I was wrong. WMU Thomas Cooley School of Law and the ABA haven’t settled their lawsuit after all. After I wrote the column on April 28 speculating that they had, there was no action in the lawsuit for a couple of weeks, so it seemed like the parties might be biding their time waiting to inform the Court that they had reached a settlement. But today, I went onto Pacer and found that both parties are still actively litigating, with a recent flurry of motions and replies and responses. In fact, Cooley filed a response to the ABA’s motion for summary judgment yesterday, and it’s a doozy.
Dean Robert Adler of the University of Utah law school, has announced that he will be stepping down at the end of the 2018-19 school year. He began serving as interim dean in 2013. - taking the job permanently the next year.
This just in: Arizona Summit has followed the lead of sister InfiLaw Schools Florida Coastal and Charlotte and sued the ABA. I haven't seen the lawsuit yet, which was filed by Kirkland & Ellis, but it apparently makes similar claims as the other two lawsuits.
The school issued a press release which contains wildly exaggerated claims by Interim Dean Penny Willrich, such as this gem: "dozens of other schools with similar or lower incoming credentials of their students were not – and many still have not been – found out of compliance or sanctioned by the ABA." This is simply and demonstrably false. Every other law school with similar or lower incoming credentials of students as Arizona Summit in 2015 and 2016 has also been found out of compliance or sanctioned by the ABA, with the exception of Southern University. One law school is hardly "dozens". Although Arizona Summit did raise its median LSAT in 2017 to 148 (by shrinking to 49 students) this was only after the school had been placed on probation in March of 2017. For the preceding five years, Arizona Summit had been among the half a dozen or so schools in the country with the weakest entrance credentials. Arizona Summit had a median LSAT of 143 in 2016 and 2015, 144 in 2014 and 2013 and 145 in 2012. And of course Arizona Summit has had among the lowest bar pass rates in the country for the last four years, and had the lowest "ultimate" pass rate for the class of 2015 on the ABA's recent spreadsheet. Just last week, the Arizona February bar exam results were announced, and Arizona Summit had a 19.8% pass rate, 31% for first-time takers, and 13.5% for repeaters. Another telling statistic is that Arizona Summit had nearly twice as many repeaters (81) as first-time takers (45). These latest bar results are a legacy of Arizona Summit's predatory admissions policies in 2014 and 2015.
Here is another blatantly hyperbolic statement by Arizona President Don Lively. Referring to the ABA's decision to place Arizona Summit on probation: "it is hard to imagine a more blatant due process violation." Actually, Don, it is hard to imagine a more blatant example of exploitation of unqualified students than you have been running for years. I predict the ABA's decision to place Arizona Summit on probation will be upheld by the U.S. District Court.
Dean Suzanne Reynolds, who has led Wake Forest Law since 2014, announced she will be stepping down at the end of the 2018-19 school year. Reynolds is a genuine article Demon Deacon, having joined the Wake Law faculty in 1981 - graduating from the school four years earlier.
FIU Law has completed its search for a new dean and it has selected Vice-Dean Antony Page of the University of Indiana - Indianapolis Law. Page, who holds a JD from Stanford, joined IU in 2003 and will move to South Florida this July.
Recently, the ABA has been sued by Western Michigan University Thomas Cooley School of Law, and two InfiLaw schools: Florida Coastal School of Law and the defunct Charlotte School of Law. In addition, the ABA was named as a co-defendant along with InfiLaw and Charlotte School of Law in an amended complaint filed in a fraud lawsuit by a former Charlotte law professor and a Charlotte law student. These lawsuits allege that the ABA has failed in its duties as a law school accrediting agency in a variety of ways.
In this (very long) article, I will attempt to make sense of the various allegations made against the ABA in these lawsuits. In order to understand the lawsuits, it is important first to have some historical context regarding enrollment trends and the recent history of the ABA’s approach to law school accreditation, particularly with respect to its enforcement of Admissions Standard 501 of the ABA Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools.
My brother Alex is an ethnomusicologist at the University of Minnesota. He and I have an oped at CNN.com, on the origin of "Stand by Me," which was performed at the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Here is the gist:
The backstory of the perfect royal wedding song
Then there was the gospel choir. As Salamishah Tillet described it in the New York Times, the "awesome power" of southeast London's Kingdom Choir "showcased the sheer breadth of a trans-Atlantic black identity" in its "rollicking rendition of Ben E. King's 'Stand by Me.'"
She was right in her appreciation of the group's performance, which moved all wedding attendees. But there is a backstory to the song that makes it even more appropriate for such an inclusive occasion. It was the product of one of the celebrated cradles of American popular music, a place where artists from different backgrounds collaborated in the creation of a now classic sound.
Tillet refers to "Stand by Me" as representative of the "African-American songbook," and, of course, it was first released and made famous by Ben E. King in 1961. King shared the credits, however, with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, two songwriters working in New York City's Brill Building.
Born this day in 1930, Milk was the first openly gay elected official in the United States. He was assassinated on November 27, 1978. You can read more about the visionary civil rights and political leader here.
Rutgers University has selectedDavid Lopez, partner at Outten and Golden, as its new law school co-dean, based at the Newark campus. He was the General Counsel of the EEOC in the Obama Administration. He holds a JD from Harvard Law School.
Opponents of partisan redistricting have reason for concern this morning.
There is still no decision yet in the two major partisan gerrymandering cases before the U.S. Supreme Court: Gill v. Whitford, the Wisconsin case argued in October 2017, and Benisek v. Lamone, the Maryland case argued in March 2018. But we received a big clue yesterday when the Court announced its decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, a case that has nothing to do with election law.
The story of Archbishop Romero is one of the most important in Central American history. He was shot and killed on March 24, 1980 as he celebrated Mass at the Chapel of the Hospital de la Divina Providencia in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador.