New Law School Rankings Place NYU In Top Spot

A new study that ranks law schools by the quality of their overall faculty “team” puts New York University at the top of the list, reports Above the Law.

“It’s not an entirely new concept, but where J.B. Heaton’s project ‘Who Fields the Best Team? A (Better) Measure of the Top Ten U.S. Law Schools by Faculty Impact’ differs from prior stabs at this metric is in focusing on faculty excellence across specialties,” explains editor Joe Patrice. “Most law students don’t walk through the door knowing exactly where their career will take them — the law school with the best experts in a number of different specialties provides students with the best foundation for later success.”

Harvard’s law school takes the number 2 slot on the list.

Read the Above the Law article.




Ex-Penn State University GC Cleared of Wrongdoing

Former Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice and Penn State University general counsel Cynthia Baldwin was cleared Friday of any wrongdoing relative to her representation of university officials during the Jerry Sandusky investigation, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

She had been accused by the Pennsylvania Office of Disciplinary Counsel of violating several of the Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys as she represented Penn State, former PSU president Graham Spanier, and two other administrators while she served as university general counsel from 2010 to 2012, writes reporter Paula Reed Ward.

The case included an alleged conflict in representing the interests of the university as well as the three administrators before the investigating grand jury. All three administrators were convicted of child endangerment stemming from a case which resulted in a former university assistant football coach being convicted of sexually abusing children.

Read the Post-Gazette article.



Annual Security Report Deadline is Approaching

The U.S. Department of Education’s deadline for institutions to comply with the Annual Security Report is Oct. 1, 2018, points out Canopy Programs by United Educators.

Canopy Programs is offering assistance with its Clery Compliance Toolset, which can generate reports that include policies and procedures, as well as statistics for the past three calendar years.

The online tool will allow users to effectively:

  • Develop policies and procedures
  • Log crime and fire incidents
  • Request and log crime statistics from local law enforcement
  • Generate daily crime logs

Request a demo or download a white paper.

White Paper: Update on the U.S. Department of Education’s Clery Enforcement Measures

Canopy Programs’ new white paper, “An Update on the U.S. Department of Education’s Clery Enforcement Measures,” provides an overview of the Clery review process and cases involving institutions that were fined for Clery Act violations in 2017.

Despite the change in federal administration, the U.S. Department of Education has continued to aggressively enforce the Clery Act. Specifically, the department issued fines against 10 institutions in 2017 based on program reviews that were conducted in the past several years totaling $800,000, or an average of $80,000 per institution.

The complimentary white paper offers insight into these cases, including:

  • A review of the institutional demographics by type and enrollment size
  • What caused the program reviews to take place
  • An analysis of the length of time for the program reviews
  • Which categories of violations resulted in fines

Download the white paper.



Annual Security Report Preparation: 10 Questions to Ensure Compliance

Canopy Programs by United Educators has published “Annual Security Report: 10 Questions to Ensure Compliance,” designed to help protect educational institutions and ensure an accurate and compliant Annual Security Report (ASR) by considering 10 important questions.

“Preparing your institution’s Annual Security Report (ASR) is critical in demonstrating your school’s compliance with the Clery Act,” Canopy Programs says on its website. “Inaccuracies in the ASR—which must contain crime statistics and numerous statements of policy and procedure—and other Clery compliance deficiencies can result in review and oversight by the U.S. Department of Education (ED), fines (currently $55,907 per violation), and reputational damage.”

The publication discusses such questions as:

  1. Have we requested crime statistics from local law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction over our Clery geography?
  2. Is our Daily Crime Log up to date and available upon request?
  3. If we are a multiple campus institution, do we publish an ASR for each campus?

Continue reading “10 Questions to Ensure Compliance.”

Former Baylor Coach Rips Pepper Hamilton, Calls Out Ken Starr

Ken Starr

A former football coach who lost his job at Baylor University had some harsh words for former Baylor president Ken Starr, but his strongest words are for Pepper Hamilton, whose investigation led to Baylor’s decision to part ways with almost anyone even tangentially involved in allegations of sexual misconduct by football players.

Above the Law details the saga, based in part on an interview with Baylor’s former defensive coordinator and interim head coach Phil Bennett published by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

“Bennett rips the firm as clueless about the basics of running a college football team — allegedly suggesting to him that the school’s lawyers should have gotten involved as soon as a student showed up late for practice — and prone to inserting some disturbing racial observations,” writes editor Joe Patrice.

Read the Above the Law article.




ITT’s Former Top Executives Settle Fraud Charges With SEC

The Washington Post reports that tormer top executives at ITT Educational Services, the parent company of defunct ITT Technical Institute, have settled fraud cases with the Securities and Exchange Commission, avoiding a trial slated to begin Monday.

ITT chief executive Kevin Modany and former chief financial officer Daniel Fitzpatrick were chagred with civil fraud in 2015 for allegedly deceiving investors about high rates of late payments and defaults on student loans backed by the company, writes Danielle Douglas-Gabriel.

Although they didn’t admit or deny any wrongdoing, they agreed to pay penalties of $200,000 and $100,000, respectively. The agreement bars them from serving as officers and directors of public companies for five years.

