Weekly News Digest for Legal Career Professionals

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.

November 20, 2015

1. "Women, Black/African American Associates Lose Ground at Major US Law Firms," 11.19.15.
NALP has released its annual analysis of law firm demographics, finding that representation of women associates and Black/African American Associates are both declining.

    a. "Women and Blacks Make Little Progress at Big Law Firms," 11.19.15.
    The New York Times reports that "Women and blacks have made almost no headway in recent years in increasing their ranks at major United States law firms, according to the latest data from the National Association for Law Placement."

    b. "Female and African-American Associates Losing Ground," 11.19.15.
    The American Lawyer reports on the new findings from NALP on law firm diversity, noting that "despite an industry-wide effort to diversify, the percentage of women and African-American associates working at US law firms has shrunk."

    c. "Percentage of black associates continues to fall in 'distressing' trend, NALP leader says," 11.19.15.
    And the ABA Journal reports on the latest law firm demographic findings from NALP.

2. "Make Legal Careers Great Again," 11.19.15.
This Slaw column offers suggestions on how to make a great legal career despite the challenges faced by the industry.

3. "Is artificial intelligence the key to unlocking innovation in your law firm?," 11.19.15.
A legal technology expert, writing for LegalWeek in the UK, takes a look at AI's impact on the legal sector, and encourages lawyers and law firms to focus on opportunity rather than fear as technology continues to change the way legal services are delivered.

4. "Are Lawyers Predisposed to Depression, Substance Abuse?," 11.19.15.
Texas Lawyer explores the difficult question of why so many lawyers struggle with "the twinned illnesses of addiction and depression."

5. "More Firms Earn Top Marks in Annual LGBT Equality Rankings," 11.18.15.
The American Lawyer reports that 95 of 156 law firms surveyed earned a perfect score on the most recent Human Rights Campaign's annual Corporate Equality Index (up from 87 firms last year), which evaluates large law firm and company policies regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. You can find HRC's Corporate Equality Index 2016 here.

6. "Midsize Firms Confident as End-of-Year Approaches," 11.18.15.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that midsize firm leaders seem optimistic about their year-end results for 2015.

7. "$5 Million Grant to Support New York Law School Clinics," 11.16.15.
The New York Law Journal reports that "New York Law School has received a $5 million gift to establish the Joe Plumeri Center for Social Justice and Economic Opportunity, which will house the law school's more than 20 clinical programs."

8. "Duke Law School Gets $5M for Faculty Positions," 11.16.15.
The National Law Journal reports that that Duke Law School has secured $5M in matching funds from its endowment to match an equal amount in gifts from donors, and the combined monies will be used for new endowed faculty chair positions, professor, or clinical professor roles.

9. "Clinical Legal Education on the Move in Canada," 11.16.15.
Slaw, Canada's online legal magazine, reports on the growth of clinical legal education in Canada, focusing on the proceedings of the recent conference of the Association for Canadian Clinical Legal Education that was held at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law.

10. "Federal Appeals Judges Open Up About Clerk-Hiring Preferences," 11.16.15.
The National Law Journal reports on a recent panel discussion by federal and state appeals judges that included a conversation about what they look for in would-be clerks.

11. "Rethinking The Legal Function," 11.16.15.
Today's General Counsel takes a look at the expanding role of the GC: "For today's general counsel, it's no longer enough to be an excellent legal advisor. In order to manage legal departments, GC's must also be strong business leaders and experienced counselors." You can read the full article here (subscription required).

12. "Why Men Have More Help Getting to the C-Suite," 11.16.15.
This Harvard Business Review article suggests that "[one] reason women are underrepresented at the top levels of the organization is that they are over-mentored and under-sponsored." ("This article offers insight into the genesis of mentor/sponsor relationships and provides advice about how all stakeholders — men, women, and organizational leaders — can make the playing field more fair. The key is understanding the basic economic motivators behind sponsorship. Understanding those drivers can help women be more deliberate about the kinds of relationships they need to develop to achieve their aspirations.")

13. "New Student Debt Report Takes Close Look at Class of 2014," 11.16.15.
Ashley Matthews, currently at EJW and formerly a PSJD Fellow at NALP, writing here for The Huffington Post, reports on the tenth annual Institute for College Access & Success Project on Student Debt report, highlighting the fact that student debt is still on the rise for recent graduates of four-year colleges.

14. "Hogan Lovells Associate Killed in Paris Terror Attacks," 11.14.15.
This American Lawyer story reminds us in this most difficult week that all news is local.

15. "Lawyers Who Code Hack New Career Path," 11.13.15.
The Recorder explores an emerging career path open to law graduates who also have computer science skills — the new "hybrid lawyer programmer" who is helping law firms and legal departments "spot the pain points in legal workflows and solve them effectively."

16. "The Secret to Sustaining High Job Performance," 11.13.15.
A New York Times Dealbook columnist takes a look at what it takes for companies to systematically invest in building people's capacity to perform at their best.

17. "Viewpoint: Out of the Glass Box," 11.12.15.
A BigLaw associate who was away from practice for 14 years writes about her reentry though the OnRamp Fellowship program.

18. "Universities Set Up Legal Clinics to Help Student Innovators," 11.08.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on the rapid growth of university-based legal clinics focused on innovation, cyber law, and intellectual property, highlighting an innovative joint venture between MIT and the Boston University School of Law in which law students from BU guide MIT student entrepreneurs as they navigate the legal complexities of setting up a business or commercializing their ideas. (Subscriptions required.)

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.

November 13, 2015

1. "Law Firms May Face Worse Collections Crunch This Year," 11.12.15.
The American Lawyer reports that the latest Citi data suggest that law firms may face an unusually difficult end-of-the-year push to collect outstanding client bills this year.

2. "Is Washington Finally Tired of Welfare for Law Schools?," 11.12.15.
Matt Leichter, writing for The American Lawyer, reports that senators from both parties are raising concerns about law school costs and growing student loan debt, argues that most law graduates do not earn enough money to even cover the interest payments on their loans, and accuses law schools of being unaccountable for the situation they have created.

3. "Are Skill Sets of Female Attorneys Being Underutilized?," 11.12.15.
A law firm associate, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, suggests that women are being underutilized in the legal profession, and urges law firms to work towards goals that will increase the number of female equity partners and lead trial counsel.

4. "95 Percent of UK Law Firms Undertaking Major IT Projects for Efficiency," 11.12.15.
Legaltech News reports that recent PcW survey results show that 95 percent of UK law firms have plans to undertake major IT projects to improve efficiency, results that mirror similar findings made by ALM in the US. According to PwC: "This year's survey shows a sector that is continuing to evolve, with the pace of change beginning to pick up as global economies improve. Alongside economic improvements we see rapid technological change, innovation in business models and changing client buying patterns. The agile firms are not only responding to these factors, but beginning to anticipate the next likely developments."

5. "How to Take Market Share: Lessons for Law Firms," 11.11.15.
Law Professor Bill Henderson, writing here for The American Lawyer, provides lessons for law firms about competition and market share that can be learned from Apple and the legacy of Steve Jobs.

6. "For Military Members, Smooth Transition to Law Jobs Isn't Easy," 11.11.15.
On Veteran's Day The National Law Journal takes a look at some of the unique challenges facing US military veterans trying to enter the legal profession, and highlights the second annual Veteran's Career Fair that will take place in Washington, DC, this coming April.

