Each week NALP's Executive Director, James Leipold, provides a summary of news articles of interest to legal career professionals. Read past issues here.
For news in the public interest arena, see the news digest from Christina Jackson, NALP's Director of Public Service Initiatives and Fellowships, at www.psjd.org.
April 17, 2015
1. "Georgetown Law teams up with 2 firms to create 'low bono' law firm," 04.16.15.
The ABA Journal reports that Georgetown Law has announced that it will team up with DLA Piper and Arent Fox to create a new nonprofit law firm designed to help low income individuals with their civil law needs.
a. "Georgetown Pairs Up With DLA Piper, Arent Fox, to Open Low Bono Firm," 04.12.15.
More on this from The National Law Journal, noting that the new firm will be staffed by six new lawyers from this year's graduating class.
2. "First-Year Associate Salaries at Large Law Firms Have Become Less Homogenous, Though $160,000 Continues to Define the Top of the Market," 04.15.15.
NALP publishes the results of its 2015 Associate Salary Survey, finding that starting salaries of $160,000, while still dominant in the large firm market, continue to be less prevalent than they were in 2009.
a. "Associate Pay Still Lags Behind Prerecession Levels," 04.16.15.
The National Law Journal reports on the new NALP associate salary data, noting that "the country's largest law firms have largely rebounded from the recession, but associate pay has yet to fully recover."
b. "Welcome to Your First Year as a Lawyer, Your Salary Is $160,000," 04.16.15.
The New York Times' DealBook column takes a look at the new NALP associate salary numbers.
c. "NALP sees 'upward movement' in starting pay for associates; median increases $10K," 04.16.15.
The ABA Journal reports on the findings of NALP's 2015 Associate Salary Survey, noting a boost in the national median.
3. "The Smartest People Are Opting Out of Law School: Fewer people with high test scores are going to law school, and low performers are filling their slots," 04.15.15.
Bloomberg BNA reports on new analyses from the Law School Admission Council that show that law school applicants with the highest test scores are dropping faster than those with lower test scores.
a. "Law school brain drain: Fewer individuals with high LSAT scores are applying," 04.16.15.
More on this from the ABA Journal.
b. "Number of Law School Applicants Has Bottomed Out, But Quality Of Applicants Continues to Plummet," 04.09.15.
More on this from the Tax Prof Blog, with some scary pictures.
c. "The Wrong Sort of Law School Applicants, Visualized," 04.07.15.
And more scary pictures from Derek Muller, a law professor at Pepperdine — check out his bar chart of the change in ABA applicants by high LSAT score.
4. "Introducing The National Law Journal's Outstanding Women Lawyers," 04.15.15.
The National Law Journal publishes its list of the 75 most accomplished female attorneys working in the profession today.
5. "Chicago Law Dean Schill Will Lead University of Oregon," 04.15.15.
The National Law Journal reports that "Michael Schill, dean of the University of Chicago Law School, has been selected as the next president of the University of Oregon."
6. "Survey Sees Slight Dip in Confidence Among Firm Leaders," 04.14.15.
The Am Law Daily reports on the latest results from the Citi Private Bank Law Group's Managing Partner Survey, noting that "confidence among law firm managing partners in the first quarter dropped...thanks to lower expectations for economic and legal industry growth."
7. "Ten Things to Toss: Third year of law school," 04.14.15.
David Lat, writing for The Washington Post, makes the case for eliminating the third year of law school.
8. "PA Big-Firm Associate Salaries in Flux," 04.14.15.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that in the wake of Dechert's salary bump last week, more PA firms are evaluating their compensation programs.
9. "Women Still Earn a Lot less Than Men," 04.14.15.
The New York Times Editorial Board marks Equal Pay Day by noting that women still make only 82.5% of what men make and that efforts to close the gap have stalled, and calls on Congress to update the Equal Pay Act.
10. "A Guide to Income-Share Agreements, Which Some See as a Better Way to Finance College," 04.14.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education takes a look at income share agreements as a replacement for student loans: "Under an income-share agreement...an investor pays for all or part of a student's education up front. In return, the student gives the investor a certain percentage of his or her income for a set number of years." (Subscription required)
11. "Under ABS Structure, Cahill Makes London Litigation Debut," 04.13.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that Cahill Gordon & Reindel has launched an English law litigation practice in London under a new alternative business structure license that under UK law allows law firms to raise capital from non-lawyers and creates new non-law firm entities that are able to offer legal services.
12. "Next Generation of Lawyers' Social Media Use Could Impact Future Practice: New study found that teens report massive dependency on Internet use," 04.13.15.
Law Technology News takes a look at some new Pew Research Center research on teen use of social media, and speculates about what such findings may mean for the way that future generations of lawyers will practice law.
13. "Legal technicians may partly own law firms in this state; is ban to nonlawyer ownership crumbling?," 04.13.15.
The ABA Journal reports that Washington state's limited legal license practitioners will be allowed to be minority owners in law firms.
a. "New Washington Rule Allows Legal Techs To Become Minority Owners in Law Firms," 04.08.15.
More on this from Bloomberg BNA.
14. "At Dentons, Strategy Is to Go Big," 04.12.15.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the world's largest law firm has plans to get much bigger. (Subscription required.)
15. "In Cambridge, Lawyers Debate Future of Their Profession," 04.10.15.
Bloomberg BNA reports on a program on the future of the legal profession that was held last week at Harvard Law School's Center on the Legal Profession.
16. Year-end Law Firm Financial Results Roundup:
a. "Corporate Work Uptick Fuels Arnall Golden Gregory Revenue," 04.16.15. (Daily Report, Gross Revenue up 3.9%, PPP up 3.6%)
b. "2014 Was 'Phenomenal Year' for Ogletree Deakins," 04.13.15. (Daily Report, Gross Revenue up 7.5%, PPP up 16%)
Prior digests for past weeks are provided below for reference; some articles may no longer be offered online or may have moved to different URLs than the links shown here.