Read the Washington Post article.



Defrauded Students of For-Profit Schools Will Stay Indebted, Judge Rules

Courthouse News Service reports that Education Secretary Betsy Devos need not provide full debt relief to more than 60,000 defrauded students, but she must stop collecting on their loans, a federal judge said in court Monday.

A proposed class of borrowers had asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim to revive an Obama-era policy that promised full debt forgiveness to students defrauded by the now-defunct, for profit Corinthian Colleges, according to reporter Nicholas Iovino.

Kim sided with the federal government’s position that returning to the “status quo” means delaying processing claims for debt relief, not going back to the Obama-era policy of forgiving all loan debt. She acknowledged that borrowers will still suffer harm to their credit and interest growing on their loans, even though she has ordered the government to stop collecting.

Read the CNS article.




Jobs-Based Law School Rankings Show Changes at the Top

The top three schools in the Law School Rankings compiled by Above the Law are different this year, with the University of Chicago Law School moving into the top slot.

Above the Law ranks schools on the basis of the latest ABA employment data concerning the class of 2017.

Executive Editor Elie Mystal mentions that the top three schools had upticks in their federal clerkship rates and speculates that the changes may be attributed to the current political picture:

“As Trump and McConnell take over the federal judiciary, it’s interesting to me that more people from Chicago and UVA and Duke are getting clerkships, while fewer people from Harvard and Yale are. It could be a one-year blip… it could be a 25-year blip if the Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation continue to have their way.”

Read the Above the Law article.




Former University GC Gets a $430K Retirement Payout

When Michigan State University head lawyer Robert Noto — under fire for his leadership in the Larry Nassar sexual assaults scandal — retired in February, he did so with a generous payout worth more than $430,000, reports the Detroit Free Press. That’s more than a year’s salary for Noto.

Noto, who had been with the university since 1995, resigned about a month after MSU Trustee Brian Mosallam called for his immediate resignation.

Reporter David Jesse writes that Noto received:

  • Six months of his $403,100 annual salary. That’s $201,550.
  • Payment for 151 unused vacation days. That’s $234,110.
  • The use of an university-owned car through Sept. 5. He also gets computer support from the university for the same time period.

Read the Free Press article.



Savannah Law School Student Sues for Fraud, Breaching Trust in Planned Closing

A Savannah Law School student has sued school officials for fraud and breach of trust duties stemming from their decision to prematurely close the school in May, which she said will deprive her of the chance to become a lawyer, reports the Savannah Morning News.

The plaintiff, Jordan Crewe, alleged the school’s pending closure results “at least in part from the defendants’ mismanagement of funding for the law school.” In the suit, she also contended the defendants “established Savannah Law School to obtain federal student loan money while aiming long-term to make a profit by flipping the property.”

Reporter Jan Skutch writes that the defendants in the suit are Savannah Law School, John Marshall Law School and John Marshall University, Savannah Law School Associate Dean Keith Harrison and Michael Markovitz, law school board member and treasurer.

Crewe has completed three of the four years needed to obtain a law degree from the school.

Read the Morning News article.



The Law Schools With The Best And Worst First-Time Bar Exam Pass Rates In 2017

The American Bar Association has published bar exam pass rates for all law schools in the United States, indicating those rates ranging from 98.58  percent to 26.53 percent.

Above the Law offers some comment on the ratings, along with a peek at the best and worst on the list. (The ABA has made available for downloading an Excel spreadsheet listing all the schools’ rates.)

The University of Chicago Law School tops the list with a first-time pass rate better than 98 percent. At the other end of the scale is the Arizona Summit Law School with a rate of 26.53 percent.

Read the Above the Law article.




The 2019 U.S. News Law School Rankings Leak: The Top 100

Yale Law School
Image by Step

Above the Law has posted a leaked preview of U.S. News & World Report‘s U.S. law school rankings, from Yale University at number one to a six-way tie for spot number 74.

“The biggest winners here were Pepperdine, Denver, Miami, and Villanova, each gaining 12 places in the rankings,” writes Staci Zaretsky. “The biggest losers in this segment of the rankings were Utah and Rutgers, with 10- and 12-spot drops, respectively.”

Rounding out the top five, behind Yale, are Stanford, Harvard, University of Chicago, and Columbia.

The University of California-Berkeley cracked the top 10 by moving up three spots from last year’s list.

Read the Above the Law article.




Michigan State Trustee Calls for GC to Resign in Wake of Scandal

Michigan State University Trustee Brian Mosallam is calling for the resignation of Bob Noto, the school’s vice president for legal affairs and general counsel, in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal, reports The Detroit News.

The university issued two reports on the allegations of Nassar misconduct involving girls and young women he treated when he was a team physician.

Reporter Kim Kozlowski writes: “Both reports cleared Nassar, but the unabridged report that recently surfaced and was marked confidential showed that Nassar was a liability to the university and ‘is exposing patients to unnecessary trauma based on the possibility of perceived inappropriate sexual misconduct.'”

Read the Detroit News article.





