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The Aspen Advisor Week in Review for January 11, 2019

The Aspen Advisor Week in Review for January 11, 2019 random

This week has brought a lot of news regarding bar exam pass rates that will interest law students and professionals alike. While bar exam scores are always rising and falling, July 2018 saw a significant drop in scores. According to “Bar Exam Passers Down in July 2018”, 67% of applicants in Michigan passed in July 2018 compared to 73% in July 2017. Jeffrey L. Martlew, WMU-Cooley Interim President, points out that “the quality of a particular law school’s educational program is only one of the five factors that consistently figure into bar pass success; the others being applicant ability, applicant preparation for the exam, the quality of the applicant’s bar prep program and the relative fairness of the exam.” These factors are reflected in the article “Bar Exam Advice from Repeat Takers”. Advice given in this article stresses the importance of time management, knowing your own learning style, and using a mix of bar prep tools. As demonstrated, the quality of one’s law school education is not the only factor that predicts bar exam success.

Another interesting development in bar exam news is the increasing difficulty of California’s exam. California requires students to score at least 144 on the test which is significantly higher than the national average of 135 and results in a passing rate of only 40.7%. As outlined in “Should State Adopt Lower Passing Score for the Bar Exam? Current One May Harm Students of Color” this high standard may be disproportionately affecting minority graduates. During a time when many clients are insisting on diverse lawyering teams, lowering the required score may help make this a possibility. Until then, this is not a problem that California can ignore.

Aspen Author    

Louis J. Sirico Jr., 73, Professor and Expert on Legal Writing at Villanova’s Law School
Louis J. Sirico Jr., 73, a professor at the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law since 1981 and an expert in legal writing, died Wednesday, Dec. 26, of cancer at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Bar Exam

Should State Adopt Lower Passing Score for the Bar Exam? Current One May Harm Students of Color
A continuing decline in California’s bar exam pass rate is prompting nearly all of the state’s law school deans to call for an overhaul of the exam.

The Role of State Law in Legal Education and Attorney Licensing
How important is state law to practice? To what extent should law schools teach and test state law?

Bar Exam Advice From Repeat Takers     
They can help you stop a potential bar exam train wreck dead in its tracks.

Bar Exam Passers Down in July 2018
U-M finishes on top with 92 percent passing

Law Professors 

Chicago State U. Will Pay $650,000 in Legal Settlement Over Faculty Blog        
A four-year legal battle between the administration at Chicago State University and two of its professors has ended in a $650,000 settlement of a lawsuit over faculty members’ First Amendment rights to publish a blog criticizing administrators.

The Truth Behind How Law Schools Get Their #MeToo Intel      
It may not be the best system, but we're willing to help.

Law School Students       

Government Shutdown Leaves Law Student Externs Scrambling
Those who planned to extern at federal agencies affected by the closures must decide whether to hold out hope for the government to reopen, find new externships or just take classes instead.

Law Class of 2018 Contributed More Than $85 Million Worth of Pro Bono Legal Services
The Association of American Law Schools (AALS) again measured how much law schools contribute to the delivery of much-needed legal services through clinics, other experiential courses, and pro bono activities of law students.

Where the F are My Grades?  
“I teach for free, but I charge a hell of a lot for grading.” – attrib. every professor on the planet.

Legal Education

First Monday Musings by Dean Vik Amar: A Few Interesting Topics At The January 2018 AALS Meeting
What's going on with the GRE v. LSAT debate for law schools, and how will schools deal with NALP's new rules?

Syracuse University's College of Law Launches Innovative Online Juris Doctor Program: JDinteractive
JDinteractive is an ABA-accredited program that is the nation's first fully interactive online law degree. It is designed for well-qualified students who are committed to pursuing a high-caliber legal education.

An Institute For Law And Innovation       
The Program on Law and Innovation (PoLI) at Vanderbilt Law School offers a curriculum that leads to a Certificate in Law and Innovation for anyone who takes six or more of the Institute courses within a three-year period.  It launches in February 2019 and it’s open to more than just lawyers.

UDC Names New Dean of David A. Clarke School of Law 
The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) has named public interest lawyer Renée McDonald Hutchins as the next dean of the university’s David A. Clarke School of Law, also known as UDC Law.

Stanford Professor Chosen to Lead Notre Dame Law School         
A leading scholar of economics, commerce and finance has been chosen as Joseph A. Matson Dean of the Law School at the University of Notre Dame. G. Marcus Cole has taught at Stanford since 1997, where he held two endowed chairs and served as associate dean for curriculum and academic affairs. He succeeds Neil Jessup Newton, who is stepping down after a decade as dean on July 1. 

Other News       

Overhauling Rules for Higher Education 
The Education Department's proposals for upcoming negotiated rule-making process would narrow the responsibilities of accreditors and modify federal definitions for credit hour and distance education.

Famed Journal Lends Its Clout To Fighting Access Crisis   
In the latest issue of the 239-year-old society’s quarterly journal Daedalus, out today, that mission tackles America’s access to justice crisis, in which most people with legal problems lack the means to solve them. Featuring two dozen articles from leading law professors, researchers and experts, the issue shines a spotlight on a topic that often gets lost in the din of a nonstop news cycle.

Is Redefining Criminal Sexual Misconduct The Way To Address #MeToo?
Do we need more criminal laws to achieve justice and accountability?

Navigating The Courts: Legal You        
Ariane Ice and her husband, attorney Thomas Ice, built a website with free legal information for those Americans trying to navigate the court system.