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.
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.)
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.
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%)
February 13, 2015
1. Citi Report: M&A Work Boosts Firm Profitability in 2014," 02.11.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that legal industry performance was stronger in 2014 than 2013 (net income up 6%, profits per equity partner up 5.7%) driven largely by near record-level M&A volume with firms with significant transactional practices outperforming those with large litigation practices. (For more on individual law firm performances, see the roundup at the bottom of the hour.)
2. "The New Bachelor's Payoff," 02.11.15.
Adding more fuel to the fire under the eternal debate about whether there is economic return on a bachelor's degree, Inside Higher Ed reports that last month's federal jobs report showed an unemployment rate of only 2.8 percent for those with at least a bachelor's degree, compared to an overall unemployment rate of 5.7 percent, and notes that "a prominent financial analyst last week signaled an alarm that employers soon may face a shortage of job-seeking college graduates," (a finding that, if true, surely will not help the law school applications problem).
3. "Law School Diversity Improves — But Only at the Bottom," 02.10.15.
The National Law Journal reports that new research shows that "the percentage of African-American and Hispanic students enrolled in law school increased between 2010 and 2013, but those gains came almost exclusively at less prestigious law schools with lower admission standards." (The research finds that schools "at the bottom of the prestige ladder" have relied disproportionately on African-American and Hispanic students to fill their classes.)
a. "Less-Prestigious Law Schools Enroll More Minority Students, Report Says," 02.11.15.
More on this from The Chronicle of Higher Education.
b. "Law school diversity improves, but not at most prestigious schools," 02.12.15.
And the ABA Journal weighs in on this as well.
4. "Flip Side of Reducing Student Debt Is Increasing the Federal Deficit," 02.10.15.
The New York Times' Upshot column takes a look at what the real long-term costs of the federal Income-Based Repayment program for student loans is likely to be (recently released federal estimates have suggested that it will be tens of billions of dollars).
5. "Villanova Law School receives $5M gift," 02.10.15.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that "former Blank Rome chairman David F. Girard-diCarlo and his wife, Constance, announced a $5 million gift Tuesday to the Villanova University law school for the establishment of a center on ethics and compliance."
6. "Berkeley Law Human Rights Center Wins $1M MacArthur Grant," 02.09.15.
The National Law Journal reports that "the University of California, Berkeley School of Law's Human Rights Center has been awarded $1 million by the MacArthur Foundation," and notes that the money will be used to expand the center's efforts to highlight and prevent sexual violence around the world.
7. "The Art and Science of Legal Project Management," 02.09.15.
A general counsel and a law firm partner, writing for The National Law Journal, demystify legal project management.
8. "Counsel young lawyers about debt, ABA policymakers urge law schools and bar groups," 02.09.15.
The ABA Journal reports that at its midyear meeting this week, "the ABA House of Delegates unanimously adopted a resolution...urging law schools and bar associations to counsel young attorneys on student loan debt."
9. "'No relief' for law school enrollment slump," 02.07.15.
The Indianapolis Business Journal reports on shrinking enrollments at Indiana's law schools, reflecting enrollment drops at law schools around the country.
10. "Legal Sector Loses 1,400 Jobs in January," 02.06.15.
The Am Law Daily, reporting on US BLS jobs data for January, notes that the legal sector lost 1,400 jobs for the month, and 4,500 jobs for the year ending January 31, noting that "the number of people working in the industry during the past year has been consistently lower than in 2013."
11. Year-end Law Firm Financial Results Roundup:
a. "Baker & Hostetler's Revenue Up, Profits Down," 02.12.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 7.2%, PPP down 13.4%)
b. "BuckleySandler Sees 'Breakthough Year' as Revenue Soars," 02.12.15. (Legal Times, Revenue up nearly 60%, PPP up 65%)
c. "A Trimmer Orrick Sees Revenue Per Lawyer Climb 8 Percent," 02.12.15. (The Recorder, Gross Revenue up 1.1%, PPP down 5.9%)
d. "Wilson Grows Top Line, Lifts Per Partner Profits to $1.9 Million," 02.11.15. (The Recorder, Gross Revenue up 12.3%, PPP up 8.2%)
e. "Arent Fox Counts Another Record Year, But Stays Comfortable in Size," 02.11.15. (Legal Times, Gross Revenue up 5%, PPP up 4%)
f. "Cooley's Revenue, Profits Surge," 02.10.15. (The Recorder, Gross Revenue up 19%, PPP up 11%)
g. "Mayer Brown Partner Profits Grow by Double Digits," 02.10.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 6.7%, PPP up 12.8%)
h. "Crowell Reaps Benefits of Cost Management Technology, Sees 11% PPP Growth," 02.10.15. (Legal Times, Gross Revenue up 2.6%, PPP up 10.8%)
i. "King & Spalding Tops 2013's Partner Profit Boost," 02.09.15. (Daily Report, Gross Revenue up 8.4%, PPP up 10%)
j. "Paul Weiss Rides Robust Workload to Record Highs," 02.09.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 10.9%, PPP up 6.2%)
k. "Greenberg Traurig's 2014 Financial Results are a 'Sign of Health at the Firm'," 02.09.15. (Daily Business Review, Gross Revenue up 3.3%, PPP up 5.6%)
l. "For Sidley, It's Another Year of Growth," 02.09.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 9.5%, PPP up 6.1%)
m. "History Making Year for Holland & Knight in 2014," 02.09.15. (Daily Business Review, Gross Revenue up 9.8%, PPP up 10.2%)
n. "Profits, Revenue Bounce Back for Jenner & Block," 02.06.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 14%, PPP up 31%)
o. "Venable Boasts Record Revenue and Profits in 2014," 02.06.15. (Legal Times, Gross Revenue up 8%, Net Income up 9%)
p. "An Early Look at The 2015 Am Law 100," 02.09.15. The American Lawyer provides a roundup of its "early coverage of 2014 financial results of the Am Law 100/200."
