Oregon Bar Assoc moves to curtail ABA cartel and UO Law

This will not be good for UO’s law school, which has survived on the basis of the ABA’s cartel on licensing lawyers, and subsidies from undergraduate tuition. The ABA Journal has the report here.

One proposal is for the Oregon Bar to license legal paraprofessionals to do work now restricted to bar members. The second would allow people allow people without an ABA-accredited law degree to sit for the Oregon State Bar exam and become regular attorneys:

Recommended by the Oregon State Bar’s Alternative Pathways Taskforce Committee in a 2016 report (starting at PDF page 115), the proposal would allow a person with at least a bachelor’s degree, good moral character, and who has completed a four-year mentorship program in a law office, legal department or court sit for the bar and be licensed in the state.

The committee notes that taking part in the four-year program could cost between $12,000 and $18,000, significantly lower than then $35,000 per year a resident would pay at the University of Oregon School of Law. (Disclosure: the author is a non-resident graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law.) Lower costs could, the committee believes, lead to a more diverse practicing bar in the state.

California, Maine, New York, Washington, Vermont and Virginia already allow people without three-year law degrees to sit for their state bar exams.

As Illinois and Massachusetts once did.

Dean Burke welcomes Knight Law School’s most heavily subsidized class yet

About $23K each. Most of that will come from regular UO undergraduate students’ tuition payments, to discount the tuition of mostly out-of-state law school students:

According to the terms of this 2014 MOU the law school was to get a temporary bailout from UO’s general fund, peaking at $3M, then declining to $1M, with the total $10M to eventually be paid back:

This was nonsense. Not only will it never be paid back, new Dean Marcilyn Burke was able to negotiate a huge increase in the subsidy.

With listed tuition of $38K in-state, $47K out of state, and about 360 students, the law school would bring in about $15M – but their subsidy for tuition discounts will be $8.2M. Here’s last year’s breakdown:

When will this end?

Legislature to add ~$100M to PUSF, Gov Brown wants more

6/7/2019 update: Legislature to add ~$100M to PUSF, Gov Brown wants more

That’s the rumor today. According to Pres Schill’s proposal below, $120M would keep UO’s tuition increase below the 5% trigger for HECC review, and also save Duck AD Rob Mullens a couple hundred large to help pay for his new baseball coach.

5/20/2019 update: Update: Millions from staff and students, not a cent from Duck athletics or Law

President Schill has sent his tuition increase recommendations to the BOT, below. His proposal cuts TFAB’s support for low income students, keeps the LERC and museum cuts, and leaves athletic subsidies untouched. The TFAB’s proposal was for a progressive increase in financial aid as tuition increased. Pres Schill’s recommendation is for only $350K in new financial aid, and that only if the tuition increase goes above 5%, the level which triggers HECC review.

Meanwhile, the “temporary” budget funding for law school scholarships increases by $190K. Of the $44M in fee remissions President Schill mentions below, $7M or goes to UO’s ~410 law school students, for an average of $17,100 each, per year. (I don’t know how it’s split up). The other $37M is divided among UO’s 22,350 other students, for an average of $1,650.

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Law school enrollment plummets, but faculty hiring increases

Their enrollment is down 35%, but their faculty count is up and the new hiring plan gives them 2 TTF hires. If this were the humanities, the dean would be laying off NTTF’s and freezing TTF hiring. I don’t know why the law school gets special treatment. These may be replacements for retirements, but why aren’t they facing cuts? The rest of the university is already paying $6.5M a year to subsidize tuition for law students.

UO hires new Law Dean, Marcilynn Burke from Houston


It is my pleasure to announce that Marcilynn Burke will join the University of Oregon as dean of the School of Law. She will begin on July 1.

An outstanding scholar and leader, Burke currently serves as associate dean and associate professor of law at the University of Houston, where she joined the faculty in 2002. Her experience and legal expertise are a tremendous complement to the excellent work of our faculty. As our top candidate, Burke, I believe, will have an instant rapport with her colleagues that will inspire even greater achievements in environmental and natural resources law, dispute resolution, and other areas of emphasis across the school. 

Burke received her bachelor’s degree in international studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her law degree from Yale Law School. At Yale, she was an editor for both the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism and the Yale Journal of International Law.

After receiving tenure at UH in 2009, Burke took a leave of absence to serve at the US Department of the Interior as deputy director for programs and policy at the Bureau of Land Management. 

