The Future of the Practice of Law: Can Alternative Business Structures for the Legal Profession Improve Access to Legal Services?

James M. McCauley

Nationwide, law school admissions have plummeted to levels not seen in years. From 2010 to 2015, applications were down by 38 percent and down by nearly one-half over the last eight years. Excluding perhaps some first-tier law schools, on the average, law schools are only placing about half of their new graduates in jobs that require a law degree and a law license. The American Bar Association (“ABA”) mandated disclosure policies which forced law schools to reveal that they pay stipends to graduates to work short-term jobs in an effort to beef up their placement statistics.

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Virginia Executioner to Wear a Cloak: Diversion from the Real Controversy

Paul G. Gill

Recent amendments to Virginia law made confidential and exempt from the Freedom of Information Act identifying information for those who contract with the Commonwealth to compound drugs necessary to carry out an execution by lethal injection. The amendments were not without controversy. But debating whether to identify or cloak those who help an execution take place deflects attention from the real legislative question about capital punishment: Does it have benefits which outweigh its costs, financial and otherwise? This article briefly explores that question, suggesting that if execution is examined by evidence-based standards we otherwise commonly apply to sentencing, the answer is clear.

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Are We Heading Toward a Charter School Bubble?: Lessons from the Subprime Mortgage Crisis

Preston C. Green III *
Bruce D. Baker **
Joseph O. Oluwole ***
Julie F. Mead ****

Since 1992, forty-three states and the District of Columbia have passed charter school legislation. Charter schools are commonly defined as public schools that are given considerable latitude from state rules and regulations that apply to traditional public schools while being held accountable for student achievement. There are more than 6700 charter schools nationwide, serving nearly three million students, which accounts for 6% of public school enrollment.

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“But I Know It When I See It”: Natural Law and Formalism

W. H. Bryson *

Professor Helmholz writes with knowledge and authority on the use of natural law in the courts of law in early modern Europe, England, and the United States. This necessarily includes a discussion of the teaching of natural law to the students who would in due course practice in those courts and sit on those benches.[1] It is apparent that natural law was not taught in the schools of law systematically, as it was in the schools of philosophy and theology.

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Reform Virginia’s Civil Asset Forfeiture Laws to Remove the Profit Incentive and Curtail the Abuse of Power

Rob Poggenklass *

In November 2011, a trooper from the Virginia State Police pulled over a car on Interstate 95 near Emporia, Virginia, for traffic violations.[2] The trooper, who alleged that the driver was both traveling 86 mph in a 70 mph zone and following another vehicle too closely, never issued a citation or pressed charges against either of the two men inside the car.[3] Instead, the trooper seized $28,500 in cash.[4] Lawyers for Victor Guzman, the passenger in the car, had to convince a U.S. Attorney that the money consisted of cash donations to help build a church in El Salvador.[5] Guzman and his brother-in-law, the driver, were transporting the funds to Atlanta at the church’s request when the trooper stopped them.[6] The trooper had not accepted their attempts to explain the situation, in part because they said—honestly and accurately—that the money was not their own. Four months later, in March 2012, federal immigration authorities finally cut a $28,500 check to the church, returning the money seized by state police.[7]

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Glimpses of Marshall in the Military

Kevin C. Walsh *

Before President John Adams appointed him as Chief Justice of the United States in 1801, John Marshall was a soldier, a state legislator, a federal legislator, an envoy to France, and the Secretary of State.[1] He also maintained a thriving practice in Virginia and federal courts, occasionally teaming up with political rival and personal friend Patrick Henry. Forty-five years old at the time of his appointment to the Supreme Court, Marshall had been serving his state and his country for a quarter century before he took judicial office.

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