February 6, 2015
1. "Income-Based Repayment Costs Rising," 02.06.15.
Inside Higher Ed reports that the expanded Pay As You Earn program for federal student loan repayment will cost taxpayers $9 billion according to information released by the Obama administration this week.
2. "Fewer Top Graduates Want to Join Teach for America," 02.05.15.
The New York Times reports that applications for the Teach for America program are down sharply for the second year in a row and the program's teaching corps could be smaller by as much as a quarter come fall.
3. "Yackee: Law School Rankings, Not Skills Training, Drives JD Employment Outcomes," 02.04.15.
The Tax Prof Blog provides a summary of a new empirical paper by Jason Yackee that finds "there is no statistical relationship between law school opportunities for skills training and JD employment outcomes....employment outcomes do seem to be strongly related to law school prestige." (You can read the entire paper, Does Experiential Learning Improve JD Employment Outcomes?, on SSRN.)
4. "Is Your First Grader College Ready?," 02.04.15.
A fascinating (and maybe frightening) piece from The New York Times about the increasing prevalence of college-readiness and college-awareness work being done with grade school children.
5. "Poaching Law Students," 02.04.15.
Inside Higher Ed takes note of the aggressive transfer market for law students, calling it "the contentious underbelly of legal education."
6. "9 ways to change the carnivorous partnership model and save BigLaw firms," 02.04.15.
A good piece from the ever-thoughtful Ed Reeser, writing here for the ABA Journal's New Normal column, that posits a new strategy for law firm success: "A firm that refocuses its approach upon delivering value through hiring a select number of people and making every effort it can to invest in and retain as many of those people as it can — in skill development and compensation sharing that supports collaboration and fair value to all of the members of the team and to the stability of the business enterprise — will have an enormous competitive cost advantage over the present leveraged model that prevails."
7. "How Students' Economic Diversity Varies by College Type," 02.03.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that income inequality in higher education has widened over the last 45 years according to a new report issued by the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education and Democracy. (You can find the Pell report here.)
8. "A University Recognizes a Third Gender: Neutral," 02.03.15.
The New York Times reports that the University of Vermont is at the forefront of gender politics, and now allows students to select their own identity, including a third gender that comes with the pronoun "they."
9. "Skadden Once Again Snags Top Spot in Branding Survey," 02.02.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that for the fourth year in a row, Skadden has topped an annual survey that measures the strength of US law firm brands.
10. "Ignition Law: A Revolution in London's Legal Community," 02.02.15.
Newsweek reports that the advent of a new model legal service provider in the UK is bringing disruptive change to that market, noting that "the legal industry is in for exactly the same kind of disruption that the taxi industry has experienced with Uber...so that clients are given a more cost effective and transparent service."
11. "How a new program uses law students to cut costs and acrimony for divorcing couples," 02.02.15.
The ABA Journal provides this podcast about the University of Denver's innovative program that involves law students in a multidisciplinary program that provides a holistic counseling and mediation alternative to divorcing and separating families. Read more about this program here.
12. "The Great Recession's Lost Generation? Older Millennials," 02.02.15.
This op-ed piece in The Washington Post makes the case that based on census data, Americans aged 25 to 34 seem to have been more scarred by the economic slowdown than younger millennials.
13. "Embrace Diversity as a Business Imperative," 02.02.15.
The managing partner at Cadwalader, writing here for the New York Law Journal, makes the case that diversity is a business imperative and a business opportunity.
14. "Trust Darwin: How Tech Will Disrupt, Save the Legal Profession," 02.02.15.
A great article by the outgoing editor in chief of Law Technology News that provides excellent perspective on many of the way that technology will continue to challenge, change, and eventually improve the legal services profession.
15. "Applying to Top Law Schools Disserved Many in 2014," 01.30.15.
Matt Leichter is back at it, writing here for the Am Law Daily, making the case that despite the overall decline in law school applications, many elite schools saw their applications rise as students with lower credentials reached higher in a down market, but, he shows, the effort did not pay off for most applicants.
16. "Retired Emory Law Prof Gives $1M to Educate Deal Lawyers," 01.30.15.
