Category Archives: U.Miami

U Miami Security Self-Surveillance App: Clever or Creepy?

UGuardian App :: UMPD Campus Safety:

Miami has a new app which lets users phone quickly for campus cops, and also set a time to get from one place to another, during which ‘friends’ can monitor progress. And if the user doesn’t reach the destination in time, the app sends an alarm.

Most of it seems to have been crafted with some thought to user privacy. But at 0:55 the video mentions that if you use the enhanced 911 feature, it will send your location and “a recent selfie”. If it’s one the user downloads and earmarks in advance that’s OK. If the app just picks a recent picture, that gets a bit creepier. Anyone willing to download this app and report back?

Posted in Software, U.Miami | Leave a comment

MiamiLaw Enrollments Jump 30+%

Our first year class is up about 30% and LSATs are (officially) the same as last year. In fact, they look a bit stronger, but not enough to move the US News needle. If the trend were to continue, however, we could potentially raise them next year.

We matriculated more than 310 students this year; last year we matriculated about 240. We’re told that all the other indicators, e.g. minority enrollment 46% (dominated by Hispanic students), also are basically indistinguishable from last year. I gather that 2L transfers in were also notably higher than transfers out — although the #1 student in the class inexplicably chose to transfer to Yale Law.

These astonishing and (to me at least) unexpected admission numbers are good news — great news — for the law school’s finances and near-term future. Last year, despite suffering a smaller drop in applications than the national average, we under-admitted to keep up academic standards. This year thanks to increases in applications and in yield over last year we did not need to do that: we now have approximately the number of students in the first year class needed for long-run financial health at steady-state — at a size considerably smaller than our peak 1L classes. Those used to run at a gargantuan 380 … and sometimes more when yield fluctuations caught us by surprise.

I hope, of course, that these numbers translate into good news for our graduates three years from now. That means work for them, and for those of us on the faculty too.

In one way, however, the numbers are not quite as great news for me: there are 41 students in my Torts class where last year there would have been 30. It’s a bit more crowded in there.

The interesting question, though, is why? Why were our applications and yield and up so sharply this year, in what I expect must be well above national trend given the number of LSAT takers?

At present, I have only one idea, and it’s not one that I hold with much confidence: perhaps the lag time for gains in US New rank to reflect in student choices is much longer than we think. Results come out in Spring before the deadline for students to choose a school. Even so, by that point they’ve already decided where to apply, and many may also also have decided their priority list or even sent in a deposit. So this year’s outcomes are a product not of last year’s rankings but of at least the last two year’s rankings, and maybe more. (Please note that I’m not in any way endorsing the US News rankings method, nor the idea that a sensible student would place weigh on anything more than a very large variation in the rankings. That said, it’s conventional wisdom that prospective students care a lot about even small deviations.)

To have any shot at a better guess, I’ll need to know more about the national data. I hear rumors of a diverse set of outcomes at other law schools — some also did well some not so well. We have some nice new programs, but they’re small; the football team is doing better, but it still doesn’t feel quite like championship material, so those traditional explanations seem insufficient to explain a jump of this magnitude. I do know that our Admissions office worked really, really hard, but then they worked pretty hard last year too. The law school gave out more scholarships, which also must have contributed to the jump, although from what I hear we are nowhere near what Brian Leiter suggests may be a national average of 48% for private law schools.

Whatever the reason for Miami Law’s enrollment rebound, I’m happy about it. I just wish I knew the cause so I could bottle it.

How did your law school do?

Posted in Law School, U.Miami | Leave a comment

A New Way to Find Collaborators (the Good Kind)

A speed-dating-like event designed to break silos and promote interdisciplinarity? Could be horrible, and I don’t know if there’s anything I’m currently doing that needs a collaborator, but I sort of wish I could go just to support the concept:

Find a new research collaborator and learn what your colleagues are doing at the first Research Speed Networking forum sponsored by the Office for the Vice Provost of Research from 2 to 5 p.m. on Friday, January 23 in the Hurricane 100 Room at the BankUnited Center. During the event, which is similar to “speed dating,” participants will talk to colleagues in ten-minute intervals, sharing their research experiences and directions. The goal is to stimulate collaborations.

To attend, RVSP by Wednesday, January 21 at http://fs24.formsite.com/VPR1/form13/index.html, and be prepared to submit an abstract of current and future research directions. These will be compiled and made available to all participants at the meeting.

