Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Karen Sloan at National Law Journal: The American Bar Association proposal to eliminate its tenure requirement for law schools drew a hostile reception during the Association of American Law School’s annual meeting in New York over the weekend.
National Law Journal: The University of Kansas School of Law must pay a $50,000 fine for admitting two foreign attorneys into a new LL.M. program that the ABA had not approved.
Law.com: The nine-months-after graduation jobs statistic is no more. The American Bar Association’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar on Friday narrowly approved moving the timeline for collecting new graduation employment figures back one month.
Wall Street Journal (via Google): Hell hath no fury like a lawyer scorned, or so it seems in Kansas, where Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is taking abuse for having the temerity to select a judicial nominee for a vacancy on the state’s Court of Appeals. According to the state bar association and its allies at the George Soros-funded Justice at Stake, Mr. Brownback should have to broadcast his shortlist of judicial nominees before he makes a selection.
NRO: Now that the new process is kicking into gear, Missouri Plan advocates are throwing a conniption fit over the fact that Governor Brownback won’t publicly disclose the names of applicants for judicial vacancies.
National Law Journal: A proposal to tighten the American Bar Association’s bar passage requirement for law schools hasn’t gone over well with some advocates for diversity in the legal profession.
ABA: The committee updating the American Bar Association’s law school accreditation standards hopes to wrap up its initial review by the end of 2013, but the group remains nowhere near a consensus regarding job protections for law faculty—perhaps the most controversial item on its agenda.
Blog of the Legal Times: A group of 360 ABA members from all 50 states came to D.C. for the group’s annual ABA Day, which included trips to Capitol Hill on Wednesday and Thursday. The lawyers urged members of Congress to quickly fill empty seats in the federal judiciary and support increased funding for federal courts and the Legal Services Corp., the largest civil legal aid provider in the United States.
When Even Members of the T14 Don’t Comply With ABA Standards, Will Law Schools Ever Be Truly Transparent?
Above the Law: These days, now that word has gotten out that employment in the entry-level legal sector has run dry, law school applications are on pace to hit a 30-year low. You’d think that given the gravity of the situation — not to mention the ebb and flow of class action lawsuits having to do with job statistics — law schools do their best to comply with the ABA’s standards, but apparently even that’s too hard to do.
GLAD: The American Bar Association Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity recognized Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defender’s Civil Rights Project Director Mary L. Bonauto with the newly created Stonewall Award for her significant achievements in advancing the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
4-traders.com: Current legal issues in Latin America, election crime and punishment, and same-sex marriage are among the topics that will be discussed at the American Bar AssociationSection of International Law’s Fall Meeting. The Oct. 16 – 20 meeting will bring together legal practitioners from government, academia and private practice to Miami. Some 1,000 lawyers from 47 countries, including the United States, are expected at the meeting.
Findlaw: The accrediting body of law schools, the American Bar Association (ABA), has passed a new set of rules regarding reporting of law school data like employment and salary information.
ABA Journal: Civil rights activist Morris Dees was awarded the ABA Medal, the association’s highest honor, during a meeting of the ABA House of Delegates on Tuesday.
National Review Bench Memos: Senator Graham would like to “stop the politics around being a judge,” but said nothing about the fact that the ABA’s privileged role in judicial selection has further politicized the process, usually tilting it leftward. The ABA’s glaring ideological bias has been noted by prominent commentators . . .
Wall Street Journal (via Google): This politically charged environment, Mr. Graham maintains, is the result of the Senate’s broken process. “I’m really worried about how we’re doing confirmations. They’re turning into political events,” the South Carolina Republican said. “I’m not worried about judicial activism, I’m worried about Senate activism.” Hmm.
Religion Clause Blog: At its annual meeting yesterday, the American Bar Association House of Delegates voted to expand its policy against racial and ethnic profiling by police to also condemn profiling on the basis of actual or perceived religious affiliation. (ABA Press Release).
National Law Journal: The dismal job market for newly minted lawyers has influenced how most law school administrators approach their course offerings, with 76 percent of the institutions surveyed by the American Bar Association reporting that they’ve modified their curricula to adapt.
