Monday, December 19, 2016

In Defense of the Bar Exam

When the number of law school applicants plummeted a few years ago, many schools dipped very deep into the applicant pool – as in near open enrollment – to fill seats and boost revenues.  Not surprisingly, three years later when these students graduated, some schools’ bar passage rates dipped – and in some cases went into free-fall.  (You can see the carnage in California, for example, here.)  The problem is that a low enough bar passage rate for a long enough period of time could put the school’s ABA accreditation at risk.  So the natural response of some law schools was to blame the bar exam as being an unfair test – a position that now aligns nicely with their desire to fill their seats with any student loan conduit applicant who can pass the mirror test.  But now, two deans have written an op-ed on the Tax Prof Blog to point out the flaws in law schools’ worn-out arguments.  Kudos to them; you can find their work here.

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Joe Mixon Video

I just saw the Joe Mixon video on Sports Center, and it’s also available here.  I wish they would have discussed two things.  First, Mixon starts to walk away at which point the victim appears to say something to him, pushes him, and then smacks him in the side of the head — all before he strikes her.  Maybe it’s just the criminal defense lawyer in me, but I’d like to hear a debate about what type of response, if any, would have qualified as reasonably necessary to terminate her unlawful interference with his person.  (As an example of a self-defense statute, Wisconsin’s is here.)  Would a shove have been okay?  What if the shove was forceful enough to put her on the ground but did not cause any injury?  Second, according to Sports Center, Mixon “pleaded guilty to the charge without making an admission of guilt.”  How can a person plead guilty without admitting guilt?  Isn’t that what a no contest plea accomplishes?  (This is either bad reporting or a quirk in Oklahoma law.)  Finally, an observation.  From a purely practical standpoint, there’s a lesson here that should not be overlooked: If you don’t push and smack a person in the head, you will dramatically decrease your odds of getting knocked out.  You know, an ounce of prevention and all that.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Tale of Two Schools

I just read a Boston Globe article about DeVry University agreeing to pay $100 million to settle a lawsuit.  (Hat tip to “the Chow.”)  The suit alleged that DeVry provided misleading employment data to prospective students.  The school had boasted a 90 percent employment rate.  However, “DeVry was counting students who found jobs outside the fields they studied” including “a graduate who studied in the health care field but found work as a restaurant server and another who worked as a car salesman[.]”

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Knightly to remain at the Legal Watchdog

After a disappointing 3-8 football season, the University of Connecticut Huskies have offered Knightly the position of team mascot.  Although Knightly was honored by the offer, and will continue to support Husky athletics, I am happy to report that he has declined the offer so he can continue his work at the Legal Watchdog.