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.


Week Ending September 26, 2014

1. "$10M Gift Will Help Build ASU Law's New Phoenix Campus," 09.25.14.
The National Law Journal reports that Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law has received a gift of $10 million that will go toward the construction of the school's new downtown Phoenix campus.

2. "Law Student to Westlaw: There, I Fixed That For You," 09.25.14.
The Recorder reports that a Berkeley law student has designed and released Bestlaw, a Chrome browser extension that allows users to generate citations with one click.

3. "CUNY Law Announces Part-Time JD Program," 09.25.14.
The New York Law Journal reports that the City University of New York School of Law will begin offering a part-time JD program that will allow students to complete their degree in four years.

4. "If Unchanged, Legal Education Will Remain a Business in Decline," 09.25.14.
A provocative editorial by the Young Lawyers Editorial Board for The Legal Intelligencer, arguing that law schools have failed to adapt their business and education models quickly enough to continue to thrive (and maybe even to survive).

5. "US College Enrollment Drops for 2nd Year in a Row Census Bureau Reports," 09.25.14.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that according to new Census Bureau data, overall college enrollment has dropped ten percent over the last two years.

6. "As Law School Struggles to Stay Open, Some See 'a Canary in the Coal Mine'," 09.24.14.
The Chronicle of Higher Education suggests that the financial crisis facing Thomas Jefferson School of Law may portend the future of things to come for other law schools struggling to make financial ends meet in an environment of dramatically declining law school enrollment. (Subscription required.)

7. "Law school gets $759K federal agriculture grant," 09.24.14.
Vermont Law School has received a grant of $759,000 from the US Department of Agriculture that will fund a three-year partnership between the school's Center for Agriculture and Food Systems and the USDA's National Agriculture Library.

8. "Dear Associate: Resist the Temptation to Be Nasty," 09.24.14.
A law firm partner, writing for the Daily Report, has advice on civility for young associates.

9. "Six Steps to Extraordinary Communication Skills," 09.24.14.
A consultant writing for the New Jersey Law Journal provides advice about effective professional communication for lawyers.

10. "Solving legal problems will take multidisciplinary help, says Richard Susskind," 09.23.14.
The ABA Journal reports on remarks made by author Richard Susskind at the Clio Cloud Conference 2014 this week, where he told participants that in the future business's legal problems will have to be solved by teams of multi-disciplinary professionals of which lawyers make up just a part.

11. "Life After Law School: An Intern-Associate Interview," 09.23.14.
In this Legal Intelligencer feature, a third-year law student asks a third-year associate questions about success.

12. "Veteran Law Deans To Step Down at Buffalo, Tulsa," 09.23.14.
The National Law Journal reports that Deans at the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School and the University of Tulsa College of Law have announced plans to step down.

13. "Law Schools Continue to Build Out: New facilities designed with an eye on the future," 09.22.14.
The National Law Journal reports that despite the slowdown in law school enrollment, US law schools continue to plan and open large new state of the art law centers.

14. "In-house Counsel Head Back to School at Colorado Law," 09.22.14.
Corporate Counsel profiles the University of Colorado Law School's Corporate Counsel Intensive Institute, a program that "will provide in-house attorneys...an immersive opportunity to learn about legal department best practices from seven Fortune 500 in-house leaders."

15. "Blacks and LGBT's (More than Women) Want to Be Leaders," 09.22.14.
ALM's The Careerist blogger Vivia Chen writes about new survey results from the job site Career Builder that show "women have the least desire to pursue leadership positions compared to minorities, gays and the disabled."

16. "Bingham, Morgan Lewis Strike Tentative Deal to Merge," 09.21.14.
The Am Law Daily reports that "Bingham McCutchen's management has announced to its partnership a plan to merge with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius."

    a. "Morgan Lewis Merger With Bingham a 'Strategic Change'," 09.23.14.
    The Legal Intelligencer reports that the proposed merger with Bingham would be a departure for Morgan, a firm that has grown by acquiring small groups of lawyers from other law firms.

17. "In Tough Times, Law Schools Focus on Jobs, Skills Training," 09.19.14.
The Recorder spoke with leaders at a variety of California law schools to find out what they are doing to cope with the crises facing legal education, noting that "schools are simultaneously under pressure to offer new programs and cut the cost of attendance."



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.



Week Ending September 19, 2014

1. “Legal Diversity Council’s Efforts Showing Promise,” 09.18.14.
The National Law Journal reports that new survey research seems to confirm that the programs of the Leadership Council for Legal Diversity are making a difference in reducing attrition among diverse associates and increasing the trajectory of their career paths.

2. “Drexel Renames Law School After Kline Donates $50 Mil,” 09.18.14.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that “Drexel University’s law school is to be renamed the Thomas R. Kline School of Law in honor of the Philadelphia litigator’s $50 million donation to the university.”

3. “Three Steps for Finding an Ideal Job Fresh Out of Law School,” 09.18.14.
An associate in Pittsburgh, writing here for the Legal Intelligencer, provides job-seeking advice for new law school graduates.

4. “So Your College Offers Students an ‘Employment Guarantee’?,” 09.18.14.
The Chronicle of Higher Education takes a look at the growing practice among undergraduate schools that are marketing their colleges with an ‘employment guarantee’: “A closer look reveals that such guarantees are largely a way to motivate students to make themselves more employable. To qualify for the guarantee’s benefits, students often must observe a long list of requirements, such as participating in a career-planning program, holding internships, or earning certain grades.”

5. “Orrick Hires Five Former Supreme Court Clerks,” 09.17.14.
The Supreme Court Brief reports that Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has hired five US Supreme Court clerks into its growing Supreme Court and appellate practice.

6. “Law school misses bond payment, seeks to restructure obligations,” 09.17.14.
The ABA Journal reports that Thomas Jefferson School of Law has defaulted on its $133 million debt.

    a. “A Troubled Law School,” 09.19.14. More on Thomas Jefferson’s financial problems from Inside Higher Ed, detailing the debts the law school has accumulated.

7. “Bingham Loses Bulk of London, Frankfurt Office to Akin,” 09.17.14.
The Am Law Daily reports that Bingham has lost 22 partners from its London, Frankfurt, and Hong Kong offices to Akin Gump.

8. “Why You Should Consider Associates to be ‘Partners in Training’,” 09.17.14.
A big law associate, writing here for the Daily Report, offers both partners and associates advice for ensuring that associate careers thrive.

9. “Firm Size a Driver in Higher Billing Rates, Report Finds,” 09.16.14.
The New York Law Journal reports that according to new survey research, “law firm size is the most influential factor in determining attorney billing rates.”

10. “Bringing ‘Moneyball’ Stats to Employment Strategy,” 09.16.14.
Corporate Counsel looks at the pros and cons of applying a Moneyball statistical methodology to professional services hiring.

11. “Ohio Law School Cuts Tuition to Stay Competitive,” 09.16.14.
The Daily Report reports that the University of Toledo’s law school has announced that it will cut in-state tuition by thirteen percent in order to stay competitive in an environment where law school application volume continues to shrink.

12. “Should partners lose their couches and corner offices? Paul Hastings considers changes,” 09.16.14.
The ABA Journal reports that “Paul Hastings plans to shrink its Manhattan office space by about 25 percent when it moves into a new location in 2016, despite plans to add lawyers to its roster.”

13. “Choate Hall, Foley Hoag Bask in Summer Associate Glow,” 09.15.14.
The American Lawyer has released the results of its annual Summer Associates Survey (3,645 summer associates from 135 firms completed the survey).

14. “Falling Down: Florida Law School Applications Tanking,” 09.15.14.
The Daily Business Review reports that applications are down at most Florida law schools, even as some schools resort to Candy Crush to try to find new applicants.

15. “University of Maryland Puts Science in Law Program: Francis King Carey School of Law will start a new Masters of Science in Law program next year,” 09.15.14.
Law Technology News reports that the law school at the University of Maryland will begin offering a new MSL program for non-lawyers that will focus on three areas of study – health care law, environmental law, and crisis management.

16. “Valley Is Peak for Partner Compensation,” 09.15.14.
The Recorder reports that “partners in Silicon Valley are the highest-paid in the nation, with partners in the region reporting an average total compensation of $1,167 million in 2013.”

17. “$3M Gift Means Growth for Case Western’s IP Law Center,” 09.15.14.
The National Law Journal reports that Case Western Reserve University School of Law has received a $3 million gift that will support its intellectual property law center.

18. “Xerox legal ‘leans’ on law firms for diversity statistics,” 09.15.14.
Canadian Lawyer Magazine reports on remarks made by Xerox GC Don Liu at the law school at the University of Toronto, where Liu talked about the diversity survey completion that Xerox requires of its outside counsel and noted the consequences for failure to meet diversity benchmarks.

19. “Pay Gap Increases Between Equity and Nonequity Partners,” 09.15.14.
The Am Law Daily reports that according to new research by Major, Lindsey & Africa, “the compensation gap between equity partners and nonequity partners at the nation’s largest law firms is growing.”

20. “Tips for Successfully Launching Your Legal Career,” 09.15.14.
Law Practice Today provides some good advice for entry-level associates.

21. “Law Firms Face New Competition – Their Own Clients,” 09.15.14.
The Wall Street Journal Law Blog reports that many companies are cutting back on their use of outside law firms, and instead are growing the talent pool in their own offices to allow them to handle more matters internally.

22. “Singapore Law Students to Face Tough Job Market,” 09.15.14.
The Asian Lawyer reports that law schools in Singapore will soon be producing too many lawyers for the limited legal job market in Singapore.

23. “Law Firm, Chase Bank Join Forces on Trainee Program,” 09.14.14.
The Wall Street Journal reports on a joint venture between the law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, and its client JP Morgan Chase, to train young associates is a collaborative variation on the traditional secondment.

24. “Law Firm Tech Spending Up,” 09.12.14.
Law Technology News reports that a joint survey from ILTA and InsideLegal shows that tech spending is up at both large and small law firms.

25. “A Bingham-Morgan Merger Would Be Big in California,” 09.12.14.
The Recorder speculates on a potential merger between Bingham and Morgan Lewis, “a combined firm that would instantly be a major player in the California legal market.”

26. “Young Households Are Losing Ground in Income, Despite Education,” 09.12.14.
The New York Times reports that new research from the Federal Reserve Board shows that median family income is falling in inflation-adjusted dollars and the differential between those with higher education and those without is shrinking.

27. “Student Loans, Moral Hazard and a Law School Mess,” 09.11.14.
Steven J. Harper, writing for the Am Law Daily, discourses on the naked politics behind Congressional gridlock on student loan issues and the particular moral hazard fazing law schools as a result.

28. “Schooled, Indebt, Struggling & Broke: There Are Too Many Lawyers. What’s One Law School Dean to Do?” 09.09.14.
SF Weekly provides a fascinating look at one dean’s struggle to meet the challenges of running a law school in the new normal. (Dean Wu fans this is for you.)



Week Ending September 12, 2014

1. "Student-Loan Debt Skyrockets for Elderly, Government Report Says," 09.11.14.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that according to a new report released by the Government Accountability Office, the amount of student loan debt held by older Americans has increased sixfold in less than a decade.

    a. "Senior (Citizen) Student Debt Rising," 09.11.14.
    Inside Higher Ed also reports on the new report documenting ballooning student loan debt for Americans past retirement age, noting that both the default rate and interest rates are higher for loans held by this group.

2. "Get It Right the First Time: Making a Good Impression," 09.11.14.
A law firm associate, writing here for The Legal Intelligencer, offers advice for those lawyers who are just starting their first jobs with a law firm.

3. "Ribbon-Cutting for Syracuse Law's New Building," 09.11.14.
The National Law Journal reports that Syracuse University has opened a new 200,000 square foot, $90 million law center that brings all of the law school's functions under one roof in a "state-of-the-art learning environment."

4. "Locke Lord, Edwards Wildman Sign Letter of Intent to Merge," 09.10.14.
The Am Law Daily reports that Locke Lord and Edwards Wildman Palmer have agreed to merge, creating a new firm that is expected to have 1,076 lawyers in 23 cities with combined gross revenues of $675 million.

    a. "Locke Lord, Edwards Wildman Leaders Discuss Proposed Union," 09.10.14.
    The Am Law Daily talks to the leaders of the merging law firms.

    b. "Law firms Locke Lord, Edward Wildman ink plans to merge," 09.10.14.
    More on this from Reuters: "In the latest sign of the consolidation hitting the US legal industry, two law firms that are among the 100 largest in the United States said Wednesday they have drawn up plans to merge."

5. "Iowa Supreme Court Declines to Waive Bar Examination," 09.10.14.
The National Law Journal reports that "the Iowa Supreme Court has rejected a proposal to extend a 'diploma privilege' that would allow graduates of the state's two law schools to practice without having to pass the test."

    a. "Iowa won't end bar exam for state law grads but considers scheduling test during 3L year," 09.08.14.
    The ABA Journal reports that while the Iowa Supreme Court declined to waive the bar exam for in-state law grads, it will take up several other questions, including "whether law students should be able to take the exam in their third year of school, and whether the state should adopt the Uniform Bar Examination, which is accepted in 14 states."

6. "A Simple Equation: More Education = More Income," 09.10.14.
This New York Times 'Economy' column argues that our overall economic prospects would improve if we closed our education gaps, noting that the US trails nearly all other industrialized nations when it comes to educational equality.

7. "10 Reasons You Won't Get Hired," 09.10.14.
A consultant and career coach, writing for The Recorder, provides ten reasons that many aspiring lawyers or career-changing lawyers don't get hired (hint, it is not for a lack of available jobs).

8. "Associates, Here's What You Need to Know to Serve Yourselves Best," 09.10.14.
A law firm partner, writing for the Daily Report, offers advice for incoming associates.

9. "Attorneys who can address clients' operational problems as well as their legal ones have an edge," 09.10.14.
Nicole Bradick, writing for the ABA Journal's Legal Rebels series, argues that modern lawyers can provide competitive differentiation by becoming knowledgeable about their client's management related problems and how to solve them.

10. "Student-Loan Forgiveness Programs Encourage Borrowers to Take On More Debt, Report Says," 09.10.14.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on new research that asserts that the federal income-based loan repayment program and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program have encouraged students to borrow more (students show a greater willingness to borrow when they know the debt is eligible for forgiveness because the additional costs of borrowing more money are negligible to them) and that in turn has "allow[ed] institutions to charge higher tuitions, especially for certain programs, like health care, social work, education, and government, where borrowers would go on to qualify for PSLF."

    a. "When you can max out student loans — and not have to pay it all back," 09.10.14.
    More on this from The Washington Post, noting that IBR and PSLF seem to be encouraging people going into public sector and non-profit work to borrow more heavily than is necessary for a degree without having to pay it all back.

11. "Redefining the Law Firm Career Ladder," 09.09.14.
Valerie Fontaine, writing for The Recorder, tackles the ever-morphing lattice of lawyer jobs at big law firms: "Law firms have multiple tiers of positions with different titles, duties and pay levels.... these include nonequity partner, senior counsel, of counsel, special counsel, career associates and so forth, with the title and criteria for each set by the particular firm."

12. "It Takes a Mentor," 09.09.14.
New York Times op-ed columnist Thomas Friedman reviews new research from Gallup that finds "successful students had one or more teachers who were mentors and took a real interest in their aspirations, and they had an internship related to what they were learning in school."

