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Professor William Byrnes Develops Online Teaching Methodologies And Distance Learning In Face Of Disabilities

Posted by williambyrnes on September 29, 2014


William Byrnes pioneered the “online classroom” so he could continue teaching, despite a prognosis of lifetime disabilities resulting from traumatic injury. The program he developed to guarantee his future employment has now become a groundbreaking distance learning model used by higher education institutions and the U.S. military.

Byrnes suffered life threatening injuries in an African ski country accident and spent six months in the hospital undergoing grueling recovery from physical and brain trauma. Doctors could not predict his level of recovery, nor his future quality of life. In an effort to prepare himself for a productive future, Byrnes developed online, multi-media teaching methodologies that effectively ignore disability. ….

read the full article at International Business Times

Professor William Byrnes released remarks in the form of a white paper about teaching photodistance education methodologies called Alternative Methods of Teaching and The Effectiveness of Distance Learning For Legal Education.

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Professor Byrnes Leads Online Education Workshop

Posted by williambyrnes on September 26, 2014


Professor Byrnes Leads Workshop in St. Paul Minnesota | Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

Byrnes became involved with distance education models after he suffered a traumatic injury in a ski accident. Since then, Byrnes has developed online, multi-media teaching methodologies  that effectively ignore disability. Byrnes multi-media approach continuously incorporates the newest technologies to accommodate a wide range of disabilities, making it easier for many more individuals to achieve their educational goals.

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25% student loan borrowers 90 days behind, 13.7% in default

Posted by williambyrnes on September 25, 2014


International Financial Law Prof Blog.

Still, the government’s default measure vastly underestimates the problem. The government considers people in default if they have made no payments in 360 days. A broader measure by Federal_Reserve_Governors_sealthe New York Federal Reserve—which accounts for all Americans with student loans—shows that roughly one in four borrowers are at least 90 days behind on a payment.

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Prof. Byrnes to Deliver Paper on Pioneering Distance Learning for Legal Education | Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Posted by williambyrnes on August 28, 2014


Prof. Byrnes to Deliver Paper on Pioneering Distance Learning for Legal Education | Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

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Videos of Prof. William Byrnes’ Presentations on Distance Education

Posted by williambyrnes on March 27, 2014


1st vimeo video: Associate Dean William Byrnes’ 15 minute presentation about distance learning to the 500 policy makers of India’s National Board of Accreditation http://vimeo.com/39260008#t=3549  (starts from 1:00:00 until 1:15.00)

2nd vimeo video: William Byrnes’ second 6 minute response presentation delivered in the afternoon to India’s National Board of Accreditation policy congress in response of questions of the plenary about his approach to distance learning http://vimeo.com/39264336#t=4959  (starts from 1:22.30 until 1.28.30)

TJSL’s Associate Dean for Graduate & Distance Education Programs William Byrnes was honored with the 2012 Education Leadership Award by the World Education Congress of India’s National Board of Accreditation that brought together 500 policy makers from many countries on all the continents to examine and develop best practice policies for higher (university and graduate) education.

Professor William Byrnes’ leadership and contribution to the field of education is well known,” said Chairman of Awards & Academic Committee Edward Smith. “The position that you occupy in the fraternity is strategic and iconic. As a thinker and doer you are a role model and a believer in change. I am pleased that the Jury and Council of Board members would like to confer the Education Leadership Award to you.”