7. "The Future of Automation in Litigation: Plotting Obsolescence to Survive," 11.11.15.
This Slaw blog post takes a look at some of the most likely components of litigation to become fully automated (namely, rule-based documents).

8. "Survey Finds Corporations Looking to Reduce Outside Legal Spending," 11.10.15.
The New York Times reports on the latest Altman-Weil survey results, noting that "close to half the corporate departments that responded…plan to parcel out more work among their own employees and to contract lawyers." The cutbacks, the article suggests, are part of "an aggressive rebalancing of cost and risk" that is being undertaken by corporations.

9. "At Some Firms More Than Others, Women Lag Among New Partners," 11.10.15.
The American Lawyer reports on a new study from the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance that shows women made up 34.4 percent of newly promoted partners at law firms in 2015, but several Am Law 100 firms elected no new US female partners.

10. "Will Law Firm Leaders Get Involved in this Diversity Initiative?," 11.10.15.
Bloomberg BNA previews the upcoming Women in Law Hackathon, "a Shark Tank-esque competition in Big Law to generate new ideas on attracting and retaining women in the legal profession." (The project has been launched by Caren Ulrich Stacy, the founder of Diversity Lab, a company that devotes itself to cultivating diversity at corporations and law firms.)

11. "Spike in Law School Applicants Will Make Admissions More Difficult," 11.10.15.
According to New University, the campus newspaper at the University of California, Irvine, a recent jump in the number of LSAT test-takers may mean that the decline in law school admission applications has finally turned the corner.

12. "New Business Models in the Age of the Independent Contractor," 11.09.15.
The National Law Journal provides this special labor and employment report on changes in the workplace brought about by technology, the growing use of independent contractors, and the recognition of same sex marriage.

13. "Citi Report: Law Firms Face Slowdown in Demand," 11.09.15.
The American Lawyer reports on the most recent report on financial performance in the legal industry from Citi Private Bank's Law Firm Group, a report that finds demand for legal services slowing: "Our earlier prediction that the industry would face a challenging second half of this year was borne out in nine month results, as demand growth slowed during the third quarter, the opposite of the upward momentum we saw during the same period in 2014. With the slowdown in demand growth, revenue growth through the first nine months lagging the same period of 2014 and the higher expense growth rate we've seen so far this year, we expect 2015 revenue and profit growth to fall short of last year."

14. "LA Film Czar Ken Ziffren Gives $5M to UCLA Law," 11.09.15.
The National Law Journal reports that "Hollywood attorney Ken Ziffren has given University of California at Los Angeles School of Law $5 million to set up an entertainment and media law center in his name."

15. "Most New York Law Schools See Decline in Bar Pass Rates," 11.09.15.
The New York Law Journal reports that "ten of New York's 15 law schools has their pass rates decline from last year on the July 2015 bar examination."

    a. "July Bar Exam Pass Rates," 11.09.15.
    And the New York Law Journal publishes the "pass rates for first-time candidates, regardless of graduation year, who sat for the July Bar Examination in 2013, 2014 and 2015 for each of New York's 15 law schools as well as statewide averages."

16. "Are Elite College Courses Better?," 11.09.15.
Inside Higher Ed reports on new research that suggests that teaching quality and academic rigor are not necessarily stronger at prestigious institutions.

17. "Are law students driven by money? It's not most important, survey finds," 11.09.15.
The ABA Journal reports on new research by law prof Bill Henderson who surveyed law grads from Northeastern University School of Law who graduated in four different decades, noting that for more recent graduates, the desire to acquire transferable skills and the goal of financial security have become more important.

18. "Arne Duncan, Education Secretary, Sees Challenges for US Colleges," 11.08.15.
The New York Times interviews outgoing education secretary Arne Duncan on what he sees as the most serious challenges facing US higher education.

19. "Bonus Pay on Wall Street Is Likely to Fall, a Report Says," 11.08.15.
The New York Times reports that bonuses in the financial industry are expected to fall 5 to 10 percent this year, marking the first year since 2011 that compensation for the industry as a whole is expected to drop.

20. "Helping black women find the path to law firm partner," 11.07.15.
Crain's Chicago Business profiles the Pipeline Program, "an effort to swell the ranks of black female lawyers at elite law firms."

21. "Wage Gap Is Worse for Women," 11.06.15.
Vivia Chen, writing as The Careerist for The American Lawyer, looks at new research that shows that the pay gap widens as women climb the corporate ladder: "Every step up in responsibility increases the pay gap for women."

22. "Legal Sector Adds 700 Jobs in October, Most Employed in Two Years," 11.06.15.
The American Lawyer reports on the latest jobs data from the USBLS, noting that the legal sector added 700 jobs in October, bringing headcount to its highest point in two years, but notes that a spate of recent layoffs might temper this growth.

23. "These law students combine technology with fee-generating cases," 11.06.15.
The ABA Journal reports on a program at Suffolk's law school that has law students working in an Accelerator Practice that provides fee-shifted legal services to average income clients, and has students engaged in building an app that streamlines intake and provides other automated services.

24. "An Open Letter to Dean Minow: Change HLS' Default Option to Civic-Minded Career Building," 11.06.15.
A 1L at Harvard, writing for The Harvard Law Record, calls on the dean to change the default career option from corporate interest law to civic-minded career building.

25. "Can an On-Demand Lawyer Startup Transform the Legal Business? The law firm revolution will be 'technology-enabled,'" 11.04.15.
Bloomberg Business profiles the Arroyo Law Group, one of the many alternative law firms that has recently sprung up to challenge traditional law firms: "The company, which functions more like a call center than a traditional law firm, represents the most serious challenge that the American legal industry has faced in recent history."

26. "The Debt Burden of Law School Graduates," 11.02.15.
The New York Times carries these letters to the editor in response to their October 25 editorial, The Law School Debt Crisis. (Responses include letters from the president, president-elect, and executive director of AALS, and deans at the law schools at Florida Coastal and CUNY.)

    a. "Legal Education's Strange Bedfellows," 11.06.15.
    And Steven J. Harper, writing for The American Lawyer, responds to The New York Times editorial on law student debt, and the published letters that were written in response.

November 6, 2015

1. "Minority Students Fight to Intervene in Harvard Admissions Case," 11.05.15.
The National Law Journal reports that a group of Harvard College students is seeking to intervene in a suit over the school's use of race in the undergraduate admissions process.

2. "UnitedLex Expands Legal Residency Program to USC Gould School of Law: Program offers law school grads with practical experience in cutting-edge technologies and project management techniques," 11.05.15.
Legaltech News reports that UnitedLex has expanded its legal residency program to the University of Southern California Gould School of Law.

3. "A growing advantage to the law school degree," 11.04.15.
Indiana Lawyer takes a look at the upside to the growing percentage of law school graduates who are finding JD-Advantage jobs.

4. "Graying Firms Wrestle With Making Room for Younger Lawyers," 11.04.15.
The New York Times Dealbook column takes a look at the rising class of millennial associates who are pushing up against current la firm leaders "who are almost uniformly older men intent on staying for a few more years to top off very successful careers."

    a. "Is there a generational divide in BigLaw? Only 3% of managing partners are from Gen X," 11.05,15.
    And the ABA Journal picks up the NYT story.