13. "US News college rankings: Amid predictability, some major shifts," 09.09.14.
The Washington Post reports that US News published the 30th edition of its college rankings on Tuesday.

    a. "The US News college rankings guru," 09.09.14.
    And just because it is hard to look away, here is a Washington Post interview with US News' Bob Morse.

14. "Top Colleges That Enroll Rich, Middle Class, and Poor," 09.08.14.
And just to add spice to the college rankings season, the New York Times had published its College Access Index: "We combined data on enrollment and tuition costs to measure how hard each college is trying to attract and graduate poor and middle-class students." (Here is the NYT list in descending order of "the most economically diverse top colleges.")

    a. "In 'New York Times' Ranking, Elite Colleges Are Judged on Economic Diversity," 09.09.14.
    And The Chronicle of Higher Education takes a look at the NYT new college ranking scheme.

15. "Where Are All the Law School Applicants?," 09.08.14.
This editorial from The Connecticut Law Tribune asks what the reasons are for the dramatic decline in law school applications, and concludes that a weak job market and a growing wariness about student debt were the double whammy that led to the collapse of the admissions pool.

16. "The door closes on more Toronto articling jobs," 09.08.14.
Precedent Magazine reports that the number of Bay Street law firm articling opportunities for new law school graduates has been steadily decreasing for the last six years.

17. "Dr. Silvia Hodges Silverstein, On The Evolution Of Legal Consumers," 09.08.14.
A fascinating interview in Forbes with Columbia and Fordham law prof Hodges Silverstein on how corporate legal services purchasing behaviors have changed in recent years.

18. "Alternative Structures Offer Other Visions of the Future," 09.08.14.
This New York Law Journal op-ed argues that it is time for the US to consider allowing alternative business structures to provide legal services, and warns that if the US does not move in this direction (as has the UK, Australia, the Internet, and likely soon Canada as well) then it will be at a competitive disadvantage.

19. "The Hidden Barriers Resulting From Unconscious Bias," 09.08.14.
A law firm partner and diversity committee chair, writing here for The Legal Intelligencer, tackles unconscious bias in law firms.

20. "Little Diversity Seen in Big Tech's Trial Teams," 09.05.14.
The Recorder reports that there is little racial/ethnic diversity among the outside lawyers used by Silicon Valley's big tech companies.

21. "Legal Sector Jobs Rally in Final Month of Summer," 09.05.14.
The Am Law Daily reports that the legal industry added 3,300 jobs in August, according to the latest figures released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    a. "Legal Sector Back in Positive Territory for 2014 After August Job Gain," 09.05.14.
    More on this from The Wall Street Journal Law Blog, noting "The sector has added more than 3,000 jobs since January, reaching its highest total since early 2009. Employment numbers are still well below the pre-recession record levels set in 2007."

    b. "Black unemployment is always much worse than white unemployment. But the gap depends on where you live," 09.05.14.
    The Washington Post reports that based on the latest jobs report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for blacks was more than twice that for whites in August, noting that "black unemployment has always been higher than white unemployment."



Week Ending September 5, 2014

1. "Jobs Report: US Payrolls Climb 142,000, Short of Expectations," 09.05.14.
The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that "US job growth slowed to its lowest level of the year in August."

2. "Why Colleges With a Distinct Focus Have a Hidden Advantage," 09.04.14.
The New York Times reports that according to new research, mission-driven colleges and colleges with a specific focus have a distinct advantage over generalist institutions when candidates are choosing between alternatives.

3. "For Some Graduates, College Isn't Worth the Debt: Roughly a Quarter Earn Barely More Than Those With High-School Diploma," 09.04.14.
The Wall Street Journal reports on new research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York that shows "overall, a college degree significantly boosts income."

    a. "Is a Degree Still Worth It? Yes, Researchers Say, and the Payoff Is Getting Better," 09.05.14.
    More on this, and with a better spin, from The Chronicle of Higher Education.

4. "Starting Salaries Climb 7.5 Percent for Class of 2014 Grads," 09.03.14.
NACE reports that "the overall starting salary for Class of 2014 college graduates stands at $48,707, up 7.5% from the average of $45,327 posted by the Class of 2013."

5. "Changing Law Dept. Demands Drive Law Firm Changes," 09.03.14.
Corporate Counsel reports on the latest update from Robert Half Legal's annual Future Law Office research series, Client Dynamics Driving Change in the Legal Profession, a report that indicates that corporate legal departments are becoming more aligned with business operations at many companies, a trend that is driving the growth of the use of career associates in law firms, among other things.

6. "How Much Student-Loan Debt Is Too Much," 09.03.14.
The Chronicle of Higher Education asked students, recent graduates, parents, and experts, what is the most that a student should borrow for a bachelor's degree? There were a range of responses.

7. "Penn State Dickinson Law Prepares to Fly Solo," 09.03.14.
The National Law Journal reports on Dickinson Law School's return to stand-alone status after its seven-year affiliation with Penn State.

    a. "Pa. Law School Aims for 'Practice-Ready' Lawyers," 09.04.14.
    More on the Dickinson transition from the Associated Press, published here by the AtLaw Blog via the Daily Report.

8. "What You Should (and Shouldn't) Do at Your Callback — 7 Tips," 09.03.14.
Vivia Chen, ALM's The Careerist blogger, offers some practical do's and don'ts for callback interviews.

9. "Suffolk Law Launches Legal Tech Audit," 09.03.14.
Law Technology News reports that Suffolk Law School will partner with Mitch Kowalski to launch an audit service that will allow general counsel to assess the technical skills of their outside lawyers.

10. "Suffolk law school offers buyouts to all tenured faculty," 09.02.14.
The ABA Journal reports that Suffolk University "has offered buyouts to all tenured law faculty and to law professors with renewable long-term contracts."

11. "Law Schools Boost Enrollment After Price Cuts: Some Institutions Trim Tuition Amid Dearth of New Students," 09.02.14.
The Wall Street Journal reports that a number of law schools that cut tuition substantially this year have seen a jump in first year enrollment at a time when other institutions continue to see declines.

12. "Pioneering Latina Moran Stepping Down as UCLA Law Dean," 09.02.14.
The National Law Journal reports that "Rachel Moran, dean of the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, has announced plans to step down."

13. "'Aspiring Adults Adrift'," 09.02.14.
Inside Higher Ed reports on the publication of Aspiring Adults Adrift: Tentative Transitions of College Graduates, published this week, a book that tells "the story of a generation's difficult transition to adulthood."

    a. "'Adrift' After College: How Graduates Fail," 09.02.14.
    More on this new book from The Chronicle of Higher Education: "Many recent college graduates struggle to transition into adulthood, and their alma maters must share some of the blame."

    b. "Do Americans Expect Too Much From a College Degree?," 09.02.14.
    And even more on this book from The Chronicle: "As colleges have sold themselves as economic-development vehicles, and their degrees as tickets to the middle class, the ethos of the marketplace has become their master, overshadowing their civic and intellectual purposes."

14. "US Is Urged to Curtail Alarming Dropout Rates Among Minority Men," 09.02.14.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on the publication of a new report, Advancing the Success of Boys and Men of Color in Education, that tackles the problem of Black men lagging behind their peers from other races when it comes to graduation rates from both two-year and four-year colleges. ("The report makes 11 policy recommendations aimed at better preparing and tracking students as they progress from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. In addition, it offers four that specifically relate to higher education.")

15. "Associate Morale Is High, But So Is Angst," 08.29.14.
The Recorder reports looks at the results of the Midlevel Associate Survey, released last week, and finds that while satisfaction levels are high, midlevels also report anxiety about their futures in the industry.

    a. "Midlevel Report: Who Actually Takes Their Vacation Time?," 08.28.14.
    The Am Law Daily looks at data from the Midlevel Associates Survey to identify the firms where associates report taking the most and the fewest vacation days.