Professor Byrnes pioneered online legal education in 1994, thereafter creating the first online LL.M. program offered by an ABA accredited law school. He is a key founding member of the Work Group for Distance Education in Legal Education that in 2013 published Distance Learning in Legal Education: A Summary of Delivery Models, Regulatory Issues and Recommended Practices (http://www.law.harvard.edu/programs/plp/pdf/Distance_Learning_in_Legal_Ed.pdf). The second edition of this Best Practices Report will be released shortly (see Working Group for Distance Learning in Legal Education on Harvard’s Program on the Legal Profession website: http://www.law.harvard.edu/programs/plp/pages/distance_learning_working_group.php)

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Tax and Financial Professionals online program

Posted by williambyrnes on February 20, 2014


When William Byrnes returned to the United States in 1998 to establish the International Finance and Taxation program leveraging online communication technologies, both international tax programs and distance learning programs were in their infancy. Through engaging a renown and talented faculty of industry professionals, and the support of an immensely engaged student body from professional and financial service firms, the international tax program blossomed over the past 15 years to become a cutting edge industry leader that it is today. Just recently, National Law Journal wrote “Perhaps no one in legal academia has more experience with online master’s degrees than William Byrnes, Associate Dean for Graduate and Distance Education Programs at Thomas Jefferson School of Law.” (May 20, 2013)

Each year William Byrnes chooses fourteen international tax students from the graduate online program to assist within tax compendium published by LexisNexis, WoltersKluwer, National Underwriter Co. (the Tax Facts series), and Merten’s Federal Income Taxation. By the time these students have reached international alumni status, many have developed into authors with several chapter and article citations.

William Byrnes created this graduate program around the needs of tax and financial professionals looking for advancement and efficiency for their career, be that to attract new clientele with global issues, better manage the budgets of outside international counsel, or to enhance their CV for the next round of promotion. Explore an international tax & financial services career by listening to his interview responses, then interacting with him via Skype or Google Hangout.

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Professor Byrnes Lectures for University of Amsterdam’s International Tax Program

Posted by williambyrnes on January 22, 2014


UvA teaching

Following his October presentation in Moscow at Moscow Finance University organized with University of Amsterdam, Professor William Byrnes was invited to lecture last week for the intersession international tax course of the University of Amsterdam’s Centre for Tax Law. While at the University of Amsterdam, he engaged with Dean Dr. Edgar du Perron on collaborative distance education opportunities, and attended the European Law Student Association’s (ELSA) annual Groot Juridisch Dictee of the Amsterdam chapter.

William Byrnes noted, Dr. Dennis Weber, the Director of the Amsterdam Centre for Tax Law, is a renowned jurist and author on tax issue brought before the European Court of Justice. He is frequently referred to as a powerhouse among European Tax Law faculty. In 2015, Amsterdam will begin offering the LL.M. of International Taxation in English for a very selective group of professionals. With his robust full-time tax faculty and cadre of Ph.D. candidates from around the world, I expect it to quickly become the premier international tax degree within Europe, perhaps globally.” 

Professor Dennis Weber included, “I visited Thomas Jefferson’s campus last February when I lectured to its tax students about international tax risk management and also about practical aspects of careers in the tax field.  I became very intrigued with how Associate Dean William Byrnes dynamically engaged students on campus and worldwide through leveraging communication and multimedia technologies. We are investigating potentially collaborating on joint online initiatives in the future and look forward to discussing these further when I return  to San Diego this March to deliver my next international tax lectures.”

UvA Dean“Of all my international invitations” Professor Byrnes added, “University of Amsterdam is my favorite because I am an alumni and have fond memories and friends from my three years on campus when I studied international tax law, and participating as an active member of ELSA Amsterdam.  The University of Amsterdam led to my initial academic opportunities in South Africa because my fellowship dissertation on transfer pricing profit-margin based methodologies was, at that time, quite unique and South Africa was re-thinking its tax system.  With the G20 and OECD’s new agenda against base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS), transfer pricing is now a prominent topic of study in most tax law programs, but two decades ago only Amsterdam offered me the opportunity to delve deeply into it via a shared research program at the IBFD.”cts of careers in the tax field.  I became very intrigued with how Associate Dean William Byrnes dynamically engaged students on campus and worldwide through leveraging communication and multimedia technologies. We are investigating potentially collaborating on joint online initiatives in the future and look forward to discussing these further when I return  to San Diego this March to deliver my next international tax lectures.”