In 2011, President Barack Obama asked Burke to serve as acting assistant secretary for land and minerals management, where she helped develop the land use, resource management, and regulatory oversight policies that are administered by the BLM, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. Collectively, these four agencies work to ensure appropriate management and use of federal lands and related resources.

Currently, Burke teaches courses in property law, land-use law, and federal natural resources law. Her research articles have been published in noted journals, such as the Notre Dame Law Review and the Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum. Her teaching has earned accolades from students, who awarded her with Professor of the Year honors in 2013 from the University of Houston Law Center’s Black Law Students Association.

Previously, Burke clerked for the Honorable Raymond A. Jackson of the Eastern District of Virginia and spent nearly five years at the Washington, DC, office of the law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, where her practice focused on environmental law, antitrust, and civil and criminal litigation.

Our School of Law is a great asset to this university’s incredible academic offerings, thanks in large part to the steady leadership of Michael Moffitt. We will miss Michael as dean, but we are pleased to welcome him back to the faculty resuming his role as a scholar and teacher. 

Please join me in welcoming Marcilynn Burke to the University of Oregon.


Scott Coltrane

Provost and Senior Vice President

Law School commences search for new dean to replace Moffitt

The search committee is here:

And the ad:

Dean of the School of Law

Posting: 16241
Location: Eugene
Closes: Open Until Filled

The University of Oregon invites nominations and applications for the Dean of the School of Law. The Dean reports to the Senior Vice President and Provost and is the academic leader, fundraiser, and chief executive of Oregon Law. [WTF? CEO of “Oregon Law”? Sounds like a corporate start-up.]

Founded in 1884, the University of Oregon School of Law is the top law school in Oregon with campuses in both Eugene and Portland. It is the state’s only public law school, with a long tradition of training top lawyers, including judges, politicians, government officials, legal scholars, and other law professionals to serve clients, the state, the nation, and the world. Oregon Law’s highly ranked specialty programs include Environmental and Natural Resources law, Appropriate Dispute Resolution, and Legal Research and Writing. The School has a robust undergraduate program in Legal Studies, an LLM program, and a Master’s program in Conflict and Dispute Resolution. The School is well integrated into the larger University community. Building on a commitment to serve the public interest, Oregon Law prepares lawyers to become innovators, activists, and advocates for change, all working within the law to make society better.  More information about the Law School may be found at www.law.uoregon.edu.

The Dean of the School of Law will be an inspiring, broad-minded leader and legal professional with a nimble and dynamic vision for enhancing the excellence of Oregon Law.  The Dean will possess a J.D. and an academic record to qualify for tenure.  Candidates should have a distinguished record of academic achievements in a core discipline and/or interdisciplinary field and the credentials to warrant appointment as a professor within the School. The Dean will nurture high-quality research, teaching, and diversity as important components of academic excellence. The successful candidate also will have strong experience with successful advocacy and fundraising. Candidates should possess demonstrated ability and experience to manage a large, complex budget. In addition to these requirements, the Dean will provide leadership and strategic vision, work well in a collaborative decision-making environment with associates and key constituencies, and have demonstrated organizational and management skills to lead path-breaking legal education.

The University of Oregon is one of only two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities, is a member of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, and holds the distinction of a “very high research activity” ranking in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The University offers 272 undergraduate majors, minors, and graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines across nine schools and colleges.  The University has broad-based academic strengths with eight professional programs and 12 doctoral programs ranked among the top 20 percent nationally.

Inquiries, nominations, and expressions of interest may be sent to Werner Boel and Suzanne Teer, the Witt/Kieffer consultants assisting the Law School with this search, at OregonLawDean@wittkieffer.com.  Electronic submissions are strongly encouraged.  A complete application will include a letter of interest, a curriculum vitae, and contact information for five professional references.  The anticipated starting date for the new dean is July 1, 2017.  This position is open until filled.

This position is subject to a criminal background check.

Here’s the search firm’s website:


$10M subsidy buys UO Law School a US News rank of #78

ATL has the leaked 2017 rankings here – they’re not out officially until next week.

When Michael Moffitt started as dean, UO Law was ranked #77. They fell year after year, and were tied for #100 in the 2015 rankings. (Released in March 2014). After the $10M subsidy from VPFA Jamie Moffitt kicked in they improved to #84, by waiving tuition for students with decent LSATs. Yes, that’s one of the many ways to play the USNews algorithm.