New Ranking Pegs Duke As World’s Top Law School

Image by SElefant

Times Higher Education has posted its latest rankings of the world’s 100 top law schools, and five American universities are in the top 10.

Leading the list is Duke University, followed by Stanford and Yale.

The highest ranking non-U.S. law school is the University of Cambridge in the UK, at number 5.

Thirty American law schools made the list, while the United Kingdom had 23. Other countries with schools in the top 100 were Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Read the article.


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Top-Tier College Coaches, Adidas Rep Charged With Bribing Players

Bribe - moneyBloomberg is reporting that top-tier college basketball programs were thrown into turmoil Tuesday as federal prosecutors unveiled criminal charges against 10 coaches, managers, financial advisers and representatives of sportswear companies including Adidas AG, accusing them of making illicit payments to cash in on the vast riches generated at the sport’s highest levels.

“The alleged schemes include illicit payoffs to steer young athletes to powerhouse schools and into clothing contracts and financial advisory deals,” write Christian Berthelsen and Bob Van Voris. “Among those charged were current and former coaching staff members at Oklahoma State University, the University of Arizona, the University of Southern California and the University of South Carolina.”

The case followed allegations that an executive at an apparel company bribed students to attend universities where the company sponsored athletic programs.

Read the Bloomberg article.



Dallas Attorney Says Admissions Suit against University of Texas is Step Backward

Image by Thane

In another attempt to change the admissions process at the University of Texas at Austin, a group — led by a man who unsuccessfully sued the university previously over its admissions process — has filed a lawsuit claiming UT violates state law by using race and ethnic considerations as factors in its admissions, according to a post on the website of Androvett Legal Media & Marketing.

Edward Blum’s nonprofit organization, Students for Fair Admissions, says UT gives African-American and Hispanic candidates preference over white and Asian applicants.

Lynn Pinker Cox & Hurst partner Shonn Brown says this latest attempt is a step backward.

“The University of Texas still struggles to obtain a diverse student population,” Shonn says. “It proceeds under an admissions policy that has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. Blum’s group and its actions seek to return to the ‘days of old’ and if put into place would likely take UT backwards in its attempts to utilize additional across-the-board process that assists in increasing diversity in the UT student population.”

‘Gainful Employment’ No True Test of School Success

Two weeks before it was set to take effect, the Department of Education has stopped the implementation of a rule designed to hold for-profit colleges accountable for marketing claims about employment rates for graduates. Had the Borrower Defense to Repayment rule taken effect, for-profit colleges would have had to prove their programs led to the “gainful employment” of graduates or risk the loss of federal aid, according to a post by Androvett Legal Media & Marketing.

“There is no doubt that the student loan bubble may burst in the near future due to the crushing amount of student loan debt resulting from the skyrocketing costs of attendance combined with the limited availability of jobs upon graduation,” says Dallas bankruptcy attorney Aaron Gottlieb of Godwin Bowman & Martinez.

“However, some responsibility must still remain with the student loan borrower to carefully choose which colleges and programs to attend. If a for-profit school provides the student an education and degree for which the student paid tuition, then a ‘gainful employment’ requirement following graduation seems to be too broad a brush to wield in determining whether the for-profit school made a material misrepresentation.

“In fact, several lawsuits have been dismissed over the past five to 10 years on the basis of student borrowers’ reliance on publications such as U.S. News & World Report, which listed inaccurate employment rates of graduates. The courts have consistently considered this information mere ‘puffery,’ rather than any sort of guarantee. I fail to see the difference between touting ‘employment rates,’ and promising ‘gainful employment.’ They appear, from my perspective, to be one and the same.”


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The 2017 Law School Rankings – Changes at the Top

Above the Law has released its updated statistics on law school employment outcomes, which are entirely outcome-based — by how well their students do upon graduating.

“These are the only rankings to incorporate the latest ABA employment data concerning the class of 2016,” according to the introduction to the rankings. “The premise underlying our approach to ranking schools remains the same: that given the steep cost of law school and the new normal of the legal job market, potential students should prioritize their future employment prospects over all other factors in deciding whether and where to attend law school.”

This year’s rankings of the top 50 law schools saw Yale fall from number 1 in 2016 to number 3. Stanford moved up from the second slot to the top this year.

Some other schools had big changes, with William & Mary Law School dropping 18 places.

See Above the Law’s top 50 rankings.


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The Law Schools With the Lowest (And Highest) Acceptance Rates

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Generally speaking, law schools with low acceptance rates masterfully weathered the storm over the past decade, keeping their standards high, writes Staci Zaretsky for Above the Law.

This came during a time when applications plummeted and entering students’ qualifications sank, while law schools with high acceptance rates fared quite poorly, admitting almost anyone who applied in an effort to keep the lights on, she adds.

Her article covers the release of some data from U.S. News, which compiled statistics showing acceptance rates for American law schools.

The school with the lowest acceptance rate is Yale Law School, with 9.5 percent of its applicants gaining entry. At the other end of the list is Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School, which saw 85.8 percent of its applicants getting into class.

Read the Above the Law article.


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