Ed Whelan reports at Bench Memos: Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and ranking Senate Judiciary Committee member Chuch Grassley have sent a strong letter . . The ABA presents itself to the public as a non-partisan, professional organization. However, it has chosen to advocate for this Administration’s circuit court nominees in the few remaining months before this presidential election, when it chose not to do so before either of the last two presidential elections despite much more compelling circumstances. This sort of selective advocacy is precisely why so many people question the ABA’s professed neutrality.
Orin Kerr at the Volokh Conspiracy: id the ABA ever urge the Senate to confirm nominees during the Bush Administration? Not as far as I can tell
Blog of the Legal Times: The American Bar Association sent a letter to Senate leaders yesterday expressing a “grave concern” for the high number of longstanding federal judicial vacancies. The group urged floor votes on three noncontroversial appellate court nominees this month.
The National Law Journal: The longtime partnership between the American Law Institute and the American Bar Association to provide continuing legal education programs has ended.
AdvisorOne.com: The American Bar Association Senior Lawyers Division released a book last week intended to help attorneys, their clients and individuals interested in organizing their lives with these complicated matters.
The National Law Journal: Two days after receiving word that the American Bar Association had denied it provisional accreditation, the Lincoln Memorial University Duncan School of Law on Dec. 22 filed a federal lawsuit against the organization.
NYTimes.com: THE library at the Duncan School of Law may look like nothing more than 4,000 hardbacks in a medium-size room, but it is actually a high-tech experiment in cost containment.
Ilya Somin at the Volokh Conspiracy: David Segal’s recent New York Times article on ABA accreditation of law schools makes the important point that the ABA uses the accreditation process to reduce competition for its members by artificially reducing the number of law schools, and thereby eliminating potential competitors for its members. This interacts with laws that require consumers to rely on lawyers even for relatively simple tasks that in many other countries are performed by paralegals and the like. The end result makes even basic legal services extremely expensive, especially for the poor and the lower middle class:
WSJ: Our colleague Ashby Jones reports that U.S. Senate staff members are gathering a trove of information about legal education in the U.S., including figures on law school job placement and student-loan debt, that could serve as a backdrop to congressional hearings on the issue.
MinnLawyer Blog: The American Bar Association has gone on record in support of the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, the law that denies federal benefits for same sex couples married in states that allow for gay marriages.
McClatchy: Rick Perry, like other conservatives, has lots of complaints about the Supreme Court: The justices, he says, have meddled in social policy, stepped on state power and generally run amok . . .
Law.com / National Law Journal: “The Law School Admissions Test is a rite of passage for aspiring lawyers, but could go from mandatory to voluntary under proposed changes to the American Bar Association’s law school accreditation standards.”
PRlog: “The ABA has issued an analysis warning students that going to law school may not be worth it because the huge debt may not be recouped by high salaries, and that the ‘high debt can limit career choices . . . or delay home ownership or marriage.’”
News Journal: “The University of Delaware would face a rigorous process to establish its credentials in the legal community . . . To receive full accreditation, a school must comply with a list of 56 standards, Askew said.”
WSJ Law Blog: “The president of the American Bar Association, Steve Zack, told a gathering of law school deans and professors last week that the organization is considering requiring law schools to disclose cost and employment statistics to all accepted law school applicants.”
Karen Sloan writes at the National Law Journal: “Other countries face much larger problems when it comes to regulating the number of law students and quality of legal education. Legal educators from India, China, Japan and France spoke at Harvard Law School Friday during a panel discussion about the challenges they face in producing an appropriate number of good lawyers.”
National Law Journal (Law.com): “The American Bar Association is under fire from attorneys who argue that the organization should stop charging fees for access to its ethics opinions.”
Politico: “The American Bar Association, which was dogged for decades by criticism over a perceived liberal bent, is risking reigniting that debate by taking bold stands on a pair of hot-button social issues . . . Critics contend that the back-to-back moves on the polarizing issues of gay marriage and immigration show that the ABA is again sliding to the left politically and putting its reputation at risk.” Via FedSocBlog.
