2014 National Lawyers Convention
**Due to technical difficulties, the first 20 minutes of this panel were not recorded.**
Success in today’s global economy virtually requires a college or post graduate degree, but colleges and law schools have raised tuition enormously. The government subsidizes students to take huge loans to pay for college and law schools, loans which inflict an increasing burden on students, including law students, in a troubled economy. Do these loans pay as much for faculty research and administrators as for direct student education? Are faculties producing research that justifies these costs? Are students getting a good deal now? Could or will on line education provide students with similar education at a fraction of the cost? Is it time to ask some hard questions about higher education? Does education policy benefit average and below average students or does it merely benefit the top of the class? This panel will focus to a significant degree on law schools.
The Federalist Society's Practice Groups presented this showcase panel on "Higher Education: Run for the Benefit of Students or Faculty or Administrators?" on Saturday, November 15, during the 2014 National Lawyers Convention.
- Prof. Paul F. Campos, University of Colorado Law School
- Prof. Daniel Polsby, Dean and Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law
- Prof. Richard Kent Vedder, Ohio University
- Moderator: Prof. Thomas D. Morgan, (retired), The George Washington University Law School
Mayflower Hotel 2014 National Lawyers Convention
Sexual assault on campus is a serious issue—so serious that it is difficult for some to speak plainly about it. As a result, disagreements abound—even about issues as fundamental as the definition of sexual assault. This panel will discuss the nature and extent of sexual assault on campus. It will examine the Department of Education’s “Dear Colleague” letter of April 4, 2011 on sexual violence, the numerous investigations that it has opened in colleges and universities around the country, and the effect they are having on campus. It will also discuss the new "Only Yes Means Yes," laws recently adopted in California and being considered around the country. Among the questions that will be addressed are: How dangerous are our college campuses? From where does the U.S. Department of Education derive the authority to address this issue? Is due process being accorded to those who are accused of sexual assault?
The Federalist Society's Civil Rights Practice Group presented this panel on "Sexual Assult on Campus" on Friday, November 14, during the 2014 National Lawyers Convention.
- Ms. Heather Mac Donald, Thomas W. Smith Fellow, Manhattan Institute
- Mr. Seth Galanter, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education
- Ms. Lara S. Kaufmann, Senior Counsel & Director of Education Policy for At-Risk Students, National Women's Law Center
- Mr. Greg Lukianoff, President, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
- Moderator: Hon. Diane S. Sykes, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- Introduction: Hon. Gail Heriot, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and Professor, University of San Diego School of Law; and Chairman, Civil Rights Practice Group
Mayflower Hotel Civil Rights Practice Group Podcast
Andrew Grossman September 19, 2014
On July 25, 2014, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, on remand from the Supreme Court of the United States. In a 2-1 decision, the panel upheld the University of Texas' affirmative action policies, "persuaded by UT-Austin ... of its necessary use of race in a holistic process and the want of workable alternatives that would not require even greater use of race." Was this decision consistent with the Supreme Court's 7-1 decision in June 2013? What will happen going forward? Our expert answered these and other questions for a live call-in audience.
Civil Rights Practice Group Podcast
- Andrew Grossman, Associate, Baker & Hostetler LLP and Adjunct Scholar, The Cato Institute
Race-based affirmative action had been declining as a factor in university admissions even before the recent spate of related cases arrived at the Supreme Court. Since the mid-1990s, the percentage of four-year public colleges that consider racial or ethnic status in admissions has fallen from 60 percent to 35 percent. Only 45 percent of private colleges still explicitly consider race, with elite schools more likely to do so, although they too have retreated. Law school professor and civil rights activist Sheryll Cashin believes that this isn’t entirely bad news, because, as she argues, affirmative action as currently practiced does little to help disadvantaged people. The truly disadvantaged are not getting the quality schooling they need in part because backlash and wedge politics undermine any possibility for common-sense public policies. Using place instead of race in diversity programming, she writes, will better amend the structural disadvantages endured by many children of color, while enhancing the possibility that we might one day move past the racial resentment that affirmative action engenders. In Place, Not Race: A New Vision of Opportunity in America, Professor Cashin reimagines affirmative action and champions place-based policies, arguing that college applicants who have thrived despite exposure to neighborhood or school poverty are deserving of special consideration.
Professional Responsibility & Legal Education Practice Group Podcast
Washington University in Saint Louis School of Law Professor Brian Z. Tamanaha argues law schools are failing abjectly. Recent front-page stories have detailed widespread practices, including false reporting of LSAT and GPA scores, misleading placement reports, and the fundamental failure to prepare graduates to enter the profession.
Addressing all these problems and more in his book, Failing Law Schools, Prof. Tamanaha lays out the how and why of the crisis and the likely consequences if these trends continue. The out-of-pocket cost of obtaining a law degree at many schools now approaches $200,000. The legal job market is the worst in decades, with the scarce jobs offering starting salaries well below what is needed to handle such a debt load. At the heart of the problem, Prof. Tamanaha argues, are the economic demands and competitive pressures on law schools, paired with a lack of regulatory oversight, the work environment of professors, the limited information available to prospective students, and loan-based tuition financing. Bringing to the table his years of experience from within the legal academy, Prof. Tamanaha assesses what he believes is wrong with law schools and suggests how to fix them. James Haynes of the Federalist Society's Professional Responsibility & Legal Education Practice Group Executive Committee discussed the book and its premises with Prof. Tamanaha.
- Professor Brian Z. Tamanaha, William Gardiner Hammond Professor of Law, Israel Treiman Faculty Fellow 2013-2014, Washington University School of Law
- James A. Haynes, Professional Responsibility & Legal Education Practice Group, The Federalist Society