Monthly Archives: August 2006

UM Law Seeks Dean of Students

Here’s a chance to do a pretty tough, interesting, and important job that matters enormously to a lot of people:

Dean of Students- Position Announcement

The University of Miami School of Law invites applications for the position of Dean of Students. The Dean of Students is responsible for ensuring the efficient and effective performance of the duties entrusted to the Office of the Dean of Students, which provides services to approximately 1,150 J.D.’s and 130 LL.M. students in multiple areas. Minimum qualifications: J.D. strongly preferred (Master’s degree in education or counseling discipline at a minimum) and five years of significant counseling experience required. Strong leadership abilities, demonstrated managerial and organization skills, computer literacy, good judgment, and excellent verbal/written communication skills required. Ability to interact comfortably in multiple and diverse settings.

Major responsibilities include overall administration of the Office of the Dean of Students, including work distribution and flow within the office; providing academic and personal counseling to students; and management of student life affairs, including development of student-friendly initiatives, assisting student organizations with planning and implementing projects, and serving as administrative liaison and advocate for students. A more complete job description is located here.

The University of Miami offers competitive salaries and a comprehensive benefits package including medical and dental benefits, tuition remission, vacation, paid holidays and much more.

Interested candidates, please apply on line at www.miami.edu/careers and submit your resume and cover letter. (Keyword: 003133)

The Dean of Students is the face of the law school to most students; Dean Lynch presides over major events in the law school, but mostly he’s Mr. Outside, so I suspect that most students don’t see that much of him. The short job description quoted above starts with the counseling function — and that’s very real — but the parts I see most often are that the Dean of Students runs a big office with several assistants, and that s/he sets and administers a lot of policies that have major reverberations in the classroom and in people’s lives.

Posted in U.Miami | 5 Comments

Law School Sued for “Culling” First Years

Our neighbor, the St. Thomas University School of Law, has been sued over expelling students. It seems to be a fraud claim: that the school admitted students it knew wouldn’t pass and/or that it had a plan to flunk a greater percentage of the class than advertised in order to raise its bar pass rate:

A former law student has filed a federal class action against St. Thomas University School of Law of Miami, claiming that it is illegally accepting and then expelling more than 25% of its first-year class to boost its flagging bar pass rates.

Filed in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, the complaint alleges that the private law school unlawfully dismissed Thomas Joseph Bentey and as many as 80 students from the incoming class of 2005 because they failed to maintain a 2.5 grade point average.

The action further alleges that in 2003 the school began a scheme to accept large numbers of students-and their tuition dollars-only later to dismiss or pressure the withdrawal of almost 30% of its first- and second-year students. The case could include hundreds of former students as plaintiffs if the court grants class action status.

The associate dean for student and alumni services at St. Thomas law school called the lawsuit “illogical.”

“Why would you admit people and dismiss them early if you’re trying to get their resources?” said George Sheldon.

I have to say that this is the first case of its kind I’ve heard of. Usually law schools get sued for not admitting people. Or students say they want to sue when they fail the bar, or learn that the school doesn’t even try to teach them the dull parts of the bar exam but wants them to take an expensive cram course after graduation.

I would have thought judges would tend not to be sympathetic to this sort of claim, especially the class action part (as to be a class action you need to show that the facts are the same for each member of the class — but each exam is different) — but I am not ready to predict that it won’t get to discovery, especially as an individual claim for the named plaintiff alone.

I can confidently predict, however, that it’s not going to affect my grading.

Posted in Law School | 46 Comments

Olbermann’s Edward R. Murrow Moment

On the basis of this savaging of SecDef Rumsfeld, Keith Olbermann would have a strong claim to be the Edward R. Murrow of our day — if only he weren’t so self-conscious about it.

Update: Robert Waldmann makes a convincing case that Olbermann slanders Neville Chamberlain in the clip I linked to above: “He was a truly aweful prime minister but comparing him to Donald Rumsfeld is going too far.”

Posted in The Media | Leave a comment

Ernesto We Hardly Knew You

Well, talk about anticlimaxes.

