We’re honored to appear once again in the ABA’s list of “Top 100 Blawgs.” Many thanks to our readers.
To many, late October signals nothing more than fall in full swing, pumpkins, or costumes. In late May, we look forward to the Memorial Day holiday and long weekends. Yet, the last weekend of every October and May, Georgia bar takers anxiously await exam results. Some stalk the postman. Most spend the day refreshing a webpage, hoping and praying their name appears on the public pass list.
The stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance—are experienced by one who fails a state bar exam. Imagine discovering that a family member is alive after grieving their death for ten months. This week, 90 Georgia bar takers—45 from July 2015 and 45 from February 2016—were informed that the thing they grieved was, in fact, alive. Though their names failed to appear on that very public pass list, they indeed passed the Georgia bar exam.
For any readers out there who will begin law school this year — or who know someone else who will — I encourage you to check out a $10,000 scholarship contest. You can apply until April 15th, after which 20 finalists will be selected. One winner will be determined by votes via social media and will be announced on June 10th. The $10,000 will be paid directly to the student’s law school.
Law school is expensive and this will make law school slightly more affordable for someone. Scholarship application details can be found here.
I’m proud to announce that my co-moderator, Kyle McEntee, has been named to the National Jurist‘s list of the twenty-five most influential people in legal education. Kyle has appeared on the list every year since the list debuted in 2012. He also remains the only person ever named to the list without holding a position as dean or professor at a law school. That’s quite a run!
Congratulations to Kyle, along with the others named to this list.
This weekend, we decided a slight refresh of our site was in order. The new design is mobile and tablet friendly. It should also load even faster. Stay tuned for lots of new content in 2016!
I was delighted to visit The Faculty Lounge for the month of December. I have posts there on professionalism, law school admissions, teaching law practice management, bar passage rates, responsible enforcement of ABA Standard 501(b), the bias in UPL regulations, the infamous trolley problem, requiring law professors to demonstrate knowledge of the rules of professional conduct, and the law of legal services. I hope you had a chance to follow these while I was in the “lounge” or that you’ll check back if you’re interested.
My posting authority at TFL ended before I had a chance to say “thank you and good bye,” so I’ll say that here: I’m grateful to the lounge hosts for inviting me to join them for a month, and I enjoyed the discussion with commenters there.
But, as Dorothy said, there’s no place like home. I look forward to posting much more here on the topics I explored at TFL–as well as about many other issues arising in legal education and the practice of law. Happy new year to all!
It has been a busy semester, and I’m blogging this month at The Faculty Lounge. But I look forward to returning soon with more thoughts about legal education and the legal profession. Happy holidays to all!
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 the Justice to resign soon.
In making this recommendation, Chemerinsky assumes that Ginsburg is responsible for preserving her liberal voice on the Court; she should plan her resignation in a way that maximizes prospects for a liberal replacement. But that’s not Ginsburg’s job–it’s a job for liberal voters.
I count myself as a liberal, and a long-time Ginsburg fan. I had the honor of learning constitutional law from then Professor Ginsburg at Columbia Law School, and of clerking for her on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. No one was happier than I was when President Clinton nominated her to the Supreme Court.
If liberals want to repeat that experience, seeing more nominations by Democratic Presidents, then we need to elect a Democratic President in 2016. To ease the future President’s task, we should also elect a Democratic Senate majority. It’s just that simple.
In 2000, another few hundred Democratic votes would have given the Presidency to Gore. Bush won more decisively in 2004, but the election was still very close: President Bush secured the electoral college by a single state, Ohio. In the popular vote, he prevailed by a smaller margin than any incumbent reelected since 1828.
Obama, on the other hand, is the first President since Eisenhower to claim at least 51% of the popular vote in two different elections. Even in 2012’s “close” contest, Obama’s margin of victory was larger than Bush’s 2004 win over Kerry.
I don’t mean to suggest that the Democrats have an easy shot at the White House in 2016. On the contrary. Polls show that American voters divide closely between Republicans and Democrats, with a substantial number of citizens alienated from both parties. In that context, any national election is up for grabs.
This means that people who want a Democrat to fill any upcoming Supreme Court vacancies have to work for that goal. I’ve leafleted, poll watched, registered voters, or contributed dollars in most presidential elections. In 2008 and 2012, many of us in Ohio hosted out-of-state Obama campaigners in our homes. That’s what it takes to win elections.
I write from the perspective of a liberal, but the same advice holds for conservatives. Voters who want a Republican President to fill any upcoming Court vacancies can–and should–work hard to elect their nominee.
Public fretting about the timing of Ginsburg’s retirement is much less productive. It’s oddly professorial, in fact, to publicly admonish a Justice. Why not address the electorate instead? Tell them how important it will be to protect Justice Ginsburg’s legacy.
Justice Ginsburg has a weighty job, carrying out her duties at the Court. We, as voters and citizens, have an equally important job–electing the President and Senators who will carry out our wishes. Let’s let Justice Ginsburg do her job, while we do ours.
The ABA Journal has recognized Law School Cafe in its Seventh Annual Blawg 100 list. Many thanks to our readers and commenters–we’re energized to continue the discussion about legal education and the profession. If you want to vote for us in the “Careers/Law Schools” category, here’s your link.
Have something you think our audience would like to hear about? Interested in writing one or more guest posts? Send an email to the cafe manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are interested in publishing posts from practitioners, students, faculty, and industry professionals.