16. "Welcome, Freshmen! A New Class Leads Am Law 100 Firms," 08.29.14.
The American Lawyer reports that "new leaders are beginning at nearly one in four Am Law 100 firms since January 2013."

17. "Report Finds NY Law Schools Prepared for Pro Bono Rules," 08.28.14.
The National Law Journal reports that a new report from the New York County Lawyers' Association suggests that law schools are prepared to meet the challenges presented by New York's new pro bono requirement for bar admission.



Week Ending August 29, 2014

1. "Dean of Seton Hall's Law School Stepping Down," 08.28.14.
The New Jersey Law Journal reports that longtime Seton Hall University School of Law Dean Patrick Hobbs has announced his intent to return to full-time teaching.

2. "Law Students Should be Paid for Legal Work," 08.28.14.
Mark Dubois, the President of the Connecticut Bar Association, writing here for The Connecticut Law Tribune, argues that students should be allowed to both get paid and get academic credit for the legal work they do.

3. "Job Skills Expectations Unmet," 08.28.14.
Inside Higher Ed reports on new Gallup research that shows while most college presidents think their institutions should prepare students with skills they can use in the job market, few think that their institutions actually do a good job with that task.

4. "Maximizing the Summer Associate Experience for Both Sides," 08.28.14.
A former summer associate, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, offers ten tips on summer programs for both sides.

5. "Iowa Weighs Dropping Bar Exam for In-State Law Graduates," 08.27.14.
The National Law Journal reports that "the Iowa Supreme Court is considering whether to extend the 'diploma privilege' to graduates of the University of Iowa College of Law and Drake University Law School."

6. "The 2014 Associates Survey: Midlevels Are Happy, But..." 08.27.14.
The American Lawyer publishes the results of its annual Midlevel Associates Survey, with links to features, charts and more, including "The Best Places to Work," and "Which Schools Produce the Most Satisfied Big-Firm Lawyers?"

7. "Baker & McKenzie to Open Belfast Back Office," 08.27.14.
The Am Law Daily reports that "Baker & McKenzie is opening a new back-office operation in Belfast, Northern Ireland next month that will house 200-250 employees." (Baker & McKenzie is one of several international firms to open offices in Belfast recently.)

8. "ABA Wants to Make Pro Bono Easier for In-house Lawyers," 08.27.14.
Corporate Counsel reports that the ABA House of Delegates has "adopted a resolution...asking appellate courts around the country to allow in-house counsel to provide pro bono services in the jurisdiction where they work, whether or not they are licensed in that [jurisdiction]."

9. "Overhauling the Law Firm Model: Think Big, Act Small," 08.26.14.
Corporate Counsel reports on the evolution and success of the Summit Law Group, a 1997 value-driven, customer-centric start-up law firm that has become the model for other such endeavors.

10. "What Freshmen (Don't) Know," 08.26.14.
Inside Higher Ed reports that Beloit College has released its annual "freshman mindset list" for a class whose first weeks of kindergarten were interrupted by planes crashing into the World Trade Center buildings. (You can read the 2018 list here.)

    a. "College Freshmen Never Age (and 3 More Surprising Things About the Passage of Time)," 08.27.14.
    More on the Beloit Mindset List from The Chronicle of Higher Education.

11. "The college majors most and least likely to lead to underemployment," 08.26.14.
The Washington Post reports on the college majors most and least likely to lead to underemployment based on new research from PayScale.

12. "Competition Spurs Firms to Eye Starting Salary Increases," 08.26.14.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that "first-year associate salaries are on the rise at some Pennsylvania firms with at least one firm with a presence in the state paying out $160,000 to new associates this year."

13. "Affirmative-Action Policy Is Found to Reduce Achievement Gaps," 08.26.14.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "affirmative-action policies can help motivate underrepresented minority students before they apply to college and, as a result, can help narrow achievement gaps across demographic groups," according to a new report released by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

14. "As School Year Begins, Thinking Outside the Tort," 08.25.14.
Writing for The National Law Journal, a law professor offers new 1Ls advice about which courses to take (his, of course!).

15. "Generation Later, Poor Are Still Rare at Elite Colleges," 08.25.14.
The New York Times reports that new federal research shows elite colleges are admitting roughly the same small percentage of poor students as they did a generation ago.

    a. "How Economically Diverse Is Your College? A 'New York Times' Ranking May Soon Tell," 08.29.14.
    And in a related story, The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that The New York Times "plans to unveil a new ranking of colleges and universities based on their ability to attract underprivileged kids."

16. "Real Estate Roundup: Big Firms Move to Smaller Spaces," 08.25.14.
The Am Law Daily reports that "law firms are trading down in square footage per attorney when they take out new leases, and increasingly are looking for flexible, more economical spaces in line with the corporate clients they serve."

17. "Utah Law Selects Interim Dean for Top Spot," 08.25.14.
The University of Utah SJ Quinney College of Law has named its interim dean, Robert Adler, as the new permanent dean of the law school.

18. "Applications to Georgia Law Schools Fall from 2013," 08.25.14.
The Daily Report says law school applications for the entering fall class dropped at all five of Georgia's law schools, though they dropped at some more than others.

19. "8,500 residents. 12 attorneys: America's rural lawyer shortage," 08.25.14.
The Washington Post reports on the Nebraska Bar Association's new Rural Practice Loan Repayment Assistance program, designed to persuade new law graduates to work in counties with populations of less than 15,000.

    a. "Nebraska readies debt relief program for law grads practicing in rural areas; 2L learns the ropes," 08.26.14.
    More on this from the ABA Journal.

20. "Quinnipiac University Open New Law School Building," 08.25.14.
The Connecticut Law Tribune reports that Quinnipiac has opened a new $50 million state-of-the-art Law Center in North Haven, Connecticut.

21. "Job market unkind to incoming attorneys," 08.24.14.
TribLive News from Pittsburgh reports on the state of the entry-level legal job market in that city.

22. "Stanford Law School's Stephanie Kimbro," 08.22.14.
In an interview with The Recorder, a fellow in Stanford Law School's Center on the Legal Profession talks about the rapid evolution of the online delivery of legal services.

23. "Is There a Gender Gap in the Law?," 08.21.14.
The Legal Ease blog shares some fun infographics from Washington University School of Law that address the current state of women in the law.

24. "How a Part-Time Pay Penalty Hits Working Mothers," 08.21.14.
The New York Times reports on new research from a Harvard economist that shows that the part-time pay penalty hits women harder than it does men.



Week Ending August 22, 2014

1. "NYT's 'Deal Professor' Joins Berkeley Law School," 08.21.14.
As the new school year gets underway, The Recorder reports on the latest dean and faculty shuffling at Berkeley and other Bay Area law schools.

2. "Reed Smith Bumps First Year Pay to $160,000," 08.20.14.
The New York Law Journal reports that Reed Smith has announced it will raise first-year associate salaries to $160,000 in its Manhattan office.

3. "Majority of Seniors Use Social Media in Their Job Searches," 08.2014.
NACE reports that recent survey results show 58% of graduating seniors from the Class of 2014 actively used social networking technologies as part of their job searches (up from just 37% in 2010).

4. "Law School Begins: Here's A Message to the New Crop of 1L's," 08.19.14.
A law professor writing for Forbes offers some sobering advice for the members of the Class of 2017.

5. "The Case for Undergraduate Law Degrees," 08.18.14.
A law professor at the University of Arizona, writing for The Chronicle of Higher Education, argues the case for law schools offering undergraduate degrees.

6. "Tech test could give law firms an incentive to make efficiency gains," 08.18.14.
This ABA Journal Legal Rebels piece argues that law firms need to do much more technical training to make their lawyers truly tech-savvy.