April 10, 2015
1. "Law profs design course to combat student anxiety," 04.09.15.
The ABA Journal reports that three law professors have designed a two-hour course for 1Ls that uses behavioral therapy to promote emotional health among law students and reduce stress and anxiety.
2. "The Benefits of Staying Engaged With Your Law School," 04.09.15.
Two associates, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, make the case for recent law schools grads to stay engaged with their alma maters and the next generation of law students coming up after them.
3. "Dentons, McKenna Long Reach Merger Deal," 04.08.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that the Dentons partnership voted Wednesday to merge with McKenna following the McKenna partnership approval of the merger last month.
a. "Dentons and McKenna Long Announce Merger," 04.08.15.
The Daily Report reports on the McKenna/Dentons merger announcement.
b. "McKenna Will Merge With Dentons, but Will Everyone Join?," 04.09.15.
The Daily Report also reports that it is unclear exactly how many McKenna partners will stick with the merged firm, as some have signed commitment letters and others have not.
4. "Review Provides Analysis And Models To Help The Legal Profession Assess Progress Towards Diversity," 04.08.14.
The Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession has released its 2014 State of Diversity and Inclusion in the Profession Review; read the press release here; read the full report here.
5. "Law school is way too expensive. And only the federal government can fix that: We need to re-think how we lend to students," 04.08.15.
David Lat, writing for The Washington Post, argues that the federal government needs to change its lending policy to law students, restricting overall fund availability in order to bring down the cost of tuition.
6. "How to Successfully Integrate Lateral Partners," 04.08.15.
A consultant, writing for The Recorder, sets out a roadmap for successful lateral partner integration.
7. "Dechert Raises Associate Pay in Philadelphia, Princeton," 04.07.15.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that Dechert has increased its first year associate salary to $160,000 in Philadelphia and Princeton, matching the rate it has been paying in its other offices.
a. "Firms Respond to Dechert Salary Increases," 04.08.15.
The Legal Intelligencer reports on the reaction of other local law firms as Dechert takes the Philly market to $160K, speculating about whether other firms will follow.
8. "ABA Offers Law Students Free Memberships," 04.07.15.
The National Law Journal reports that the ABA, in a bid to stanch falling membership numbers, is trying to secure the loyalty of future lawyers by offering all law students at ABA accredited law schools free membership in the association.
a. "ABA offers free memberships to law students," 04.06.15.
More on this from the ABA Journal.
9. "How much money can you make in every kind of job?," 04.07.15.
An interesting infographic from The Washington Post charts new BLS data showing occupational employment and wages in 2014 that puts lawyers right near the top of the heap.
10. "2 Professors Sue Law School, Claiming it Changed Tenure Policy to Fire Faculty," 04.06.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "two tenured professors at the William Mitchell College have sued the college, claiming it amended its tenure policy so it would be able to cut more positions as part of a merger that is in the process."
a. "Two law profs sue William Mitchell over proposed changes to tenure policy as law school merger looms," 04.06.15.
More on this from the ABA Journal.
b. "Suit Could Complicate William Mitchell-Hamline Law Merger," 04.07.15.
And much more on this from The National Law Journal.
11. "Law Firm Mergers Set New Record in First Quarter," 04.06.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that according to the latest Altman Weil data, the first quarter of 2015 set a record pace for law firm mergers, with 29 combinations announced, including the giant Dentons/Dacheng merger.
a. "First quarter of 2015 was one of the best ever for law firm mergers, Altman Weil survey says," 04.07.15.
More on this from the ABA Journal.
12. "Skadden Runs Up Against Davis Polk, S&C for Lead in M&A Rankings," 04.06.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that "Davis Polk & Wardwell and Sullivan & Cromwell bumped Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom out of the top spot in two of three separate quarterly rankings of M&A legal advisers by deal value."
13. "Access to Justice: South Dakota Addresses Its Rural Lawyer Gap," 04.06.14.
A special report from the Daily Report takes a look at the program that has been implemented in South Dakota to address the rural justice gap there.
a. "Rural Lawyer Recruitment Plan Flourishes in South Dakota," 04.06.15. (Daily Report)
b. "An Alternative Solution to the Rural Lawyer Shortage: A Virtual Lawyer," 04.06.15. (Daily Report)
c. "Book Explains How to Become a Rural Lawyer," 04.06.15. (Daily Report)
d. "Resources for a Deeper Look at South Dakota's Project Rural Practice," 04.06.15. (Daily Report)
14. "Law School Diversity Improves at Schools With Worst Job Outcomes," 04.03.15.
Matt Leichter, writing for the Am Law Daily, takes issue with the survival strategy he sees being employed by fifth quintile law schools — that is admitting more diverse students with lower entering credentials who will graduate with poor employment prospects.
15. "Misreading the Legal Sector's Outlook," 04.03.15.
Steven J. Harper, writing for the Am Law Daily, pushes back against last week's NYT op-ed by a Berkeley law professor who was making the case that everything is going to be just fine for law firms and law schools.
16. "Firms Make It Hard for Partners to Say Goodbye," 04.03.15.
The Recorder reports that amidst a very hot lateral partner market, "more firms are playing hardball — either to deter moves, punish the movers, protect the firm from the financial hit that can come when partners move en masse — or simply to get more leverage in exit negotiations."
17. "Legal Sector Jobs Backslide in March," 04.03.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that according to the new BLS numbers, the legal sector lost 1,200 jobs in March and is down about 2,300 from this same time last year.
18. "Rutgers Approves Law School Merger," 04.02.15.
The New Jersey Law Journal reports that the Rutgers Board of Governors has approved the merger of Rutgers School of Law — Newark and Rutgers School of Law — Camden, a move that must now be approved by the ABA. The new law school would be known at Rutgers Law School.
