Faculty in the News
Deborah Jones Merritt Media Hits
The following is a list of selected media coverage for Deborah Jones Merritt. The links below will direct you to sites that are not affiliated with the Moritz College of Law. They are subject to change, and some may expire or require registration as time passes.
Professor Deborah Merritt was quoted in an American Lawyer article on large end-of-the-year bonuses many law firms are paying associates this year. While average salaries and bonuses continue to rise, they have not kept pace with the rising costs of tuition, and, often therefore, debt carried by associates.
Top associates had it much easier 30 years ago, when many current senior partners were entering the work force. Harvard Law School’s annual tuition in the mid-1980s was about $10,000, while a starting salary at Cravath was $53,000, according to Ohio State University Moritz College of Law professor Deborah Merritt.
Merritt said there’s no good way to determine who’s to blame for the rising cost of tuition.
“It’s a chicken-and-egg problem, because it’s the high salaries that are out there that allow the law schools to charge as much as they do,” she said.
Professor Deborah Merritt hosted an "I Am the Law" podcast on U.S. News & World Report's website, about the experience of working in the criminal justice system.
Professor Deborah Jones Merritt was quoted in an article from the Columbus Dispatch about Ohio State's selection of Michael Drake to be its next president. Merritt led the 13-member advisory panel of the search committee and said she and the committee are thrilled with the results.
“Dr. Drake is an inclusive leader,” she said. “He is an acclaimed scholar. Perhaps most of all, he cares deeply about faculty, staff and students and the whole community.”
Professor Deborah Merritt was interviewed for a story for the ABA Journal on how the legal profession has changed in the last few decades.
"The law practice I knew in the 1980s was remarkably inefficient," Merritt said. "Highly paid associates proofread briefs, reviewed documents, and continuously reinvented the wheel. Clients of all types paid more for legal services than they should have; they had no other options." Increased competition in the present day means clients have more choices at lower rates—and the quality of the work isn't any worse, she writes. "Indeed, competition may have spurred some lawyers to provide higher quality services."
Professor Deborah Jones Merritt's research was referenced in an article in the National Jurist about how the declining rate of law school applicants relates the the legal job market. The article presented different projections for when the amount of legal jobs will exceed the amount of law school graduates. Merritt projected that would come in about 2021.
“The Class of 2012 found only 30,453 full-time, long-term jobs that drew upon their law degrees (either by requiring bar admission or offering a JD advantage),” she wrote. “That number of jobs won’t satisfy even a very slimmed-down Class of 2018. Even if law school enrollment continues to drop 8% per year, a daunting prospect for law school budgets, we won’t be able to celebrate a match between graduates and jobs until the spring of 2020, when the Class of 2019 registers its employment results.”
Professor Deborah Merritt's blog was referenced by the Wall Street Journal in a post about whether students should apply for law school given the current climate in the legal job market. Merritt projects that class sizes at law schools will decline 8 percent a year from 2013 through 2017. Though this will lead to better overall job prospects, Merritt cautioned against too much optimism.
“Changes in the quality of law positions, however, may counterbalance any optimism bias. Staff attorneys, contract attorneys, and document reviewers have replaced many conventional associates,” writes Merritt.
Professor Deborah Merritt was quoted in an article from The Lantern about a University Senate meeting. One of the issue discussed at the meeting was Ohio State's search for its next president. Merritt is a member of the Presidential Search Committee advisory subcommittee and spoke of the importance of keeping the list of candidates confidential.
“The attraction of presidential candidates today, everyone acknowledges across the county, has to be done in complete confidence,” Merritt said. “Top officials simply will not agree to be considered if there is public discussion about them. If they’re a sitting university president, they don’t want their Board of Trustees to know that they are possibly considering Ohio State.”
Professor Deborah Merritt was quoted in an article from The Marion Star about Ohio State's presidential search. As a member of the presidential search subcommittee, Merritt went to the Ohio State's regional campus in Marion to seek out what qualities they sought in Ohio State's next president.
She said the university is “moving full steam ahead” during the search and that the university will not rush to make a decision. “It will last as long as it takes,” she said.
