Rachel Janutis, who served as interim dean of Capital University School of Law, has had the "interim" tag removed. The University named her permanent dean this week. Janutis, a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law, joined the Capital faculty in 2002.
New details are emerging from Charlotte Law School. They have pushed back the start of their semester from January 17th to January 23; some, but not all, students will apparently get federal student loans for the spring; and it looks very much like Charlotte Law may be headed for closure in the not too distant future as they are working on a teach-out plan that involves Infilaw sister school Florida Coastal.
Late this afternoon, Charlotte Law Dean Jay Conison and President Chidi Ogene sent the following e-mail to Charlotte Law Students:
Dear Charlotte School of Law Students:
We are writing to confirm that Charlotte School of Law plans to reopen for the spring semester on January 23, 2017, the start date we announced a few days ago.
We realize there has been much public discussion and speculation in the media and elsewhere as to the future of CSL. We want to affirm these plans and eliminate uncertainty on this subject.
We continue to be in discussions with the Department of Education, American Bar Association and North Carolina Board of Governors regarding these arrangements. These are multi-faceted discussions, which are taking more time than we anticipated, but the passage of time has not changed our decision to operate and offer classes for the spring semester.
While CSL is not presently participating in the federal student aid programs, as we have previously reported, many of our students will qualify for the final disbursement of their 2016-17 Federal Direct Loans to support their education in the upcoming semester. More specifically, under Department of Education regulations, students who were awarded Federal Direct Loans for the 2016-2017 academic year and received the first disbursement of those loans in the fall semester are entitled to the second disbursement of loan funds to support their enrollment this spring. We are confident that we will reach agreement that will result in the Department meeting this legal commitment.
We are working to provide financial aid, including access to student loans from institutional and other non-federal sources, for those students who are not now entitled to a federal loan disbursement.
We are also working with the ABA and the North Carolina Board of Governors to implement a teach-out plan with the assistance of another ABA-accredited law school with the goal of allowing all students who chose to do so to complete their legal education in Charlotte. We are discussing this subject with the Florida Coastal School of Law, in order to arrange for terms that will satisfy the requirements of the ABA and North Carolina Board.
We are sorry that we cannot provide you with more detailed information at this time but we do want to be clear regarding our plans to start classes on January 23rd. We look forward to talking with you in more detail about your options and individual situations in the very near future. And we will continue to update you via email when we have new information to share.
Other news to emerge from Charlotte in recent days:
Ilya Somin, at the Volokh Conspiracy, has written a powerful post about why conservatives, libertarians and constitutional federalists should opposed the nomination of Jefferson Sessions to be U.S. attorney general. In brief, Somin objects to Sessions's support for asset forfeiture, his enthusiasm for the war on drugs, and his opposition to penal reform. I am hoping that Stephen Presser, whose oped I discussed yesterday, does not think Somin's post is arrogant and presumptuous (as he referred to other professors who oppose Sessions), even though it appears to make recommendations to the Senate. "What makes them think they know more than senators?" Presser asked.
This gives me an opportunity to say something more about petitions to Congress, and other expressions of disagreement with the government, which I think are essential in democracy and not, as Presser put it, merely "pious pontification"
One of the most shameful eras in U.S. congressional history began in 1836 when the House of Representatives passed a resolution that automatically refused to receive anti-slavery petitions. Known as the "gag rule," the resolution was drafted in response to the repeated petitions of the American Anti-Slavery Society, which had begun several years earlier. Although there were very few law professors in early nineteenth century America, the Anti-Slavery Society was composed of many of the leading academics, clergy, and intellectual of the day, who were often dismissed as arrogant and presumptuous. The gag rule remained in effect until 1844.
Duquesne Law Review is now accepting exclusive submissions for our Volume 55 Summer issue. Submissions made through this process will be accepted through January 26, 2017, at 11:59 EST. We will notify all participating authors of publication decisions by February 1, 2017.
Participating authors agree to withhold any articles submitted to us through this process from submission to any other publication until they have been notified by us of our decision. Please note that by submitting an article during this window, authors agree to accept a binding offer for publication if one is extended. Any articles accepted through this process will be published in Duquesne Law Review’s Volume 55 issue, which is slated for publication in Summer 2017. Authors who do not receive a publication offer in this process are free to submit elsewhere.
Duquesne Law Review is the flagship journal of Duquesne University School of Law, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Recent issues of Duquesne Law Review have featured the work of Professor Maryann Glendon, Professor Ed Imwinkelried, Judge Richard Posner, Judge Frank Easterbrook, Professor Mary Beth Beazley, Professor Richard Neumann, Professor Lyn Entrikin, and Professor Stephanos Bibas.
To submit your article for consideration in this exclusive window, please email it (in .doc or .docx format) and your CV to email@example.com, with “Exclusive Summer Submission”in the subject line.
At the AALS annual meeting last week, the topic of international students in US law schools was the focus of a number of sessions. These included a discussion about (i) fostering inclusion of international students enrolled in post-JD programs as well as encouraging their interaction with JD students, (ii) the ABA Section of Legal Education’s approach to gathering information and acquiescing in post-JD and non-JD programs that include international students and (iii) how law schools help international students in non-JD programs prepare for a US bar exam. The number of sessions that included some discussion of international students’ experiences in US law schools, coupled with the variety of participants in these sessions, is some evidence of the importance of this population to US law schools.