5. "Lateral Partner Hiring Trend Continues to Build Steam Despite Challenges," 11.04.15.
Law.com publishes the results of a new report on lateral partner hiring conducted by ALM's Legal intelligence division ad Group Dewey Consulting: "Since 2010, lateral partner moves have increased by 36 percent."

    a. "Lateral Partner Movement Frenzied Late in the Year," 11.04.15.
    The Legal Intelligencer reports that "a low-growth market and pressure on rate increases have fostered a lateral hiring boom as firms look to add revenue by acquiring new talent, practices and geographic footholds."

6. "Villanova University To Open Center for Law and Religion," 11.04.15.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that Villanova University School of Law will add a new Center for Law and Religion with the proceeds from a $2 million gift.

7. "Fordham Offers Non-Lawyers Training in 'Hot' Compliance," 11.03.15.
The New York Law Journal reports that Fordham University School of Law will offer a master's degree in corporate compliance to non-lawyers.

8. "Fake Cover Letters Expose Discrimination Against Disabled," 11.02.15.
The New York Times Upshot column looks at new research out of Rutgers and Syracuse that showed that "employers expressed interest in candidates who disclosed a disability about 26 percent less frequently than candidates who did not."

9. "Defending Affirmative Action," 11.02.15.
Inside Higher Ed takes a look at the dozens of amicus briefs that have been filed on behalf of higher education in the Fisher case that the US Supreme Court will hear (again) on December 9.

10. "New Partners Optimistic There's Room at the Top," 11.02.15.
The American Lawyer reports on the results of its latest new partner survey, and finds that new partners are more optimistic about their chances of being promoted than they have been in years.

11. "Record Number 10 Supreme Court Clerks Head to Jones Day," 11.02.15.
The National Law Journal reports that "ten US Supreme Court law clerks from the last term have joined Jones Day as associates," bringing to 45 the total number of former high court clerks working at the firm.

12. "Should Big Firms Worry About Plummeting Bar Scores?," 11.02.15.
Bloomberg BNA asks the question and concludes "probably not."

13. "Good News About Worrying," 11.02.15.
The New York Times Well column takes a look at new research that is based on surveys that were administered to 230 law school graduates during the four months after the California bar exam in July 2013; the findings suggest that there are links between anxiety and resilience.

14. "Student Loan Rules May Get Tighter," 11.02.15.
The National Law Journal reports that the US Office of Federal Student Aid has released new recommendations that would subject federal student loan servicing contracts to greater oversight and scrutiny.

15. "Latinas Face Long Odds in Law," 10.30.15.
Law.com reports on a new study conducted by the Hispanic National Bar Association that highlights the underrepresentation of Latina lawyers.

16. "Law Schools Deans Wrestle With Two-Year Drop in Bar Pass Rates," 10.30.15.
The Daily Report reports that the deans of the Georgia law schools are grappling with the causes and effects of the two-year drop in bar pass rates in that state.

17. "Four Women and No Men, a Big Law Anomaly, Make Partner at Latham," 10.30.15.
The Legal Times reports that the new partner class at Latham & Watkins' DC office contained four women and no men this year.

October 30, 2015

1. "Some big firms are finding profit in commoditized work," 11.01.15.
This piece from the ABA Journal's November magazine takes a look at a couple of large law firms that are making commoditized work profitable through the use of flex-time attorneys and technology.

2. "Women in Law: Making Rain, Climbing the Ladder and Forging Your Path," 10.29.15.
The Daily Report has published a Special Section on Women in Law that includes six separate columns and articles, including a look at the future for women in law.

3. "Lawyer 'Hackathon' Aims to Narrow Big Law Gender Gap," 10.29.15.
More great press for Caren Stacy's OnRamp Fellowship program, including the launch of her new Women in Law Hackathon in which "teams from 54 law firms will work from January to June to come up with proposals to 'better recruit, advance, and retain experienced women in mid-sized and large law firms,'" covered here by The American Lawyer.

4. "Law Firms Could Go Paperless by 2020," 10.29.15.
Legaltech News reports on the findings from a new Ari Kaplan/kCura survey that finds the advent of more robust mobile devices has convinced many law firm partners that the law firm environment could be paperless in as little as 5 years.

    a. "Going Paperless May Mean Less Rental Space for Law Firms," 10.29.15.
    And a related piece from Legaltech News finds many potential savings for law firms and clients in a paperless work environment, including the need for less physical space.

5. "Pass Rates Again Decline for State's July Bar Exam," 10.28.15.
The New York Law Journal reports that pass rates for the New York State Bar Exam have reached their lowest point in more than a decade.

    a. "New York bar pass rates at their lowest point in at least 11 years," 10.27.15.
    More on this from the ABA Journal.

6. "Cornell Law Plans to Offer Tech Degree at City Campus," 10.28.15.
The New York Law Journal reports that "Cornell Law School has announced that it will offer a new LL.M. degree program for law, technology, and entrepreneurship at the Cornell Tech campus in New York City."

7. "Harvard Law Library Readies Trove of Decisions for Digital Age," 10.28.15.
The New York Times reports that Harvard's Law School Library is creating "a complete, searchable database of American case law that will be offered free on the Internet, allowing instant retrieval of vital records that usually must be paid for."

    a. "'Free the Law' project by Harvard's law library is scanning books for free Internet case database," 10.29.15.
    More on this from the ABA Journal.

8. "'Grow' your law school? The what, why and whether of Denver Law," 10.28.15.
Paul Lippe, writing for the ABA Journal's New Normal column, takes a look at the 'Prudent Innovation' underway at Denver University's Sturm College of Law.

9. "Making the Most of Mentorship," 10.28.15.
This piece in The Recorder provides advice on how to find mentors as a junior attorney.

10. "How a 40-Year-Old Idea Became Education's Next Big Thing," 10.28.15.
This feature article in this week's The Chronicle of Higher Education explores the growth of competency-based learning strategies in US higher education. (Subscription required.)

11. "Client Transition Vexing Law Firm Leaders," 10.27.15.
The Legal Intelligencer explores some of the many vexing issues facing law firms as they try to transition client matters from the baby boomer generation to younger partners.

12. "SAT's Racial Impact," 10.27.15.
Inside Higher Ed reports on "a new long-term analysis of SAT scores [that] has found that, among applicants to the University of California's campuses, race and ethnicity have become stronger predictors of SAT scores than family income and parental education levels." (The study is based on the more than 1.1 million California residents who applied to UC campuses from 1994 through 2011.)

13. "Average Student Debt Climbed Higher in 2014, Study Finds," 10.27.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that average student loan debt rose an additional 2 percent in 2014.

    a. "Student Debt, Rising Again," 10.27.15.
    Inside Higher Ed also reports on the new student debt data, noting that average undergraduate student loan debt has risen 56% over the last decade.

14. "Georgia Bar Pass Rates Fall Again," 10.27.15.
The Daily Report reports that "the percentage of Georgia law school graduates passing the Georgia bar examination in July dropped for the second consecutive year," declining almost 7 percentage points from the previous year.