According to the Daily Report Emory Law School received a $1 million challenge grant from a retired law professor for its Center for Transactional Law and Practice.
17. "An Rx for Lateral Heartache," 01.29.15.
Bill Henderson and Christopher Zorn, writing for The American Lawyer, offer prescriptive advice for curing what they describe as the dysfunctional lateral market.
18. "DLA Explores New Revenue Streams through CyberTrak," 01.27.14.
The Am Law Daily reports that "in an effort to diversify its revenue streams, DLA Piper has introduced CyberTrak, a subscription-based online platform that allows multinational companies to access information regarding cybersecurity laws for the countries in which they operate."
19. "The No. 1 Predictor of Career Success According to Network Science," 01.15.15.
Forbes reports that "according to multiple, peer-reviewed studies, simply being in an open network instead of a closed one is the best predictor of career success."
20. "LegalZoom enters market with ABS license," 01.07.15.
The Law Society Gazette in the UK reports that "the first US company has been approved to offer legal services in the UK as an alternative business structure."
21. "Why Women Don't Negotiate Their Job Offers," 06,19,14.
This Harvard Business Review article from June recently resurfaced on social media and is a must-read for men and women that explains why the social cost of negotiating for salary is higher for women than for men — hat tip to Vic Massaglia for bringing it to my attention.
22. Year-end Law Firm Financial Results Roundup:
a. "Akin Gump Reports 12.8% Jump in Net Income," 02.05.15. (Texas Lawyer, Gross revenue up 4.8%, PPP up 2.7%)
b. "Baker Botts Reports 25.5% Growth in PPP," 02.04.15. (Texas Lawyer, Gross revenue up 11.4%)
c. "Polsinelli's Revenue Soars While PPP Dips," 02.04.15. (Am Law Daily, Revenue up 13.4%, PPP down 5%)
d. "Cadwalader's Partner Profits Take a Hit," 02.03.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross revenue flat, PPP down 15.3%)
e. "Ackerman Sets a Revenue Record for a Law Firm, the $$ Is Impressive," (Daily Business Review, Gross revenue up 9%, PPP up 7.6%)
f. "Dechert Grows Revenue 8 Percent, PPP 7.7 Percent," 02.02.15. (The Legal Intelligencer)
g. "Munger Sees More Growth in Revenue, Profits," 02.02.15. (The Recorder, Revenue up 7.5%, PPP up 8%)
h. "McDermott's Revenue Spikes While Head Count Drops," 02.02.15. (Am Law Daily, Revenue up 2.2%, PPP down 1%)
i. "Dorsey & Whitney Records Most Profitable Year," 01.30.15. (Am Law Daily, Revenue up 3.8%, PPP up 11%)
j. "With Headcount Flat, Pillsbury Sees 3% Revenue Gain," 01.30.15. (The Recorder, Gross revenue up 3.3%, PPP up 6%)
January 30, 2015
1. "ACC Survey Finds Pay Disparity for Men and Women CLOs," 01.30.15.
Corporate Counsel reports on the results of the ACC's Chief Legal Officers 2015 Survey, noting findings that "a significant disparity was found between compensation for male and female chief legal officers."
2. "A Near-Record Year for Lateral Hires," 01.29.15.
The American Lawyer has published its annual Lateral Survey results, noting that lateral hiring was a key success strategy for law firms in 2014.
a. "Lateral Hiring Stays Strong, but Firms Curb Pay Pledges," 01.29.15.
More on this from The American Lawyer: findings indicate that lateral hiring volume increased 7% over 2013.
b. "The Numbers Behind the 2015 Lateral Report: The law firms with the most lateral gains, as well as the hottest markets and practice areas, in The American Lawyer's annual report on lateral moves," 01.29.15.
3. "Facing up to the challenge: It's time to prepare law students for their profession," 01.29.15.
Michael Roster, former MoFo managing partner and currently teaching at USC, writing here for the ABA's New Normal column, proposes an audacious goal for legal education: "By 2018, every graduate from a US law school will have the knowledge and skills currently expected of a second-year lawyer or higher and as such can function as a midlevel associate, a solo practitioner, an agency or judicial officer, a junior faculty member or in similar capacities. To achieve this proficiency , every student will have had a courses or comparable experiences involving all of the following: traditional substantive law, client skills, social service, advocacy and dispute resolution, government and administrative processes, and teaching and scholarly inquiry."
4. "Goodwin Procter Builds on 2013 Growth," 01.29.15.
The Am Law Daily, reporting on law firm year-end financial results, notes that in 2014 Goodwin Procter grew gross revenues by 4.4 percent, revenue per lawyer by 6.1 percent, and profits per partner by 7.1 percent, to $1.75 million.
a. "Irell & Manella Sees Revenue, Profits Climb," 01.29.15.
In more year-end financial news, The Recorder report that California-based IP boutique Irell & Manella saw gross revenue grow by 4.4 percent in 2014 and profits per partner surge by 8 percent to $3.625 million.
5. "Creighton Law Looks to Dayton for Next Dean," 01.29.15.
