Friday, February 23, 2007

Law School Innovation: Skills education in law school: why it matters right now. I agree with Gene that law schools ought to be among the most credible trainers, but it appears we have a great deal of work to do before the practicing bar would agree with us. This is something the powers that be have been kicking around at our university; it'll be interesting to see how this pans out.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

In The Chronicle: 2/23/2007: One Case at a Time, UB Law gets mentioned in a positive way in the story of how law students are helping out in New Orleans.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Our Center for Children, Families and the Courts' Truancy Court program makes the news: In mock court, real help for students -

While the tip given in the following is directed at law students, I think it's a good exercise for almost any discipline. Lawsagna: Tip Bit # 7: Keep a Journal of a Young Lawyer.

Friday, February 16, 2007

beSpecific once again collects all the new stuff appearing on LLRX, one of my favorite info blogs. beSpacific: New on for February 2007 - Part I

Thursday, February 15, 2007

It's Official - We Have A New Dean (from the Baltimore Sun):

UB's next law school dean to burnish school's image

Closius, former dean at U. of Toledo, is chosen from among 12 candidates

By Gadi Dechter

Sun reporter

Originally published February 15, 2007

The next dean of the University of Baltimore law school will be Phillip J. Closius, a former law dean at the University of Toledo, officials said yesterday.

A formal announcement is expected today.

Closius will start his new job July 4, replacing the popular Gilbert Holmes, who has held the post since 2001.

"We looked for someone who had significant experience, and in Phil's case, he had a very successful run at Toledo in terms of good hiring and increasing student quality," said UB President Robert L. Bogomolny.

Closius, 56, was selected after a national search that brought 12 candidates to Baltimore to interview before a faculty-led search committee.

He takes over the 80-year-old law school at a period of transition for the urban university. UB is expanding its undergraduate program from two to four years, and is in the midst of a branding initiative designed to broaden the school's appeal beyond its traditional programs aimed at working adults.

More than a fifth of UB's 4,800 students are law students, and the law school has many prominent alumni, including former Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. and Orioles owner Peter Angelos.

Still, university administrators and faculty believe the school's reputation needs bolstering. It is ranked in the "fourth tier" of American law schools by U.S. News & World Report, and in recent years saw a substantial drop in student passing rates on the state bar exam.

Closius said improving the school's image will be among his top priorities. "One of the things I like to think of myself as being pretty good at is marketing," he said. "The University of Baltimore is doing a lot of great stuff, and we need to get the message out."

When he became dean at the University of Toledo in Ohio in 1999, the law school was also ranked in the fourth tier by U.S. News, but it jumped to the second tier by 2004.

At UB, the picture has been mixed. While the law school has become more selective, bar exam passing rates sank from 74 percent in 2001 to about 57 percent in 2005, or 15 points below the state average, according to the Internet Legal Research Group, which tracks such figures.

In 2006, bar passing rates rebounded to near the state average, UB officials said, the result of increased attention to exam preparation.

Pact not renewed

Despite Closius' success at Toledo, his contract was not renewed in 2005. He was offered a one-year administrative position, then returned to the regular teaching faculty, where he started his academic career in 1979.

The "controversial demotion," as the Toledo Blade newspaper called it, was met with an outcry from some Toledo faculty, and was reportedly caused by Closius' demand for an increase in his roughly $190,000 salary.

Closius said yesterday that his demotion had less to do with his salary request than with the university's decision to shift financial resources toward the sciences, and away from the liberal arts. He will be making about $260,000 a year in Baltimore, he said.

While praising Closius as a good choice, Holmes, the law school's first black leader, said he regretted that the university did not select another person of color. More than 15 percent of UB's law students are minorities.

'A lot of energy'

The 10-person search committee's recommendation of Closius was approved by a vote of the law faculty in December. "He has a lot of energy and enthusiasm and drive and charisma," said law Professor Elizabeth Samuels, who chaired the panel.

Closius received his law degree from Columbia University in 1975, and practiced law in New York for several years. In Ohio, he specialized in constitutional, First Amendment and sports law, and also represented professional athletes in salary negotiations.

He expects to move here in June with his wife and infant son, and live in North Baltimore.

A die-hard New York Yankees fan, Closius said he looks forward to the company of thousands of likeminded enthusiasts who flock to Camden Yards when the Bronx Bombers come to town. "The faculty members that I've talked to said I wouldn't have to worry about wearing my Yankee apparel," he said with a laugh.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Law School Innovation: Yet another on-line law journal supplement. I like the idea of on-line law review companions. The exchange of ideas is almost always a positive thing. As David Brin has pointed out again and again, we should embrace the concept of CITOKATE - criticism is the only known antidote to error.

Monday, February 12, 2007

We were recently notified by BNA that the Media Law Reporter has (finally!) been added to BNA's online services. We wanted to let you know about this exciting development, as well as remind you that BNA provides daily or weekly updates via email on a wide variety of topics, including Tax, Labor and Employment, Intellectual Property, Environment, and Family Law, to name a few. For a complete list of titles available from BNA, go to our Research Databases list,, and select the BNA "Products by Subject" link.

If you're on-campus, just click on any of the titles listed to see the most recent report, or to see what's available from the BNA reference collections (called "Libraries."). To sign up to begin receiving an update on a regular basis, just click on the link at the top of our BNA subject list. The email updates have highlights of recent developments in the field, and have links to click through to the full report and additional materials on the website. The sign-up process is very simple, but we've attached a brief Powerpoint presentation to this message to walk you through the process, if you need help.

From off-campus, you'll still be able to read the BNA e-mails (once you've subscribed), but accessing the full services takes a few more steps. Click on the off-campus link next to BNA on our Research Databases list, select our campus, and then type in your ID number (barcode) and last name. You can then search by title for the BNA database in which you're interested.

Law School Innovation: Another Experiment in Educational Blogging..., AKA, enhanced book/article reports.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

beSpacific: Federal Court Fees Listed Online

Friday, February 09, 2007

Podcast Interview with Professor Garrett Power - Open Access Casebook Author | Teknoids

beSpacific: Supreme Court Justice Alito's Perspective on the Court's Calendar

Thursday, February 08, 2007

beSpacific: Law Library of Congress To Celebrate 175th Anniversary in 2007

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

beSpacific: U.S. Statutes at Large Vol. 118, 108th Congress, 2nd Session Now Online

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

beSpacific: Cumulative List of Public Laws, 109th Congress, Second Session

Out of the Jungle: Improve Basic Research Skills

Ernie The Attorney: What if legislatures used wikis?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Lawsagna: What can you learn from people?

beSpacific: Reporters Without Borders Issues 2007 Annual Press Freedom Survey

Thursday, February 01, 2007

I know this isn't law-related, but it's still cool. Slashdot | iPods Becoming Entrenched In Major League Baseball

beSpacific: Oversight Hearing on Presidential Signing Statements under the Bush Administration

Create PDFs Quickly and Easily | Teknoids