19. Year-end Law Firm Financial Results Roundup:
a. "Frosty Start Held Fisher & Phillips to Modest Growth in 2014," 04.07.15. (Daily Report, Gross Revenue up 6.1%, PPP up 3%).
b. "Drinker Biddle Revenue Down 1.8 Percent, PPP Up 2.1 Percent," 04.06.15. (The Legal Intelligencer)
April 3, 2015
1. "Saving the Law School, Hurting the Town," 04.03.15.
Inside Higher Ed reports that Appalachian Law School, with an entering class of only 48 last fall, down from 146, is considering a move out of its small southwest Virginia town — an exit that would undoubtedly hurt the town itself.
2. "West Virginia's Steptoe & Johnson Lays Off Energy Lawyers," 04.02.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that Steptoe & Johnson PLLC has laid off 32 people, including 14 attorneys, "because of the recent steep drop in oil prices."
3. "Thousands Fall Out of Income-Based Repayment Plans," 04.02.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the US Education department has revealed that thousands of borrowers of federal student loans are falling out of income-based repayment plans because they are failing to file annual income documentation. (Subscription required.)
4. "Making the Transition from Junior to Midlevel Associate," 04.02.15.
A litigation associate writing for The Legal Intelligencer writes about the importance of adapting to changing roles and surroundings on the journey from junior associate to midlevel associate.
5. "Colorado Law Launches First Campus Entrepreneur Program," 04.01.15.
The National Law Journal reports that the University of Colorado's Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship will launch an Entrepreneurs in Resident program in the fall, bringing business leaders to the law school to pursue their ventures and help students learn about the startup process.
6. "The Decreasing Affordability of Public Flagships, in One Chart," 04.01.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education takes a look at the net average price of public state flagship universities compared to changes in net median household incomes, and then graphs the gap. (Subscription required.)
7. "Columbia Dean Promotes Global World View," 03.31.15.
The New York Law Journal talks to Gillian Lester, the new dean at Columbia Law School, who talks about how the school is trying to innovate its curriculum and expand its international perspective.
8. "Hogan Lovells Makes First Move into Australia," 03.31.15.
The Asian Lawyer reports that Hogan Lovells will open offices in Sydney and Perth this summer, its first in Australia.
9. "Law Firms to Keep Chipping Away at Real Estate Costs," 03.31.15.
The Am Law Daily reports on the results of a new real estate survey that shows that since the recession the Am Law 100 and 200 firms have reduced their space usage by 15 to 32 percent.
10. "Law Schools and Industry Show Signs of Life, Despite Forecasts of Doom," 03.31.15.
A law professor from a top tier school, writing for The New York Times' DealBook column, makes the case that law schools and law firms are not finished just yet.
11. "Norton Rose Fulbright Reclaims Top Spot in Canadian Brand Survey," 03.30.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that "Norton Rose Fulbright has landed the lead position in Acritas' Canadian Firm Brand Index," as Blakes, the top firm in 2014, slipped to the second position.
12. "Cozen O'Connor Could Fill Market Void With Chicago Merger," 03.30.15.
The Legal Intelligencer reports on merger talks between Cozen O'Connor and Chicago's Meckler Bulger.
13. "Cox Smith Merging With Dykema," 03.30.15.
Texas Lawyer reports that "Cox Smith Matthews, the largest firm based in San Antonio, will merge with Detroit-based Dykema Gosset on May 1, creating a firm of about 450 lawyers in 15 offices."
14. "New Law Deans Named at DePaul, Widener, Wyoming," 03.30.15.
The National Law Journal reports that three law schools have recently named new deans: Jennifer Rosato Perea will become dean at Chicago's DePaul University College of Law, Klint Alexander will become dean at the University of Wyoming College of Law, and Widener has named two deans to lead its two now separate law schools (see immediately below), with Rodney Smolla leading the Wilmington campus and Christian Johnson leading the Harrisburg campus.
15. "Widener Splits, Renames Delaware, Pa. Law Schools," 03.30.15.
The Delaware Law Weekly reports that the ABA has approved the split of Widener's two law school campuses into two separately accredited law schools; the Delaware law school will become Widener University Delaware Law School, and the Harrisburg law school will now be called the Widener University Commonwealth Law School.
16. "Hope for Philadelphia to Increase Firm Diversity Numbers," 03.30.15.
A law firm partner and diversity committee chair takes a look at the law firm diversity numbers in Philadelphia, and finds reasons for both discouragement and encouragement.
17. "Wiley Rein Cuts 18 Partners, 30 Staff Members Amid Restructuring," 03.27.15.
The Legal Times reports that at the end of last week Wiley Rein laid off 18 partners, 18 secretaries, and 12 administrative staff members, but notably no associates lost their jobs.
a. "Wiley Rein lays off lawyers and staffers," 03.27.15.
More on this from the ABA Journal.
18. "ExamSoft After All?," 03.24.15.
Law Professor Deborah Merritt, posting on her Law School Cafe Blog, tries to unravel the link between the ExamSoft software failure and the universally lower scores on the bar exam last July. (Hat tip to Cybele Smith for alerting me to this series of blog posts that I had missed last week.)
a. "ExamSoft: By the Numbers," 03.26.15.
More by Deborah Merritt on this fascinating fact pattern and what it might mean.
19. Year-end Law Firm Financial Results Roundup:
a. "Sutherland's Revenue, Profit Dip After Big Case Winds Up," 03.30.15. (Daily Report, Gross Revenue down 3.1%, PPP down 4.8%)
March 27, 2015
1. "Data Shows 2014 a Historic Year for Patent Litigation," 03.27.15.