UvA ELSA

Professor Byrnes continued, “Also, Dr. Weber, Bruno Da Silva, and I had the opportunity to discuss several future collaborative publications stretching out through 2015 and beyond, including authoring a Lexis book on international tax for the Asian academic and professional market to be translated into several local languages, reworking a Lexis publication on tax treaties, and finally, expansion of my Lexis transfer pricing publication from the U.S. perspective to a global, comparative approach.  Bruno Da Silva, who is just completing his doctoral candidacy at UvA on the topic of information exchange, and I just collaborated on the second edition of LexisNexis Guide to FATCA Compliance.  His representation of the China Territory of Macau, his OECD research and his work with Loyens and Loeff is establishing him as a leader among his European colleagues for understanding cross border information information flows.”

“Moreover, I explored with Dr. Edgar du Perron, Dean of University of Amsterdam Faculty of Law, and Dr. Weber the ‘flipping the classroom’ approach to distance education and how we may implement some joint international tax courses in this regard that can receive status as professional designations from various financial service authorities and associations.  Such courses could become the starting point for Amsterdam to leverage for the undergraduate law courses.  It was interesting to learn from Dean Perron that a group of entrepreneurial Amsterdam law students have captured lecture recordings of some of their courses, splicing them into multimedia course outlines and then selling them, albeit potentially without obtaining the faculty members authorization.”

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Best Practices for Distance Learning in Legal Education

Posted by williambyrnes on January 10, 2014


The American Association of Law Schools (AALS) President reported at the Sunday morning Section Officers’ breakfast on January 4, attended by Associate Dean William Byrnes of Thomas Jefferson School of Law, that this year’s conference had the second highest registration in AALS history.
william1614

During the AALS annual conference in New York City, LexisNexis sponsored the breakfast held at the Hilton Midtown for the Workgroup on Distance Education for Legal Education. The sit down breakfast, filled at room capacity of stakeholders from among law schools, is the third annual breakfast during AALS and seventh meeting of the workgroup.

The Lexis sponsored breakfast provided Professor Rebecca Purdom (pictured left), renown environmental law academic and leader of Vermont Law School’s Environmental online program, the opportunity to lead a stakeholder discussion on the Workgroup’s Report of Best Practices before the second edition publication in March. Professor Purdom also presented the agenda of the March 2014 three-day Workgroup meeting sponsored by Washington University School of Law (St. Louis). Professor Purdom stated, “The Workgroup evolved from a 2011 project presented at the Harvard Law School – New York Law School initiative of conferences ‘The Future of Legal Education 2.0’. Over the past two years, law schools’ interest has substantially grown in the workgroup’s best practices and case examples output as the schools leap forward into providing online courses and programs for their JD and LLM students.”

William Byrnes, as chair of the Report subgroup (Best Practices for Distance Learning in Legal Education:  A “Blue Paper” Summary of Delivery Models, Regulatory Issues, and Recommended Practices), has been coordinating input from academics from a representation of backgrounds, law school rankings, and regions, discussing and organizing contributions from workgroup members. Replying to the question: “What were some of highlights of the AALS conference this year?” Professor Byrnes answered, “The most significant “wake up” call of the AALS conference was the presentation about the ABA variance granted William Mitchell College of Law for a flexible hybrid, distance delivered JD degree. The newly announced hybrid short residence – online JD degree combines intensive, one week on-campus seminars once a semester with online course work during the semester.  This variance is a game changer regarding thinking about delivery of U.S. legal education and I expect distance hybrid programs to be wildly popular.”

The American Bar Association general restrictions for earning distance education credits (Standard 306) are being relaxed as well.  Under current ABA accreditation standards, a JD student may not earn any distance education during the first year of law school, and after the first year the student is restricted to no more than four distance education credit hours in any one semester, and a maximum 12 credits total may apply to the juris doctorate degree.  The new accreditation standard (Standard 311) will remove the maximum distance education credits per semester restriction, and increase the allowance  to 15 credits toward the degree.  However, in light of the newly announced variance, it is expected that several schools will also seek to expand the curriculum and practice-oriented opportunities afforded by distance education, especially schools in low population density regions.