15. "Women in Big Law Are Losing Ground," 10.27.15.
Vivia Chen, writing for The American Lawyer, reviews the latest report from the National Association of Women Lawyers and concludes that "Women in Big Law aren't treading water; they're sinking. Yup, the situation is dire." (You can find the 2015 NAWL Survey Report here. The report notes, among other things, that "Firms have made no appreciable progress in the rate at which they are promoting women to the role of equity partner.")

16. "2015 New Associate Survey: More Women, Minorities Among New Texas Associates," 10.26.15.
Texas Lawyer reports that "the number of new associates starting work this fall at the largest firms in Texas is flat compared with 2014, but there are more women and minorities among them."

17. "Study Cites Lower Standards in Law School Admissions," 10.26.15.
In the second part of a one-two punch dealt to legal education this week, The New York Times writes about a new report from Law School Transparency that, according to the Times, argues "about a third of the 2014 accredited law schools had entering classes last year with at least 25 percent of the class consisting of 'at risk' students."

    a. "Law Schools Admit Those Unlikely to Pass Bar," 10.27.15.
    Inside Higher Ed also reports on the new report from Law School Transparency. The report itself can be found here.

18. "Too Damn High? Report Shows Rents Outpacing Law Firm Profits," 10.26.15.
The American Lawyer reports that the commercial rents that law firms pay for their space is rising faster than law firm profits in most major markets.

19. "The Law School Debt Crisis," 10.24.15.
The New York Times used its lead Sunday editorial to attack both law schools and federal student lending policies, arguing that free-flowing federal dollars are propping up marginal law schools that take the money of students who have few prospects of working as lawyers and paying the money back. "How can this death spiral be stopped?," they ask.

    a. "Is there a right way to respond to the 'Law School Debt Crisis" Editorial?," 10.25.15.
    Bill Henderson, writing for The Legal White Board, responds to the NYT editorial, noting the precarious financial condition of legal education, and calling on the AALS to take decisive action.

20. "Computer vs. Lawyer? Many Firm Leaders Expect Computers to Win," 10.24.15.
The American Lawyer reports on new survey results from Altman Weil on law firm staffing, efficiency, performance and pricing, noting, among other things, that "35 percent of law firm leaders said they could envision replacing first-year associates with law-focused computer intelligence within the next five to ten years."

    a. "Will newbie associates be replaced by Watson? 35% of law firm leaders can envision it," 10.26.15.
    More on this from the ABA Journal.

    b. "Firms Still Reviewing Strategy in Wake of Recession, Clients Want to See More," 10.26.15.
    Legaltech News also reports on the new survey results from Altman Weil, and suggests that many firms are still struggling to realize new efficiencies in the aftermath of the financial collapse.

21. "The Law-School Scam Continues: As bar-passage rates keep dropping at its for-profit schools, is InfiLaw taking advantage of students and the federal government?," 10.23.15.
Paul Campos, writing for The Atlantic, writes about the collapse of the bar-passage rates at the law schools owned by InfiLaw, and the consequences for taxpayers.

    a. "This law school had a 30% bar pass rate; do lower standards presage troubled times for law grads?," 10.26.15.
    More on this from the ABA Journal.

22. "Top-Tier Law Firm Rates Surged This Year," 10.23.15.
Corporate Counsel reports that new data from LexisNexis shows that the biggest law firms' billing rates are growing faster than those at firms of smaller size, with those firms with more than 750 attorneys bumping the median rate from $675 for $711 per hour over the last year.

23. "The Strange Case of Student Loan Debt," 10.23.15.
Steven J. Harper, writing for The American Lawyer, finds inconsistency in Obama administration approaches to the student debt crisis, noting policy goals that are at odds with one another.

24. "Firms Are Wasting Millions Recruiting on Only a Few Campuses," 10.23.15.
This Harvard Business Review article critiques the recruiting practices at professional service firms, including investment banks, management consulting firms, and law firms: "by maintaining the status quo, firms are not only missing out on high-quality, under-utilized talent pools, but may be allocating recruiting resources in an inefficient way." (Hat tip to Shawn Beem for pointing me towards this piece.)

25. "At top law schools, law profs with PhDs and little legal experience become more common," 10.23.15.
The ABA Journal reports on new research from a UCLA law prof that shows top law schools are increasingly hiring professors with both JDs and PhDs, but with less than a year of legal practice experience on average.

26. "The Smartest Ways to Network at a Party: Reading a room is a skill that can be learned," 09.14.15.
This article that provides practical advice on networking in social settings, originally published by The Wall Street Journal in September, bubbled up again on the social media this week. (Subscription required.)

October 23, 2015

1. "$22M Anonymous Gift Made to William & Mary Law School," 10.23.15.
The National Law Journal reports that "the College of William & Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law has received a $22 million anonymous donation to go towards student scholarships and faculty awards."

2. "A Disadvantaged Start Hurts Boys More Than Girls," 10.23.15.
The New York Times' Upshot column looks at new research that suggests "as society becomes more unequal...it hurts boys more...particularly those from black, Latino and immigrant families."

3. "$100M Donation Goes to Northwestern Law School," 10.22.15.
The National Law Journal reports that "Northwestern University School of Law has received a $100 million gift — touted to be the largest donation ever made to any law school — from the Pritzker family." The school will be renamed Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.

4. "Law Firms Embracing Metrics in Calculating Partner Compensation," 10.22.15.
Legaltech News reports that law firms are beginning to move towards analytics-based partner compensation, and as a result are changing the way they view profitability and originations.

5. "Medical-School Enrollment Is Up 25 Percent Since 2002," 10.22.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that medical school enrollment rose by 6.2 percent this year and the number of Hispanic students and black students increased 6.9 percent and 11.6 percent respectively.

    a. "Medical School Applicants, Enrollments Are Up," 10.23.15.
    More on this from Inside Higher Ed.

6. "Should You Be Allowed to Invest in a Lawsuit?," 10.22.15.
The New York Times Magazine takes a look at the growing practice of outside investment in litigation — litigation finance is reportedly becoming a fully monetized asset class.

7. "US College Hiring to Increase 11 Percent," 10.21.15.
NACE, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, has released its latest Job Outlook survey results, finding that "employers plan to hire 11 percent more college graduates from the Class of 2016 for their US operations than they did from the Class of 2015."

8. ".Law Domain Available for Free to US Law Schools: Law school waiver program will provide accredited schools with .law domain free of charge," 10.21.15.
Legaltech News reports that ABA-accredited law schools can now get the new .law domain for free.

9. "Thomson Reuters opens new US legal outsourcing office," 10.21.15.
The ABA Journal reports that "Thomson Reuters is opening a third legal outsourcing office in the United States." (The new office will be located in Eagan, Minnesota, and is expected to staff with up to 60 lawyers.)

10. "Will there be a 'New Deal' for the legal profession?," 10.21.15.
Paul Lippe, writing for the ABA Journal's New Normal column, takes a look at Richard Susskind's new book, The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts, noting that "For my money, this is the best of Richard's books, situating the changes facing the legal profession in both the long history of professions generally and the parallel challenges facing other fields such as medicine, accountancy, architecture, journalist's, clergy and teaching," and reporting key trends that Susskind identifies that will force the redefinition of professionals' roles. (You can find Susskind's new book here and here.)