7. "Interns Thrive in 'Boot Camp': Colorado Law trains them in tech business basics," 08.18.14.
The National Law Journal reports on Colorado Law's Tech Lawyer Accelerator, which is designed to teach business skills and technology fundamentals before students begin internships at technology firms.

8. "To Kill or Not to Kill All the Lawyers? That Is the Question," 08.18.14.
The Wall Street Journal takes a look at this famous line from Shakespeare, noting that notwithstanding Shakespeare's intent, which was to portray lawyers as the guardians of the rule of law, the line is a perennial thorn for a troubled profession and some lawyers are awfully worked up about that.

9. "Diversity Scorecard: LGBT Lawyers at Big Law Firms," 08.18.14.
The Am Law Daily reports on the results of its annual survey of law firms, listing the 22 firms that have the most self-reported LGBT lawyers among the Am Law 200.

10. "Cooley law school confirms layoffs, but not numbers," 08.18.14.
The ABA Journal reports that an unknown number of faculty and staff from the Michigan Campus of Western Michigan University Cooley Law School have been laid off.

11. "The Future of the Legal Profession in Canada," 08.18.14.
Law Technology News reports on last week's release of the Canadian Bar Association's report on the future of the legal profession in Canada.

12. "Columbia Law Given $3.5M for Climate Law Center," 08.18.14.
The National Law Journal reports that "Columbia Law School has received a $3.5 million gift from the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation to bolster its Center for Climate Change Law."

13. "Law Schools," 08.18.14.
The New York Law Journal publishes its annual Special Report for Law Schools:

    a. "Basic Rules for OCI and Summer Associate Programs," 08.18.14.
    The New York Law Journal offers advice for summer associates and those beginning the interview process.

    b. "I did Everything Right...Where's My Job?," 08.18.14.
    NALP member Jill Backer, writing here for the NYLJ special law school report, offers advice for law students and lawyers who are looking for jobs.

    c. "Finding 'Success': A New Equilibrium in the BigLaw Marketplace," 08.18.14.
    Law firm hiring partners, writing for the New York Law Journal, explore the ways that legal career paths are changing, and what it means for both lawyers and large law firms.

    d. "A Distinguished Career Starts With Networking," 08.18.14.
    This piece in the New York Law Journal's special law school report celebrates the virtues of lifelong networking.

    e. "Reap the Benefits of a Bar Association," 08.18.14.
    The President of the New York State Bar Association, writing here for the NYLJ special report, extols the benefits of bar association membership for young lawyers.

14. "Diversity and the city's largest law firms: Boston lags the nation," 08.15.14.
The Boston Business Journal reports that law firms in Boston, where only 3.4 percent of law firm partners are minorities, are falling short in diversity efforts.

15. "Soft Job Market Nudges More Law Grads Out on Their Own," 08.15.14.
The Recorder reports on the increasing numbers of law school graduates who have started their own practice in the aftermath of the recession.

16. "In Chase for Students, UC-Davis Is Turning Heads," 08.15.14.
The Recorder reports that UC-Davis has eliminated its application fee and increased outreach efforts, and as a result has seen its applications rise almost 25 percent.

    a. "Cartoon: 1Ls Wanted," 08.21.14.
    And The Recorder takes a lighter look at UC-Davis recruiting efforts — has it really come to this?



Week Ending August 15, 2014

1. "Underemployed, With Degrees," 08.15.14.
Inside Higher Ed reports on the phenomenon of "graduates in non-graduate occupations" in Britain, as UK university graduates languish in a difficult job market.

2. "It's the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Now," 08.14.14.
The National Law Journal reports that "the largest law school in the country — the Thomas M. Cooley Law School — is now Western Michigan University Cooley Law School."

3. "Digging Through Data for the Real Story on Student Loans," 08.14.14.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the complexity of federal student loan data makes it difficult to calculate actual delinquency rates, and suggests that a recent Huffington Post article that suggests half of all student borrowers are behind in their loan payments is not exactly accurate.

4. "Legislating Better Work/Life Balance," 08.14.14.
Corporate Counsel reports that the federal government and a growing number of other jurisdictions now require that employers offer employees flexible work arrangements.

5. "The New Rankings?," 08.14.14.
Inside Higher Ed reports that LinkedIn's BigData trove is poised to replace college rankings: "LinkedIn is one of several players in a growing market...[for] aggregating data about career outcomes for prospective college students."

6. "Watershed: The CBA Futures Report," 08.14.14.
Jordan Furlong of Law21 summarizes the Canadian Bar Association's new report, "Futures: Transforming The Delivery of Legal Services In Canada." (Furlong says the report is a must read for everyone involved in the delivery of legal services in North America — Furlong provides links to the full report, the executive summary, a list of the 22 major recommendations, and to an article summarizing the report.)

    a. "Let non-lawyers own law firms: Canadian Bar Association," 08.14.14.
    And more on this from The Globe and Mail.

7. "How to Succeed in Your First Year of Practicing Law," 08.14.14.
A BigLaw associate writing for The Legal Intelligencer provides advice for those just about to join law firms.

8. "Four NY Schools Buck Trend in Declining Applications," 08.14.14.
The New York Law Journal reports that despite the national downturn in law school applications, NYU, St. John's, Syracuse, and Touro have all reported receiving more applications this year than they did in the previous application cycle.

9. "Unsolicited Advice for Law Grads in Professional No Man's Land," 08.14.14.
As advertised, some unsolicited advice for new law grads from an attorney at Carter Law Firm — a quick how-to on emailing a lawyer for an information interview.

10. "The Law-School Scam," 08.13.14.
Paul Campos pens the cover story of the September issue of The Atlantic, challenging the legitimacy of ABA-accredited for-profit law schools, which he argues continue profit by admitting large numbers of underqualified students who will never pay back their federal student loans.

11. "Citi Report: Firms See Continued Strength in Second Quarter," 08.13.14.
The Am Law Daily provides Citi's upbeat assessment of second quarter law firm financials, noting that positive territory is likely for law firm revenue growth at year end, though Citi is cautious and notes that there are headwinds.

12. "Alumni Bestow $3.25 Million Upon Indiana Law," 08.13.14.
The National Law Journal reports that "Indiana University Maurer School of Law - Bloomington has received $3.25 million from two donors to establish its first endowed chair for clinical law and a scholarship that will cover tuition for one third-year student each year."

13. "ABA Delays Action on Concordia Law's Accreditation," 08.12.14.
The National Law Journal reports that the ABA last week delayed taking any action on Concordia University School of Law's application for provisional accreditation.

14. "ABA Delegates Approve Law School Reforms," 08.11.14.
The National Law Journal reports that the ABA House of Delegates has approved the slate of proposed changes to the standards for accrediting US law schools.

    a. "Law school accreditation standards breeze through House of Delegates with minimal fuss," 08.11.14.
    More on this from the ABA Journal, noting that the House of Delegates referred one proposed change back to the Council for further consideration (Standard 305, which prohibits students from earning both credit and being paid for the same externship experience).

    b. "ABA's Legal Education Reforms Require More Skills Training and Drop Fulltime Faculty Requirement," 08.12.14.
    More on the recently-approved ABA Standards for Legal Education revisions from the Daily Report: "the biggest changes are that the ABA is placing more pressure on law schools to assess student achievement and requiring schools to give students more practical skills training."

    c. "ABA Approves Changes in Law School Accreditation," 08.13.14.
    More on this from Inside Higher Ed.

    d. "Bar Association Approves Package of Reforms for Law Schools," 08.13.14.
    And finally The Chronicle of Higher Education covers this development as well.

    e. "Let Law Students Earn While They Learn," 08.08.14.
    The Connecticut Law Tribune provides this background on why the ABA's Law Student Division opposed leaving in place a standard that prohibited students from earning both credit and pay for the same internship or externship experience.

