes in the financing
of legal education, the elimination of some law school accreditation
standards, and it is pushing for more innovation and practical skills
training in law school educational programs.

The task force is also calling on courts, state bar associations and
bar admitting authorities to come up with new or improved frameworks for
the licensing of limited legal service providers.

[T]ask force member Nancy Hardin Rogers, a professor emeritus
at Ohio State University, wrote separately to seek public comment on a
different approach to some of the law school pricing and funding
problems identified by her colleagues.

Rogers noted a recent proposal by the Obama administration (and cited this New York Times
article that covered it) that would base federal financial aid to
students on such factors as a school’s tuition, graduation rates, debt
loads, earnings potential and the percentage of lower-income students
who attend.

The task force recommends, among other things, that the ABA undertake
a fuller examination of law school funding and pricing issues than the
task force has been able to do. It also suggests that the ABA Section of
Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar revise accreditation
standards that increase the costs but not necessarily the quality of a
legal education. And it calls on state supreme courts, state bar
associations and lawyer regulatory agencies to look for ways to reduce
the educational requirements for admission and authorize people without
JDs to provide limited legal services.


The task force will use the public comments it receives on the draft
report to help prepare its final report and recommendations, which it
plans to issue by Nov. 20, the filing deadline for consideration by the
House of Delegates at the ABA’s Midyear Meeting in February in Chicago.

Source: ABA Journal article, ABA task force report proposes scrutiny of law school funding, pricing and accreditation standards.