11. "What You Need to Know About Law Schools' Gainful Employment Challenge," 10.20.15.
NALP's own Ashley Matthews (former PSJD Fellow), and current EJW staffer, writing here for The Huffington Post, writes about the likely impact of the Department of Education's gainful employment rule on ABA accredited law schools. ("The rule, which went into effect on July 1 of this year, is designed to reveal programs that carry high levels of student debt while yielding relatively subpar job credentials.")

12. "Expecting M&A uptick, Baker Botts adds 25 Houston lawyers, wants 25 more in 2016," 10.20.15.
The ABA Journal reports that the slump in the energy market has led to a hot M&A market in the energy sector and as a result, some Texas firms, including Baker Botts, are bulking up.

13. "Dentons cuts 'a very small number of administrative positions' after US merger," 10.19.15.
The ABA Journal reports staff layoffs in the wake of Dentons' recent merger with McKenna: "a very small number of administrative positions...will not carry forward."

14. "Comment Sought on Skills Competency for Bar Admission," 10.19.15.
The New York Law Journal reports that "a Court of Appeals task force is seeking public comment on a proposal to amend New York's rules for admission to the bar to require applicants to complete a skills competency component."

15. "Diversity in Academe: Transgender on Campus," 10.18.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education has published a special report on transgender issues on campus that includes 12 separate articles, some of which are collected below (and some of which require a subscription for access).

    a. "'Ask Me': What LGBTQ Students Want Their Professors to Know," 09.13.15. (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

    b. "Leaving No Trans College Student Behind," 10.18.15. (The Chronicle of Higher Education, subscription required)

    c. "Transgender Students Build on Feminism to Question Male Privilege," 10.18.15. (The Chronicle of Higher Education, subscription required)

    d. "Dilemmas From Day 1: Transgender students face entrenched attitudes and inflexible systems," 10.18.15. (The Chronicle of Higher Education, subscription required)

    e. "Why Colleges Need to Hire More Trans Faculty: They serve as role models for trans and gender-nonconforming students," 10.18.15. (The Chronicle of Higher Education, subscription required)

16. "Big Texas Firms Face New Competitors at Home," 10.16.15.
The American Lawyer reports that the legal market in Texas is heating up as Texas-based firms are being squeezed by firms from out of state that are opening offices in Texas and lawyer compensation is rising as a result.

17. "Why What You Learned in Preschool Is Crucial at Work," 10.16.15.
The New York Times' Upshot column takes a look at the fact that "skills like cooperation, empathy and flexibility have become increasingly vital in modern-day work," noting that the only jobs showing consistent wage growth in recent years are those requiring both cognitive and social skills.

18. "Bar Results Leave 'Drought' But Firms Likely Unaffected," 10.16.15.
The Legal Intelligencer writes that even though bar passage rates are falling, the increased failures are unlikely to impact most law firms.

19. "Tips for Becoming an Invaluable Rainmaker," 10.16.15.
A consultant, writing for the Daily Business Review, provides lawyers with practical tips for generating business.

October 16, 2015

1. "Legal Departments Continue to Look Inward, Says Survey," 10.16.15.
Corporate Counsel reports on the results of the latest Thomson Reuters Legal Department In-Sourcing and Efficiency Report, results that seem to show that "legal departments are not only cutting outside counsel spending, but they are also looking inward to see where they can grow as a department and become more efficient without tapping the expertise of outside firms."

2. "Jobless Graduates Who Sued Law Schools Find Little Success in Court: Suits accusing schools of deception over job prospects have been knocked out," 10.15.15.
The Wall Street Journal reports that nearly all of the more than a dozen class action law suits that were filed against law schools alleging fraud and deception over the presentation of their law grad job statistics have been dismissed by the courts, noting that litigation continues involving two law schools but that in both cases class action status has been denied. (Subscription required.)

    a. "Courts Take Dim View of Alumni's Lawsuits Against Their Law Schools," 10.15.15.
    More on this from The Chronicle of Higher Education.

    b. "Jobless Grads Who Sued Law Schools Find More Rejection in Court," 10.15.15.
    And a little more on this from The Wall Street Journal Law Blog.

3. "Improving US Economy Means More Cross-Border M&A Activity," 10.15.15.
Corporate Counsel reports that according to a new report, cross-border merger and acquisition deals are going strong this year and driving overall deal activity, with $2.91 trillion in deal value logged already this year.

4. "Women Now Lead Men in College Attainment," 10.14.15.
Inside Higher Ed reports that "for the first time in the 75 years that the US Census Bureau has tracked college attainment, women are more likely than men to have a bachelor's degree."

5. "Firms Pledge Nearly $2 Million for New 'Low Bono' Effort," 10.14.15.
The American Lawyer reports that nineteen major law firms have pledged $1.9 million to help launch a low bono project that will hire new law school graduates to provide legal services to New York City area residents with modest means.

    a. "New project will hire and train lawyers to serve moderate-means New Yorkers," 10.15.15.
    More on this from the ABA Journal.

6. "Texas Law Schools Fire Back at Graduates' Suit," 10.14.15.
The National Law Journal reports that motions to dismiss have been filed by both law schools in a lawsuit brought by 32 Wesleyan University School of Law graduates who argue that they were disavowed as alumni by Texas A&M after it acquired Texas Wesleyan Law in 2013.

7. "Greenspoon, Dickstein See Head Counts Rise and Slide," 10.14.15.
The American Lawyer parses industry data to calculate lawyer head count rise and fall across the Am Law 200 from January 1 through October 14 of this year.

    a. "These BigLaw firms gained and lost the highest percentage of lawyers this year," 10.15.15.
    And more on this from the ABA Journal.

8. "Citi Report Finds Law Firm Leaders' Confidence on the Wane," 10.13.15.
The American Lawyer reports that according to the latest survey results from Citi Private Bank's Law Firm Group, the confidence of law firm managing partners in economic and legal industry growth has fallen for the third straight quarter, while at the same time they are still predicting growth in revenue, profits, and associate hiring.

9. "Spending in Law Departments is Rising, But the Money Isn't Going to Law Firms," 10.13.15.
Bloomberg BNA reports that according to the results of the latest HBR Consulting 2015 Law Department Survey, the overall total legal spend of in-house departments is up but the spend on outside counsel is flat as law departments continue to aggressively manage costs and grow their internal operations.

10. "Firms Hiring Nonattorneys for More Specialized Roles," 10.13.15.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that while law firm support staff hiring has generally decreased, there has been an increase in the hiring of nonattorneys with specialized skills such as marketing, business development, administration, and industry specific expertise.

11. "Does law school's 'critical mass' policy amount to segregation? Dean says it combats stereotypes," 10.13.15.
The ABA Journal reports that the law school at the University of California at Berkeley has divided its first-year students into sections in such a way that some sections have "a critical mass" of black students and others have none, a new policy that has drawn criticism but was implemented to combat the isolation that some black students reported feeling in previous years.

12. "Diversity Fellowship Programs Are on the Rise," 10.13.15.
Bloomberg BNA reports on a new diversity fellowship program announced this week by K&L Gates and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, a program that will offer a full, three-year scholarship as well as a paid summer associate position at the firm after both the first and second years of law school.