15. "In M&A Work, Big Gains for Second-Largest Firms," 08.12.14.
Corporate Counsel reports that a new report from LexisNexis shows that the "second-largest" law firms are benefitting from the recent uptick in M&A work.

16. "Using That JD to Your Advantage," 08.12.14.
Valerie Fontaine, writing for The Recorder, takes a look at the challenges facing those just graduating from law school and provides advice about how to make the most of a JD degree in this market.

17. "ABA House urges law schools to create veterans' law clinics," 08.11.14.
In more ABA related news, the ABA Journal reports that "the ABA House of Delegates has adopted a policy urging all law schools to create veterans law clinics to ensure veterans' legal needs are met."

18. "Legal Startup Investment Is Down: Investment in legal startups is down this year after peaking at $150 million last year," 08.11.14.
Law Technology News reports that legal tech startup investments are down as investors seeks faster return on their investments.

    a. "Is The Legal Tech Boom Over? It Hasn't Even Begun," 08.12.14.
    Forbes weighs in with optimism on the future of legal tech.

    b. "The Jury Is Out On Legal Startups," 08.05.14.
    More on this from TechCrunch, where the debate first started.

19. "US Public Schools Become Majority Minority," 08.11.14.
Inside Higher Ed reports that "this year, for the first time, a majority of students in the US public schools will not be white."

20. "Diversity Initiatives Critical in Opening Doors of Opportunity," 08.11.14.
An out LGBT lawyer, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, talks about the importance of diversity initiatives in supporting diverse lawyers of all kinds.

21. "Task force on legal-ed financing mulls causes of rising tuition at its first-ever public hearing," 08.10.14.
The ABA Journal reports that the new ABA Task Force on the Financing of Legal Education held public hearings in Boston last week.

22. "Hastings Grad Sues Maker of Bar Exam Software," 08.08.14.
The Recorder reports that a third class action law suit has been filed against ExamSoft after the bar exam snafu, this one in the US District Court for the Northern District of California (previous suits were filed in Northern Illinois and Eastern Washington).

    a. "Suits Filed Over Bar Exam Technical Malfunctions," 08.13.14.
    Inside Higher Ed provides an update on this matter.

    b. "Texas Bar of Law Examiners to test takers: No risks, expect grades," 08.11.14.
    Texas Lawyer reports that the Texas Board of Bar Examiners has confirmed that all of the exams from Texas bar candidates were eventually successfully uploaded, despite problems caused by the ExamSoft software.

23. "Martindale, a Nolo Company," 08.08.14.
From Real Lawyers Have Blogs comes this somewhat cryptic obituary for Martindale Hubbell: "Lawyers for over one hundred years knew Martindale-Hubbell as the preeminent legal directory for finding good lawyers and law firms....In approximately 15 years with the advancing Internet the publication and its website, as lawyers knew it, has basically disappeared."


Week Ending August 8, 2014

1. "Texas Bar Restricts Non-Lawyer Job Titles: The Texas Bar Professional Ethics Committee bans law firm titles with 'officer' and 'principal' for non-lawyers," 08.07.14.
Law Technology News brings us this update on the controversy brewing in Texas over C-Suite job titles.

2. "Case Western Puts Off Search for Permanent Dean," 08.07.14.
The National Law Journal reports that Case Western University School of Law has postponed its search for a new dean for at least a year, during which time the interim dean team of Jessica Berg and Michael Scharf will continue to lead the school.

3. "Texas Ruling Is Called Threat to Efforts to Move Beyond Race in Admissions," 08.07.14.
The Chronicle of Higher Education takes a look at some of the arguments in the briefs being filed in support of a request that the Fifth Circuit's most recent decision in the Fisher case be overturned.

    a. "Why Schools Still Need Affirmative Action: Until campus populations more closely reflect the public at large, social inequality will persist," 08.04.14.
    The President of the University of Texas at Austin, writing here for The National Law Journal, provides his perspective on Fisher, and why he thinks the Fifth Circuit got it right this time.

4. "Is Student Debt Harmful to Your Health? A New Study Raises the Possibility," 08.07.14.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "college students who borrow large sums of money are not just more likely to struggle financially; they're also more likely to report worse health and a lesser sense of purpose, even decades after they graduate."

5. "Student Lawyers Get in on the Intellectual Property Boom," 08.06.14.
The Wall Street Journal Law Blog reports that as a result of the ongoing boom in legal work surrounding technology disputes, "the US Patent and Trademark Office has expanded its legal clinic programs — where supervised students practice intellectual property law before the USPTO — to include another 19 law schools, or 45 in total."

6. "Calif.'s Racial-Preferences Ban Sharply Cut Black Admissions at Law Schools," 08.05.14.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on a new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research that estimates that "California's 1996 ban on race-conscious college admissions reduced by half black admission rates at two of the state's top law schools."

    a. "How Berkeley and UCLA Law Schools Responded to Ban on Affirmative Action," 08.05.14.
    More on this from Inside Higher Ed: "the study suggests that the UC law schools have minimized the loss of black students by placing greater emphasis in admissions on race-neutral factors (such as economic disadvantage) that apply to many black applicants."

7. "Once a Critic, New law Dean Now a Champion of Cornell," 08.05.14.
The New York Law Journal introduces Eduardo Peñalver, the new dean of Cornell Law School.

8. "ExamSoft Sued In Illinois," 08.05.14.
Above the Law reports on the inevitable — a class action has been filed against ExamSoft in Illinois after their technology "glitch" caused hundreds (thousands?) of bar exam test-takers to be unable to upload their completed essay exams on time.

    a. "Angry Bar Candidates Sue Over Exam Software Problems," 08.06.14.
    And more on this from The National Law Journal as this story develops — class actions have now been filed in both Illinois and the state of Washington.

9. "Are Courses Outdated? MIT Considers Offering 'Modules' Instead," 08.05.14.
In a sign of things to come, The Chronicle of Higher Education delivers news of a new report from MIT that suggests that courses and classes are perhaps an outdated idea in higher education: "The report imagines a world in which students can take online courses they assemble themselves from parts they find online. Much like a playlist on iTunes, a student could pick and choose the elements of a calculus or a biology course offered across the edX platform to meet his or her needs."

10. "NALP's Fuzzy Definition of 'JD Advantage'," 08.05.14.
Matt Leichter bashes NALP in the Am Law Daily and gets his facts all wrong.

11. "Emerging Technology Shapes Future of Law," 08.04.14.
The American Lawyer looks at some of the many ways that technology is poised to further change the legal services industry.

12. "Don't Send Your Kid to the Ivy League: The nation's top colleges are turning our kids into zombies," 08.04.14.
The cover story of this week's New Republic, by William Deresiewicz, is getting all kinds of attention: "Our system of elite education manufactures young people who are smart and talented and driven, yes, but also anxious, timid, and lost, with little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose: trapped in a bubble of privilege, heading meekly in the same direction, great at what they're doing but with no idea why they're doing it." (This article first appeared online on July 21.)

13. "Idaho Supreme Court Rejects Waiver for Concordia Law," 08.04.14.
The National Law Journal reports that "the Idaho Supreme Court has rejected a waiver that would have allowed Concordia University School of Law's inaugural class to sit for the state bar examination before the school wins provisional accreditation from the American Bar Association."

14. "This Is Law School? Socrates Takes a Back Seat to Business and Tech," 08.01.14.
The New York Times explores some of the ways that legal education is changing, with some schools putting a greater emphasis on business and technology, and on advising entrepreneurs and startups.

15. "Legal Education Due For a Makeover: ABA's House of Delegates prepares to vote on a sweeping revision of its accreditation standards," 08.04.14.
The National Law Journal reports that on Monday the ABA House of Delegates will vote on the long-coming revisions to the standards that govern US law school accreditation during the ABA Annual Meeting in Boston.