Moffitt (Michael) will be stepping down next year. His efforts to bring in still more cash for the law school by luring undergrads away from CAS with the Competition not Conflict courses – which he hyped in the NYT – turned into a disaster once the Senate saw the courses. So he’s trying again, with Undergraduate Legal Studies.

Here’s Moffitt’s $10M deal with then Provost Coltrane, signed August 6 2014, the day before he became interim President. I had to file a public records request to get this, and even then it took more than two weeks before UO would release it:

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Full pdf here.

Law School Dean Michael Moffitt resigns effective summer 2017

Dear Colleagues,

It is my duty today to announce that Michael Moffitt, dean, Philip H. Knight chair and professor of law, has chosen to step down as dean effective July 1, 2017. Michael will return to his faculty role, which he has held since joining the University of Oregon School of Law in 2001.

I speak for his fellow deans and everyone in Academic Affairs when I say his leadership of the law school will be truly missed.

While this is a tremendous loss to the university, his decision to continue in his faculty role will ultimately greatly benefit our law school students and the discipline of law. Michael’s scholarship in the areas of alternative dispute resolution, civil procedure, arbitration, mediation, and negotiation are well known in the legal world.

In 2011, Michael accepted the role of dean, a position in which he has served with distinction. Under his leadership, the school improved its quality and reputational ranking at the same time that law schools across the country were experiencing declining enrollments. Over the past five years, he and his law school colleagues have energized specialty areas within the JD program, while building a Portland presence for Oregon Law students and instituting a new legal studies undergraduate program.

It was my and President Michael Schill’s sincerest hope that Michael would continue as dean and build upon these successes for another five years, especially after the many wonderful accomplishments observed during his intensive five-year review. However, we understand this is ultimately a personal decision, and we respect that. This is a pivotal moment for the University of Oregon. We have a number of dean searches ongoing, and while Michael’s decision adds to the work ahead, it also represents an opportunity as we collectively shape our future.

In the coming weeks, we will develop and share a search plan to ensure a smooth transition in the School of Law.

In the meantime, please join me in thanking Michael for his exemplary service as dean to the School of Law and the entire University of Oregon.


Scott Coltrane
Senior Vice President and Provost

[UOM: Links to Moffitt’s November 5-year-review talk, the $10M law bailout, and his botched sports and conflict resolution program are here.]

Law School buys Google ads to boost undergrad legal studies enrollment

While Google’s targeting algorithm knows enough from mining my gmail account and web searches to correctly deduce the importance of “Security v. Privacy” to my everyday drama, they apparently don’t know I completed my B.S. degree a while back. I wonder what the law school is paying per click-through:

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Not a bad idea though. The law school’s undergrad credit hours are rebounding from Dean Moffitt’s ill-considered sports conflict program:

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Maybe History, traditionally a popular major for pre-law students, should try it too:

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And English:

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UO Law Dean Michael Moffitt gives 5 year review talk

I couldn’t listen to it all, but it seems Knight Law School Dean Michael Moffitt managed to avoid any mention of the $10M subsidy from CAS tuition money that he was given – by the office of his wife, VPFA Jamie Moffitt – to pay for scholarships for law students, to keep UO law LSAT’s score and US News ranking out of the basement.

Also no honest discussion of Moffitt’s various failed attempts to exploit Brad Shelton’s budget model and siphon off enough undergrad credit hours from CAS to be able to repay the $10M debt he now owes CAS. Yes, I know that makes no sense, but here’s Moffitt trying to get some good press for himself in the NY Times:

“The problem is that we have been selling only one product,” Mr. Moffitt said. “But if you are getting a business degree, you need to know about contract law. City planners need to know about land-use law. So we at Oregon are educating not just J.D. students.

“Demand is through the roof,” he added. “I feel like I am living a business school case study.”

However, like so many business school case studies, Moffitt’s turned out to be a scam. He’d hid that from his faculty, but the Senate Curriculum Committee got to the truth and cancelled the classes.

Moffitt’s idea of a bright spot? Rob Illig’s summer sports law institute:

Rob Illig’s summer sports law institute now advertising on UO Matters

No surprise the google algorithm matched us. I hear Illig’s program is doing OK. In contrast Law Dean Michael Moffitt’s Alternative Dispute Resolution program must have been hit hard by the recent NYT series exposing endemic corporate abuses of arbitration. Moffitt’s previous NYT exposure – the “business school case study” – ended pretty disastrously. His 5-year-review as Dean is underway now. Thanks for the google revenue Rob, and I’ll throw in a free link to the program for viewers who might see a different ad, here.