Corporate Counsel reports on the results of Lex Machina's second annual Patent Litigation Year in Review report, noting that activity at the US Patent and Trademark Office's Patent Trial and Appeal Board continued to climb in 2014, even as the number of new patent cases filed fell from 2013 levels.
2. "Alumnus Baier Pledges $20M for Indiana Law Facilities," 03.26.15.
The National Law Journal reports that "the Indiana University Maurer School of Law — Bloomington will rename its building to honor Lowell Baier, who has pledged $20 million from his estate to him alma mater."
3. "Lawyers With Real Intelligence Will Defeat Artificial Intelligence," 03.26.15
This piece from Bloomberg BNA argues that technology is an enabler rather than a disruptor in the legal services industry, positing that improved technology will allow lawyers to do more client work, rather than replacing lawyers with machines.
4. "Lessons From Sweet Briar," 03.25.15.
Barry Currier, the Managing Director of Accreditation and Legal Education for the ABA, writing for Syllabus, the newsletter of the Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar, offers thoughtful reflections on what law schools might learn from the recent decision to close Sweet Briar College.
5. "LinkedIn Ethics Alert: What Lawyers Should Know," 03.25.15.
The National Law Journal reports on a new ethics opinion about LinkedIn released by the New York County Lawyers Association Professional Ethics Committee that finds attorneys must treat their LinkedIn profiles as advertising and include appropriate disclaimers.
6. "Will California be the next state to allow legal technicians? Bar group call for pilot program," 03.23.15.
The ABA Journal reports that bar task forces in both California and Oregon are exploring the development of limited legal license practitioner programs based on the model that has been implemented in Washington state.
a. "Calif. Bar Task Force Calls for Legal Technician Pilot Program," 03.20.15.
More on this from the Law Sites blog.
7. "Lawyers Beware: The accountants are coming after your business," 03.22.15.
The Economist reports that the Big Four accounting networks are building up their legal services divisions, posing a threat to law firms, noting that one analyst has called them "the biggest underestimated threat to the legal profession today."
8. Year-end Law Firm Financial Results Roundup:
a. "Cozen O'Connor Grows Revenue 2.1 Percent, PPP 2.8%," 03.27.15. (The Legal Intelligencer)
b. "Kirkland's Performance Accelerates in 2014," 03.25.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 6.6%, PPP up 7%)
c. "Squire Patton Boggs Shows Stable Revenue Per Lawyer After Merger," 03.25.15. (The National Law Journal)
d. "Partner Profits Inch Up at McGuire Woods to $960K," 03.24.15. (Legal Times, Gross Revenue up 2%, PPP up 1%)
e. "Mintz Levin Holds Flat Amid Partner Moves," 03.23.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 1.9%, PPP up 0.5%)
f. "Pepper Hamilton Grows Revenue 3 Percent, PPP 8 Percent," 03.23.15. (The Legal Intelligencer)
g. "Revenue Down at Alston & Bird as Toyota, Other Litigation Concludes," 03.20.15. (Daily Report, Gross Revenue down 4.4%, PPP down 7.2%)
March 20, 2015
March 13, 2015
1. "Law Students Tell Justices How Same-Sex Marriage Bans Harm Careers," 03.12.15.
The National Law Journal reports that ten LGBT student organizations from Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, UCLA and NYU have filed an amicus brief in the US Supreme Court's same-sex marriage challenges, arguing that nonrecognition laws restrict students from pursuing coveted jobs like federal clerkships in jurisdictions where their marriages are not recognized.
2. "Kilpatrick Townsend Names First Female Leader in DC," 03.12.15.
The Legal Times reports that Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton has named its first female managing partner, Catherine Munson, a Native American affairs lawyer.
3. "Dean Advises Other Deans to Punish Law Schools in US News Peer Reputation Voting for Manipulating Rankings With School-Funded Jobs and Transfer Students," 03.11.15.
The headline of this TaxProf blog post says it all — things are getting ugly out there.
4. "Student Loans Viewed Differently Than Other Debt, Study Finds," 03.11.15.
Inside Higher Ed reports on new research from the New America think tank that finds "borrowers of federal student loans have a fundamentally different relationship to their debt than other financial obligations."
5. "'Bill of Rights' for Student Borrowers," 03.10.15.
Inside Higher Ed reports that the Obama administration has announced a series of executive actions aimed at helping those who owe federal student loans, including the creation of a centralized complaint system for borrowers as well as a single web site where they can manage their loan payments.
a. "White House Floats Bankruptcy Process for Some Student Debt," 03.10.15.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Obama administration "is weighing steps to make it easier for Americans to expunge certain student loans through bankruptcy, opening the door for student debt made by private lenders to be treated on par with credit-card debt and mortgages."
6. "Law Grads' Earning Advantage Seems Recession-Proof," 03.10.15.
The National Law Journal reports on new academic research that suggests that law students who graduate during a recession experience very little long-term effect on their lifetime earnings.
7. "How to Manage Law Firm Lay-Offs," 03.10.15.
Three lawyers, writing for The Recorder, provide a primer on terminating both attorneys and staff that aims to protect law firms from unnecessary professional, legal or ethical complications.
8. "Strength in Numbers for Firm Leadership?," 03.10.15.
The Legal Intelligencer reports on the growing trend of law firms appointing management committees, distributing power at the top, rather than single managing partners.
9. "Law schools are in a death spiral. Maybe now they'll finally change," 03.09.15.
An Emory law professor, writing for The Washington Post, argues that no law school has yet figured out how to handle the new normal of legal education.
10. "College for a New Age," 03.09.15.
Joe Nocera, writing for The New York Times, takes a look at Kevin Carey's new book, The End of College, which he describes as "both a stinging indictment of the university business model and a prediction about how technology is likely to change it."
11. "Yale Remains Atop US News' List of the Best Law Schools," 03.09.15.
