Introducing MIRLN: miscellaneous IT-related legal news

MIRLN (Miscellaneous IT-Related Legal News) is a free e-newsletter that began in 1997. It is delivered every 3 weeks to members of the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section via Business Law Today and to other members. MIRLN has about 2,000 individual subscribers; 2 of which were former Attorney Generals of the United States.

About Know Connect:

Vincent I. Polley acquired his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from Harvard and his Law degree from the University of Michigan.

In 2006 and 2007, he co-chaired the Information Technology and Security Law practice group at the Dickinson Wright PLLC law firm. He helped clients prevent, plan, and effectively manage IT-related security and privacy problems. Since he was an expert in the area, he oversaw the firm’s specialized law IT assistance such as privacy and e-contracting.

Polley was co-chair of the ABA Commission on Second Season of Service, and served on the Advisory Commission for the ABA World Justice Project and the Council of the ABA’s Section of Business Law.  He’s a former member of the ABA’s Standing Committee on Law and National Security, former chair of the ABA’s Standing Committee on Technology & Information Systems, and the immediate past-chair of the ABA’s Standing Committee on CLE. Polley currently chairs the ABA Content Convergence Working Group, and is the member of the Editorial Board for the ABA Journal.

Since 1997, Polley continuously publishes posts for the Internet Law blog, MIRLN.

Subscribe to MIRLN: Send email to Vince Polley with the word “MIRLN” in the subject line.

MIRLN is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 543 Howard Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

Contact Information:

E-mail: info@knowconnect.com

Skype: vpolley

Twitter: @vpolley

Article via KnowConnect

Photo: Moo cards for blogging workshop via Steve Bridger [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]

 

 


The bar exam results for Florida are in and they are not good

The February bar exam scores usually possess the lowest scores. Most February test takers are usually second-timers and probably failed for a reason the first time around. However, the results from these Florida law schools were from first-time test takers meaning it does not factor in people who have failed before.

The results are as follows:

Florida Coastal School of Law (Jacksonville, FL): 32.7% pass

Barry University School of Law (Orlando, FL): 35.9% pass

St. Thomas University (Miami Gardens, FL): 42.3% pass

Stetson University School of Law (Gulfport, FL): 53.3% pass

University of Florida (Gainesville, FL): 56.3% pass

University of Miami (Coral Gables, FL): 53.1% pass

Ave Maria School of Law (Naples, FL): 52.9% pass

Nova Southeastern University (Fort Lauderdale, FL): 75% pass

Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL): 71.4% pass

Florida International University (Miami, FL): 84.6% pass

Both Florida Coastal and Barry University boasted in the fact that they had the most students sitting for the bar exam, which usually is not a good sign. Florida Coastal is notorious for its unreasonable investment and low employment score (29%).

Even though the University of Florida and the University of Miami had the least number of test-takers, the results are still very surprising. Only about half managed to pass. UF has an employment score of 68% and a US News Rank of 47. UM has an employment score of 67% with a US News Rank of 63.

Nova Southeastern and Florida State University continue to well with about 3/4 of their test takers have passing marks. FSU has an employment score of about 68% and has a US News Rank of 45. Florida International University did the best, with a 84.6% pass rate.

Article via Above the Law, April 11, 2016

Photo: Last Undergraduate Class via Stephen Grebinski [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]


Educating Syrian refugees in Jordan

Principal Maha Salim Al-Ashkar had to apologize to a Syrian mom because she was not able to enroll her child at the primary school in the suburbs of Amman, Jordan.

“I don’t have space,” she told the mother. This Syrian crisis has added tens of thousands of students to Jordan’s overflowing classrooms. Khawla Bint Tha’alba Elementary School for Girls was no exception.

However, the mother would not give up. She had already been rejected from many schools so the principal compromised with her.

“I will register your daughter, if you bring a chair for her,” the principal concluded.

From then on, Principal Al-Ashkar refused to deny any refugee student from the school she’s headed for 10 years. Parents bring plastic chairs with their children so they would have a place to learn.

“After I accepted a large number of Syrian students, there was an increase in the numbers,” she says in a video produced by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). “The main problem that we faced is that the Jordanian students already filled the school’s capacity.”

Khawla Bint Tha’alba Elementary School for Girls has 356 students with 65 Syrian students thanks to the principal’s efforts. However, the problem is not solved here. Though students are receiving an education, it is quite tough to integrate them into the classroom. Many of them faced traumatic experiences and need special counseling and care.

“We had some Syrian students with psychological trauma,” Ms. Maha says. “One of the students came from an area that had been bombed, so she was fearful. There is another student who lost her father.”

USAID funds schools like this in Jordan. They support instructor training and remedial programs.

Many advocacy organizations are calling this Syrian civil war one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time. It has resulted in more than 4.8 million Syrian refugees around the world. Most refugees flee to neighboring countries like Jordan, a country in which about 635,000 Syrian refugees currently live.

“I really love my school, and I also love my students,” Principal Maha says. “And I think love is giving as much as you can, by helping and supporting them to take away their hurt.”

Article via Mashable, March 08, 2016

Photo: Jordan Camp Host to Thousands of Syrian Cross-Border Refugees via United Nations Photo [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]


Undergraduate majors that get the biggest pay boost from law degrees

A new study conducted by Michael Simcovic and Frank McIntyre available at the SSRN showed that humanities majors get a median $45,000 pay boost in annual earnings with a law degree. This is compared to a $29,000 boost for STEM majors- science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. These figures are derived from the Census Bureau data that identifies occupations and professional degree holders.

To estimate the group of law school graduates, the study authors looked at professional degree holders which excluded those who worked as medical professionals, accountants, teachers, education administrators, clergy and psychologists—fields where many people with professional degrees other than law degrees are likely to work.

