Thursday, October 21, 2010

BIDER Double Header: Cooley Prof Fired and BC Law Student Seeks Refund

Poor, poor Cooley Professor.  A tenured Cooley Professor was fired without a hearing and (SURPRISE) sued! Welcome to our hell, Ex-Professor Branham.  She was fired for a simple reason, failing to teach classes:

"The law school assigned a tenured faculty member a normal and contractually permitted set of courses to teach. The faculty member refused to teach them for reasons she deemed proper, but that the law school did not. ... Indeed, it would lead to academic chaos if tenured faculty could, with impunity, refuse a lawfully and contractually permitted teaching assignment of the institution."
Branham, an associate dean, sued in 2007 after she was fired without a tenure hearing. The law school said no hearing was necessary because she "effectively abandoned her job" by refusing to teach assigned courses and moved to Illinois, where she took another job.
Oops.  I guess she found another job so she won't be joining us in unemployed and underemployed purgatory.  The issue is, why the hell did she need to teach to at Cooley if she has another job?  And why did she bring a lawsuit about it?  It boils down to this:

She claimed the school inflicted emotional distress and violated state and federal laws to protect the disabled.

I want to join this gravy train.  Being disabled comes up often when dealing with Cooley.  Can I claim a disability and sue Cooley?  Well, she lost.
Someone emailed me once and asked me if she would be wise in asking for a refund.  I told her to go ahead... why the hell not?  Well, maybe it was my advice prompted this story.  A Boston College law student asked for a refund, via anonymous letter on an on-line publication:
The student offered to leave law school without a degree at the end of the semester in exchange for a full tuition refund — a move the erstwhile aspiring attorney says would help BC’s US News ranking because it wouldn’t have to report another graduate’s state of unemployment.
There's something in it for them.  I guess they don't think so or they might have been open to the idea.  We all know that they lie about their stats anyway:
The law school said in a statement yesterday it is “deeply concerned” about its students’ job prospects but no institution of higher education can guarantee a job after graduation. “What we can do is provide the best education possible, and work together to provide as many career opportunities as possible,” the statement said. 
I wish we could work our education like a real estate deal.  I would like to put our tuition in escrow and it would be released to our alma mater upon landing a viable job and keeping it for over 3 years.  Ha.  The money would be in escrow forever!  IOLTA funds would soar.  Dream a little dream.
Thanks Tipster!


  1. " I would like to put our tuition in escrow and it would be released to our alma mater upon landing a viable job and keeping it for over 3 years. "

    In the past, things informally worked like this. Law schools charged modest tuition and successful graduates donated money.

    I would guess that alumni donations will go down in the future as more and more alumni perceive that their law schools are acting like money making machines.

    Personally, I'm no Bill Gates but I'm successful enough in life that I donate a couple thousand dollars to charity every year. I've never donated a penny to my college or law school.

  2. Lynn Branham is a member of the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section Council, chaired the ABA’s Prison Litigation Reform Act Task Force, and chaired the ABA’s Subcommittee on Effective Prison Oversight, which developed recommendations on the external oversight of correctional facilities approved by the ABA in 2008. She represented the ABA for eleven of her thirteen years as a member of the Commission on Accreditation for Corrections and received the American Correctional Association’s Walter Dunbar Award for her efforts to improve the ACA accreditation process. Professor Branham has provided training to federal appellate, district, and magistrate judges about the PLRA at nineteen workshops sponsored by the Federal Judicial Center. Her many publications include a casebook on correctional and sentencing law and policy, a study for the American Bar Association on the use of incarceration, and a technical-assistance manual for courts, correctional officials, and attorneys general on pro se inmate litigation. Professor Branham received her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.

  3. Lynn Branham

    Name: Lynn Branham
    School: University of Illinois Urbana Champaign Law School
    Location: Champaign, IL
    Department: Law
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    fantastic. u of i needs her back.
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  4. Lynn, quit posting your resume here. No one cares about all your "accomplishments."

    I guess some of these pigs are too lazy to even teach their required 4-6 hours a week. Teaching case law must be one hell of a burden, huh?

  5. This could mean work for starving lawyers

  6. Did everyone catch the WSJ Law blog I am giving the link to?

    I think it would be great if everybody went over and commmented, and the number of comments went from 16 to 16,000.

    Maybe the WSJ would realize this is a big deal and do a bunch more stories....just a thought.



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