Professor Deobrah J. Merrit was mentioned in am article from The Lima News about the ongoing search for Ohio State's next president. Merrit is part of the Advisory Subcommittee for the presidential search for The Ohio State University, which will create a profile of what the university is looking for in its next leader. In a visit to Ohio State's campus in Lima, Ohio, Merrit said the search will take most of the academic year and more than 700 people have already applied for the job.
Professor Deborah Merritt was quoted in an article from The Lantern about Ohio State's search for its next president. Merritt is on Ohio State’s Presidential Search Advisory Subcommittee, which will present a presidential profile to the Board of Trustees.
“We don’t just want someone to manage where we are. We want someone who is a leader and will articulate a vision,” she said. “Although, we also talk in the profile about how that vision must be consistent with who we are and our particular strengths.”
Professor Deborah Jones Merritt was mentioned in an article by The Columbus Dispatch about Ohio State's search process for a new president. Merritt has been selected to lead a 13-member advisory committee of faculty members, elected student leaders, staff and senior administrators. The committee will work with a selection subcommittee lead by Jeffrey Wadsworth to name the next president.
Professor Deborah Jones Merritt was mentioned in an article by The Columbus Dispatch about Ohio State's search process for a new president. Merritt has been selected to lead a 13-member advisory committee of faculty members, elected student leaders, staffJuly 16, 2013
Professor Deborah Jones Merritt was mentioned in an article by NBC4 about Ohio State's search process for a new president. Merritt has been selected to lead a 13-member advisory committee of faculty members, elected student leaders, staff and senior administrators. The committee will work with a selection subcommittee lead by Jeffrey Wadsworth to name the next president. The search is set to begin July 19.
Professor Deborah Jones Merritt was quoted by the American Bar Association Journal in an article on Washington & Lee University Law School's decision to emphasize practical skills in the 3L year. She said while "employers say they are eager to hire these better-trained, more rounded, more 'practice ready' lawyers—and they should be ... the statistics say otherwise." She pointed out that the school actually has worse employment outcome rates as of late, and suggested this could be because firms don't actually specifically request clinical experience when interviewing candidates.
"Law school clinicians have noted for years that legal employers rarely demand 'clinical experience' as a prerequisite for on-campus interviews," Merritt wrote. "Instead, their campus interviewing forms are more likely to list 'top ten percent' or 'law review.' Old habits die hard. Employers have maintained for the last few years that 'this time we really mean it when we ask for practical skills,' but maybe they don’t."
Entry-Level Employment Falls Again, And It’s Possible That Law Schools Have No Clue What To Do About ItJune 20, 2013
Professor Deborah Jones Merritt was quoted by legal blog Above the Law about the decline in entry-level employment rates among recent law graduates. Merritt comments on the underwhelming results from Washington & Lee’s experiential learning 3L curriculum, despite legal employers' claims they want to employ graduates with practical experience.
Of a few reasons she mentions for why this may be so, Merritt says "employers may care about experience, but want to see that experience in the area for which they’re hiring" and that "the students themselves may have developed higher or more specialized career ambitions than their peers at other schools."
Professor Deborah Jones Merritt was quoted in a National Law Journal article about the possibility of moving back the collection of law school grads' jobs data by one month. The current date for schools to report their employment numbers is currently Feb. 15, and if the American Bar Association approves the new date, schools would have until March 15 to report their numbers. Merritt applauded the move to delay the reporting date.
"Measuring employment outcomes is important for schools, students, prospective students, graduates, and scholars who study the legal market," Merritt wrote on the Law School Café blog. "Any change from the current date requires careful evaluation — and, given the value of comparing outcomes over time, should have to overcome a strong presumption against change."
Professor Deborah Merritt was quoted in an article in the Zainesville Times Recorder about the Harry Brown rape case, in which the defendant chose to represent himself. “I don’t think this is a trend, but it does show it’s becoming more common to see people doing this themselves,” Merritt said.
Business Insider referenced Professor Deborah Jones Merritt’s research in an article about a drop in law school applicants. The article noted Merritt’s research showed “at the present rate, there will be between 53,000 and 54,000 for the current academic year. That’s fewer applicants than US law schools have seen in the past three decades.”