The National Law Journal reports that that US News & World Report released its latest law school rankings on Tuesday.
a. "Five Failures of the US News Rankings," 03.09.15.
And Kyle McEntee, writing for Law.com, provides a critique of the US News law school rankings, noting that in his opinion the rankings pay insufficient attention to law school employment outcomes.
12. "Which 5 law firms made Fortune's list of best places to work?," 03.09.15.
The ABA Journal reports on the five law firms that made Fortune's list of best places to work.
13. "Major Changes Could Be in Store for Law Firm Websites," 03.09.15.
The Legal Intelligencer takes a look at what may be coming down the road for law firm websites, changes that are being driven by the tech companies they serve.
14. "Why Are Filings Falling? Civil Lawsuits Down 17 Percent in 10 Years," 03.09.15.
Texas Lawyer looks at the dramatic decline in civil lawsuits filed in that state.
15. "Why Law Firms Fail," 03.08.15.
A Huffington Post blog post by UC Hastings Chancellor and Dean Frank Wu examines why law firms fail: "Very few, if any, of the law firms that have failed had foundered because the people employed there were lousy lawyers."
16. "Legal Sector Gains 3,100 Jobs in February," 03.08.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that the latest USBLS numbers show that "after two consecutive months of declines, the legal sector added 3.100 jobs in February."
17. "K&E Foundation Gives $5.5M to Chicago Law's Corporate Lab," 03.06.15.
The National Law Journal reports that "the Kirkland & Ellis Foundation has donated nearly $5.5 million to support the University of Chicago Law School's Corporate Lab, which prepares students for corporate law careers."
18. "Practice Ready? Law Students and Practitioners Disagree," 03.06.15.
The National Law Journal reports on the findings of new survey research from BARBRI that shows that a far higher percentage of law students think that they are practice-ready than do the practitioners for whom they work.
19. "ABA committee to consider changes in reporting of law school entering class credentials," 03.06.15.
The ABA Journal reports that the ABA Data Policy and Collection committee is recommending changes to the way that law schools are required to report the LSAT scores and UGPAs of their entering students.
20. "Head of National Bar Exam Group Defends UBE," 03.06.15.
The New York Law Journal reports that the president of the National Conference of Bar Examiners testified Wednesday that there is no evidence that the Uniform Bar Exam negatively affects minorities.
21. Year-end Law Firm Financial Results Roundup:
a. "Blank Rome Revenue Up 3.3 Percent," 03.13.15. (The Legal Intelligencer, Gross Revenue up 3.3%, PPP up < 1%)
b. "O'Melveny Down, But Eyes Rebound," 03.07.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue down 9.3%, PPP down 8%)
March 6, 2015
1. "McKenna Long, Dentons Looks to Merge Again," 03.05.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that more than a year after a potential merger between the two firms fell apart, Dentons and McKenna Long are once again moving seriously towards combining their two firms.
a. "Slimmer This Time, McKenna May Be Pondering Dentons Merger Again," 03.05.15.
More on this from the Daily Report, noting that a partnership exodus at McKenna may be driving the current merger momentum.
2. "Carey Foundation Gives $10M to Penn Law-Wharton Program," 03.05.15.
The National Law Journal reports that "the University of Pennsylvania Law School has received $10 million from the W.P. Carey Foundation to endow the joint JD-MBA program it runs with the Wharton School."
3. "Entry-level Law Firm Recruiting Ticks Up," 03.04.15.
NALP released it's analysis of the 2014 summer/fall recruiting data this week, finding that "six years after the Great Recession, entry-level law firm recruiting activity increased measurably." Read the Press Release. Read the full "Perspectives on Fall 2014 Law Student Recruiting" report.
a. "Summer-Associate Hiring Increases for Fifth Straight Year," 03.04.15.
The National Law Journal reports on the new NALP recruiting data analyses, including findings that while the overall numbers were up, the growth in summer programs was spread unevenly across law firms.
b. "Summer Associate Hiring: Is It Making A Comeback?," 03.05.15.
And Above the Law weighs in on the NALP recruiting data. (It is somehow oddly gratifying to read David Lat saying "James Leipold of NALP hits the nail on the head.")
4. "Shocking Decision at Sweet Briar," 03.04.15.
Inside Higher Ed reports that the higher education world was rocked this week by the announcement that Sweet Briar College will close at the end of this academic year.
a. "Is Sweet Briar's Closure a Warning for Other Small Colleges?," 03.04.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education dissects the decision by the Sweet Briar Board of Directors to shut down the small women's liberal arts college despite having $84 million in its endowment noting that it "comes as a grim reality check for small liberal-arts colleges that have been facing enrollment and financial challenges in recent years."
b. "Who's Next? Who Isn't?," 03.06.15.
And further analysis on the Sweetbriar closure from Inside Higher Ed, asking whether the closure will prompt other struggling private colleges to throw in the towel.
5. "The Toughest Job in Big Law?," 03.03.15.
The American Lawyer looks at the harsh realities of being a managing partner at a big law firm in 2015.
6. "H-1B Spouses Now Can Work in the US Too," 03.03.15.
Corporate Counsel reports that "US Citizenship and Immigration Services recently announced that...some spouses of H-1B visa holders will be able to apply for authorization to work in the United States."
7. "An Elite Education's Going to Cost You: Tuition at top law schools surpasses $55K per year," 03.02.15.
The National Law Journal reports that "tuition at US law schools continues to increase even as demand for law degrees declines...and the increases are particularly pronounced at the elite schools that send the most graduates into the nation's largest law firms."
a. "This law school charges more than $60K; tuition is up 13% in 3 years at top BigLaw feeder schools," 03.02.15.
And the ABA Journal runs with the law school tuition hike story.
8. "The Lonely Shame of Student Debt," 03.02.15.
