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The Aspen Advisor Week in Review for February 1, 2019

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This week’s roundup of articles highlights the ingenuity of Wolters Kluwer’s most recent efforts in pushing law students to succeed. Vikram Savkar, the Vice President and General Manager, International and Higher Education Markets, of Wolters Kluwer Legal and Regulatory U.S. was interviewed about law student success at the most recent AALS conference. In “Law Students are Already Using Legal Technology to Live in the Future”, he explains that educational technologies must keep up with the needs of modern students. With technologies such as CasebookConnect, law students are able to embrace the three things they have demanded most from their education: professor feedback, exercises that allow them to put theoretical ideas into practice, and portability.

On the thread of law student success, the ABA has rejected a resolution that would have required 75% of law school graduates to pass the bar exam within 2 years of graduation in order for universities to maintain their accreditation. “ABA Rejects Controversial Rule on Law Schools, Bar Passage (1)” presents the complex arguments for and against this proposition; while critics argue that this would negatively impact minority students and unfairly target larger schools, supporters believe it would hold universities to higher standards of education. With declining bar passage rates and demands for more diverse legal teams, this is not an easy fix for the ABA.

Bar Passage       

ABA Rejects Controversial Rule on Law Schools, Bar Passage
ABA’s House of Delegates declined by a wide margin to approve a contentious resolution meant to tighten accreditation standards for law schools related to bar passage rates.

Watch Out For These 5 Bar Prep Roadblocks
Now you know what to look out for and how to avoid it. Best of luck!

Akron Law Ramps up Efforts to Help Students Pass the Bar
On Dec. 17, 2018, the law school entered into a comprehensive four-year partnership with bar review leader BARBRI.Under the agreement, BARBRI will be the exclusive provider of bar preparation courses, with Akron Law students being able to access a wealth of materials from the moment they begin law school.

Law Students

BYU Law to Host First National Storytelling Competition for Law Students
Brigham Young University's law school hopes that a new national storytelling competition for law students will spur more interest in storytelling as a key skill for lawyers, and a way to connect more personally with the law.

Law Students are Already Using Legal Technology to Live in the Future  
The days of lugging a backpack of law books around are thankfully over.

Legal Education

Charleston School of Law Still Recovering from Turbulence
The ripple effect of an ill-fated business deal still haunts the Charleston School of Law, but leaders say they are taking steps to improve the school’s services and bolster its reputation.

Law Professors and "The Party" 
Things are changings for legal academia. And that means things are changing for the AALS.

UNE and UMaine Law School Partnering on Maritime Law Program
Students who qualify could earn an undergraduate degree in marine affairs and a law degree in six years instead of the standard seven.

UH Law School Earns A+ for Diversity      
The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law has earned an A+ for 2019 from National Jurist magazine, which ranks American Bar Association-accredited U.S. law schools based on their diversity. Since 2016, when the UH law school earned an A-, it has moved up to the top grade and is now ranked fourth in the country.

Lax Tenure Standards May Have High Costs at Elite Law Schools
Schools usually apply strict standards for tenure, granting it only to the most talented and productive professors. But that is generally not true at the country’s top 14 law schools, where at least 95 percent of professors hired on the tenure track receive it, according to a paper by three University of Chicago Law School academics published Wednesday.

Other News       

Elite Law Firm’s All-White Partner Class Stirs Debate on Diversity
Above the Law, a widely read industry website, archly mocked the firm’s “commitment to putting the white in white shoe.” A group of general counsels, the people who hire elite law firms, began discussing how to respond. They later published an open letter, signed by officials at companies like Lyft, Heineken USA and Booz Allen Hamilton, calling on firms like Paul, Weiss “to reflect the diversity of the legal community” or they would send their business elsewhere.

LexisNexis Announces Upcoming Intelligent 'Research Assistant' 
The new Lexis Research Assistant tool will allow users to leverage up their search and activity history and query a chatbot within Lexis Advance.

Spending Habits of Academic Libraries Revealed
Academic libraries are buying fewer books than they used to, according to a new report by research service Ithaka S+R.

We Hold the Key: Making the Law Work for All   
Three lawyers who are also social entrepreneurs is each opening up access to the law. They remind us of just how powerful the law can be when it accompanies, in true partnership, the people and values behind transformative social change.