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bar associations

Following an Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling, the youngster has been handed over to adoptive couple Matt and Melanie Capobianco, which most likely spells an end to the legal ordeal [CNN, earlier]

Meanwhile, in yet another indication that propositions that are controversial in the rest of the country are uncontroversial in the American Bar Association, the ABA last month endorsed a resolution (PDF) calling for “full compliance” with, and in general uncritically endorsing the operation of, the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978; reportedly, no dissenting voice was raised.

The New Republic, meanwhile, gives favorable ink to what it calls the “new anti-adoption movement.” While adoption poses plenty of genuine and difficult ethical and policy issues that deserve a full airing (and even the occasional train wreck at its far fringes; reactions here (PDF), here) sloganeering about “reproductive justice” and intimations of false consciousness (“subtle brainwashing”) on the part of birthmothers who choose adoptive homes for their children are likely to obscure the good that adoption can do [Balding/Yan, SSRN via @tylercowen]

Law school roundup

by Walter Olson on August 26, 2013

  • Now we’re getting somewhere? “ABA Task Force Releases Draft of Recommendations to Reform Legal Education” [Orin Kerr] “ABA Panel Favors Dropping Law School Tenure Requirement” [Karen Sloan, NLJ]
  • Now we’re getting somewhere, cont’d? “Obama: two years of law school should be enough” [Prof. Bainbridge, Stephen Gillers]
  • Many law reviews continue to “struggle with forthrightness” on circulation, Virginia’s claims 1700 but actual number is 304 [Ross Davies' annual Green Bag survey, just out; my related Atlantic take last year]
  • “Washington U. Dean Syverud Tells ABA Task Force: Law Profs, Deans Are Paid Too Much; 50% Pay Cut Would Solve Problem” [TaxProf] “New Law School Gets Just A Third Of Its Expected Starting Class” [Elie Mystal, Above the Law; Indiana Tech]
  • How misleading are stats Rutgers-Newark puts out for its grads’ “median private sector starting salary”? [Paul Campos] “Sixth Circuit: it was unreasonable for Cooley applicants to believe Cooley’s ‘objectively untrue’ statements” [John Steele] “Former Villanova Law Dean Suspended from Practice for Filing Knowingly False Admissions Data” [Legal Ethics Forum]
  • Claim: under “principles of social justice lawyering …lawyers have a fiduciary duty to create equal justice under the law.” Would she disbar those who don’t? [Artika Tyner, SSRN, via Legal Ethics Forum]
  • Has Georgetown figured out a way to offer free law school tuition, and if so how much of the “free” winds up being on the taxpayers’ dime? [Politico, Milan Markovic, Hans Bader]
  • “Law School to Remove Fraudster’s Name From Atrium” [Indiana; Lowering the Bar]

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Law schools roundup

by Walter Olson on July 26, 2013

  • “How To Fix Law School” symposium at New Republic with David Lat, Paul Campos, Mike Kinsley etc. follows up on Noam Scheiber article on erosion of BigLaw business model, which in turn drew semi-rebuttal from Mark Obbie at Slate;
  • “So the poor defendants have to spend thousands on legal fees, while law students get their ‘practice.’” [John Stossel]
  • Brian Tamanaha vs. Simkovic and McIntyre “law degree worth a million bucks” study [Balkinization, response here, Adler, Caron]
  • Amid crisis, tone-deaf ABA “actually in the process of trying to make it harder for accredited law schools to fire professors and control their costs” [Elie Mystal]
  • Foundation case studies include Carnegie 1921 report on legal education, Olin support for law and economics, and some others related to law schools [J. Scott Kohler and Steven Schindler, Philanthropy Central]
  • “Shifts in law professors’ views” [Kyle Graham]
  • Bring on the strong verbs, and not just in legal writing [Ross Guberman] In recent Nike shoe case, Chief Justice Roberts wrote rings round Justice Kennedy [same]