13. "In-House Lawyer Census: More Women, Working for Less and Practicing Globally," 10.13.15.
Corporate Counsel reports that ACC's 2015 Global Census Report reveals that nearly half of in-house lawyers are women, but that they are still earning less than comparable males.

14. "Cause and Effect: How Law Department Demand Is Disrupting the Legal Profession," 10.13.15.
Corporate Counsel takes a look at the waves of innovation and disruption that are upending the supply and demand balance in the legal services market: "We have reached a tipping point wherein traditional power structures and relationships that once identified the corporate legal landscape are being overturned."

15. "The New York Law Journal Publishes its annual First-Year Associate Handbook, a special report for new associates," 10.13.15.

    a. "Mentor Relationships Provide Valuable Perspective," 10.13.15. (New York Law Journal)

    b. "Beware These Five Less Obvious Faux Pas," 10.13.15. (New York Law Journal)

    c. "Use Legal Writing as a Springboard to Success," 10.13.15. (New York Law Journal)

    d. "Social Media: Pitfalls to Avoid and Paths to Success," 10.13.15. (New York Law Journal)

    e. "Young Lawyers Can Impact Their Firm's Culture," 10.13.15. (New York Law Journal)

16. "Don't Worry, Law Firms, Your Clients Still Want You," 10.12.15.
The Wall Street Journal Law Blog looks at some of the latest survey data to be released and concludes that the decline in outside law firm hiring by corporate clients is ebbing.

17. "Four Lessons From a Failed Law School Experiment," 10.09.15.
Steven J. Harper, writing for The American Lawyer, dissects the decision at Northwestern's law school to end its six-year experiment with a two-year accelerated JD program.

18. "UGA Law Receives Big Gifts for Scholarship and Professorship," 10.09.15.
According to the Daily Report, The University of Georgia School of Law has received two major gifts totaling $1.5 million.

19. "Milberg Notifies New York of 32 Layoffs," 10.08.15.
The American Lawyer reports that Milberg will let go of 32 employees in its New York office by the end of December.

20. "3 Reasons Millennials Are Getting Fired: A backlash to Millennials' mindsets at work is causing some to get fired, Here's Why," 08.04.15.
This August article from Inc.com bubbled up on social media this week and I couldn't help myself.

October 9, 2015

1. "Chicago Law Appoints New Dean from Within," 10.08.15.
The National Law Journal reports that "University of Chicago Law School has tapped its own criminal justice scholar and law and economics professor, Thomas Miles, to be the next dean."

2. "Law Department Staffing Up, Spending Down. But Is More Going to Firms?," 10.08.15.
Corporate Counsel reports that according to survey results from HBR Consulting, "in-house legal staffing has continued to increase year over year, while outside counsel spending has remained flat."

3. "Economists See US on Cusp of 'Full' Employment," 10.08.15.
The Wall Street Journal reports that a recent survey of leading economists suggests that "the US economy is at last on the cusp of full employment after years of sluggish recovery and widespread joblessness." (Subscription required.)

4. "Why unlimited vacation is basically a no-brainer for employers," 10.08.15.
The Washington Post reports on the rise of unlimited vacation policies in the corporate world as the practice begins to take hold outside of Silicon Valley; beyond the upside of providing good will, "when employers stop doling out a set amount of vacation days, they no longer have to pay out unused days if workers quit or get laid off."

5. "Northwestern to end accelerated JD program," 10.07.15.
The ABA Journal reports that "Northwestern University School of Law is pulling the plug on its accelerated JD program," due to lower than anticipated enrollment.

6. "Judge dismisses class action suit against Florida Coastal School of Law," 10.07.15.
The ABA Journal reports that "a judge has dismissed a class action suit against a Florida law school whose alumni claimed they were misled about their job prospects after graduation."

7. "In-House Pay Perks Up, But It Depends on the Industry," 10.07.15.
Corporate Counsel reports on the latest In-House Counsel Compensation Report, conducted by Major, Lindsey & Africa, in conjunction with General Counsel Metrics, noting that "many corporate counsel are doing very well...but there are revealing variations between pay based on industry, practice area and experience."

8. "Student Debt Is Worse Than You Think," 10.07.15.
The New York Times' Upshot column takes a look behind the student loan debt data recently released by the Education Department and finds that the current default reporting system masks some of the worst problems, noting that "the loan crisis hits hardest at colleges enrolling large numbers of students from low-income backgrounds. These undergraduates have to borrow for college, then often have difficulty finding well-paying jobs after graduation — if they graduate at all."

9. "The Gender Gap Remains, Says McKinsey Report," 10.06.15.
Corporate Counsel reports that according to a new report from Lean In and McKinsey & Co., "women are still underrepresented at every level in the corporate pipeline." (You can read the report, "Women in the Workplace 2015," here. Note that this is a large PDF.)

    a. "A Racial Gap in Mentoring at Work: Black women express more ambition than whites but receive less senior-level career support, survey finds," 09.30.15.
    The Wall Street Journal also reports on the new Lean In/McKinsey report, noting that "women of color have the drive to rise through the corporate ranks, but don't always receive the boost from higher-ups that others do."

10. "2015 Could Set Record for Number of Law Firm Mergers," 10.05.15.
The American Lawyer reports on the latest Altman Weil law firm merger numbers: "Through the third quarter of 2015, 68 law firm mergers have been reported, the most ever counted at this time of year."

    a. "Law firm mergers continue at record pace," 10.07.15.
    More on this from the ABA Journal.

11. "US Adds 4,700 Legal Jobs in September," 10.02.15.
The American Lawyer reports that based on the USBLS jobs data for September, the legal services sector added 4,700 jobs for the month, for a year-over-year gain of 7,300 jobs.

12. "Growth of LawStore brand enables ABS to funnel work to panel firms," 10.02.15.
This piece from Legal Futures provides a snapshot into the retail sector legal services emerging in the UK under the new alternative business structures regime — LawStore is a UK franchise for retail legal services.

    a. "'There's nothing to stop us competing with you,' trade union ABS warns high street firms," 10.02.15.
    And this companion piece from Legal Futures takes us further into the new ABS reality, here showcasing a trade-union owned alternative business structure that is offering legal services to its 850,000 union members, but that sees its future in competing with private practice law firms.

13. "Why Are So Many Law Firms Trapped in 1995?," 10.01.15.
The Atlantic reports that US law firms have been slow to change the way they operate, but that "new technologies and increased competition are forcing the legal industry to slowly remake itself." (And the best headline of the week award goes to...)

14. "What the jobs are: New tech and client needs create a new field of legal operations," 10.01.15.
Bill Henderson writes for the cover story of the October issue of the ABA Journal on the emergence and growth of legal operations, "a multidisciplinary field where professionals collaborate to design and build systems to manage legal problems." Notes Henderson, "One of the hallmarks of a good legal tool is its ability to speed up or replace traditionally trained lawyers."

October 2, 2015

1. "Unpaid Intern Update," 10.02.15.
A Skadden partner and colleague, writing for the New York Law Journal, provide this thorough update on the law surrounding unpaid internships, including a roundup of all of the recent circuit court decisions.

2. "Perkins Loan Program, a Federal Stalwart Since 1958, Meets Its Demise," 10.01.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "the Federal Perkins Loan Program died on Wednesday, the victim of a senator who has made it his mission to simplify student aid."