William Byrnes said “As the pioneer of distance learning delivered law degrees by ABA institutions, I am glad to see other law schools finally understanding the strengths offered by technology. At Thomas Jefferson, my understanding of distance education pedagogy has deepened, and is frequently called upon by other schools, promoting Thomas Jefferson an academic leader among the ABA schools.”  

“How will this impact students?”  William Byrnes continued “For students, it opens the possibility, by example, of combining 15 hours of distance credits for electives with externship credits and independent study credits to complete a full academic year while perhaps undertaking a practical externship in a foreign country.  The student could begin the overseas, practical experience in January of the second year and return December the third year, allowing a full  12 months immersion, and not be penalized with a late graduation.  The last semester at the home school is a good idea to allow the student to engage in the necessary local state bar procedure courses and other bar preparation common for impending graduate, as well as reintegrate with  student organizations and friends.  Of course, technology like video/web conference applications such as Skype, Google Chat, and Polycom allow students off campus to remain engaged with home school students organizations and the like.  Still, technology doesn’t replicate throwing frisbee on Pacific Beach with friends or replace the unexpected meeting at the Starbucks down the street from the law school.”

“Quality of education was a concern on many minds which I think will in turn increase interest in the workgroup’s best practices project and report. I also expect several more variances and online programs to be applied for in 2014”. Professor Byrnes concluded “The March 2014 distance education workgroup meeting has opened a third day to address requests from law schools to provide practical online course examples of tools and techniques.”

The first edition of the workgroup’s best practices report may be downloaded from the Harvard website.  The vastly expanded, and refined, second edition of Best Practices for Distance Learning in Legal Education:  A “Blue Paper” Summary of Delivery Models, Regulatory Issues, and Recommended Practices will be published at the March 6 – 8, 2014 workshop.  Contact William Byrnes for more details (http://profwilliambyrnes.com/about-2/).

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Professor Byrnes Attends AALS Conference | Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Posted by williambyrnes on January 8, 2014


Read about the events that transpired including the announcement during an ABA session for the first ABA variance given to an online JD degree …

Professor Byrnes Attends AALS Conference | Thomas Jefferson School of Law <

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video interview on distance education

Posted by williambyrnes on November 18, 2013


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CaliBUG 2013 chooses Professor William Byrnes’ presentation on distance education pedagogy

Posted by williambyrnes on October 14, 2013


calibug_sm-H

Last Spring, William Byrnes submitted a presentation proposal to the conference committee on the pedagogical reasons for, and addressing the challenges of, ‘flipping the classroom’, which was inevitably chosen for a forty minute slot.  William Byrnes pioneered online legal education in 1995, thereafter creating the first online LL.M. offered by an ABA accredited law school.   He is a key founding member of the Work Group for Distance Education in Legal Education that in 2013 published “Distance Learning in Legal Education: A Summary of Delivery Models, Regulatory Issues and Recommended Practices”.

William Byrnes said “I invited Jason Fiske to tag team the presentation wherein we swap back and forth at couple minute intervals to continually refresh audience interest.  Listening to one speaker for forty minutes can lead to distraction, fractionating between two complementary styles and perspectives allows the audience to refocus attention.”

William Byrnes and Jason Fiske presented on the topic of flipping the classroom at CaliBUG 2013 held October 11 in San Diego.  CaliBug had 280 attendants this year from California higher education institutions, representing administration and faculty of universities and colleges, as well as some So Cal public high schools.

Byrnes added, “I spoke to the pedagogical justification of flipping the classroom while Jason illustrated through examples how we are flipping the classroom.  By example, we showed captured  screens of videos, study guides, discussion forums, and assessment techniques.”