A recent Ph.D. grad, writing for The Chronicle of Higher Education, says that student loan debtors face "a dehumanized student-financial-aid bureaucracy, combined with shame and lack of shared knowledge."
9. "The Inside Story of Dentons' Combination with Dacheng," 03.02.15.
The American Lawyer provides an inside look at the law firm tie-up that will produce the world's largest law firm.
10. "US millennials post 'abysmal' scores in tech skills test, lag behind foreign peers," 03.02.15.
The Washington Post reports that new research conducted by ETS put American millennials at the very bottom of a list of 23 developed nations when it comes to being prepared to work in a complex, modern society.
11. "DLA Piper Breaks Into Canada With Davis Merger," 03.01.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that DLA Piper will merge with Davis, a 260-lawyer midtier firm based in Vancouver, providing DLA with offices in Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto, Tokyo, Whitehorse, Yellowknife, and of course Vancouver.
a. "DLA Piper and Canadian law firm vote to merge," 03.02.15.
More on this from the ABA Journal.
12. "The Career Advice You Probably Didn't Get," 03.02.15.
Kathleen Wu, writing for Texas Lawyer, provides good advice for young lawyers: know how the law firm makes its money, and know how your clients make their money!
13. "Will Law School Applicants Return?," 02.28.15.
The Tax Prof Blog picks up a blog post by Northwestern law prof McGinnis who asks and answers this question with a big no, citing advances in technology that have created structural change: "This technological shock has been good for the economy by reducing the transaction costs constituted by lawyers. But it raises a grave challenge to law schools. Since the cause of the decline in applications is structural, the applicants are not likely to come back in anything like previous numbers. Because the structural change is technological, it also may intensify as computation becomes ever more powerful."
14. "Legal incubator dubbed 'Project Lemonade' gets $400K grant from MacArthur Foundation," 02.27.15.
The ABA Journal reports that a legal incubator for recent law school graduates that is administered by the Chicago Bar Foundation has been awarded a $400,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation: "the Justice Entrepreneurs Program has the potential to develop replicable, market-based models," according to a written statement from MacArthur.
15. "A Strike Against Student Debt," 02.27.15.
A New York Times op-ed rails against the tyranny of student educational loan debt, and calls for radical remedies, including the discharge of all outstanding federal student loan debt.
16. Year-end Law Firm Financial Results Roundup:
a. "Proskauer Profits Hit New High," 03.05.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 6.5%, PPP up 7.7%)
b. "Steptoe Weathers Decline in Total Revenue, Profits as Part of Strategy," 03.05.15. (Legal Times, Gross Revenue down 3.4%, PPP flat)
c. "Kramer Levin Sees Mixed Results in 2014," 03.04.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue down 0.5%, PPP up 3.7%)
d. "Debevoise Delivers Solid Revenue, Profit Growth," 03.04.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 3.3%, PPP up 3%)
e. "DLA Posts Record Profits Despite Flat Revenue," 03.04.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue flat, PPP up 12.5%)
f. "Arnold & Porter's Modest Growth Still Made for a Strong Year," 03.04.15. (Legal Times, Gross Revenue up 1%, PPP up 4%)
g. "Reed Smith Revenue Up 7 Percent, PPP 5.7%," 03.04.15. (Legal Intelligencer)
h. "Willkie Farr Achieves Personal Best in 2014," 03.27.15. (The Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue and PPP both up 14.5%)
i. "Kaye Scholer Grows PPP While Shrinking Headcount," 02.26.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue down 1.3%, PPP up 1.8%)
j. "Covington Boasts 16 Percent PPP Growth But Thinks Long-Term," 02.27.15. (Legal Times, Gross Revenue up 8%, PPP up 15.6%)
k. "Kasowitz's Revenues Get Big Bounce From FHFA Settlement," 02.25.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 14.6%, PPP up 35.5%)
February 27, 2015
1. "Really Big and Really Global: A blockbuster merger brings together a big international firm with China's biggest," 03.01.15.
Corporate Counsel provides this update on the Dentons/Dacheng merger. (Firm leaders say it will take 90 days to fully integrate the two law firms — the new 6,600-lawyer megafirm will operate under a Swiss verein structure.)
2. "White Privilege, Quantified," 02.17.15.
The Atlantic takes a look at a fascinating new study that measured white privilege in Australia — a clever experiment showed that whites without bus fare money were much more likely to be allowed to ride the bus than blacks or members of other non-white racial groups.
a. "Straight Talk for White Men," 02.21.15.
And a great Sunday New York Times Op-ed from Nicholas Kristoff on white male privilege: "the evidence is overwhelming that unconscious bias remains widespread in ways that systematically benefit both whites and men...so white men get a double dividend, a payoff from both racial and gender biases."
3. "ABA to fund startup projects to hire new and underutilized lawyers," 02.26.15.
The ABA Journal reports that the ABA will award a second round of Catalyst Grants to groups with proposed programs to hire new and underutilized lawyers — the deadline for grant applications is April 17.
4. "A dangerous revolt: People are refusing to pay back student loans," 02.25.15.
The Washington Post reports that a group of former students from for-profit colleges have announced a debt strike, refusing to pay their student loans and insisting that the Department of Education should forgive loans they allege they were unfairly pressured into taking.
5. "Number of women, minority partners at law firms still far lower than counterparts: In 2014, minorities were 7.33 percent of partners at major US law firms, and women were 20.05 percent of the partners in these firms," 02.24.15.
Inside Counsel reports on the NALP law firm diversity and demographic data that was released last week.
a. "Women, minority partners increase at law firms," 02.23.15.
And New Orleans City Business reports on the latest NALP law firm demographic data.
6. "Northwestern Helps on Creation of Law School in Qatar," 2.24.15.