The National Law Journal reports that Creighton University School of Law has named Paul McGreal, now dean at the University of Dayton School of Law, as its next dean.
6. "Law Firm Founds Project to Fight 'Revenge Porn'," 01.29.15.
The New York Times reports that K&L Gates has established the Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project that will advise victims of online abuse.
7. "University Can Deny a Medical Degree Over Lack of 'Professionalism,' Court Rules," 01.29.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "a federal appeals court has ruled that Case Western Reserve University can deny a student a medical degree if it determines the students lacks 'professionalism'."
a. "Professionalism Required," 01.29.15.
More on this from Inside Higher Ed.
8. "DC Circuit's Patricia Millet Reflects on Clerking, Diversity," 01.28.15.
The Blog of Legal Times reports on remarks made recently by Judge Patricia Millet of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia who laments the fact the federal clerkship hiring process has become so competitive, and notes that if she were applying for a clerkship in this market she doubts that she would be successful; she also notes that her current clerkship pool is two-thirds male, making the search for diverse clerks more onerous.
9. "Berkeley Finds Faculty Salary Gaps by Gender and Race," 01.28.15.
Inside Higher Ed reports that an internal analysis at the University of California at Berkeley has found gaps in the average salaries of female and minority professors compared to while male professors.
10. "Dentons, Dacheng Seal the Deal for a Union," 01.27.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that the widely reported and historic merger between China-based Dacheng Law Offices and Dentons has been successfully concluded, with an agreement signed shortly after Chinese regulators gave the merger a greenlight this week.
11. "It's Not Easy for Firms to Make In-house Counsel Happy," 01.26.15.
Corporate Counsel looks at the implications from the 2015 Report on the State of the Legal Market from Georgetown/Thomson Reuters, notably the finding that law firms are currently collecting only 83 cents on the dollar for every hour of work they are recording, a historic low for realization, and speculates as to the implications for the future relationship between corporate counsel and their outside lawyers. (If you haven't seen it yet you can find the 2015 Report on the State of the Legal Market here."
12. "Marty Africa, 71, Pushed for a More Inclusive Profession," 01.26.15.
The Recorder reports that pioneer legal recruiter and longtime diversity advocate Marty Africa has died.
13. "Interns, Employers Prepare for Second Circuit Showdown," 01.26.15.
The Litigation Daily reports that in a much-watched case the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is set to hear oral arguments in an unpaid intern case brought by disgruntled unpaid interns.
14. "Nixon Peabody Reaches Merger Accord with Chicago Firm," 01.26.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that "Nixon Peabody has officially agreed to acquire Chicago's Ungaretti & Harris, taking on about 100 lawyers in the Windy City, making it the Boston-based Am Law 100 firm's second largest office."
15. "Uniform Bar Exam: A Template for New York?," 01.26.15.
Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, writing for the New York Law Journal, makes the case for adopting the Uniform Bar Exam.
16. "Is New Law the Answer for Women Lawyers?," 01.26.15.
This article from Slaw, Canada's online legal magazine, makes the case that New Law — firms that operate as legal outsourcers, offer flexible fee arrangements, and have lower hourly rates — may be a much more hospitable environment for women to work in than traditionally run law firms.
17. "Why are so many college students failing to gain job skills before graduation?," 01.26.15.
The Washington Post reports that many employers find that recent college graduates are "severely lacking in some basic skills, particularly problem solving, decision making, and the ability to prioritize tasks." Sound familiar?
18. "A Quiet Revolution in Helping Lift the Burden of Student Debt," 01.24.15.
The New York Times takes a look at the far-reaching changes that have been made to the federal student loan programs since 2007 that over time, the article notes, have greatly reduced the burden of student loan repayment.
19. "Lawmakers Want to Offer a Little Help to Low-Paid Lawyers," 01.23.15.
The Recorder reports that a state senator in California has introduced legislation that would ask California attorneys to contribute to the Public Interest Attorney Loan Program through voluntary donations via their annual Bar Association invoices.
20. "'Competition cohort' makes it a great time to go to law school, says Dinsmore managing partner," 01.23.15.
The ABA Journal reports on remarks made by a managing partner interviewed by a local blog: "I think the demand for legal services is increasing, applications for law school are down, so the competition cohort is going to be smaller....there's never a better time to go to law school than now." You can find the CincyBizBlog post here.
21. "Diversity Recruiting, Sidelined by Recession, Is Rebounding," 01.23.15.
This Daily Report piece makes the case that law firm diversity recruiting efforts are as strong as ever as the lawyer job market heats up.
22. "2015: The Year The Law School Crisis Ended (Or Not) — Conclusion," 01.23.15.
Stephen J. Harper, writing for the Am Law Daily, concludes his three part series on the law school crisis and makes the case once more that despite signs that the demand for legal services is growing, overall job growth for lawyers is likely to remain flat (or worse) for the foreseeable future.
January 23, 2015
1. "Dentons and China's Dacheng Poised for Historic Union," 01.22.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that Dentons and the largest firm in Asia are poised to become the largest global law firm by headcount.
a. "Dentons, Dacheng Deal Sets Legal Industry Abuzz," 1.22.15.