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Law schools roundup

by Walter Olson on February 8, 2013

  • Universities’ prestige game: will “zombie law schools” drag down the rest? [Gerard Magliocca]
  • Law as undergraduate degree works in advanced countries like Germany and Britain, could work here too [Bainbridge]
  • It’s a capitalist plot! Steve Diamond of Santa Clara assails Brian Tamanaha’s critique of law schools as too redolent of Hayek, Cato [SSRN, background, more]
  • “That’s pretty good reason to speak up: Thomas Breaks 5-year Silence During #SCOTUS Arguments to Mock Yale” [@DavidMastio]
  • Dean who took huge pay packet for dismal results is also immediate past president of ABA law school panel [Campos]
  • Does the California experience undercut arguments for relaxing accreditation? [Matt Bodie]
  • “What Do Law Professors Think About the Critiques of the Law Schools?” [Orin Kerr]

The idea of Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) programs in California and elsewhere is to skim off tiny sums from clients’ accounts, too small to be worth arguing about (isn’t that what class action theorists are always claiming defendants get away with?) to finance legal representation, sometimes for indigent clients, other times for “cause” litigation, the latter of which results in “a lot of unsuspecting clients funding things they may or may not have believed in.” With interest rates at prolonged lows, however, the sums raised by IOLTA have drooped, and California bar authorities have responded by burying new line items in dues renewals for voluntary levies — which have not, it seems, resulted in the hoped-for flood of lawyer contributions. [Charlotte Allen, L.A. Times](& Legal Ethics Forum)

Yes, lawyers are organized as a guild, but I’m not convinced that arrangement is disintegrating or on the way to doing so. I explain why in a new piece at Liberty and Law that’s a response to an essay-in-chief by Jim Chen of Louisville Law School arguing that competition and technological advance are fast eroding lawyers’ guild privileges. The other response-essay is by Brian Tamanaha of Washington U. in St. Louis, whose new book Failing Law Schools has been getting widespread acclaim [NLJ, Garnett]
and whose recent essays in the NYT and Daily Beast have stirred widespread discussion. (& Instapundit, Paul Caron/TaxProf, Scott Greenfield).

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Among the trip-ups are that lawyers are sworn by oath to uphold the laws of the land; that federal law bars the granting of state professional licenses to illegals; that federal law makes it unlawful to offer employment to them; and that clients might find themselves in a pickle were their attorneys whisked away on zero notice to face deporation. Nonetheless, the California Bar is pressing ahead with its recommendation of Sergio C. Garcia, 35, of Chico. [ABA Journal, Howard Bashman roundup, Bookworm Room]

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June 4 roundup

by Walter Olson on June 4, 2012

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April 9 roundup

by Walter Olson on April 9, 2012

March 15 roundup

by Walter Olson on March 15, 2012

  • Part III of Radley Balko series on painkiller access [HuffPo]
  • “Note: Add ‘Judge’s Nameplate’ to List of Things Not to Steal” [Lowering the Bar]
  • California’s business-hostile climate: if the ADA mills don’t get you, other suits might [CACALA]
  • Bottom story of the month: ABA president backs higher legal services budget [ABA Journal]
  • After string of courtroom defeats, Teva pays to settle Nevada propofol cases [Oliver, earlier]
  • Voting Rights Act has outstayed its constitutional welcome [Ilya Shapiro/Cato] More: Stuart Taylor, Jr./The Atlantic.
  • Huge bust of what NY authorities say was $279 million crash-fraud ring NY Post, NYLJ, Business Insider, Turkewitz (go after dishonest docs on both sides)]

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Law schools roundup

by Walter Olson on January 25, 2012

  • Second Circuit Judge Jose Cabranes, at AALS meeting, gives legal academics frank appraisal of where law school needs fixing, to the delight of many of us who’ve advanced a broadly similar critique [Caron, Above the Law, Sloan/NLJ]
  • “Let’s Regulate Harder. That’ll Provide More Jobs For Young Law Grads!” [my new Cato post, citing an official from the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT)]
  • ABA accreditation rules discourage reliance on less expensive (and often more practice-oriented) adjunct faculty [latest in David Segal series on law schools in New York Times; Catherine Dunn, Corporate Counsel] Plus: video of law school accreditation panel at Federalist Society national convention;
  • Law school without undergrad degree first? Many other advanced countries do it that way [McGinnis and Mangas, Northwestern dean Dan Rodriguez response, M&M rejoinder; ABA Journal on views of NYLS's Rick Matasar] Yet more on law school reform [Jim Chen via Caron, Caron, Mark Yzaguirre, Frum Forum]
  • Complete point-counterpoint at ELF last summer on Tulane law clinic fracas (I’m counterpoint) [ELF]
  • Why not rob the rich? Ask Prof. Leiter [Sullivan]
  • Does law and economics amount to “studies in social engineering”? [Kenneth Anderson]

