Guest Posts

Education Law (IN): Helping Schools Work With Families, Regulations, And More

February 29th, 2016 / By

This episode is presented by The United States Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corp.

Many types of educational institutions exist in the United States. Schools can be public or private, and serve different age ranges and missions. Regardless, schools are highly regulated at the state and federal level and need lawyers to function.

Seamus Boyce is a 2006 graduate of the University of New Hampshire School of Law and an education attorney at a 38-person firm with offices throughout Indiana. In this episode, he tells us about routine work advising clients with one-off questions, as well as more complex work involving student services, discrimination, and legislation. He also talks to us about his ascent to partner and the choices his firms make in pursuit of client satisfaction.

This episode is hosted by Aaron Taylor, a law professor at St. Louis University. It is sponsored by Barbri,, and

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Federal Government Transactions (WA): Affordable Housing Deals and Counsel

February 22nd, 2016 / By

This episode is presented by The United States Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corp.

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, through a system of rules, regulations, and incentives, seeks to create strong, sustainable, and inclusive communities in recognition of every citizen’s right to affordable housing. Naturally, such a system requires lawyers to dot the i’s, cross the t’s, and keep the system moving and improving.

Kevin Krainz is a 2013 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and HUD attorney in the Seattle regional office. In this episode, he tells us about his roles at HUD and how it differs from other types of public interest work related to affordable housing.

This episode is hosted by Debby Merritt, a law professor at The Ohio State University. It is sponsored by Barbri,, and

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Criminal Justice Advocacy From Within The L.A. Mayor’s Office (CA)

February 16th, 2016 / By

This episode is presented by The United States Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corp.

When someone is jailed for a crime, the punishment often extends beyond the sentence because formerly incarcerated people face structural barriers in their transition to freedom. In particular, limited employment prospects too often lead to a cycle of crime that’s difficult to escape. The City of Los Angeles, under the leadership of Mayor Eric Garcetti, established the Office of Reentry in response to this problem. Through programming, policy development, and outreach the office seeks to not only help the formerly incarcerated rejoin the public, but also to alter conditions that lead to jailing in the first place.

Kimberley Baker Guillemet, a 2005 graduate of the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, helped Mayor Garcetti open the office in the fall of 2015. In this episode, she talks about how her background as a lawyer prepared her to tackle this job and how the intersection of law and policy can make a difference in millions of people’s lives.

This episode is hosted by Kyle McEntee, executive director of Law School Transparency. It is sponsored by Barbri and

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Workers’ Compensation (TX): Helping Injured Workers Fight Insurance Companies

February 7th, 2016 / By

This episode is presented by The United States Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corp.

If you hurt someone, a court may require you to pay their medical expenses and for their pain and suffering. Workers’ compensation insurance changes this process for employers and employees. An employee loses their right to sue their employer for negligence in exchange for an insurance plan that pays for the employee’s medical expenses and wage replacement when they’re hurt on the job. Workers’ compensation attorneys help employees navigate the administrative process and fight insurance companies over the insurance payouts.

In this episode, Royce Bicklein, a 1998 graduate of St. Mary University’s School of Law, discusses his firm’s practice and what’s involved in proving where an injury occurred and what’s to blame for the extent of an injury. Unlike almost every other state, Texas employers choose to opt in to the workers’ compensation process. As such, Royce’s firm handles workers’ compensation and traditional personal injury. Who helps a client  depends on whether the client’s employer opted in to the system or not.

This episode is hosted by Derek Tokaz, an academic writing teacher at American University. It is sponsored by Barbri and

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Crucial Weaknesses

July 19th, 2013 / By

Clearly, Simkovic and McIntyre’s article has given new life to those who would defend the status quo. However, even assuming the statistical methodology is sound (which I do, as I have no reason to believe otherwise and no time to recreate it), the study suffers from a number of crucial weaknesses.

First, Part IV makes the assumption that current market challenges reflect no more than the historically cyclical nature of the legal market. If you do not agree with this assumption (and I do not–I think Susskind’s view on this issue is far more sound), then the entire study is fundamentally flawed. However, even if you buy this assumption, there remain further issues with the study.

The title itself, the “Million-Dollar Law Degree” is misleading at best. This million dollar figure reflects the mean value, where the mean is skewed significantly higher than the median. Thus, it overstates the value for significantly more than half of all JD grads. It also reflects “pre-tax” value, a point that the authors do not address until near the end of the article at Part V.C. There, the authors acknowledge that their calculated benefit must be divided between private “after-tax” earnings and public tax revenues. (more…)

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Understanding Fisher

July 2nd, 2013 / By

[We are pleased to present a guest post by Ruth Colker, Distinguished University Professor and Heck-Faust Chair in Constitutional Law, Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University. This discussion is cross-posted from Professor Colker’s blog.]

What can a law school admissions officer learn from a close reading of Fisher v. University of Texas? A bit. (more…)

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Too Soon to Tell

June 21st, 2013 / By

At Washington & Lee, as at most schools right now, we would prefer that our students were more successful in obtaining employment. But the 2012 employment figures, unfortunate as they are, say nothing about our our curricular reform. It is simply too early, . . . much too early.

The 2012 numbers refer to the first full class to pass through the reformed third year curriculum. Ours is a slow-to-change profession. Employers as a group do not change their settled practices on a dime. Nothing in the employment numbers that we see for the next 3 to five years should be seen as reflecting on the reception given to the curriculum reform. No curricular reform I know of, including Langdell’s, changed settled practices of others overnight. (more…)

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NJL 250 Law Firm Hiring Data

March 9th, 2013 / By

I crunched the numbers on the NLJ 250 law firm hires for 2012. The total number of new graduates hired by NLJ 250 law firms is 4,457. This constitutes about 10% of the entire graduating law school class of 2012. (more…)

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February 28th, 2013 / By

UTX was my moment of epiphany, the “oh my” moment when cogent thought on the legal profession came in a flash. Admittedly, prior to learning of UTX (not that long ago), I didn’t really know much about the economics of the legal profession other than the obvious fact that the financial crisis of 2008-2009 must have inflicted significant pain on the industry, thus my prior assumption of only a cyclical downturn. I write this blog post for the benefit of those colleagues in the academy who may have a sense that the legal profession is having difficulties but can’t quite see the larger picture beyond anecdotes of layoffs and a very difficult hiring market. I hope to provide a concrete example of the economic stress on the legal profession, which obviously has trickle down effects on the economics of law schools and the value of the law degree. (more…)

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About Students and the Opportunity Cost of Curriculum

February 12th, 2013 / By

The law school admissions process is odd. Among the major professional schools, law school has the lowest barrier to entry in terms of personal commitment to the profession. A student does not choose medical school as a “default” option.  A student cannot get into a credible business school unless she has significant work experience. Law schools require only a GPA and an LSAT score. Many law schools may not even ask the most important question, “Why do you want to be a lawyer?” The typical law student is probably 22-23 years old. She may never have worked a regular job, worked on a project where others depended on her, filed a tax return, or bought a car or house. This profile has important implications for curriculum.

Let me digress a bit here. Two weeks ago, I was in California for a symposium on legal education, and this gave me a chance to see some old friends from business school. One of my friends has a spouse who is in her spring 3L at a Top Ten law school (she does not have a job yet and the worst case plan is to work a year for free on the hopes of a job opening in her desired career). He is very involved in her world of law school, and sometimes even attends her classes and socializes with her law school friends. So we naturally got around to talking about law schools and one avenue of conversation was whether law students were smarter than our Wharton classmates. (more…)

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