The Am Law Daily reports on reactions to the news of the tie-up that will lead to the world's largest law firm.
2. "Law Firm Leader Confidence Improves Again in 4th Quarter," 01.22.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that the latest survey data from Citi Private Bank Law Watch show that law firm leaders' confidence in the legal industry rose again in the fourth quarter of 2014.
a. "Firms Hesitant To Hire New Associates Despite Work Increase," 01.21.15.
Law360 reports that the new Citi data show that while more than 80 percent of law firm managing partners are optimistic about growing demand in the market for legal services, there is not a matching confidence in expanding associate hiring and lawyer headcount and managing partners remain cautious about bringing on new associates.
3. "Don't Make These Five Law Firm Merger Mistakes," 01.22.15.
With law firm mergers once again dominating the headlines, three lawyers offer these top five mistakes to avoid when considering potential law firm tie-up deals.
4. "Tough Times for Lawyers on Campus," 01.22.15.
Corporate Counsel provides this inside look at the job of in-house counsel at colleges and universities at a time when legal issues on campuses are multiplying and growing more complex.
5. "Nixon Peabody in Merger Talks With Chicago Firm," 01.21.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that Nixon Peabody is in negotiations to acquire Chicago's Ungaretti & Harris as early as February.
6. "A Partner for Second Time, Lawyer Reflects on Diversity," 01.21.15.
The Blog of Legal Times presents the story of a woman who left Big Law as a partner, raised a family, returned in an administrative role, and is now a Big Law partner once again.
7. "Two Am Law 200 Firms Seek Growth Through Mergers," 01.20.15.
The Am Law Daily reports on two Am Law 200 regional firms that are expanding their footprints by merging with smaller law firms.
8. "Weil Sees 'Strong Rebound Year'," 01.20.15.
In the first wave of reporting on 2014 law firm financial performance, the Am Law Daily reports that "after two consecutive years of profits per equity partner dipping by high single digits, Weil, Gotshal & Manges is reporting a 16.5 percent upswing for 2014, with PPP climbing to $2.4 million from $2.065 million — a level not seen since 2011."
9. "College Students Think They're Ready for the Work Force. Employers Aren't So Sure," 01.20.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on new survey research from the Association of American Colleges and Universities that highlights discrepancies between college students' sense of their own job-readiness and the assessment employers make about the job-readiness of recent college grads.
a. "Well-Prepared in Their Own Eyes," 01.20.15.
More on this from Inside Higher Ed: "Study finds big gaps between student and employer perceptions about career preparedness."
10. "At Some DC Firms, More Women Than Men Make Partner: Women accounted for half or more of new partners at eight of the largest firms," 01.19.15.
The National Law Journal reports that 14 DC area law firms advanced as many or more women than men to the partner level.
11. "Recovery means bigger bonuses at law firms," 01.17.15.
Crain's Chicago Business reports that "associates at Chicago law firms are enjoying the best bonus season since the recession."
12. "2015: The Year the Law School Crisis Ended (or Not) — Part II," 01.16.15.
Steven J. Harper, writing for the Am Law Daily, concludes his two-part series on why the law school crisis is not over: here he debunks a change in methodology at the Bureau of Labor Statistics that has made it appear as if the demand for new lawyers is about to take care of the jobs problem.
13. "Maine Law Finds Its Next Dean in Hawaii," 01.16.15.
The National Law Journal reports that the University of Maine School of Law has hired Danielle Conway, a professor at the University of Hawaii, to be its new law dean.
14. "Majority of US public school students are in poverty," 01.16.15.
The Washington Post reports that "for the first time in 50 years, a majority of US public school students come from low-income families."
15. "The High Risk of Flat-Fee Billing," 01.15.15.
A small firm lawyer writing for the New Jersey Law Journal provides a cautionary tale for larger firms on some of the downsides of flat-fee billing, something most small firms have used for a long time.
January 16, 2015
1. "Lowering the Bar," 01.16.15.
Inside Higher Ed provides an in depth look at what is happening in law school admissions, reporting that "as the number of students going to law school drops dramatically, law schools are increasingly competing for students with lower undergraduate grades and LSAT scores," and noting that many schools are admitting candidates they may not have admitted in the past.
a. "Getting Into Law School Is Easier Than It Used to Be, and That's Not Good," 01.06.15.
More on this from Bloomberg Business Week, and the Tax Prof Blog (01.10.15): "The Troubling Decline of 25th Percentile LSAT Scores at 'Bottom-Feeder' Law Schools."
2. "Fewer and Fewer Students Are Applying to Law School," 01.15.15.
The Wall Street Journal Law Blog has taken official notice of the plunging law school applicant pool.
3. "Law prof blasts 'downright predatory' poaching of his school's students; top transfer schools named," 01.15.15.
The ABA Journal reports on a feud that is brewing between a law professor at American University and the law school at GW, a school he accuses of engaging in a predatory and aggressive transfer program (he alleges that GW enrolled 97 transfer students, more than half of whom came from American). For more on the transfer student brouhaha see this Tax Prof Blog post.