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Law school spent $4.6M on scholarships this year, up from $300K in 2011

From what I can tell this money came from the general fund, i.e. mostly undergraduate tuition money from CAS students. The scholarships go to law school students with decent LSATs. More than a few get a full ride.

For comparison, the UO Foundation spent roughly the same amount on academic scholarships for the entire university. (Albeit twice that on athletic scholarships). The law school has now shrunk to about 500 students, so the average law student is getting about $9K in tuition discounts each year.  Correction: An apparently well-informed correspondent reports that the law school now has only 360 law students, about 100 1L’s, and that more than half of new students are receiving promises of complete tuition remission for 3 years. Rob Illig won the fight against Michael Moffitt and Margie Paris’s plan to use faculty raise money to support public interest jobs for graduates, but Moffitt was able to convince the administration to support this far more expensive scholarship plan to game the US News ranking.

Rumor has it that these scholarships are 3-year promises, so the bleeding is not going to stop soon – in fact it may well increase.

How did propping up the law school’s US News ranking at the expense of UO’s other academic programs become such a priority for UO? From what I can tell it was a backroom deal – there was never a word of discussion about this shift in academic priorities in the UO Senate. And even then Law Dean Michael Moffitt spent $700K more than his wife, VPFA Jamie Moffitt, had budgeted:

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(Numbers from the Financial Transparency tool as of 5/24/2015. FY ends 6/30, so some expenses are still coming in.)

UO Law rises from #100 to #82 in US News after $1.5M bailout

“Above the Law” has the news about US News rankings, here. UO was #77 when we hired Michael Moffitt as Dean, and I believe #82 is as high as we’ve been since.

UO was helped by a change in the algorithm that reduced the weight on temporary jobs that law schools give to graduates to boost employment numbers. Lewis and Clark, for example, hired a remarkable 20% of its own graduates last year. They fell from #72 to #94 after the algorithm change. UO hired many fewer students, in part because Rob Illig went batshit crazy over Margie Paris’s plan to use his raise to pay for these jobs.

Instead, UO Law Dean Michael Moffitt figured out another way to play USNews. He got $1.5M in “Temporary Stabilization Funding” for scholarships to bring in high LSAT students. Where did this money come from, and how many years will it continue?

You’ll have to ask Dean Moffitt’s wife, VP for Finance and Administration Jamie Moffitt, for that info. And I expect the faculty union will, if she ever shows her face at the bargaining table.

VPFA Moffitt gave Dean Moffitt $4M for law scholarships?

11/28/2014 update: As reported below, the UO law school has been in a ranking slide ever since Michael Moffitt was appointed dean. US News had it in a three-way tie for 100th last year – an epsilon above a third-tier meltdown. After Rob Illig’s $1M email rant killed plans to game the rankings by getting law faculty to help pay for non-profit jobs for graduates (employment outcomes weigh heavily in the USNEWS and other rankings, and many schools do this) Dean Moffitt wanted to offer applicants with decent LSAT’s free or reduced tuition (also a common strategy, as LSAT scores and GPA also count in the rankings.)

This is, of course, an expensive game. Rumor has it that VPFA Jamie Moffitt agreed to commit $4M in general funds – mostly undergrad tuition money – to prop up the law school with these scholarships. Presumably this is going to be a recurring cost, and is part of the reason for the cutbacks in CAS, and the tight budget for settling the GTF strike.

3/10/2014: UO law drops to #100. Will they repudiate falling US News rankings?

Update: PDF of Dean Moffitt’s letter to the alumni about this here.

3/10/2014 update: UO Law School drops another 6 points in the rankings this year. Down from #77 in 2009 to a three-way tie for #100 in 2014.

The ABA earlier reported that UO Law enrollment this year dropped 18%, from 147 to just 120, compared to an 8% average decline for US law schools. The bright spot would be UO’s environmental law program, ranked #5.

In other news, the UO MBA program dropped from #91 to #96.

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10/30/2013: Football not paying off for Law school

Now with the UO law prof April email on repudiating the rankings, and a response from the author. Page down.