Professor Deborah Jones Merritt was mentioned in The National Law Journal in an article about a drop in law school applicants. The article noted Merritt’s research on the topic showed “at no time during the past 30 years had the applicant totals slipped below 60,000.”
Merritt told the Journal: “I was pretty surprised when I looked back and saw the prospective applicant levels would bring us back to 1983. … There’s a general sense people have that applications are cyclical, but I don’t see any way for a quick rebound here.”
The article was also referenced by ABA Journal and Connecticut Law Tribune.
Professor Deborah Jones Merritt was quoted in a Dayton Daily News story about the nomination of Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court. The story states: “‘She fits very well into that mold,’ said Deborah Jones Merritt, a professor of law at Ohio State University and a former law clerk to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.’”
Moritz Professor Deborah Jones Merritt was quoted in a Columbus Dispatch story regarding the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a case that she tried. The story states: “‘Let's just say I'm celebrating the experience,’ she said with a laugh, adding that ‘we plan to have a celebratory post-mortem sometime next week.’”
Professor Deborah Jones Merritt was mentioned in a National Law Journal story about the case that she recently argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. The story stated: “The plaintiffs, defendants and objectors successfully petitioned the Supreme Court for review. Because all three parties disagreed with the 2nd Circuit decision, the justices appointed Deborah Jones Merritt of Ohio State University Moritz College of Law to argue in support of the appellate court ruling.”
Professor Deborah Jones Merritt was featured in a Columbus Dispatch story about her Oct. 7 argument before the U.S. Supreme Court. The story stated: "Just minutes after finishing oral arguments yesterday, Deborah Jones Merritt bounded down the marble steps of the U.S. Supreme Court and high-fived some of her Ohio State University law students. 'I don't think we won,' the Ohio State law professor said. 'But we did it,' referring to the argument. For Merritt -- who had been a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor before she retired and who also clerked for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg when she was a federal appeals judge -- it was the first time she appeared before the justices to argue a case."
Professor Deborah Jones Merritt was quoted in an article in The Blog of Legal Times regarding her preparation to argue for the respondent in the copyright case Reed Elsevier v. Muchnick. The story states: “In preparing for her argument, Merritt said one of the toughest adjustments she'll have to make is standing behind the podium for a full half-hour. ‘That's not my style,’ said the professor. ‘I won't get to walk around the classroom and gesticulate.’ "
Professor Deborah Merritt was mentioned in a Beyond Chron article regarding the “underlying policy narratives” of Reed Elsevier v. Muchnick. The story states: “Intriguingly, amicus Deborah Merritt, an Ohio State University law professor, is a former clerk for Justice Ginsburg. Merritt’s brief is effective – so, effective, in my view, that it raises the possibility that Ginsburg and her brethren have a larger agenda.”
Professor Deborah Jones Merritt published an Opinion Editorial in The Columbus Dispatch about why Democratic primary votes in Florida and Michigan should not factor into the party’s choice for a presidential nominee. “The rhetoric about Florida and Michigan overlooks two fundamental points: Everyone knew the rules governing these states six months ago, long before any candidate started winning or losing. And voters lose faith in an election system that changes the rules after the ballot box closes,” she said.
In an op ed piece in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Professor Deborah Jones Merritt compared U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor to the framers of the U.S. Constitution.
In a Lowell (Mass.) Sun story about the upcoming Supreme Court nomination process, Professor Deborah Jones Merritt noted that the principle of law is the reason judges change once they've been appointed to the court.
Professor Deborah Jones Merritt is quoted in the Chicago Tribune story on the legacy of outgoing Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
In a Newhouse News Service story about the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor from the U.S. Supreme Court, Professor Deborah Jones Merritt, who clerked for Justice O'Connor during the justice's first term, said that Justice O'Connor viewed the position with a sense of honor and also great trepidation.
Professor Deborah Jones Merritt is quoted in the Chicago Tribune story on the legacy of outgoing Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Merritt says that "people are talking about her position as a centrist on the court, and in many ways, that is one of the greatest tributes to her."