Monday, April 30, 2007

On the influence of Regent law school in the Bush administration

I missed this article from the Boston Globe about Regent law grads working for the Bush administration.

The article says in part:

"Still, [the law school's Dean] Brauch said, the recent criticism of the law school triggered by [DOJ employee Monica] Goodling's involvement in the US attorney firings has missed the mark in one respect: the quality of the lawyers now being turned out by the school, he argued, is far better than its image.

Seven years ago, 60 percent of the class of 1999 -- Goodling's class -- failed the bar exam on the first attempt. (Goodling's performance was not available, though she is admitted to the bar in Virginia.) The dismal numbers prompted the school to overhaul its curriculum and tighten admissions standards.

It has also spent more heavily to recruit better-qualified law students. This year, it will spend $2.8 million on scholarships, a million more than what it was spending four years ago.

The makeover is working. The bar exam passage rate of Regent alumni , according to the Princeton Review, rose to 67 percent last year. Brauch said it is now up to 71 percent, and that half of the students admitted in the late 1990s would not be accepted today. The school has also recently won moot-court and negotiation competitions, beating out teams from top-ranked law schools.

Adding to Regent's prominence, its course on 'Human Rights, Civil Liberties, and National Security' is co taught by one of its newest professors: [former Attorney General John] Ashcroft.

Even a prominent critic of the school's mission of integrating the Bible with public policy vouches for Regent's improvements. Barry Lynn, the head of the liberal Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, said Regent is churning out an increasingly well-trained legal army for the conservative Christian movement."

Speaking of Ms. Goodling, the ACS blog reports here on the extraordinary delegation to her by AG Gonzalez of the power to run off those U.S. attorneys.

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