When the study looked more closely at earnings for professional degree holders working only as lawyers, the median boost in annual earnings was $60,000 for  humanities majors, $54,000 for social sciences majors, $49,000 for business majors, and $66,000 for STEM majors.

This study also took notice of the average annual income for specific majors among the professional degree holders. In the business category, economics majors holding JD’s make the most on average: about $187,000 a year. In the STEM category, electrical engineers make the most; about $166,000 a year. In the humanities category, history majors make about $151,000 and in the social sciences, political science majors make about $150,000.

Michael Simcovic is a law professor at Seton Hall University and Frank McIntyre is an economics and business professor at Rutgers University. These same professors published a controversial study finding that a law school graduate makes about $1 million more than an undergraduate college graduate.

When looking at the proportion of law degree holders, 48% have undergraduate degrees in humanities or social sciences. Only 18% were STEM majors. “Thus the majors that are disproportionately over-represented among law graduates—humanities and social sciences—are also the majors for whom the expected benefits of law school are the greatest,” the study says.

Article via ABA Journal, March 9, 2016

Photo: LAW749_20120518_0539 via Villanova Law [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]


Panel: U.S. government sending mixed encryption messages

Privacy professionals are saying the U.S. government is sending mixed encryption messages to technology companies. They build privacy and security by design in products and services, but leave them open to backdoor access by default. This issue became more prominent after an argument whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) can force Apple, Inc. to unlock an iPhone used by one of the shooters involved in the San Bernardino terrorist attack.

On Feb. 16th, a federal judge ordered Apple to provide the FBI with software to disable the security feature that auto-erases the phone’s data after multiple incorrect attempts to enter the pass code. Demetrios Eleftheriou, Symantec Corp. global privacy director said, “It just seems like there’s a bit of an inconsistent message from the government. We have law enforcement on the one end saying you build back doors, they want broken by design.”  On the other end are “the regulators saying you have to incorporate security by default, privacy by default in the product,” he said.

Eleftheriou asserts that the U.S. government needs to consider if their ambivalent stance on consumer encryption is compatible with the new European Union General Data Protection Regulation requirements for privacy by design and security by default. “A weakness is a weakness. It can be exploited by anybody.”

Will DeVries, Google Inc. privacy counsel said companies “want the process to be really clear, really defined and based on principles that we can apply globally to our services that actually make sense and keep us all safe.”DeVries believes the argument against accessing a terrorist’s phone is just one “red herring”. “We’re actually worried about the precedent of saying can you ask a tech company to undermine the security of devices that’s out in the public, not just for the device they’re talking but a security flaw that then can be used on any device,” DeVries said.

Companies can be ordered to assist with law enforcement to get at some data, Chris Jay Hoofnagle, member of the advisory board of Bloomberg BNA’s Privacy & Data Security Law Report, said. “Obviously, what makes this situation so dangerous and difficult is that the work the government would like Apple to do could be used prospectively and could be used to erode privacy and security in devices generally,” Hoofnagle said. The technology industry is at this point in time now where the devices can outsmart these forensic appliances so whatever happens paves the way for the future of device security.

Hoofnagle sees that this tinkers with the Fourth Amendment. “We might come to a world in the U.S. where we basically have different Fourth Amendment standards for the terrorism case where maybe we do feel as though the phone should be unlocked versus other types of crimes that aren’t as serious.”

Article via Bloomberg BNA, February 19, 2016

Photo: System Lock via Yuri Samoilov


Tech For Justice: Migration Lab Lesbos

Tech For Justice: Migration Lab Lesbos had 4 teams and a total of 16 student developers from diverse backgrounds and skills working on the Tech For Justice problem of “Empowering Refugees in Complex Humanitarian Crises” at the IDHack.

CentRefuge won 2nd place with a $500 award out of nearly 100 students.

Complete problem statement: “Although there are many apps and tech solutions for the current refugee crises available – most of the platforms do not give refugees the ability to communicate their basic needs and also rate the aid organizations available on efficiency. We have access to a database of all of the apps and tech projects currently on the ground in Lesbos, Greece. First, we need to examine their methodology and see which tech solutions might apply. Next, we want to create a simple tool for refugees to request food, water, shelter and also rate local aid organizations, volunteers, and local businesses. We will pilot this system with Migration Lab in Lesbos.”

Team descriptions:

  1. RefugeeAidLesbos

Team members: Ricky Chen, Owen Martin, Jon Atkins, and Ariel Barbieri-Aghib (Tufts)

For more info visit Github

2. BASICS

Teams members: Caroline Caltagirone (Visiting scholar at Harvard University) and Octave Muhirwa (Wentworth Institute of Technology)

For more info visit Github and Presentation

3. Coordinaid

Team members: Adrianna Tan (Wellesley), Sam Chin (Wellesley), Lisa Truong (Wellesley), Shane Skikne, and Annie Ku

For more info visit Github and presentation

4. CentRefuge

Team members: Whitney Fahnbulleh (Wellesley), Ella Chao (Wellesley), Mayrui Sridhar (MIT), Darrien Glasser (UMass Lowell), Amin Manna (MIT)

For more info visit Github and website

Furthermore,

  • You can view the complete list of IDHack2016 project pitches here.
  • To contact the teams please email Danielle Kaidanow – Project Facilitator
  • Although Lesbos was the first region addressed, the solutions are customizable and scalable
  • Demos will take place from 11AM – 12PM on Saturday, February 20th at Tufts

Learn more about the Tech For Justice initiative by visiting their website.

Photo: Somali Refugees in Dolo Ado, Ethiopia via UNICEF Ethiopia [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]

 

 

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