3. "Learning to Live in the Moment as a Young Associate," 10.01.15.
A litigation associate, writing here for The Legal Intelligencer, offers younger lawyers advice and insight about trying to find their way in an ever-changing legal landscape.

4. "Bar Report: More Effort Needed to Retain Minorities," 10.01.15.
The American Lawyer reports on the release of a new report from the New York City Bar Association, the 2014 Diversity Benchmarking report, that finds that "minorities and women continue to leave law firms in New York at a higher rate than white males," and notes that "minority representation slipped at all levels last year and the attrition of women associates actually worsened a bit." (You can find the New York City Bar's "2014 Diversity Benchmarking Report" here.)

5. "What's Holding Women Back in the Workplace?," 09.30.15.
The Wall Street Journal reports on a new study of women in the workplace conducted by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Co. "The research, which gathered data on promotions, attrition and trajectories from 118 companies and surveyed nearly 30,000 men and women, is among the largest efforts to capture attitudes and data about working women."

6. "Student-Loan Default Rates Drop Again in Latest Data, US Says," 09.30.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that according to new data released by the US Department of Education, the percentage of borrowers who defaulted on their student loans in the past three years has dropped for the second year in a row.

    a. "Default Rates Drop," 10.01.15.
    More on this from Inside Higher Ed: "The national default rate on student loans made by the government fell to 11.8 percent from 13.7 percent last year."<

    b. "In Falling Default Rates, an Incomplete Picture of Borrower Distress," 10.01.15.
    And this commentary in The Chronicle of Higher Education suggests that the falling default rates on federal student loans masks the fact that thousands of borrowers are struggling to repay their debt.<

7. "To See Future of Legal Services, Look to UK," 10.01.15.
This piece in Today's General Counsel suggests that the alternative business structures now allowed in the UK will continue to change the way legal services are delivered across the globe, including here in the US.

8. "Gender Bias at Work Turns Up in Feedback," 09.30.15.
The Wall Street Journal reports that new research suggests that women are assessed differently at work, affecting their advancement in negative ways. ("Specifically, managers are significantly more likely to critique female employees for coming on too strong, and their accomplishments are more likely than men's to be seen as the result of team, rather than individual efforts, finds new research from Stanford University's Clayman Institute for Gender Research. Those trends appear to hold up whether the boss making the assessments is male or female.")

9. "Maximize Your LinkedIn Profile," 09.30.15.
Julie Brush, writing for The Recorder, provides tips and advice for getting the most out of your LinkedIn profile.

10. "What Associates Need to Know When Changing Firms," 09.29.15.
A law firm partner and an in-house lawyer, writing here for The Recorder, provide a list of do's and don'ts for would-be lateral associates as they contemplate changing law firms.

11. "All the Wrong Career Moves, and How to Avoid Them," 09.29.15.
A reblog from Corporate Counsel on avoiding Career Limiting Moves.

12. "Recent Grads Doubt College's Worth," 09.29.15.
The Wall Street Journal reports that "recent college graduates are significantly less likely to believe their education was worth the cost compared with older alumni and one of the main reasons is student debt," according to the second annual Gallup-Purdue Index.

    a. "Just Half of Graduates Strongly Agree Their College Education Was Worth the Cost," 09.29.15.
    And The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on the new data from the Gallup-Purdue Index, noting that "younger alumni carrying student-loan debt were more negative than those without debt."<

    b. "Not Worth It?," 09.29.15.
    More on this from Inside Higher Ed: "Just half of college alumni strongly agree that their education was worth what they paid for it."<

13. "Which states had the greatest growth in lawyer population?," 09.29.15.
The ABA Journal reports on ABA data that show the growth in lawyer population by state (Florida, Utah, North Carolina, and Arizona top the list).

14. "The 2015 Global Legal Awards Winners," 09.29.15.
The American Lawyer's Global Legal Awards recognize the most significant international matters in four categories: citizenship, disputes, finance, and mergers and acquisitions.

15. "Law Schools Special Report: Staying Sane, Before and After Graduation," 09.28.15.
The National Law Journal publishes a special "how to" for students and lawyers starting their careers.

    a. "How to Clinch That 'A' and Not Lose Your Mind," 09.28.15. (National Law Journal) <

    b. "Before Going to Law School, Live Your Life," 09.28.15. (National Law Journal) <

    c. "'Soft Skills' Are What Make Good Lawyers Great," 09.28.15. (NALP's very own Beth Moeller, writing here for The National Law Journal.) <

    d. "Stressing Out in Law School Is a Matter of Choice," 09.28.15. (National Law Journal) <

16. "Network, Network, Network. And Make Friends. You'll be Better at Your Job," 09.28.15.
Corporate Counsel also offers some career advice, advocating more networking for everyone, and citing Amy Gallo's Harvard Business Review article. (See "How to Build the Social Ties You Need at Work," by Amy Gallo, Harvard Business Review, 9.23.15.)

17. "Special Report: The 2015 Global 100," 09.28.15.
According to The American Lawyer, following the turbulence of the Great Recession and its aftermath, the world's 100 top grossing law firms have settled into a pattern of slow but steady annual growth of about 4 percent.

    a. "2015 Global 100: Top-Grossing Law Firms in the World," 09.28.15.
    The American Lawyer publishes its annual ranking of the world's highest-grossing law firms. <

    b. "How Firms Are Faring in Five Emerging Global Markets," 09.28.15.
    The American Lawyer's 2015 Global 100 special report takes a look at what is happening in legal markets in China, Africa, Latin America, Russia, and the Middle East.<

    c. "The World's Best Known Law Firms," 09.30.15.
    In a related story, the American Lawyer reports that according to the 2015 Acritas Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index, Baker & McKenzie again tops the brand strength ranking, with DLA jumping two places from last year to secure the second spot on the list.<

18. "Asians to Surpass Hispanics as Largest Foreign-Born Group in US by 2055," 09.28.15.
The Wall Street Journal reports that according to a new study from the Pew Research Center, "Asian immigrants and their children will account for the lion's share of US population growth over the next 50 years." (Subscription required.)

19. "Washington experiments with more affordable legal advice," 09.27.15.
This AP wire story, picked up here by KSL.com, takes a look at what happened to the first graduates to come through the new Washington state limited license legal technician program, and whether it is likely to make an impact on providing more access to legal services for those with modest means.

20. "Survey: A Sunny Outlook For In-House Counsel Salaries," 09.25.15.
Corporate Counsel reports on the Robert Half Legal 2016 Salary Guide, noting that 2016 is likely to bring increased salaries for in-house lawyers. You can download the free salary guide here.

21. "Small Colleges' Closure Rate Could Triple by 2017, Moody's says," 09.25.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that according to a new report from Moody's, because of limited revenue growth and declining enrollment, the closure rate of small colleges is likely to triple from the rate of the past decade.

22. "A Toxic Work World," 09.18.15.
Writing for last Sunday's New York Times, Anne-Marie Slaughter jumps back into the fray arguing that the American workplace has become a toxic, hyper-competitive world that doesn't make room for care-giving, and as a result locks out women. (Her new book, Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family, is forthcoming.)