4. "The November Jobs Data: Good News for Law Grads (and Law Schools)," 01.15.15.
The Tax Prof Law Blog reports on new BLS JOLTS data that suggest rising job openings for lawyers, but offers plenty of caveats.
5. "Big Law and Me: Aric Press Reflects," 01.14.15.
A very thoughtful and very smart piece from Aric Press as he leaves ALM and The American Lawyer after 16 years at the helm. (Subscription required.)
6. "Come Too Far," 01.14.15.
As we head into the Martin Luther King holiday weekend here, this is a nice Huffington Post piece from Vern? Myers, reflecting on her experience watching the movie Selma: "We must find our own gift, our own sphere of influence and do whatever we can to give voice to those who have none, to agitate, to inspire, to educate, to support, and to work until each piece of this multi-faceted monster of inequality is rendered powerless."
7. "William Mitchell launches new law school hybrid, welcomes 85 students for 1 week of on-campus class," 01.14.15.
The ABA Journal reports that William Mitchell College of Law has opened the classroom doors to the first part-time JD program in the country that will mostly be conducted online (the law school received a special variance from the ABA to experiment with this new model).
a. "First Day of Class for Hybrid JD," 01.13.15,
More on this from Inside Higher Ed.
8. "Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Lawyers," 01.13.15.
And here's another Huffington Post piece, from a family lawyer, entrepreneur and mother of two, who recounts the tough plight of many recent law school grads but ultimately concludes it is still the right career path for some.
9. "5 once-prestigious jobs that are now B-list," 01.13.15.
Lawyers top this MarketWatch list of jobs that were once brass ring but have since lost their luster.
10. "Low pay blamed for high turnover among public defenders: State commission says meager salaries for Mass. Prosecutors and public defenders waste lots of money," 01.13.15.
The Boston Globe reports on a new report from the Massachusetts Bar Association that finds that public defenders in the state are paid the lowest salaries in the country, and that as a result high turnover brings the state the added costs of constantly searching for replacements.
11. "California Incubator Grants Put Young Lawyers to Work," 01.13.15.
The National Law Journal reports that the California Commission on Access to justice has announced $185,000 in grants to help law graduates jumpstart their careers while providing low-cost legal help to those who cannot otherwise afford to hire a lawyer.
12. "In 2015, Law Practice Will Change but the Risks Remain," 01.12.15.
Two law firm partners, writing for the Daily Report, identify some of the primary risks facing law firms in 2015, including cyberattacks, increasingly complex conflicts of interest due to high lateral mobility, changes in the malpractice insurance marketplace, ongoing merger and consolidation activity, and ongoing upheaval wrought by rapidly changing technology.
13. "Firms Seeking to Increase Diversity Should Look to Public Sector," 01.12.15.
A lawyer writing for The Legal Intelligencer makes the case that if Big Law really wants to make diversity inroads it should hire midlevel and senior lawyers from the public sector.
14. "At Georgetown Law, efforts to close gap between law, tech," 01.11.15.
The Washington Post reports that Georgetown Law Center is partnering with MIT "to create a pipeline of future policymakers that are well versed in both law and technology," through coursework that pairs law students with engineering students to find solutions for complex policy problems.
15. "Latham, Littler Launch Back Office Operations," 01.09.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that two additional Big Law firms have announced plans to open back office operation centers in low cost locales: Latham will open a business services office in Manchester, England, and Littler will open a global services center in Kansas City.
a. "To Cut Expenses, More Firms Are Opening Back Offices," 01.05.15.
The American Lawyer reports that dozens of large law firms either have already or will soon open operation centers in low cost regions, often receiving local tax credits and other financial incentives along the way.
16. "Legal Sector Shows Modest Job Gain for December," 01.09.15.
The Am Law Daily parses the BLS labor statistics for December and finds that the legal sector added 500 jobs for the month, but since the start of the year the legal sector has lost 2,500 jobs.
17. "2015: The Year the Law School Crisis Ended (or Not) — Part I," 01.09.15.
Steven J. Harper, writing for the Am Law Daily, argues that law schools are not yet out of the woods — in fact they are anything but despite recent assurances that the worst has now passed schools by.
18. "Chinese-Speaking Attorneys In Demand for US Work," 01.09.15.
Today's General Counsel reports that an increase in Chinese investment in the US has led to an increase in demand for US attorneys with Chinese language skills. And see this related story from Crain's Chicago Business (01.03.15), "Why Chicago law firms are learning Mandarin."
19. "Law Firms Must Find 'Where the Puck is Going to Be,' Study Says," 01.09.15.
The Blog of Legal Times reports on the publication of the Georgetown Law Center for the Study of the Legal Profession/Thomson Reuters Peer Monitor 2015 Report on State of the Legal Market, noting that while profits are generally up, the legal market is still stagnant. You can read the full report here.
20. "Indiana University law professor William Henderson named 'most influential' person in legal ed," 01.08.15.
The ABA Journal reports that the National Jurist magazine has named Bill Henderson as the year's most influential person in legal education.