The Duck athletic department likes to justify their subsidies by claiming that football success helps UO academics, in part by attracting more student applicants and allowing greater admissions selectivity. The UO law school has bought into this idea with enthusiasm, even switching from a rather professional looking approach to admissions in 2009, to using “Go Ducks” as their admissions URL: http://law.uoregon.edu/goducks/:

Gosh, you’d certainly think that slogan would attract top law students. But here are the Duck Football BCS ranking and the UO Law school’s US News ranking, plotted as changes from their 2009 starting values of 17 and 77 respectively.

I’m no econometrician, but that doesn’t look like a positive correlation. Of course admissions selectivity is only part of the US News Law school ranking scheme. Anyone know where to get the raw LSAT data – or know why the BCS is more transparent than the UO law school?

Here’s the subsidy data. GF supplement means General Fund supplement – mostly undergrad tuition money. As you can see CAS and a few other colleges subsidize the others. These historical cross-payments were supposed to gradually fade away, but that now seems unlikely. The tax rate on the GF, to pay for our JH administrators and their various legitimate expenses and boondoggles, is also increasing.



10/31 Update: Here’s an email sent to all law school faculty and students by a UO law prof, after April’s US News rank came out. It was forwarded to me by an anonymous law school person in response to the above. I’ve removed the author’s name, because the letter is so amazingly problematic – for example, “Gamesmanship is not an option; trust me, I’ve asked.”

Under Brad Shelton’s budget model, the law school currently gets about $2M in net subsidies from UO’s general fund (see below). If enrollment cuts continue, the law school will lose another $4M or so in tuition revenue annually, and CAS will bear the brunt of the cost – hence the 3% cuts to CAS department budgets that Coltrane has proposed?

Here’s a modest proposal: finance the law school with a tax on the Duck athletic department instead!

Date: Wed, Apr 3, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Subject: OPEN LETTER Re: Rankings

To: law-allyears@lists.uoregon.edu

Hello students!

As many of you know, the U.S. News rankings came out last month and Oregon was 94. This is a drop from last year (82). At the town hall meeting today, several students asked about the rankings and what we can do about them.

I have an idea that I didn’t have time to share at the meeting: we can, as a community, repudiate the rankings. This is just one idea and I’m sure there are others, but let me share my own thoughts (and to be clear, these are my thoughts and not necessarily those of other faculty or the administration):

1. OUR RANKING IS NOT USEFUL/BENEFICIAL TO US. One possible weak benefit of the rankings that they identify areas of improvement (employment rates, bar passage, faculty-to-student ratios, etc.). But we already know about these; we don’t need US News to tell us. And as we learned at the meeting, the administration is taking a number of steps to work on some of the key areas reflected in the US News data.

2. OUR RANKING IS COSTLY TO US. Rankings create labels that, because numbers are involved, are vivid and may have various adverse impacts (in order of greatest impact) on prospective students, current students and faculty, alumni, and employers. Rankings divide law students into “tiers” of “elite” and “non-elite” that tend to instantiate the existing rankings and reproduce long-standing hierarchies. Rankings may make you feel less confident and proud of your law degree and of the institution. Rankings may make someone else feel less impressed with your degree or the institution. Finally, supplying data to US News creates work that could be better spent elsewhere, particularly considering that the rankings themselves are based on problematic assumptions and algorithms (see #3).

3. MOVING UPWARD, FOR OREGON LAW, WILL BE DIFFICULT. As many critics have noted, moving up the US News typically requires (1) gamesmanship; and (2) money. Gamesmanship is not an option; trust me, I’ve asked. The administrators around here are too honest to do the kinds of things that might reap short-term benefits, like overstating faculty numbers or fudging employment stats. Money is also pretty tight. Our tuition is lower than many of our comparator schools; our state support is very, very low; and many of our alumni work for non-profit public interest concerns, so large donations are unusual. It’s unlikely, then, that we can make any big moves upward.

4. MOVING DOWNWARD COULD BE A REALITY. No one knows the future, but given our ranking now and the fact that US News uses employment numbers from two years ago, we should be considering the possibility that we could go down.

5. EVERYONE RECOGNIZES THAT THE RANKING SYSTEM IS FLAWED. Malcolm Gladwell says so. The American Association of Law Schools says so. Many different commentators, professors, and administrators have said so. As our Dean said today, the US News rankings system tends to punish schools that spend their money wisely and well. And you yourself know this system is flawed. I don’t feel like 94. Do you feel like 94? As one of my students said today, how is it possible that Oregon has three top-ten programs yet is barely in the top 100?