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Law schools roundup

by Walter Olson on January 12, 2012

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January 3 roundup

by Walter Olson on January 3, 2012

  • Popehat’s Ken to the rescue after Maine lawyer/lawmaker assists naturopath in bullying critical blogger [Popehat]
  • Newt’s “patriotism made me stray” among highlights of the year in blame-shifting [Jacob Sullum]
  • Nifong sidekick, now in a spot of legal bother himself, hits back with lawsuit [K C Johnson, Durham in Wonderland]
  • Shareholder action: “Delaware approves $285 Million in Plaintiffs’ Lawyers’ Fees” [Bainbridge, WSJ Deal Journal, WSJ Law Blog]
  • “Even one death is too many — WE MUST BAN NETI POTS!” [NYDN via Christopher Tozzo]
  • Debatable premise of Joe Nocera analysis on Stephen Glass case: bar admission turn-down = “rest of his life … destroyed” [NYT, Howard Wasserman/Prawfs, earlier]
  • Who says Connecticut never reforms liability? Towns won protection last year from some recreation-land tort exposure [CFPA, earlier here, here]

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December 12 roundup

by Walter Olson on December 12, 2011

  • Liability suits bankrupt manufacturer of gasoline cans [Tulsa World]
  • Faces life imprisonment: “Greece’s statistics chief faces criminal probe” for “not cooking the books” [FT via @OlafStorbeck]
  • Man injured by runaway car can sue county on grounds bus shelter was built too close to street [Seattle Times]
  • Title IX trips up track teams [Saving Sports: Delaware, West Virginia, Maryland]
  • “‘Not gay enough’ softball players settle suit” [SF Chron]
  • Now it’s the Obama administration that’s upset with ABA over ratings of judicial nominees [Whelan]
  • Lawyer kiosks in UK newsstands [Knake, LEF] Lawyers open kiosk at Florida mall [ABA Journal]

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Law schools roundup

by Walter Olson on September 15, 2011

I’ll be appearing this morning on KARN in Little Rock, Ark., WRVA in Richmond, Va., and WTIC in New Haven/Hartford, Ct., to discuss my New York Daily News op-ed on McDonald’s and Campbell’s changes in their food line-ups following pressure from nutritional crusaders in public office. And I was quoted by reporter Jerry Crimmins July 22 in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin on accreditation of law schools and lawyer oversupply (“ABA responds to senator’s criticisms,” subscriber paywall).

Law schools roundup

by Walter Olson on March 6, 2011

  • Looks as if ROTC will return to Yale and Harvard despite some misgivings at the latter institution over the military’s treatment of transgendered persons [Atlantic Wire, Weekly Standard; also see my Daily Caller interview]
  • California state bar urges U.S. News to factor racial diversity into law school rankings [Althouse]
  • Right-of-center commentators clash on Ninth Circuit nomination of Berkeley lawprof Goodwin Liu [Damon Root, Reason]
  • Odds of this resulting purely from chance distribution would seem pretty low: of 32 members of Congress who have Harvard degrees, 29 are Democrats [Stoll, Future of Capitalism]
  • Rather disrespectful review of new Ronald Dworkin book [Simon Blackburn, Times Higher Ed]
  • There’ll always be a legal academia dept.: “Multidimensional Masculinities and Law: A Colloquium” [UNLV/Suffolk via LaborProf]

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And that’s just so unfair, according to Lester Tate, president of the State Bar of Georgia. After all, it’s not as if lawyers have a lot of power or behave aggressively or hurtfully toward anyone else, right? “Particularly abhorrent are the attacks that come from candidates who are lawyers themselves.” Where’s their professional solidarity? [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]