16. "Summertime Blues: 200 Legal Sector Jobs Erased in July," 08.01.14.
The Am Law Daily parses the USBLS figures for July and reports that the legal sector is down 200 jobs for the month, and 800 for the year, though employment figures remain higher than they were at this time last year.

    a. "Legal Services Sector Remains Sluggish, Shedding 200 Jobs in July," 08.01.14.
    And more on this from The Wall Street Journal Law Blog: "The latest total figure is 44,100 short of the 10-year high of 1,180,000 set in May 2007 before the recession."

17. "Akron Law's New Dean Has International Experience," 07.31.14.
The National Law Journal reports that Matthew Wilson has been named dean of the University of Akron School of Law.

18. "Fun With Summer Associates: Firms and Their Perks," 07.31.14.
The Am Law Daily takes a look at 2014 summer associate outings from around the country (it isn't the glory days but Linklaters still flies its summer associates to London).

19. "Christian University in Canada Wages Lonely Battle for a Law School," 07.28.14.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on the battle being waged in Canada over Trinity Western University's bid to open a law school that would require all students, professors, and staff members to sign a covenant to uphold socially conservative beliefs, including a biblical view of marriage as between one man and one woman; the university has faced numerous legal and political challenges. (Subscription required.)



Week Ending August 1, 2014

1. "Latest legal victory has LegalZoom poised for growth," 08.01.14.
The ABA Journal reports that based on a recent legal win in South Carolina, "LegalZoom...is poised to significantly broaden the range of services it offers consumers and small businesses."

2. "Texas Wesleyan Law Grads Want Aggie Status, File Complaint With ABA," 07.31.14.
Texas Lawyer reports that "a dozen graduates of Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, unhappy with how Texas A&M University has treated them since it acquired the law school in 2013, have lodged a complaint with the American Bar Association."

3. "Families Borrow Less for College: More Income, Savings Are Used to Cover Costs, Survey Finds," 07.31.14.
The Wall Street Journal reports that according to new survey results from Sallie Mae, "American families are relying more on their income and savings — and less on loans — to pay for college." (Subscription required.)

4. "Disruption, eruption or interruption: 3 views of change in law," 07.31.14.
Always thoughtful writing from Paul Lippe in the ABA Journal Legal Rebels space, here asking whether law firms are more like Westin Hotels or the now defunct Kodak.

5. "Appeal in Texas Affirmative-Action Case Says Judges Disobeyed Supreme Court," 07.30.14.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that lawyers for the plaintiff in the Texas affirmative action case have filed an en banc appeal with the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, challenging the merits of the three-judge ruling issued two week.

6. "The Lawyer's Apprentice: How to Learn the Law Without Law School," 07.30.14.
The New York Times reports on the handful of jurisdictions, including California, Virginia, Vermont and Washington, that still allow apprenticeships in lieu of a law degree as a prerequisite to taking the bar exam.

7. "Pedigree Still Matters to Prospective Law Students," 07.30.14.
The National Law Journal reports on new survey data from Kaplan that suggests "nearly 40% [of prelaw students] would choose a top-tier law school at full cost rather than a less prestigious institution offering a scholarship."

8. "The Biggest Bar Exam Disaster Ever? ExamSoft Makes Everyone's Life Hard," 07.29.14.
Above the Law breaks the story about the technology fail that prohibited bar exam candidates across the country from electronically submitting the essay portion of their exams on Tuesday after they had completed writing them.

    a. "Technical Glitch Delays Bar Exam Submissions," 07.31.14.
    The New York Law Journal reports that a technology glitch at a company that charges bar examinees $100 in order to use secure software on their personal laptops for the bar exam essays created a delay of up to six hours as candidates tried to submit their exam results; many jurisdictions had to extend their exam submission deadlines as a result.

    b. "Barmageddon? Bar exam takers in multiple states can't upload tests; deadlines extended," 07.30.14.
    More on this from the ABA Journal.

    c. "Bar Exam Technology Disaster," 07.30.14.
    And even more on this from Inside Higher Ed.

9. "At Bingham, Big Guarantees Raise More Questions," 07.29.14.
The Am Law Daily reports that Bingham's five-year old merger with McKee Nelson resulted in partner pay guarantees that are now haunting the firm and contributing to its revenue struggles.

10. "The Only Job With an Industry Devoted to Helping People Quit," 07.29.14.
A former BigLaw associate writing for The Atlantic takes a look at the downside to getting a job with a big law firm without having put much forethought into it, and the upside to getting out.

11. "Where Have All the Unpaid Internships Gone?," 07.28.14.
Corporate Counsel reports that a recent spate of law suits, many of them class actions that challenge unpaid internship programs under federal and state wage and hour laws, "have caused many employers to reevaluate whether to make use of an unpaid internship program."

12. "How to Get an Interview (Without Driving the Firm Crazy)," 07.28.14.
The Careerist blog provides some common sense tips for law students applying for jobs in Big Law.

13. "Spending Shifts as Colleges Compete on Students' Comfort," 07.28.14.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on findings from the American Institutes for Research that show that between 2001 and 2011 increased college spending on student services outpaced spending in all other categories at most types of colleges. (Subscription required.)

14. "Building a Better College Ranking System. Wait, Babson Beats Harvard?," 07.28.14.
The New York Times reports that Money has entered the college rankings fray focusing its college list on how much students will have to pay, and how much they are likely to earn when they graduate.

    a. "'Money' Reaches for Objectivity in College Rankings," 07.28.14.
    More on the new Money college rankings from The Chronicle of Higher Education, which says that the magazine's methodology uses 17 factors that fall into the three categories of 'quality of education,' 'value-added,' and 'affordability.'

15. "An Exit Interview With DuPont GC Tom Sager," 07.25.14.
Corporate Counsel interviews DuPont GC, diversity champion, and immediate past chair of the NALP Foundation Tom Sager on the eve of his retirement.

16. "Reed Smith's Gender Diversity Stands Out in DC," 07.25.14.
Legal Times reports Reed Smith's DC office reported that in 2013 more than 50% of its partners and associates were women.

17. "Law Firm Hiring Picking Up; Generalists, More Experience in Demand," 07.25.14.
Bloomberg BNA reports on the state of the legal job market.


Week Ending July 25, 2014

1. "Minority GCs Want More Diversity From Outside Counsel," 07.24.14.
The Legal Times reports on proceedings at yesterday's Minority Corporate Counsel Association's annual Creating Pathways to Diversity Conference held in Washington, DC.

2. "U South Carolina Directing $1.1M to Law Students," 07.24.14.
The National Law Journal reports that the University of South Carolina School of Law has received a $1.1 million gift from an alumnus, and will use the money to pay for student scholarships and fellowships to promote public service.

3. "With All Due Deference: Ruling Defends Affirmative Action From New Challenges," 07.23.14.
This New York Times opinion piece by Linda Greenhouse provides an excellent post-mortem on the Fifth Circuit's decision in the Fisher affirmative action case that was issued last week.

4. "Women and Minorities Who Push Diversity Get Negative Reviews," 07.23.14.
A provocative blog post from ALM's The Careerist blog, writing about a University of Colorado study (and a WSJ article about the study) that found that "female and nonwhite leaders who champion diversity are systematically penalized with lower performance ratings for doing so."

5. "Education Dept. Will Test Use of Student Aid in Programs Not Based on Credit Hour," 07.23.14.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the Department of Education will begin experimenting with granting federal financial aid for certain competency-based college programs.

6. "Litigation Increasing Along With Need for Price Certainty," 07.22.14.
The Legal Intelligencer reports an increase in the corporate appetite for litigation, providing however that certain cost-control measures are in place, including, in some cases, flat fee agreements.

7. "Georgetown Law Opens Center for Privacy and Civil Rights: The center will focus on privacy and civil rights and has hired a leader in the field to run it," 07.22.14.
Law Technology News reports that Alvaro Beyoda has been hired as the first executive director of Georgetown's new law center on privacy. (See also "Hill Lawyer Runs New Georgetown Law Center on Privacy.")