He continued, “I think it is important to start such distance education discussions by presenting the findings of the US Department of Education Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning -

A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies:

 “the meta-analysis of 50 study effects, 43 of which were drawn from research with older learners, found that students in online conditions performed modestly better, on average, than those learning the same material through traditional face-to-face instruction.’

 “Also during the presentation I drop in the quote from another article that:

 ‘Diverse groups of problems solvers – groups of people with diverse tools – consistently outperform groups of the best & the brightest’.”

 Jason Fiske chimed in, “the presentation today, and the massive interest in the system we are creating shows how the online Graduate Programs continue to lead as thought innovators and leaders in the continually evolving field of online education.”

Byrnes added, “Several institutions’ faculty approached us afterwards to establish follow up conversations.  CaliBUG has presented a very good opportunity for cross-fertilization with public universities in Southern California, like the UCs and Community Colleges, that are now exploring how best to leverage distance education to accomplish their missions of public education, as well as the private universities in attendance like USC, Loyola, and our neighbor USD.”

 

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A Review of the Development of an Internet Delivered LL.M Program in the United States

Posted by williambyrnes on August 27, 2013


This entire article may be downloaded at > William Byrnes’ SSRN academic page <

This article reviews the development of the first Internet delivered LL.M program (i.e. LL.M. of International Tax and Offshore Financial Centers, the ‘Program’) in the United States.

The paper comprises four sections: In Part 1 the economics reasons for, and logistics considerations of, the Internet delivered Program are addressed. Part 2 reviews the pedagogical approach to legal education employed in the United States, criticisms thereof, and finally examines an emerging pedagogical trend in the United Kingdom. Part 3 reviews the teaching tools employed in the Program International Tax and Offshore Financial Centers, and Part 4 reviews the practical aspects of developing the Program, obtaining ABA acquiescence, and reviews the Internet delivered law courses that came before it. Finally, the article concludes with some personal observations.

In Part 1 the economics reasons for, and logistics considerations of, the Internet delivered Program are addressed.

Part 2 reviews the pedagogical approach to legal education employed in the United States, criticisms thereof, and finally examines an emerging pedagogical trend in the United Kingdom. In particular, this part concludes that the grounding of a LL.M (Masters) level legal education program exclusively using the Socratic method (case study) roots of traditional Juris Doctorate (graduate) legal education may neither meet the goals, nor produce the skills sought by this Program. By example, some legal education writers have negatively critiqued the primary use of the Socratic method in even graduate legal education’s pedagogy. The scope of the negative critiques are presented from the perspective of economic efficiency over educational quality, as well as the perspective of professional development, and also from the perspective of a feministic approach.  These critiques are followed by a review of suggested alternatives. This part ends with an examination of the emerging United Kingdom literature supporting a pedagogy based upon ‘student-centered learning’.

Part 3 reviews the teaching tools employed in the International Tax Program. Part 4 reviews the practical aspects of developing the Program, obtaining ABA acquiescence, and it reviews the Internet delivered law courses that came before it. Finally, the article concludes with some personal observations.

Keywords: LL.M Program, Legal Education in the US, Legal Education in the UK, Internet Delivered Law Courses, C&IT in Legal Education, CAL, CBL, Socratic Teaching Method, Alternatives to Socratic Teaching.

This entire article may be downloaded at > William Byrnes’ SSRN academic page <

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video interview with William Byrnes

Posted by williambyrnes on August 16, 2013


When William Byrnes returned to the United States in 1998 to establish the International Finance and Taxation program leveraging online communication technologies, both international tax programs and distance learning programs were in their infancy. Through engaging a renown and talented faculty of industry professionals, and the support of an immensely engaged student body from professional and financial service firms, the international tax program blossomed over the past 15 years to become a cutting edge industry leader that it is today.