Inside Higher Ed reports that "Northwestern University is advising Hamad bin Khalifa University on the creation of its new graduate-level law school in Qatar," which will award an American-style, three-year JD degree.
7. "Columbia Again Tops The Go-To Law Schools: Our report on the law schools that supply the largest numbers of associates to the country's largest firms," 02.23.15.
The National Law Journal publishes its annual Go-To Law Schools Special Report. (NLJ collects half a dozen features in this special report, along with the numbers.)
a. "Howard Law Punches Above its Weight Class in Placing Grads," 02.24.15.
Howard gets a special shout-out from the NLJ in their Go-To Law Schools special report for being the only law school outside of the top 100 to make the list.
b. "In Texas, One Go-To Law School Dominates the Rest," 02.25.15.
And the University of Texas gets a shout-out from the NLJ as well for completely dominating the Texas market in producing Big Law associates and partners.
c. "Big Law's Top 10 Law Schools," 02.23.15.
More on this from The Careerist blogger, Vivia Chen.
8. "Ground for Measured Optimism on Job Prospects: Increased hiring and reduced law school enrollment could spell happy futures for graduates," 02.23.15.
NALP's Executive Director, writing for The National Law Journal, provides an update on the legal employment market for new law school graduates and notes that "we can expect to see gradually improving job numbers for all three classes now enrolled in law schools."
a. "Job market for new law grads is improving, NALP chief says," 02.25.15.
And the ABA Journal repurposes my NLJ piece.
9. "Law Jobs See Lag in Recovery," 02.23.15.
In case you needed it, The American Lawyer brings us this infographic based on average quarterly government figures that clearly shows job recovery in the legal services sector lagging broader national nonfarm payroll jobs recovery.
a. "The Anemic Law Jobs Recovery," 02.25.15.
And the TaxProf blog is fascinated by the haunting graphic as well.
10. "Law school consumer data now available for comparative purposes," 02.23.15.
According to the ABA Journal, the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has now made available searchable, comparative law school consumer information data for 2011 through 2014 that includes information on admissions, tuition and living costs, grants and scholarships, class and faculty demographics, employment outcomes, and bar passage rates.
11. "What the State of Law Schools Can Teach the Rest of Higher Ed," 02.23.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education interviews Blake Morant, dean of The George Washington University Law School and president of the Association of American Law Schools, about the declining student demand, the weak job market, and some of the things law schools are doing in response. (Video and transcript)
12. Year-end Law Firm Financial Results Roundup:
a. "Paul Hastings' Revenue Surpasses $1 Billion," 02.26.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 6.3%, PPP up 8.5%)
b. "Ballard Spahr's Revenue Up 4.3 Percent," 02.26.15. (The Legal Intelligencer, Gross Revenue up 4.3%, PPP up 3.6%)
c. "Shearman Builds on Breakout 2013," 02.25.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 3%, PPP up 5.8%)
d. "Milbank Sees Spike in Revenue, Profits," 02.25.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 7.8%, PPP up 7%)
e. "Kilpatrick Townsend's PPP Spikes Due to Change in Equity Compensation System," 02.15.15. (Daily Report, Gross Revenue up 5.9%, PPP up 32.1%)
f. "Shook Hardy's Partner Profits Take Another Dip," 02.24.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 2.4%, PPP down 3%)
g. "Latham Gives Bob Dell a Spectacular Sendoff," 02.24.15. (Am Law Daily, (Gross Revenue up 14.3%, PPP up 16.5%)
h. "Profits Per Partner Climb at Wilmer to $1.6 Million," 02.23.15. (Legal Times, Gross Revenue down < 1%, PPP up 7%)
i. "Gross Revenue, Net Income Up at Winstead," 02.23.15. (Texas Lawyer, Gross Revenue up 9.4%, PPP up 11%)
j. "Gibson Dunn's Steady Growth Continues," 02.20.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 5.7%, PPP up 3.4%)
k. "Valley Firms Set Blistering Pace in a Strong Economic Year," 02.20.15. (The Recorder provides a snapshot of year-end finances at select California firms, noting that many of the firms that serve Silicon Valley saw revenues jump by double digits.)
February 20, 2015
1. "Merging law schools, merging firms: What does it mean?," 02.19.15.
Paul Lippe, writing for the ABA Journal's Legal Rebels/New Normal column waxes thoughtful on what the merger of two law schools in Minnesota means for the industry, and what the future might hold in light of the fact that "there are 50 or more schools...now facing multiyear deficits and a very low probability of real increases in enrollment."
2. "Law School Without the LSAT in Iowa, Buffalo," 02.19.15.
The National Law Journal reports that the University of Iowa College of Law and the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School will begin admitting high-performing undergraduates without LSAT scores, a practice allowed by new ABA standards.
3. "Unemployment Rates for College Graduates Are Dropping, Report Says," 02.19.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on new research from Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce that finds overall unemployment rates for college graduates are dropping.
4. "Schiff Hardin Makes Way for First Female Managing Partner," 02.18.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that "Marci Eisenstein has been elected managing partner of Schiff Hardin, making her the first female to serve in that role in the Chicago-based firm's 150-year history."
5. "UC Hastings Capitalizing on Increasingly Trendy Site," 02.18.15.
The National Law Journal reports that the University of California Hastings College of Law has announced plans to build a new law school building in the heart of San Francisco's growing technology hub.
6. "A GC Says to Outside Counsel: No Value Pricing, No Work," 02.18.15.
Corporate Counsel reports that one Australian GC is refusing to work with law firms that do not offer value-based pricing — noting that the firm has pulled hourly rates from all engagement terms.
7. "Diversity Numbers at Law Firms Eke Out Small Gains - Numbers for Women Associates Edge Up After Four Years of Decline," 02.17.14.
