Great minds tackle law; Hey Albany, not so fast with layoffs

It was a GOOD week for...

Solving worldwide legal problems, after 50 students from 26 law and business schools around the world met to develop innovations for the education of future lawyers and the practice of law. The program, LawWithoutWalls, encourages students, faculty and mentors to connect with students from different countries to discover innovative solutions to problems in legal education or practice. "LawWithoutWalls is designed to break down the walls that exist between education and practice, academics and lawyers, students and professors," said Professor Michele DeStefano of the University of Miami School of Law. "It connects institutions and people from around the world to collaboratively problem solve law’s biggest problems. In the process, LawWithoutWalls develops professional service providers to meet the demands of the 21st century."

It was a BAD week for...

Chopping heads, after Albany Law School's Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) denied financial exigency —meaning, the school’s financial situation is totally in the pits — as a reason for faculty terminations. That’s despite a November 2013 letter in which Albany Law School's AAUP President Rudy Fichtenbaum said the administration had announced it would be sending layoff notifications to faculty due to serious financial difficulties. The AAUP denied any financial difficulties at the law school in a January 2014 letter, and stated that in the absence of financial hardship, the termination of any faculty member would be unjustified and would fail to meet accepted standards of governance. In a February 2014, the AAUP expressed the hope that the law school would not continue with the planned layoffs. "Although our Board of Trustees had planned for faculty layoffs, we are hopeful that given the projected faculty attrition proportionate to potential reduction in enrollment, the Board will conclude as we have that the law school is moving in the right direction and that layoffs are unwarranted," the February letter stated.