Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Wrong About School X!

Monday, April 11th, 2011

In my recent comments to the ABA Standards Review Committee on the proposed changes to Interpretation 301-6, Endangered:  Historically Black Law Schools?, I identified Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School as “arguably” one of the Historically Black Law Schools.  This was based in part on the high percentage of its entering students that are  Blacks/African Americans.  It also was based on a what I now know to be a mis-identification of Atlanta’s John Marshall as the “School X” discussed by Prof. John Nussbaumer (Cooley) in his article, Misuse of the Law School Admission Test, Racial Discrimination and the De Facto Quota System for Restricting African-American Access to the Legal Profession, 80 ST. JOHN’S L. REV. 167, 177 (2006).

In “Case Study One–Initial Accreditation,” School X was seeking full ABA approval.  During School X’s  transition from provisional to full ABA approval, the share of its student body that were Black/African American fell from 62% to 32% over just five years (1999 to 2004).  School X was located in “a major metropolitan area with a large minority and African-American population” and had recently obtained full ABA approval.   In trying to identify School X, I noted that Atlanta’s John Marshall, located in Atlanta, was ABA-accredited in 2004.

Imagine my surprise when I got the The Gateway to the Profession, the Consultant on Legal Education’s 2009-2010 Annual Report on the activities of the ABA Section of Legal Education during that academic year.  Under the “approvals and Acquiescences Granted in 2009-2010″, there was a photo captioned “Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School.”  The first paragraph of that portion of the report said that Atlanta’s John Marshall was granted full approval on December 5, 2009.

The entries for LSAT 25th percentile, total enrollment, minority enrollment, and African-American enrollment shown in Table 9 of Nussbaumer’s article, id. at 181-F, match the entries for the David A. Clarke School of Law of the University of the District of Columbia in the 2001 through 2006 Official Guides. According to Ingredients to Higher Education, the 2004/2005 Annual Report by the ABA Consultant on Legal Education, UDC was granted provisional ABA accreditation in 1998, and full ABA accreditation on August 4, 2005.

My mistake does not diminish the importance of Atlanta’s John Marshall.  Not only was that law school one of the first Southern law schools to integrate, it has the highest Black/African-American enrollment of any law school that is not an Historically Black Law School.

posted by Gary Rosin

SALT Statement on 301-6 Proposal

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

The SALT has submitted  a Statement of Bar Passage Interpretation 301-6 that opposes the proposed increases of the minimum Bar-passage standards on two grounds.  First, that any “bright-line” Bar passage standard is inconsistent with alternative outcome measures.  This is consistent with the position took on 301-6 when it was initially adopted.  Second, that

toughening the standard discourages schools from accepting non-traditional students and contributes to the underenrollment of African American and other minority students in law schools.

SALT had also raised this concern in earlier, but increasing the minimum Bar passage standards heightens their concern.

The SALT website has links to Statements on other aspects of the Standrads review.

posted by Gary Rosin

Endangered: Historically Black Law Schools?

Monday, March 28th, 2011

The posts you’ve been reading recently have been drafts of portions of comments on the proposed revisions to Interpretation 301-6 that I submitted today to the ABA Standards Review Committee. My comments, Endangered:  Historically Black Law Schools? are now available on SSRN (Abstract=1797965).

posted by Gary Rosin

First Year Associates and Big Salaries

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

There’s an interesting article by Brenda Sapino Jeffries in a recent Texas Lawyer,Gardere Reduces First-Year Salaries and Billable Hours“.  The Dallas-based, 275-lawyer firm, Gardere Wynne Sewell is cutting first-year salaries form $140,000 to $120,000 (about 14%) and first-year billable hours from 2000 to 1700 (15%).  The rationale is that clients were starting to specify in engagement letters that no first-year lawyers could be assigned to the matter.  The associates will also get about 300 hours of training:

“I just think we are getting more focused. You understand you have an investment in these people and they get the right type of training,” [managing partner Steve] Good says, noting that training will include classroom sessions and more opportunity for the first-year lawyers to observe trials, depositions and negotiating sessions.

The problem?  Clients don’t want to pay for training:

[Stephen] Mims [Prescott Legal Search] says he has spoken to a number of general counsel who complain that many first-year associates are not prepared for the job when coming out of law school and would benefit from more training. Gardere’s plan addresses that client concern, he says.

Some have speculated that the economic downturn has accentuated the problems inherent in the traditional Big-Firm model of practice.  We’ll need to see many more swallows before we can tell if it’s Spring in Capistrano.

posted by Gary Rosin

How Strong are New Law Schools?

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

In Flat Demand and More Law Schools,I suggested that new law schools were more likely to compete with U.S. NewsTier 3 and Tier 4 schools (especially the latter).  To illustrate that, lets look at the 27 schools accredited after 1988.  Only two of the schools (Seattle and UNLV) were ranked in Tier 2, and only three of the schools (Chapman, Florida International and Quinnipiac) were ranked in Tier 3.  The remaining schools were ranked in Tier 4 (10 Schools) or were not rated by U.S. News (12 schools).

Pre- and Post1988 Law Schools

The chart shows the distribution of the LSAT 25th percentiles for the Fall 2008 entering classes, as shown in the 2010 Official Guide.  The 25th percentile for all ABA-approved law schools (other than the three in Puerto Rico) was 151. Over 74% of the post-1988 law schools (19 out of 27) had entering classes with an LSAT 25th percentile of 151 or lower.

To be sure, UC-Irvine will be a much stronger law school.  Perhaps U. North Texas in Dallas will also do well.  Bothhave a lot of money being put into them, which is always good.  But UNT-Dallas is bound to hurt Texas Wesleyan in the other half of the Dallas- Ft. Worth metroplex.

Gary Rosin