This campaign is being orchestrated and funded by the Open Society Institute (OSI), the political arm of billionaire hedge-fund manager George Soros. According to a study released this week by the American Justice Partnership, OSI has spent at least $45.4 million to promote the so-called merit selection system and reduce the influence of citizens and their elected representatives when it comes to picking judges.
The New American: “With the timing of the ABA action thus closely coinciding with the action of Judge Walker, conservative attorneys, as well as other constitutionalists, are left with few alternatives but to continue the Proposition 8 fight all the way to the Supreme Court . . . ‘The fact that ADF and other lawyers disagree with ABA on a number of controversial issues demonstrates the gross inaccuracy of ABA’s claim that it speaks for the U.S. legal profession,’ remarked ADF Senior Legal Counsel [Doug Napier].”
The Christian Post: “Ahead of the resolution’s passage, the Christian legal group Alliance Defense Fund stressed that the ABA does not speak for all U.S. lawyers and noted how three-quarters of American lawyers do not belong to the ABA. ‘The fact that ADF and other lawyers disagree with ABA on a number of controversial issues demonstrates the gross inaccuracy of ABA’s claim that it speaks for the U.S. legal profession,’ remarked ADF Senior Legal Counsel [Doug Napier], who resigned from the ABA because of its stance on controversial political issues.”
JURIST: “In anticipation of the ABA’s decision, the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) and the National Lawyers Association (NLA) claimed that the resolution disproved the ABA’s claims that it speaks for the US legal profession. Additionally, they called on the ABA to ‘refrain from taking political positions’. The organization went on to compare Tuesday’s decision to the ABA’s 1992 decision to endorse abortion rights, causing a ‘significant exodus of lawyers leaving the ABA in protest.’”
Edge: “‘The fact that ADF and other lawyers disagree with ABA on a number of controversial issues demonstrates the gross inaccuracy of ABA’s claim that it speaks for the U.S. legal profession,’ said ADF Senior Legal Counsel [Doug Napier], who has resigned from the ABA.”
Business First: “William T. ‘Bill’ Robinson III, the member-in-charge in the Florence, Ky., office of Frost Brown Todd LLC law firm, has been elected president-elect of the American Bar Association.”
ABA: “David Boies challenged America’s lawyers to ‘bring the rule of law to its full fruition here in this country … to fulfill the goals and lofty rhetoric of our founding fathers,’ as the keynote speaker at the Opening Assembly of the 2010 ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco . . . All lawyers must stand up for the independence of judges, resisting threats to their safety when they make unpopular decisions, said Boies, noting that there already have been threats to harm the judge who ruled in the Proposition 8 litigation.”
ABA: “During Monday’s meeting of the policy-making House of Delegates, the association honored Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with its highest recognition, the ABA Medal.”
The Federalist Society’s Barwatch Bulletin for Sunday, August 8, 2010: “David Boies, who served as lead counsel for Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election challenge, delivered the keynote address at the Opening Assembly on Saturday. Boies is currently serving on the legal team challenging Proposition 8 in California. He discussed the case in his remarks, which addressed challenges to the rule of law . . . ‘[T]here is only one area in our society in which there continues to be not merely social discrimination, but state-sponsored, state-enforced discrimination against a group of our citizens. And last Wednesday, the federal district court here in the northern district of California took an important step in eliminating that last official discrimination against our gay and lesbian citizens.’”