6. SOME HAVE TRIED TO GET OUT. Occasionally you’ll hear about a school that issues a strong critique of US News, or calls for a boycott, or tries some other resistance strategy. Sometimes these schools get harshly criticized as poor losers or spoil sports or whatever. The boycott hasn’t caught on, probably because it creates a prisoner’s dilemma that encourages some schools to think they’ll do better because others are boycotting. So although many schools criticize the rankings, they can’t let go of them or stop trying to succeed with respect to them.

7. WHAT CAN WE DO? I have an idea: LET’S REPUDIATE THE RANKINGS. If we think the rankings are bogus and harmful, we should not participate in them. This doesn’t mean we stop working on our employment stats and bar passage and all those things — we should do those things anyway. But let’s not allow US News to dictate to us what we are and who we are. We can aggressively repudiate US News — “take a hike!” — or peacefully repudiate US News — “namaste.” But let’s opt out of this ridiculous system that creates labels and work and cost for such little benefit.

8. WHAT WOULD THIS LOOK LIKE? Repudiation can’t originate with the administration. It must come from the grass roots. So if our Oregon law students want to repudiate the US News rankings, then they should petition the administration to do so. I imagine that would include the following steps:

* Statement/website about our principled position re: the rankings

* Refusal to send information to US News

* T-shirts

Note that US News will rank us even if we don’t supply them with information, so one likely immediate result will be that we drop precipitously in the rankings. (Ask yourself whether this is worse than hovering around 100.) Messaging will help, as will affirmative commitment to the kinds of things we believe are important here at Oregon. For prospective students, for example, explaining why we do it this way and pressing them to “think for yourself” and emphasizing Oregon’s free-thinking independent streak might work. We’re lucky to be the state’s flagship university’s law school. This repudiation strategy would be much harder for, say, Lewis & Clark.

9. WHAT ABOUT LOOKING LIKE A POOR LOSER? “Withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy” (Slacker). If we have developed a principled position around our repudiation, being called a “poor loser” shouldn’t have much traction. Remember that it is crazy that we are all participating in this mass rankings economy, even though many recognize that the system is unreliable and flawed.

10. WHAT ABOUT OUR RANKED PROGRAMS? If we repudiate the rankings, I am sure this part will feel like a loss. The question for our community is whether that loss is bearable given the possible upside.

I myself have come to a point where I refuse to recognize being “ranked” by a magazine. If you are interested in discussing this more, or in working on such an effort, please let me know. And if you really think this is the wrong idea, that is totally OK. I just wanted to share some thoughts about one possible way we might respond, as a community, to this situation.

Thanks very much!

10/31/13: The author of the email above has asked me to add this response. They asked me to use their name, but at my suggestion I’m keeping it anonymous:

UO Matters —

I was surprised to see my open letter to law students on the blog (and curious about the sender) but not upset.  What I wrote to the students in April is actually what I think.  I believe that the UO News rankings for law schools (maybe for all schools) is methodologically flawed and overly vivid.  The stories of gamesmanship and manipulating certain reporting categories are legendary; that’s what I was talking about when I said that I asked about gamesmanship, because in terms of an option for the community (faculty + student) those kinds of administrative moves didn’t seem to be something we could rely on as a strategy for improving our rankings.  (Why was that a problematic statement?  Is there something I’m missing?)  I want to think about more proactive community options, because for me and many of our students, the experience of getting ranked year after year, lower and lower, is demoralizing.

This is not to say that UO Law doesn’t have things to work on.  And it’s also not to say that my idea of repudiation is the right one.  (I was a little embarrassed to see that “I don’t feel like 94” comment pulled out.  It’s hard to express appropriate levels of emotion or attempts at rallying cries in emails.  Oh well.)  I’m open to any conversation with anyone who is interested — I would actually love to have those conversations, so if you want to tell me why repudiation is stupid or ill-advised (because, say, it shields the administration) or what thoughts you have about dealing with rankings effectively, please do!

Along those lines, a quick comment re: one of the comments:  I’m not sure why a grassroots effort along these lines exposes the students to risk.  What risk?  Our students have a lot of expressive power that they don’t use, I think because they have a generalized risk avoidance that is often present in lawyers and certainly exacerbated by the economy, etc.  But here I’m not sure why repudiating the rankings is risky for them.

Thanks to Bill and UO Matters for keeping these conversations going — Anonymous