Law blog roundup

800px-Happy_Holidays_(3116643221)Happy Monday, happy holidays and welcome to the penultimate law blog roundup of the year. Here are a few links for you to enjoy while you “work” today. (Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.)

– Ron Miller breaks down the defense lawyer’s statement from a verdict we wrote about in the fall.

Brown v. Board of Education: Originalist opinion?

– Speaking of the Supreme Court, the Federal Evidence Review says it is “not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ the Supreme Court will reconsider the application of the Confrontation Clause to expert testimony that is based on statements of others who do not testify.” (HT: SCOTUSblog.)

– Here’s “Incarceration Nation” at a glance.

– For all of the law school students reading, here’s are some tips on how to get past a bad exam.

Law blog roundup

Welcome to Tuesday and game two of the Battle of the Beltways. Here are some pregame news items.

– A man who helped give rise to many a Constitutional Law and bar exam question has died.

– President Obama will play Pick Three.

– Millions may have overstayed their welcome.

– Roger Clemens may have cheated off the diamond.

And Maryland’s newest lawyers are…

Earlier this month in this space, we noted how the bar exam results had been released. At the time, all that was available was a four-digit ID number.

Now, however, we have the full list of 462 names from the State Board of Law Examiners, which was also published in Tuesday’s paper.

Congratulations to Maryland’s newest lawyers!

Bar raised highest in California

Bar exam

Prospective lawyers await the Maryland bar exam in 2010. (File photo)

It was either John Muir or Katy Perry who once described California as a place where “the grass is really greener.” Now we can add to the list of Golden State superlatives: toughest bar exam.

The Witnesseth blog has complied rankings of the most difficult bar exams based in part on bar passage rates from 2010 to 2011.

Arkansas finished No. 2, with Washington state, Louisiana (and its Napoleonic Code) and Nevada rounding out the Top 5.

Maryland finished 10th, four spots behind Virginia, which has bar exam takers with the highest LSATs, according to Witnesseth. Washington, D.C., was omitted from the list because of a too small sample size.

The news comes as Illinois announced earlier this month it would raise the minimum passing grade for its bar exam by four points. Maybe that will help boost its 32nd ranking.

In what state did you take your toughest bar exam?

Law blog roundup

obama newtownAnother Monday, another law blog roundup. We tried to find some lighthearted stuff, but this one is written with a heavy heart.

– Slate’s Emily Bazelon on Sandy Hook Elementary School and gun culture

– For John Bratt’s feelings on a certain aspect of written discovery, the title of his Baltimore Injury Lawyer blog post says it all.

– An interesting look at the intersection of gay marriage and affirmative action at the Supreme Court

– The right way to address students when a professors screws up giving the final exam. (HT: Above the Law)

Bargaining for an education

More news on law schools is out this week.

The Wall Street Journal reports that law schools are increasingly offering prospective students incentives to enroll. Some schools are letting students submit applications past deadlines. Others are offering more scholarship money than ever to potential students.

Scholarship money offered by law schools has tripled in the past ten years, jumping from $816 million in the 2008-2009 school year to $1 billion in the last school year alone. The Journal reports that some law schools are even negotiating with prospective students on scholarship amounts.

Law schools this year have been concerned in general about the shrinking pool of applicants. The number of people taking the LSAT has fallen from 171,500 in 2010 to 155,000 last year to 130,000 this cycle, the smallest group since 2001.

A smaller test taker pool ultimately means fewer high-scoring (and rankings-boosting) participants for law schools to choose from. Maryland schools have already been affected, with he University of Baltimore School of Law reporting applicant numbers down 17 percent earlier this year.

Luck of the law

After graduating law school, some people spend their summer studying for the bar exam and some people win hundreds of thousands of dollars playing poker.

Vanessa Selbst graduated from Yale Law School in January. Now, she is $244,259 richer having won an event at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. Selbst has won a total of $5.3 million total in her poker career.

When she started law school, Selbst picked up the books and put down the cards for a few years, she told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Her last year, though, she upped the ante and balanced poker with law school, winning a total of $1.1 million at events at the Mohegan Sun casino near New Haven.

After she is done winning at the World Series, Selbst wants to get a position volunteering at a law firm in Los Angeles. She plans to take the bar exam next year, likely in California and hopes to eventually practice public interest law.

But, law career or not, don’t expect to fold her poker career anytime soon.

Across the country, less law school love

The George Washington University Law School is the latest to drop its enrollment as fewer people applied to law school for the upcoming academic year.

GW Law plans to keep its enrollment below 450, compared to this year’s class of 474, the National Law Journal reports.

Law schools across the country are grappling with upcoming fall enrollment in the face of the declining number of people taking the LSAT and even fewer applying to law school.

The University of California Hastings College of the Law announced this year that it also plans to decrease enrollment. Albany Law School, Creighton University School of Law and Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center also reduced class sizes during the 2011-2012 school year.

GW Law saw its number of applicants fall 15 percent, Law Dean Paul Schiff Berman told the Journal. It will lose some tuition revenue but plans to recoup it in increased fundraising and introducing new programs for students outside the law school, Berman said.

Baltimore schools are experiencing the similar problems. The University of Baltimore School of Law told The Daily Record  in March that its applicant numbers were down 17 percent this admissions cycle, but University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law officials were less concerned.

Law blog roundup

April showers are about to bring May flowers, but a Monday always brings you the blog roundup. Here are some tidbits as you prepare to celebrate Law Day:

-A Georgia lawyer traded pills for a peep show with female prison inmates.

-American Lawyer released its list of highest-grossing firms.

-A Washington, D.C., lawyer reached his goal of swimming in 50 states before he turned 50.

-A Duke University School of Law student tried to get an answer to a question on his Constitutional Law exam by posting it on the Internet.

1,087 (plus one!) pass the bar exam

Laura Gayle Hoffman, you’re one in 1,088.

Your name wasn’t on the list the Board of Law Examiners sent us, but the board rectified that omission with a very nice e-mail after seeing Monday’s paper — and, after hearing from you, perhaps? No matter. The correction is in Thursday’s paper. The corrected list is available here, along with a new headline: “Board Recommends 1,088 for Admission to Bar.”

Congratulations to you — every last one of you.