News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Reform group backs cost metric in law school rankings; California suspends jury trials

  • Print.

law school book and . cap

Image from

US News’ ranking methodology is the cheese for law school rat race, report says

The U.S. News & World Report’s annual law school rankings rely on categories including law school expenditures per student, peer assessment and selectivity in admissions. The valuation should include an “efficiency metric” that encourages getting as little revenue as possible from students while providing them access to high-quality job opportunities, according to a report released Tuesday by the reform group Law School Transparency. The big picture is a problem in the profession and in legal education with diversity and also the costs of attending law school, according to Kyle McEntee, the group’s executive director. His organization’s website lists law school data based on costs, enrollment and job outcomes. (The report by Law School Transparency)

California suspends jury trials statewide

California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye suspended Monday all superior court jury trials for 60 days because of health restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19. California joins New York and a host of other states that have suspended all or most jury trials. (California courts press release)

Colorado abolishes death penalty

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill Monday abolishing the death penalty in the state. At the same time, he commuted the death sentences of three men to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Colorado is the 22nd state to abolish capital punishment. (The Colorado Sun)

Amici urge 5th Circuit to reconsider pronoun opinion

Eighty-three legal ethics professors and LGBTQ legal advocacy groups are supporting a transgender inmate’s request for a rehearing after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at New Orleans ruled against her. The 5th Circuit refused to change the inmate’s name in court records from Norman Varner to Kathrine Nicole Jett and also refused to use her preferred female pronouns. The professors’ brief said using preferred names and pronouns is a “basic courtesy” in line with judicial canons. (Law360, Lambda Legal press release)

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.