21. "What Ruth Bader Ginsburg Taught Me About Being a Stay-at-Home Dad: A young lawyer puts his former boss's ideals into practice," 01.08.15.
A lovely article by a former SCOTUS clerk in this month's The Atlantic chronicling his decision to take a stint as a stay-at-home dad.
Past News Digests
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.
January 9, 2015
1. "Higher-Ed Groups Seek a More-Complete Picture of Post-College Outcomes," 01.09.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that three major higher-education groups have launched the Post-Collegiate Outcomes Initiative, a project that seeks to guide public discussions of the value of a college education.
a. "Measuring Substance," 01.09.15.
More on this from Inside Higher Ed: "the framework attempts to lay out which areas matter most in determining what students get out of attending college."
2. "Patent Litigation Is Down, But Trolls Take a Big Share," 01.09.15.
Corporate Counsel reports that patent litigation fell 29 percent in 2014 from the previous year, with the high tech sector accounting for 63.3 percent of all patent litigation (the medical field, the next highest sector, accounted for 15.9 percent).
3. "Skadden Once Again Steals the Show in M&A Rankings," 01.08.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom has placed first in three separate year-end global M&A rankings.
4. "A Glimpse Into Wachtell's Mysterious Billing Structure," 01.08.15.
The Am Law Daily provides a fascinating look at the unique billing practices of M&A giant Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.
5. "UNLV Law Betting on First Gambling Industry LL.M.," 01.08.15.
The National Law Journal reports that the first masters program in gambling law will debut in the fall at the William S. Boyd School of Law in Las Vegas.
6. "Access to Justice: The Rural Lawyer Gap," 01.08.15.
The Daily Report provides this special report on the absence of lawyers in rural Georgia.
7. "Dentons Snags First Tie-Up of 2015 After Another Active Year for Firm Mergers," 01.07.15.
The Am Law Daily reports on 2014 year-end law firm merger data and analysis released this week by the consultancy Altman Weil: "combinations were off 7 percent from their record-setting mark in 2013....last year saw 82 tie-ups — mostly among smaller to mid-sized firms — to record the second-highest annual total for mergers to date."
8. "Cardozo's Diller to Become New Dean of Fordham Law," 01.06.15.
The New York Law Journal reports that Matthew Diller, dean at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law, will become the next dean at Fordham Law School.
9. "USC Law Hires Berkeley Professor Guzman as Its Next Dean," 01.06.15.
The National Law Journal reports that the University of Southern California Gould School of Law has named Andrew Guzman, a professor and associate dean at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, as its new dean.
10. "Study Looks At How to Get a Law Degree For Less," 01.06.15.
Karen Sloan, writing for The National Law Journal, reports on research on law school net costs presented Monday at the AALS conference by St. Thomas law professor Jerry Organ, including new empirical support for the long-standing critique that students with lower LSAT scores often pay more for their legal education in order to subsidize scholarships for students with higher LSAT scores.
a. "Law Schools in Bidding Wars for Students," 01.08.15.
And ALM's Careerist blogger Vivia Chen weighs in on some of the implications of Jerry Organ's research.
11. "Ginsburg — and Reform — Highlight Law School Gathering," 01.05.15.
The National Law Journal reviews highlights from the four-day AALS annual meeting that concluded on Monday, including an appearance by US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and sessions designed to address legal education's current challenges.
12. "Hiring a New Partner Is Just the Start With Laterals," 01.06.15.
Writing for The Recorder, a consultant provides a primer on successful lateral partner integration.
13. "Billing Rates Rise, Discounts Abound: A 10 percent increase is offset by price cuts," 01.05.15.
The National Law Journal reports on its latest law firm billing data, and provides this chart (subscription required) with the 50 firms that charged the highest average hourly rates for partners.
14. "How Bingham Failed: The Inside Story," 01.05.15.
The American Lawyer provides insight into the failure of Bingham McCutchen, noting that a colossal failure of management was compounded by "the limits of acquisition as a growth strategy; the danger of overreliance on countercyclical practices; [and] the cutthroat nature of the lateral market." (Subscription required.)
15. "Pro Bono Hot List," 01.05.15.
The National Law Journal publishes its annual hot list of ten firms that made exemplary contributions in providing access to justice.
16. "The Big Boys Make $10 Million — How About You?," 01.05.14.
The American Lawyer looks at the growing divide between equity partners at Am Law 100 firms who make $10 million or more a year and those who do not.
17. "For Six Am Law Firms, New Leadership; For Their Outgoing Leaders, New Chapters," 01.05.15.
The Am Law Daily reports on leadership changes taking effect at six Am Law 100 firms with the beginning of the new year.
18. "Perceptions of Race at a Glance: A MacArthur Grant Winner Tries to Unearth Biases to Aid Criminal Justice," 01.05.15.
The New York Times reports on the work of Jennifer Eberhardt, an associate professor of psychology at Stanford University, who studies the effects of unconscious bias on the criminal justice system.
19. "Racial Bias, Even When We Have Good Intentions," 01.03.15.
