How Deans Should Game the Above the Law Rankings

If you’re a law school dean that wants to increase its standing in the ATL rankings, follow these two steps.

Executive Director, Law School Transparency.

Unhappy Lawyers and Unmet Legal Needs

Lawrence Krieger and Kennon Sheldon recently posted an important paper about the factors associated with lawyer happiness. The paper includes a number of intriguing findings–I recommend it to all members of the legal profession. I focus here on a worrisome finding that Krieger and Sheldon discuss only briefly: The majority of lawyers, those who provide legal services to middle-income individuals, are the unhappiest.

A Tale of Three Houses

My husband and I recently signed a contract to purchase a new house. As we arrange inspections (fingers crossed) and interview movers, I’ve been reflecting on the changing role of lawyers in residential real estate purchases. During my three decades as a homeowner, that role has steadily diminished. Here’s my tale of three transactions over three decades.

Transparency Review in Advance of New Law School Jobs Data

Law schools have collectively never been more transparent about jobs data, but there’s much room for improvement. Today, 55% of law schools publish their most recent NALP report—a collection of statistics sought by transparency advocates and prospective students alike.

Executive Director, Law School Transparency.

Our Job, Not Hers

Dean Erwin Chemerinsky wants Justice Ginsburg to retire this summer, giving President Obama ample time to confirm her successor. Chemerinksy worries that a Republican will win the White House in 2016 and that Ginsburg’s health will not endure until the next Democratic administration. To avoid the risk of a Republican President replacing Ginsburg, Chemerinsky urges […]

Clever Cleveland-Marshall

Back in the fall of 2012, I suggested that law schools could help students–and attract new applicants–by offering students a master’s degree at the end of the first year. That degree would allow students to try law school, and to gain the significant skills learned during the first year, without committing to a full three years of legal education. Students who decided at the end of the first year that they disliked law, that the benefits of practice were unlikely to outweigh the further costs of law school, or that they could pursue an attractive job with just one year of legal education, would be able to leave law school with appropriate recognition for their work.

I wasn’t the only person to propose this option. A faculty member at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law had a similar idea. And this week, Cleveland-Marshall announced its “risk-free” JD program. The initiative will allow JD students to convert their first-year credits to a Master of Legal Studies degree if they opt to leave school at the end of the first year. Here’s why the program makes sense.