At the same time, many who work with the international student population remain frustrated with the absence of basic information about this group and their experiences in US law schools. For example, there is no public source of information reporting the number of international students in US law schools outside of those enrolled in a JD program, much less on the home countries of such students (law schools report the number of non-resident alien JD students in their Standard 509 reports). Demographic information about international applicants to post- and non-JD programs (including number of applicants, home country, age, gender etc) is not available, nor do law schools report on their funding of international students in these degree programs. My work on the careers of international LLMs remains the only empirical research on career trajectories and the ways in which international students experienced the value of a US LLM.
The AALS sessions did not solve this dearth of information, and comments by Bill Adams of the Section of Legal Education indicated that the Section is reluctant to add disclosure obligations relating to information that is not directly necessary for regulatory purposes. And information about applicants, law school experiences, funding and careers is not required for the Section to determine its position on acquiescence, which is the standard for non- and post-JD programs. But perhaps there is another reason for law schools to cooperate on disclosing this sort of information, related to what Theresa Kaiser-Jarvis of the University of Michigan describes as a business reason: to help US law schools make informed decisions in structuring the operating programs for international students, and to contribute to knowledge about the value of US legal education for these students.
My next post will take up the issue of the value of US legal education for international students.
We are very pleased to have Professor Carole Silver, of Northwestern Law, join us in the Lounge as a guest. Carole joined Northwestern in 2014. Cribbing from the school's website:
Silver was Professor of Law at Indiana University, Maurer School of Law from 2010-2013; at the same time, she was Director of the Law School Survey of Student Engagement, which surveys law students in the United States, Canada and Australia about their educational experiences, behaviors and attitudes towards law school. Before joining Indiana, she was Executive Director of the Center for the Study of the Legal Profession and Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, and Senior Lecturer at Northwestern University Law School. Earlier, she practiced corporate and securities law at Sidley & Austin, and clerked for Judge Jesse Eschbach of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Professor Silver served as a member of the ABA’s Ethics 20/20 Commission from 2009 – 2013, a group created by the ABA President to study the influence of globalization and technology on lawyer regulation.
Infilaw should be transparent about communication with the U.S. Department of Education regarding Florida Coastal School of Law’s continued participation in the federal student loan program. The ED cited two independent reasons to deny CSL’s participation in the federal student loan program. First, the ED cited CSL’s non-compliance with the ABA standards. Second, the ED cited CSL’s “substantial misrepresentations regarding the nature of its academic program.” The ED based this finding, in part, on CSL’s failure to disclose until November 2016 that the ABA found the school non-compliant with the ABA standards in February 2016. If Coastal has received notice from the ABA about non-compliance, it has not disclosed it to date. That could provide a basis for the ED to take similar action against Coastal.
On January 9, 2017, in an apparent response to these calls for greater transparency, Florida Coastal released a statement to its students and to some media outlets about an area of non-compliance with regulatory standards that it had not previously publicly disclosed, specifically, that the Department of Education has recently published the Gainful Employment (GE) resultsand Florida Coastal failed. If a school fails this test in two out of three years (or two years in a row), then it will lose access to Federal student loan funding from the Department of Education, so this is clearly information that both current and prospective Florida Coastal students are entitled to know. The results were publicly released on November 23, 2016, so Florida Coastal has known about the results for at least several weeks.
The first striking thing about the recent letter signed by 1,100 law professors urging the U.S. Senate not to confirm attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., is its extraordinary arrogance and presumption. What makes such a huge gaggle of academics so sure that 1) the Senate is incapable of determining on its own the qualifications of Sessions for a Cabinet position, and 2) What makes them think they know more than senators?
Presser calls this the "pious pontification of the law professoriate," but it seems to me more like a dose of decent democracy. The Senate, as we all know, is tasked with providing advice and consent for presidential appointments. Given the size and breadth of the U.S., it is self-evidently impossible for the senators to have all possible information at hand, and thus they benefit from the input of citizens. Consequently, there is nothing inherently arrogant or presumptuous about seeking to communicate with senators. The First Amendment itself protects the right "to petition the government," which necessarily implies that there are things the government -- including the Senate -- does not know and may not want to hear.
Presser expands his argument by asserting that "The exaggerated self-importance of the teacher of law is buttressed by immersion in an ideology very different from what most senators and most Americans believe about the law in particular and the world in general." But this point actually cuts the other way. If professors have an outlook "very different" from the senators, that is a reason to proffer their viewpoint, not to stifle it. Decision makers benefit from multiple inputs, and good judgment is compromised in an echo chamber (on both the right and the left).
Readers may recall Dan Filler's TFL post with a link to the sign-on letter. In case anyone is interested, I did not sign it -- as I do not generally sign such letters unless they are within my academic field.
Nonetheless, Presser is quite wrong to denounce the scholars who respectfully expressed their views on Sessions.
[NOTE: This post has been slightly edited for clarity and typo correction.]
The M.L.A.’s departing president, the philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah, has remained neutral during his term, but he said after the vote that he was “strongly opposed to all cultural boycotts.”
"Governments do terrible things all the time," he said. "Our own government does terrible things. But that's not a reason for people not to visit American institutions and talk to American scholars."
In a separate vote, the Delegate Assembly more narrowly approved a resolution opposing the academic boycott of Israel because it “contradicts the MLA’s purpose to promote teaching and research on language and literature” and therefore may “curtail debates with representatives of Israeli universities, such as faculty members, department chairs and deans, thereby blocking possible dialogue and general scholarly exchange.” If the anti-boycott resolution is approved by the MLA's Executive Council, it will then be submitted to the organization's full membership for a vote.
In a related development, the council of the American Historical Association also rejected an anti-Israel resolution (for the third time in the last three years).