23. "Even among second-year lawyers, women earn less than men," 09.09.15.
Precedent reports on a new study of the largest firms in Canada, published by the University of Toronto, that finds even by the second year of work women are out-earned by their male colleagues by about $10,000 (Ronit Dinovitzer, the sociologist who published the study and a member of the NALP Foundation's After the JD executive coordinating committee, suggests that "the answer lies not in base salaries — which large firms often fix for junior associates — but in bonuses.")

24. "Why Bay Street has slashed nearly 50 articling jobs since 2010," 09.01.15.
Precedent takes a look at the shrinking pool of articling jobs at Toronto's largest law offices: "Outsourcing, it turns out, is a lot cheaper than paying students."

September 25, 2015

1.    "Fox Rothschild Creates Chief Privacy Officer Role," 09.25.15.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that Fox Rothschild has created a chief privacy officer role, likely only the second firm in the country to do so – this new C-Suite position will be responsible for ensuring the security and privacy of information in the law firm’s possession on behalf of clients and employees.

2.    "Is the Bar Too Low to Get Into Law School?," 09.24.15.
The New York Times’ Room for Debate forum asks the question, "Why are so many law students failing the bar exam?" A variety of players in legal education and the legal profession respond.

a.    "A Shrinking Pool, But Committed Lawyers," 09.24.15.
(Diane Downs, Akin, Gump, Strause, Hauer & Feld LLP)

b.    "The American Bar Association Should Create a More Meaningful Bar Exam," 09.24.15.
(Deborah Jones Merritt, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law)

c.     "Law Schools Need to Better Prepare Their Students," 09.24.15.
(Linda Sheryl Greene, the University of Wisconsin Law School)

d.    "Incoming Law Students Have Weaker Exam Credentials," 09.24.15.
(Jerome Organ, University of St. Thomas School of Law)

e.    "The Bar Exam Is Not the Best Test of a Good Lawyer," 09.24.15.
(Nicholas Allard, Brooklyn Law School)

3.    "Eliminating the Gender Gap at the Trial Counsel Table," 09.24.15.
The Young Lawyer Editorial Board for The Legal Intelligencer, drawing on a new study published by the ABA, "First Chairs at Trial: More Women Need Seats at the Table," calls on law firms, law schools, clients, and the judiciary to actively work to close this gap.

4.    "’Prudent innovation’ at William Mitchell: Extending the reach of learning," 09.24.15.
More this week from Paul Lippe in the ABA Journal on prudent innovation in legal education, highlighting here the distance learning experiment happening at William Mitchell College of Law.

5.    "Chadbourne & Parke, Pillsbury Winthrop Talking Tie-Up," 09.23.15.
The American Lawyer reports that Chadbourne & Parke and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman are once again actively talking about a potential merger.

6.    "More Firms Make Room for Women through OnRamp Fellowship," 09.23.15.
The American Lawyer reports that with six new firms signing on recently, the OnRamp Fellowship – a program that helps women return to Big Law after taking time away – now has 25 law firms involved in the program, as well as an in-house legal department and a corporate compliance group at a large bank.

7.    "Professor Tanina Rostain has her students developing access-to-justice apps," 09.23.15.
The ABA Journal provides this Legal Rebels profile of Georgetown Law Professor Tanina Rostain, who teaches a course called Technology, Innovation and Legal Practice, that has "students engaged in hands-on development of apps that render areas of the justice system accessible to one and all."

8.    "Save the Practice of Law, Professionally Speaking," 09.23.15.
Two Dentons partners, writing for The Recorder, take on the declining professional reputation of lawyers and the legal profession, challenging lawyers to meet higher standards of professionalism and civility.

9.    "Campbell Law School Boosts Technology With Donation," 9.23.15.
Legaltech News reports that North Carolina’s Campbell Law School has received a gift of more than $8 million to overhaul and upgrade its technology in three teaching courtrooms.

10.  "ABA committee for third time proposes eliminating ban on academic credit for paid externships," 09.22.15.
The ABA Journal reports that the ABA Standards Review Committee "for the third time in less than two years…has proposed lifting the ban in the law school accreditation standards on students receiving academic credit for paid internships."

11.  "Education Gap Between Rich and Poor Is Growing Wider," 09.22.15.
The New York Times looks at new research that shows the achievement gaps between more affluent and less privileged children is wider than ever and growing: "Today, the proficiency gap between poor and the rich is nearly twice as large as that between black and white children."

12.  "Business Schools See Broadest Increase in Applications Since the Recession," 09.22.15.
Bloomberg Business reports that even as law school applications continue to falter, new data from the GMAC show that "traditional business school programs are experiencing the strongest level of interest from US applicants since 2009."

13.  "Law School by Design," 09.21.15.
Lorne Sossin, the Dean at Osgoode Hall Law School, writing here for SLAW, Canada’s online legal magazine, on the impact of design principles on law schools and legal education.

14.  "For New Associates, Work Seems Like School," 09.21.15.
Bloomberg BNA takes a look at new associate training and support regimes, including boot camps, mini-MBAs and other onboarding innovative programs.

15.  "Midlevel Malaise," 09.21.15.
Vivia Chen, writing for The American Lawyer, on midlevel associate malaise and angst.

16.  "New York Weighs Plan to Let Foreign Attorneys Practice Law in State," 09.21.15.
The Wall Street Journal Law Blog reports that "New York’s judiciary is considering a proposal to let foreign attorneys practice law in the state on a temporary basis." (If approved, New York would join nine other states that allow non-US attorneys to provide legal services on a limited basis.)

17.  "Adobe GC: What I Want From Outside Counsel," 09.21.15.
The Recorder talks to Adobe Systems Inc. GC Michael Dillon about what he’s looking for when he chooses a law firm and how he decides which work stay in-house and what goes outside: "I want to work with firms who run their firms as a business."

18.  "Data Analytics Transforming Legal Industry," 09.18.15.
Legaltech News reports on the delayed but inevitable transformation of the legal industry by the use of data and analytics: "the current best-use cases for legal analytics are helping to simplify and expedite the workflow around research."

19.    "Bar Exam Scores Drop to Their Lowest Point in Decades," 09.17.15.
Bloomberg Business reports that according to new data released from the National Conference of Bar Examiners, results of the most recent July test show results falling to a level not seen since 1988.

a.    "Scores on this Year’s Bar Exam May be the Worst in Decades," 09.18.15.
More on this from The Wall Street Journal Law Blog: "the national mean score on the standardized multiple choice section of the bar exam administered in July fell to their lowest levels in more than 25 years."

b.    "As Bar Exam Scores Continue to Plummet, Early Results Reveal Worst Performance In Decades," 09.18.15.
Above the Law weighs in with its analysis and spin, concluding on an ever positive note that "things will only continue to get worse."

c.     "Bar Passage at 27 Year Low," 09.22.15.
And The ALM’s Careerist blogger, Vivia Chen, adds her two cents: "those who will be hit the hardest are those who are least able to afford it: students suckered into going to low-ranked or non-ranked schools.

20. "36 Hours in Boston," 09.16.15.
To help us get into the mood for the NALP Annual Education Conference in Boston next April, The New York Times’ Travel section helpfully provides this enticing weekend agenda of some of that city’s most famous sights and scenes, pubs included. (Registration opens in early December!)

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