Meet the 16-Year-Old Texan Who Will Be Attending Law School This Fall

The Dallas Morning News reports that Haley Taylor Schlitz, who graduated from high school at 13, is preparing to attend Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law this fall, one of nine schools that accepted her, according to the American Bar Association.

Haley was homeschooled after her parents withdrew her from public school in the fifth grade because they didn’t like the way she was being taught, writes the Dallas NewsSarah Sarder. After high school, she began taking classes at Tarrant County College and started at Texas Woman’s University in 2017, according to her website.

“Haley initially wanted to go into medicine like her mother but now wants to become an attorney and advocate for gifted students from traditionally neglected communities. She has spoken out against systemic racism in American public schools,” according to Sarder.

Read the Dallas News article.



11 Law Schools With High Student LSAT Scores

Yale Law School
Image by Step

A study by U.S. News & World Report reveals that the 11 law schools with the highest scores on the  Law School Admission Test had average median scores of nearly 171.

That score compares with the national average median of 156, based on LSAT scores reported by 192 ranked schools to U.S. News in an annual survey.

Harvard University and Yale University tied for the top median LSAT score, with full-time law students entering in fall 2018 earning a 173 at both institutions, the magazine reports.

Read the U.S. News article.



High-Profile Defendants in College Scandal Hiring Biglaw Heavy-Hitters

Defendants in the college admissions cheating scandal case have been turning to Biglaw firms for representation, including Cooley, Sidley Austin, Latham & Watkins, Boies Schiller Flexner, and Ropes & Gray.

Bloomberg Law reports that two of the latest hires are Cooley partners Randall R. Lee and William Schwartz, who have been hired by Jane Buckingham, the founder and chief executive of Trendera, a youth marketing consultancy. Prosecutors allege she paid $50,000 for someone to take the ACT college entrance exam in her son’s place.

And Jack W. Pirozzolo, a partner in Sidley Austin’s Boston office, is representing William McGlashan Jr., who worked at private equity firm TPG before being fired in the wake of the scandal.

Read the Bloomberg article.



Biglaw Co-Chair Charged in College Bribery Scheme

Bloomberg Law reports that Willkie Farr & Gallagher Co-Chairman Gordon R. Caplan has been charged along with dozens of others, including Hollywood actors and executives, in a criminal conspiracy to bribe college admissions officials to gain admission for their children to top universities.

According to Bloomberg’s Melissa Heelan Stanzione, Caplan was arrested at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday and was released on $500,000 bail after appearing in Manhattan federal court.

Caplan has been charged with donating $75,000 to the Key Worldwide Foundation. “In an exchange detailed in court filings, two of the FBI’s cooperating witnesses agreed to proctor his daughter’s college entrance exam and correct the answers after she finished it,” Stanzione reports.

Another Bloomberg report contains a transcript of a discussion involving a call Caplan had with William Singer, the founder of a corrupt college counseling and test-prep business who would later become a cooperating witness:

“Look, I’m particularly interested in working with you guys and figuring out what’s best for [my daughter],” Caplan said, according to the criminal complaint, which details the conversation intercepted on a court-authorized wiretap.

Read the Bloomberg reports
here and here



MSU Will Pay Fired GC Almost $1 Million Not to Work for Them

Bob Young, fired last week as Michigan State University’s general counsel, will receive at least $990,402 in departing the university, school spokeswoman Emily Guerrant said Wednesday.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Young, the university’s top lawyer, had a three-year contract that paid $425,000 a year in salary. The lump sum paid off the balance of the contract.

“Young had been brought in by interim President John Engler to guide the school’s legal strategy as it dealt with the fallout from the Larry Nassar sexual assaults scandal, including hundreds of lawsuits filed by victims of the former MSU doctor. The first round of those suits ended in a $500-million settlement,” according to Free Press reporter David Jesse.

Read the Free Press article.



Michigan State Fires Former State Supreme Court Justice as GC

Michigan State University has removed former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bob Young as its general counsel, reports the Lansing State Journal.

Young’s last day was Friday, eight months after he started in the job.

Young’s salary at MSU was $425,000 per year. He had a contract that ran through May 31, 2021, making its total value $1.275 million.

“A university spokeswoman said Young will receive a full payout of that contract,” writes the State Journal‘s Matt Mencarini. “That would mean the university will pay about $1 million on the remaining balance.”

Read the Lansing State Journal article.



Law Schools Where Too Many Graduates Fail the Bar Exam May Face Tougher Sanctions

The American Bar Association this week will take up the issue of poor performing law schools, considering a controversial proposal that would toughen the bar-pass standard for law schools.

“The proposal is likely to be vigorously debated and comes after criticism that the accrediting body has allowed schools to admit too many lower-achieving students who struggle to pass the bar,” predicts an in-depth article on the subject published by USA Today.

“Here’s what could change: Law schools have five years to show 75% of their graduates who take the bar exam have passed. The proposal would narrow that to two years,” the authors explain.

Some critics say the five-year rule has allowed schools to continue operating even with dismal bar-passage rates. “It’s virtually impossible to fail,” says Kyle McEntee, executive director of Law School Transparency, “although some schools are managing to come close.”

Read the USA Today article.



Marquette Law School Professor Suspended Over Student Relationship

A Marquette University Law School professor who might otherwise weigh in as an expert on such issues has been suspended over allegations he had an inappropriate relationship with a student, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The school dismissed Paul Secunda, a blogger and authority on labor and employment law, from his teaching duties two weeks from the end of this past semester. The dismissal is the result of a university investigation that began last May, the school said in a statement.

“Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits gender-based discrimination in education, colleges and universities have become more cautious about student-faculty dating, even while some say that, short of harassment, such consensual relationships among adults should be considered private matters,” according to Journal Sentinel reporter Bruce Vielmetti.

Read the Milwaukee Journal article.



The 10 Worst Law Schools in the Country

The Faculty Lounge has studied the American Bar Association’s recently released Standard 509 reports from every accredited law school in the country and drawn some conclusions about which are the least selective.

In the report, David Frakt, who serves as chair of the National Advisory Council for Law School Transparency, writes that 2017 defending champion Western Michigan University Thomas Cooley Law School repeats for 2018, claiming the number 1 spot on the list of bottom 10 schools.

According to his analysis, Cooley enrolled at least 135 students with LSATs at 139 or below, the bottom 12 percent of all LSAT takers.

His article lists the other nine law schools in the bottom-10 list.

Read the Above the Law article.





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.