A social scientist at Harvard, writing for The New York Times, looks at "an impressive body of research" that supports the proposition that "widespread discrimination is not necessarily a sign of conscious prejudice."
20. "Finding Hybrids in the Legal Industry," 01.02.15.
Law Technology Today reports on the emergence of lawyer-entrepreneurs and predicts they are the future.
21. "Washington state moves around UPL, using legal technicians to help close the justice gap," 01.01.15.
The January issue of the ABA Journal takes a look at some of the first graduates of Washington State's Limited License Legal Technicians — non-law school graduates who will be allowed to practice law in limited ways — initially in family law — and the impact that this new program (and possibly others like it) might eventually have on helping to close the justice gap.
December 31, 2014
This is the last NALP news roundup of the year and our normal weekly Friday publication schedule will resume on January 9.
1. "Does the UK know something we don't about alternative business structures?," 01.01.15.
The ABA Journal takes a look at the impact alternative business structures are having on the delivery of legal services in the UK, and speculates about what that might mean for the US. For more on this take a look at this ABA Journal infographic, "The UK's alternative firms are reshaping legal services," that shows among other things that 33.5% of all personal injury claims in the UK are now handled by ABS.
2. "Pricing it Right: Restructuring Billing," 12.31.14.
Law Technology News takes this year-end look at the billing challenges facing law firms: "Big Law mints new professionals and yearns for technology to solve billing woes."
3. "Death Penalty Expert Entzeroth Named Dean at Tulsa," 12.30.14.
The National Law Journal reports that the University of Tulsa College of Law has named Lyn Entzeroth as its next dean.
4. "How can I get on the path to making partner?," 12.30.14.
The Recorder's Lawyer Whisperer Julie Brush talks with a Big Law staff attorney who wants to get on the partnership track.
5. "Legal Educators Gathering to Set the Agenda for 2015," 12.29.14.
The National Law Journal speaks with incoming AALS President and dean of George Washington University Law School Blake Morant about the association's upcoming annual conference taking place later this week in Washington, DC.
6. "Asian-American Lawyers: Doing Great — and Unhappy," 12.29.14.
Vivia Chen, writing for The American Lawyer, looks at the plight of Asian-American lawyers who are ostensibly succeeding in the profession yet reporting low levels of satisfaction.
7. "Law Schools: Growth, Retrenchment," 12.29.14.
The National Law Journal provides this year-in-review look back at law school news, including declining enrollment, the growth of new law school buildings, and the updated ABA standards for the approval of law schools.
8. "Why law school enrollment is way down," 12.26.14.
NPR's Marketplace spotlights falling US law school enrollment.
9. "The Best Lawyers Money Can Buy," 12.25.14.
This Christmas Day editorial from The New York Times Editorial Board argues that as US Supreme Court cases are increasingly handled by a shrinking group of elite lawyers, "justice at the highest court in the land becomes less accessible every day."
10. "MBA Programs Start to Follow Silicon Valley Into the Data Age," 12.25.14.
The New York Times reports that business schools, under the gun to make changes to the curriculum, have started to take some of their cues from Silicon Valley, noting that "graduate business schools have picked up the digital ethos of experimentation and new ventures."
11. "Law Firm Leaders See Jumps, Bumps in 2015," 12.24.14.
The Recorder reports that for 2015 "law firm leaders and consultants project a fat year for transactional work and a lean one for litigation."
12. "Cooley law school seeks to sell a building in downtown Lansing," 12.24.14.
The ABA Journal reports that Western Michigan University's Thomas M. Cooley Law School is trying to sell a building in Lansing that last hosted law school classes in 2008 (the Journal reports that in 2010 Cooley had enrollment of about 4,000 students but that 2013 enrollment had fallen below 2,500 [and to just 1,754 this fall]).
13. "Don't Look Now, but There's a Startup Frenzy Up North: Swamped (as always) by flashier goings-on in the US, Canada's new companies are making waves," 12.24.14.
Corporate Counsel provides this market report on Canada's resurgent tech industry.
14. "For Recent Black College Graduates, a Tougher Road to Employment," 12.24.14.
The New York Times reports that black college graduates are suffering a far higher unemployment rate that their white peers: "Among recent graduates ages 22 to 27, the jobless rate for blacks last year was 12.4 percent versus 4.9 percent for whites....this 7.5 percentage point difference was far greater that before the recession."
15. "Law school faculty numbers shrink 11 percent since 2010; which schools shed the most full-timers?," 12.22.14.
The ABA Journal reports on Matt Leichter's presentation and analysis of shrinking law faculty numbers school by school, noting that several are down by more than 50%. Leichter's original 12/18 blog post can be found here. For even more on this from Paul Campos go here.
16. "New Leaders at law firm Pillsbury Winthrop experiment with changes to business model," 12.21.14.
The Washington Post reports on some of the ways that the newly merged firm is experimenting in order to make the firm more efficient and productive, including by hiring more staff attorneys, sending more lawyers to its back office operations center in Nashville, and by hiring more non-lawyer professionals.