But, it’s only the beginning of the season:

…TROPICAL WAVES…

AN EASTERN ATLANTIC TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 30W/31W S OF 17N MOVING W NEAR 15 KT. LOW-MID LEVEL CLOUD MOTIONS ON NIGHT CHANNEL VIS IMAGES AND THE FIRST FEW VIS IMAGES THIS MORNING SHOW CLEAR CYCLONIC CIRCULATION ABOUT THE WAVE AXIS. CLUSTERS OF SCATTERED MODERATE/ISOLATED STRONG CONVECTION ARE NOTED FROM 6N-14N WITHIN 200NM OF EITHER SIDE OF THE WAVE AXIS…THOUGH SHOWER AND TSTM ACTIVITY REMAINS DISORGANIZED AND ANY FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM SHOULD BE SLOW TO OCCUR.

A HIGH AMPLITUDE TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 44W S OF 23N MOVING W NEAR 10 KT. A 1012 MB LOW IS ALONG THE WAVE NEAR 16N. SHOWER ACTIVITY WITH THIS SYSTEM IS LIMITED…AND DEVELOPMENT…IF ANY…IS EXPECTED TO BE SLOW TO OCCUR AS THE LOW MOVES WESTWARD. A COUPLE SMALL CLUSTERS OF SCATTERED MODERATE CONVECTION ARE SEEN IN THE VICINITY OF THE SURFACE LOW FROM 15N-19N BETWEEN 42W-46W.

Have I mentioned yet this year that I wish the National Hurricane Center didn’t use ALL CAPS…

Posted in Miami | 2 Comments

100,000 Stuffer Suckers

In an otherwise uninteresting 10th Circuit decision affirming the conviction of a Ponzi-schemer behind those ‘get rich stuffing envelopes at home’ ads that pop up in magazine classifieds, we learn the alarming statistic that more than 100,000 people believed — or were desperate enough to make themselves believe — that someone would pay them two or three dollars to put a one-page flyer in an envelope.

(Via Decision of the Day: The Truth About Envelope-Stuffing Jobs.)

Posted in Law: Criminal Law | Leave a comment

More Dirt on Sen. Allen

Gov. Dean called Sen. George Allen unfit for public service. Here’s more evidence that he is.

And I think modern Virginia has gotten to a point where overt racism is a real political disadvantage.

Posted in Politics: US: 2006 Election | Leave a comment

US Government Blocks Re-Entry of Citizens

Ed Hasbrouk has pointers to an incredible story: :

The USA has forbidden any airline from transporting to the USA a Mr. Jaber Ismail, a natural-born USA citizen and California resident, not a dual citizen. They aren’t saying they will arrest him or detain him for questioning on arrival. They aren’t asking the government of the country he has been visiting to arrest him. But they won’t let him come home.

There’s been some discussion of this as a Constitutional question, but it’s actually much more fundamental as a question of international human rights law, including treaties which the USA has actually ratified…

News articles vary on this: some say that the government is just preventing airlines from flying them home — which is bad enough! — others say they are barred from entering the country at all:

Federal authorities told the [San Fransisco] Chronicle that although neither Muhammed nor Jaber Ismail has been charged with a crime, they are barred from reentering the United States unless they submit to further FBI questioning in Pakistan.”

I have doubts about the legality of the no-fly rule although presumably the government might defend it by saying that victims of the new blackballing could sail or fly to Canada or Mexico and then walk in to the USA. In any case, this abuse of it should certainly demonstrate why it’s a bad policy. And when, as in this case, it matures into a de facto no-entry ruling, that ought to be unconstitutional.

It seems that Ismail has a lawyer who understands the issues,“They want to come home and have an absolute right to come home,” said [Julia Harumi] Mass, who has filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security and a petition with the Transportation Security Administration.

“They can’t be compelled to waive their constitutional rights under threat of banishment,” Mass said. “The government is conditioning the return to their home on cooperation with law enforcement.”

Aviation watch lists were created in 1990 to keep terrorists off planes and track drug smugglers and other fugitives. But since al Qaeda’s attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the government has expanded the lists significantly. Members of the public cannot find out if, or why, they are on a no-fly list.

Michael Barr, director of the aviation safety and security program at USC, said the Ismail case appears to be unusual in the realm of federal terrorism investigations.

“You become what is called a stateless person, and that would be very unprecedented,” Barr said.

Speaking of which … our friends at Homeland Security have a proposal to, as Ed puts it,

to formalize the power of the DHS to prohibit anyone (including citizens of the USA) from traveling to or from the USA (or, for that matter, through the air over the USA, such as on flights between Europe and Mexico, or Canada and Latin America) except by express prior permission of the DHS.

Ed’s got a lot of useful information on that proposal as well.

Posted in Law: Right to Travel | 2 Comments