Just recently, National Law Journal wrote “Perhaps no one in legal academia has more experience with online master’s degrees than William Byrnes, Associate Dean for Graduate and Distance Education Programs at Thomas Jefferson School of Law.” (May 20, 2013)

His article that reviews the development of the first Internet delivered LL.M program in the United States may be downloaded at > William Byrnes’ SSRN academic page <

The article comprises four sections: In Part 1 the economics reasons for, and logistics considerations of, the Internet delivered Program are addressed. Part 2 reviews the pedagogical approach to legal education employed in the United States, criticisms thereof, and finally examines an emerging pedagogical trend in the United Kingdom. Part 3 reviews the teaching tools employed in the LL.M. Program, and Part 4 reviews the practical aspects of developing the LL.M. Program, obtaining ABA acquiescence, and reviews the Internet delivered law courses that came before it. Finally, the article concludes with some personal observations.

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Selected for the Fulbright Specialist Roster

Posted by williambyrnes on June 25, 2013


The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB), the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), selected for the areas of comparative law and for taxation, William Byrnes for the Fulbright Specialist Roster.  His Specialist Roster listing is for a five year period lasting until 2018. 

“I am honored to have received this internationally recognized distinction of excellence from the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and the State Department Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs.” said Dean William Byrnes. “The academic recommendations regarding my impact in the field of distance education overseas and in the USA I think played a prominent role for the Review Committee.”

When asked about his immediate goals for the Fulbright appointment, William Byrnes replied “My goal for this Fall is to allocate time to research contextual comparative law learning, especially the social linguistic component.  Afterwards, hopefully by next summer, I will be able to explore this area of pedagogy from an online learning setting.”

Read more at https://www.tjsl.edu/news-media/2013/9710

excerpted below from the TJSL News …

“I am honored that the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and the State Department Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs found my record of publication and teaching and impact on international education strong enough to select me from its applicant pool,” said Dean Byrnes. “I really owe it to the academic recommendations provided Fulbright by Professor Richard Winchester, Dean Rudy Hasl, my former Dean, John Makdisi, and my South African supervisor, Professor Alwyn DeKoker.  These recommendations play a significant role for the Review Committee in its decision making process.”

“I think that my selection for this five year term, and Professor Winchester’s selection two years past as a Fulbright Scholar to Tunisia, provides testament that our national peers perceive Thomas Jefferson School of Law as an institution of high quality.  I knew that I would be competing with candidates from large universities, but felt that it was worth the effort because of my particular impact on distance education the past 18 years and my international comparative background.

“Professor Winchester was the catalyst alerting me to the Fulbright opportunity.  The rigorous Fulbright competitive process requires several levels of vetting of candidates’ academic publishing record, teaching experiences, and impact on international education.  To make it through the first round, a candidate must receive positive recommendations from the Fulbright Specialist Review Committee.  The second round includes the Committee determining by consensus who are best qualified to be Fulbright Specialists.  The Fulbright Specialist Program Council then vets the Committee’s names against exclusion lists for government funds and exchanges.  Finally, the names are forwarded to the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board for the final selection process for its specialist list.

“My goal for this opportunity is to spend time this coming academic year fleshing out some ideas regarding contextual comparative law learning that includes a social linguistic component that Professor Tiefenbrun will find familiar from her work, such as on Semiotics.  I don’t know where this line of thought will lead, but at least it’s a distraction from deciphering tax regulations.”

Congratulations to Dean Byrnes from everyone at TJSL!

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Thomas Jefferson Law unveils new home — on site of 300,000-year-old fossils

Posted by williambyrnes on January 18, 2011


Jefferson portrayed on the United States two-d...

Image via Wikipedia

Students at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law arrived Tuesday for the first day of spring semester classes at a new, $90 million building in downtown San Diego — a facility that revealed a surprise of mammoth proportions during construction.  Read the article at The National Law Journal.

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What is an Expert? part 1 of 4

Posted by williambyrnes on July 15, 2009


more about “What is an Expert? part 1 of 4 “, posted with vodpod

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