NALP released its latest law firm demographic findings, noting that women and minority partners and associates continued to make small gains in their representation among law firms. (NALP Press Release)
a. "US Law Firms Slowly Growing More Diverse, Survey Shows," 02.17.15.
The National Law Journal reports on NALP's latest findings on law firm demographics, noting that "women associates expanded their presence at firms during 2014 — the first percentage growth among that demographic group in four years."
b. "Women and Minorities Make Slight Gains at Law Firms," 02.18.15.
The New York Times reports on the new NALP law firm demographic data, noting that some of the gains in the representation of women could be attributed to the disproportionate growth of women in non-equity track positions like counsel and staff attorney.
c. "For Women Lawyers, SF Tops NALP Diversity Rankings," 02.17.14.
The Recorder also reports on the new NALP diversity numbers, noting that "among large US cities, San Francisco reported the highest rates of women associates and partners, with women comprising half of associates and just over 25% of partners."
d. "Women and Minorities Gain Marginally at Firms," 02.17.15.
More on this from Bloomberg.
e. "Best and Worst Cities for Women and Minorities," 02.19.15.
The Careerist looks at the new NALP law firm diversity data and identifies the best and worst cities for female and minority associates and partners.
8. "ABA committee seeks more detailed data on law school attrition," 02.17.15.
The ABA Journal reports that the ABA Standards Review Committee has submitted a proposal for a change in the standards that govern law school accreditation that would require schools to report on the LSAT and undergraduate GPA information for all students who flunk out, transfer to another law school, or leave for any other reason.
9. "Penn Law Finds its New Dean Close to Home," 02.17.15.
The National Law Journal reports that The University of Pennsylvania has named longtime faculty member Theodore Ruger to be its next dean.
10. "Mediocre Millennials," 02.17.15.
Inside Higher Ed reports on new research that compares the achievements of millennials (aged 16 to 34) across developed nations and finds that amongst this group US millennials rank 20 out of 22 in literacy, and dead last in numeracy and problem solving.
11. "4 Trends That Will Change Legal Practice Management in 2015," 02.17.15.
A good Robert Half trends blog post identifies four top trends that will affect legal practice management this year.
12. "Lower Tier Leads in Diversity: Minorities grain at less prestigious law schools," 02.16.15.
The National Law Journal reports that according to new research, nearly all of the gain in law school diversity between 2010 and 2013 was at less prestigious law schools with lower admission criteria.
a. Minorities in Big Law: Few and Fewer," 02.17.15.
ALM's Careerist blogger Vivia Chen responds to research released last week that shows lower tier law schools bulking up on lower credentialed diversity candidates: "Blacks and Hispanics are filling low-ranking law schools, but fewer of them are entering the top schools."
13. "A law firm IPO? Not so fast," 02.16.15.
The Washington Post reports that a Georgetown law professor and co-founder of one of the fastest-growing litigation financing firms is the country is pushing for a law firm IPO as an antidote to the short-term thinking for fast annual gains that he sees undermining the ultimate value of large law firms.
a. "A Call for Law Firms to Go Public," 02.18.15.
The New York Times also reports on the suggestion by a law school professor that law firms should be allowed to go public in order to receive funding from outsiders so they can have the cash to invest in areas like lawyer training and technology.
14. "Law schools cut costs, rethink approach as enrollment falls," 02.14.15.
The Elkhart Truth (wow!) reports the Indiana law schools are taking extra measures to recruit new students and cut costs and enrollment in law schools across the state continues to fall.
15. "Texas Has Second-Best Legal Job Market in US," 02.13.15.
Texas Lawyer reports that NALP data reviewed by The National Jurist suggests that Texas has the second-nest legal job market in the country.
16. "Judge: ABA Needn't Track Disabled Law Students," 02.13.15.
The National Law Journal reports that a federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that alleged that the ABA's failure to collect and disseminate data about law students with disabilities violates the Americans With Disabilities Act.
17. "Law Schools Merging in Minnesota Amid Enrollment Declines," 02.13.15.
The National Law Journal reports that Hamline University School of Law and William Mitchell College of Law have announced that they will merge.
a. "Once rivals, two Minnesota law schools announce plans to merge," 02.17.15.
And the ABA Journal also reports on this development, noting that Hamline's first-year enrollment has dropped more than 54% since 2011, and William Mitchell's has dropped nearly 45%.
b. "2 Law Schools in Minnesota Will Merge," 02.19.15.
This news is also reported by Inside Higher Ed.
c. "Hamline, William Mitchell law schools to merge," 02.13.15.
More on this from the Star Tribune in Minnesota.
18. "Law Students Leave Torts Behind (for a Bit) and Tackle Accounting," 02.12.15.
The New York Times reports on law schools that are adding business boot camps and other business literacy efforts to their offerings for law students.
19. "Better Times for Law Firms, With More on the Horizon, Says Report," 02.12.15.
The Wall Street Journal Law Blog parses the numbers in Citi Private Bank's year-end law firm financial report that was issued last week, noting that for large law firms, net income was up 6% over the previous year, and partner profits were up 5.7%, with the firms at the top of the AmLaw pecking order racking up the biggest gains.
20. Year-end Law Firm Financial Results Roundup:
a. "K&L Gates Sees Revenue Fall 1.2 Percent, PPP Down Less Than 1 Percent," 02.20.15. (The Legal Intelligencer)
b. "White & Case Breaks Barriers," 02.19.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 4.4%, PPP up 5.3%).
c. "Hogan Lovells' Gross Revenue Grows by 3.6%," 02.17.15. (Legal Times, Gross Revenue up 3.6%, PPP up 0.4%)
d. "Troutman Sanders Increases Gains Over 2013," 02.16.15. (Daily Report, Gross Revenue up 7.2%, PPP up 7.3%)
e. "Davis Polk Posts Record-High Revenue, PPP," 02.13.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 9.9%, PPP up 12.1%)