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Law School Recognized in The New Yorker Magazine

The School of Law was recognized by best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell in the February 14-21 issue of The New Yorker.  Gladwell’s article, “The Order of Things: What College Rankings Really Tell Us,” critiques law school rankings, particularly for their failure to consider affordability.  When Gladwell reworks the variables, “counting value for the dollar at forty percent, L.S.A.T. scores at forty percent of the total, and faculty publishing at twenty percent,” he ranks Alabama among the top ten law schools in the country, as follows:

1. University of Chicago
2. Brigham Young University
3. Harvard University
4. Yale University
5. University of Texas
6. University of Virginia
7. University of Colorado
8. University of Alabama
9. Stanford University
10. University of Pennsylvania
Following the list, Gladwell writes, “Welcome to the big time, Alabama!”
The article is available online here (subscription required):

Criminal Law Symposium

Podcast downloads are available now for The University of Alabama’s Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law Review’s Feb. 11 Symposium discussing the viability of the “rotten social background” defense to criminal charges. The Symposium commemorates the fortieth anniversary of Chief Judge Bazelon’s opinion, and the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of Prof. Richard Delgado’s article “Rotten Social Background: Should the Law Recognize a Defense of Severe Environmental Deprivation?”.

James Honored at Banquet

Frank James ’78, was honored during the annual Farrah Banquet as the 2011 recipient of the Sam W. Pipes Distinguished Alumnus Award,  The Pipes Award is given to an outstanding alumnus who has distinguished himself or herself through service to the bar, the University of Alabama, and the School of Law.

Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction Announced

To celebrate the 50 years since publication of To Kill a Mockingbird, The University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal, “The Lawyer’s Magazine,” will be awarding the First Annual Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction. It will be awarded annually to a published book-length work of fiction that best exemplifies the role of lawyers in society, and their power to effect change.

The Prize honors Ms. Lee, a former law student at Alabama, as well as Atticus Finch, the unforgettable character she created, whose steadfast honesty and deep sense of duty to the law have become a standard by which lawyers still measure themselves.

Judging the entries will be novelists Linda Fairstein and David Baldacci, journalist Jeffrey Toobin of CNN and The New Yorker, Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and former American Bar Association President, Robert J. Grey, Jr. The public will be invited to vote for their favorite among the finalists on the ABA Journal website.

The Harper Lee Prize will be presented to the winner in conjunction with the Library of Congress 2011 National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.

Books are eligible if they were first published in 2010. The deadline for nominations is April 8, 2011, and there is no entry fee.

More information about the Prize, including the eligibility criteria and entry form, is available at