Unfortunately, there’s a conflicting can’t-miss faculty meeting, so no one from the Law School will be there.

Posted in U.Miami | Leave a comment

Justice Stevens to Speak at U Miami L Rev Syposium

Criminalized Justice: Consequences of Punitive Policy” will be held Feb 6-7 in the Student Activities Center: 1330 Miller Drive, University of Miami, Coral Gables.

The Symposium, entitled “Criminalized Justice: Consequences of Punitive Policy,” will take a critical look at how our nation’s laws have been increasingly criminalized over the past 30 years, the negative consequences of this criminalization, and recent positive developments. We will explore this topic through a variety of subjects, including sentencing policy, immigration, homelessness, and race and social class.

Keynote Speakers

The Honorable John Paul Stevens, Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (Ret.)
Introduced by Donna Shalala, President, University of Miami

Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Miami-Dade State Attorney

Topics

 Panel I: The Criminalization of Race and Poverty

This panel will examine how and why an individual is more likely to be targeted by police because of their race, social class, or where they live.  We will discuss the cycle of crime and incarceration that this creates as well as possible solutions to this problem.

Moderator: Charlton Copeland, Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law

Speakers:
Jeffrey Fagan, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
Jonathan Simon, Adrian A. Kragen Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley School of Law
Tristia Bauman, National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty

 Panel II: Sentencing Policy and Mass Incarceration

This panel will focus on the impact that the same trend of criminalization has had on incarceration. We hope to discuss the radicalization of punishment and the problems that has created in our country’s prison systems as well as the recent movement away from heavy sentencing.

Moderator: Rebekah J. Poston, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs

Speakers:
Franklin Zimring, William G. Simon Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley School of Law
Douglas Berman, Robert J. Watkins/Proctor & Gamble Professor of Law, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
Nicole Porter, The Sentencing Project

Panel III: The Criminalization of Immigration Law

Since the Supreme Court’s landmark opinion in INS v. Lopez-Mendoza in 1984 categorizing immigration proceedings as civil in nature, the immigration laws and the ways in which they are enforced have become increasingly criminal. This panel will examine the issues that this criminalization has created and what procedural and substantive protections should be in place as a result.

Moderator: David Abraham, Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law

Speakers:
 Daniel Kanstroom,  Professor of Law, Boston College Law School
Paromita Shah, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild
Allegra McLeod, Associate Professor of Law, Georgetown Law

Panel IV: Roundtable Discussion

 Moderator: Mary Anne Franks, Associate Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law

Posted in Law: Criminal Law, U.Miami | Leave a comment

Call for Papers: UM Law Review 11th Circuit Issue

The students on the Law Review asked me to share this call for papers:

Every year, the University of Miami Law Review dedicates its fourth issue to articles analyzing current and timely issues pending within the Eleventh Circuit. The Eleventh Circuit issue is unique to the University of Miami Law Review-no other journal publishes an issue like it. As the premier publication for law review articles regarding the Eleventh Circuit, past issues have either provided broad overviews of relevant topics or focused on a single, relevant theme. We are now accepting submissions for Volume 69, Issue 4, which will be published in the summer of 2015. We will accept submissions from authors on any timely and important Eleventh Circuit topic. Moreover, submissions do not have to be limited to a federal issue or topic. An intertwining of both federal and state issues is welcomed, as it provides for a wider audience and a more in-depth article. If you would like to submit a current draft of an article addressing an Eleventh Circuit topic or propose an idea for an for the Eleventh Circuit article, please email Adrienne Scheffey atascheffey@students.law.miami.edu with the subject “Eleventh Circuit Issue.”

Posted in U.Miami | Leave a comment

Patrick Gudridge ALS Ice Bucket

Patrick Gudridge is our Vice Dean and a really smart legal academic.

Several years ago I suggested we dress up the faculty in Halloween costumes, take a group photo, and publish it online with the caption “A Serious Faculty that Doesn’t Take Itself Too Seriously”. This met with no approval at all.

Posted in Law School, U.Miami | Leave a comment

The Rumors Were True

Donna Shalala will ‘step down’ as U.Miami President at the end of the school year.

It is with gratitude and affection for the University that I share with you my decision to step down at the end of the 2014-2015 university year. A long time ago a friend advised me to always leave a job when you still love it. That is certainly the case here.

Despite her reaction to the strike, on balance President Shalala has been an excellent leader for the University of Miami. She will be a very tough act to follow.

Posted in U.Miami | Leave a comment