American Bar Association: Moderator: Marcia Coyle, Chief Washington Correspondent, National Law Journal | Speakers: Edwin Kneedler, Acting U.S. Solicitor General 2009; Gregory Garre, U.S. Solicitor General 2008-2009; Drew Days III, U.S. Solicitor General 1993-1996; Kenneth Starr, U.S. Solicitor General 1989-1993; Charles Fried, U.S. Solicitor General 1985-1989
The Christian Post: “‘The fact that ADF and other lawyers disagree with ABA on a number of controversial issues demonstrates the gross inaccuracy of ABA’s claim that it speaks for the U.S. legal profession,’ remarked ADF Senior Legal Counsel [Doug Napier], who resigned from the ABA because of its stance on controversial political issues.” | ADF News Release
“Attorneys associated with the Alliance Defense Fund and National Lawyers Association point out that about three-quarters of American lawyers don’t even belong to the ABA, and many actively work to protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”
Law.com: “Also at the ABA conference this week, delegates will consider a same-sex marriage proposal that would urge state-level governments to eliminate all legal barriers to civil marriage between two persons of the same sex and oppose a federal constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.”
Boston Globe | Political Intelligence: “The 15-member Standing Committee of the American Bar Association has rated Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan ‘well-qualified’ by a unanimous vote, with one abstention, according to the ABA. It is the association’s highest rating for judicial nominees.”
George Leef has this post at the National Review Phi Beta Cons Blog: “Prof. Brian Tamanaha points out here that for many law students, the costs are far, far out of line with the prospective benefits of getting into the legal profession.”
The Blog of LegalTimes: “The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary is well into its in-depth investigation into the record of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, which will be presented to the Senate Judiciary Committee for its hearing later this month.”
Christian Newswire: “Attorney Daniel P. Dalton of Tomkiw Dalton, plc in Royal Oak, Mich. will be a featured speaker at the 2010 American Bar Association spring meeting, which will be held in Miami from April 29 to May 2. Dalton will share his expertise in the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) on Friday, April 30.”
Karen Sloan write at The National Law Journal (Law.com): “The two have founded a non-profit organization called Law School Transparency with the goal of compiling detailed employment and salary information from all ABA-accredited law schools. The goal is to collect data on individual law graduates, rather than the general class breakdowns required by the ABA and U.S. News. ‘The number one problem with the current system is that it allows schools to hide their employment information in aggregate statistical forms,’ McEntee said. ‘You may know that 50% of graduates got jobs at law firms, but you don’t know what types of firms and types of jobs they got.’”
Blog of the Legal Times: “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) today criticized the American Bar Association’s process for evaluating federal judicial nominees, saying the ABA should not penalize a nominee for not having prior experience on the bench.”
Susan Cartier Liebel writes at the Building a Solo Practice Blog: “When I graduated law school I never joined the ABA. It didn’t offer the new solo trying to get started anything of significant value for its dues. Sixteen years later it still doesn’t for the majority. But as of August, 2010 they are going to lower the annual dues because they are in trouble.”
Blog of the Legal Times: “The American Bar Association’s House of Delegates today voted to ask Congress to make it easier for federal judges to receive cost-of-living pay increases when other federal employees get them. Passage of the change would remove a continuing source of friction between judges and Congress.”
The National Law Journal: “The resignation last week of Henry “Hank” White Jr., the American Bar Association’s executive director, follows other recent staff departures amid a reorganization set in motion by the ABA’s new president, Carolyn Lamm.”
ABA Journal: “Want to know more about a 9th Circuit opinion on the First Amendment rights of a citizen ejected from a city council meeting for giving a Nazi salute? Or the 5th Circuit opinion allowing a Halliburton employee to sue over her alleged rape in Iraq? You can find those opinions summarized on a revamped Media Alerts on Federal Courts of Appeals page on ABAnet.org.”
Christianity Today: “In mid-July, New Hampshire judge Lucinda Sadler ordered 10-year-old Amanda Kurowski into public instruction . . . ‘I think it’s widely regarded as a dangerous precedent if it’s allowed to stand,’ said [Mike] Johnson, whose group represents Kurowski’s mother. ‘We don’t want courts to be in the business of comparative theology.’”
The Blog of the Legal Times: “As the BLT previously reported, the bar association has been lobbying for months to exempt lawyers from the regulations, which require businesses and organizations that act as ‘creditors’ to establish a program for preventing identity theft. According to a Federal Trade Commission guide, the program must identify potential areas of vulnerability within a business and include policies for detecting and responding to red flags.”