8. "Gift Will Bolster Maryland Law's Environmental Program," 07.22.14.
The National Law Journal reports that the University of Maryland's Francis King Carey School of law has received a $1 million gift from an alumnus that will bolster the school's environmental law program.

9. "Straight Business Students Crash Gay Job Fairs," 07.22.14.
Inside Higher Ed reports that straight students are attending job fairs set up to recruit gay students: "At a recent Reaching Out MBA event, only 1 of the 15 students who attended from Rice University was openly gay."

10. "And an Associate Shall Lead Them...," 07.21.14.
This piece in The National Law Journal argues that lawyers need to link themselves to the lawyers in their own firms: "Firms pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for client-relationship management systems that are not nearly as dynamic as LinkedIn."

11. "Law School Enrollment Slump Continues: For fourth year, the number of law school applicants declined in 2014," 07.21.14.
The National Law Journal reports on the further decline in the law school applicant pool: "applicants have fallen by more than 37% since 2010."

    a. "Law school applications down 37 percent since 2010; first-year class could be smallest in 40 years," 07.22.14.
    More on the law school application trough from the ABA Journal.

    b. "The 10 Law Schools with the Most Applicants," 07.24.14.
    And even more on the law school application collapse from ALM's The Careerist blogger Vivia Chen.

12. "Microsoft's Top Lawyer Is the Tech World's Envy," 07.20.14.
A nice NYT profile of NALP 2014 Annual Conference plenary speaker and Microsoft GC, Brad Smith, who the Times suggests "has become the elder statesman of Microsoft and a de facto ambassador for the technology industry at large."

13. "A law firm cashes in on the management of data," 07.20.14.
The Washington Post reports on the impressive growth of Winston & Strawn's e-discovery shop — with double-digit annual growth their e-discovery and information management practice had revenues in excess of $20 million in 2013.

14. "Associate Training Goes From Ad Hoc to All-in," 07.18.14.
The Recorder takes a look at what's new in new associate training at Paul Hastings, Orrick, Latham, and a handful of other BigLaw firms.

15. "Big US law firm Bingham on the lookout for merger partner," 07.17.14.
Reuters reports that Bingham McCutchen is seeking a US law firm merger partner, and names at least four firms Bingham has reportedly already reached out to.

    a. "Bingham Headlines Latest Round of Merger Rumblings," 07.21.14.
    More on this from the Am Law Daily: "After a spate of lateral departures following a tough financial year in 2013, Bingham McCutchen has reportedly sounded out several Am Law 100 firms about a potential union."

16. "Missouri to Allow Med-School Grads to Work as Assistant Physicians," 07.16.14.
As Washington State implements its limited license legal technician program, The Wall Street Journal reports that Missouri will allow medical school graduates to work as assistant physicians and treat patients in underserved rural areas without completing any sort of residency program. (Subscription required.)


Week Ending July 18, 2014

1. "Midsized Firms Seizing on Post-Recession Opportunities," 07.17.14.
The New Jersey Law Journal reports that client pricing at many midsized firms is in something of a sweet spot at the moment.

2. "Law School Debt Leads Some Grads to Consider Bankruptcy," 07.17.14.
The Connecticut Law Tribune reports on the rising number of law grads who are trying to discharge their student loan debt through bankruptcy, and the difficulties in doing so: "the need to prove 'hardship' often makes going to court a losing proposition."

3. "The 2014 GC Compensation Survey: Last year's gains are holding," 07.16.14.
Corporate Counsel releases its annual GC compensation survey results and its list of the best-paid general counsel (the highest reported bonus was a whopping $4.2 million!).

4. "Revamped Cardozo Courses Stress Practical Skills," 07.16.14.
The New York Law Journal reports that the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law is rolling out a new and revamped curriculum this fall that emphasizes practical lawyering skills.

5. "Survey: Social Media Posts Impact Hiring Decisions. Survey shows that employers are researching candidates' social media posts and making more negative hiring decisions based on findings," 07.15.14.
Law Technology News reports on new survey results that show 51% of employers who researched applicants on social media said they found content that caused them to make negative hiring decisions (up from 43% in 2013 and 34% in 2012).

6. "Things are Looking up for In-House Counsel Hiring: Legal staffing firm calls results good news for job-seekers, especially those with multiple specialties, good connections," 07.15.14.
The Daily Report provides new legal hiring trends survey data from Robert Half Legal, finding cautious optimism among respondents.

7. "Appeals Panel Upholds Race in Admissions for University," 07.15.14.
The New York Times reports that on Tuesday the Fifth Circuit upheld the University of Texas at Austin's consideration of race as one of many factors in admissions: "We are persuaded that to deny UT Austin its limited use of race in its search for holistic diversity would hobble the richness of the educational experience in contradiction of the plaint teachings of Bakke and Grutter."

    a. "Divided Fifth Circuit Upholds UT's Race Conscious Admissions," 07.15.14.
    Law.com reports on the Fifth Circuit's ruling on the remanded Fisher case.

    b. "Win for Affirmative Action," 07.15.14.
    Inside Higher Ed reports on the 2-1 ruling by the Fifth Circuit in the procedurally complicated Fisher case, a case that challenged the Texas "10 percent" plan.

    c. "U of Texas Flagship's Use of Race in Admissions Can Stand, Court Rules: In a review ordered by the Supreme Court, a divided appellate panel endorses an affirmative-action policy," 07.15.14.
    More on this from The Chronicle of Higher Education.

    d. "Race in Admissions at the U of Texas: How We Got Here, and What's Next," 07.15.14.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education unravels the long procedural history of Fisher, which began in 2008.

    e. "To Understand the Latest Ruling on Race in Admissions, Read These 4 Sentences," 07.15.14.
    Analysis of the Fifth Circuit decision from The Chronicle of Higher Education, with links to the full majority and dissenting opinions: "We find force in the argument that race here is a necessary part, albeit one of many parts, of the decisional matrix where being white in a minority-majority school can set one apart just as being a minority in a majority-white school-not a proffer of societal discrimination in justification for use of race, but a search for students with a range of skills, experiences, and performances-one that will be impaired by turning a blind eye to the differing opportunities offered by the schools from whence they came."

    f. "Affirmative Action Survives in Texas," 07.16.14.
    The New York Times editorial board weighs in on the latest Fisher decision.

    g. "Affirmative-Action Ruling Could Be Pyrrhic Victory for UT-Austin," 07.17.14.
    And finally this opinion piece in The Chronicle of Higher Education suggests that this may be a case of winning the battle but losing the war and opining that this case will inevitably end up back in front of the US Supreme Court.

8. "How to Lie With Education Data, Part 1," 07.15.14.
A good Chronicle of Higher Ed blog post by Jonah Newman on the danger of confusing the cost of a college education with the value of a college education.

    a. "How to Lie With Education Data, Part 2," 07.17.14.
    Another good piece by Newman in The Chronicle of Higher Education exposing some of the nakedness in the debate (war?) on the value of higher education and the burden of educational loan debt.

9. "College, on Your Own: Competency-based education can help motivated students. But critics say it is no panacea," 07.14.14.
The Chronicle of Higher Education takes a look at how competency-based learning could begin to transform higher education. (Subscription required.)

10. "Moody's Issues Negative Outlook for Higher Education," 07.14.14.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that Moody's Investors Service has issued a negative outlook for the higher-education sector in the United States, citing intensifying pressure on net tuition revenue.

    a. "Amid 'Negative Outlook' for Higher Ed, Moody's Finds Optimism," 07.14.14. I
    Inside Higher Ed notes that despite the negative outlook from Moody's, the investment service also cited strong long-term demand for higher education in the US, and suggested conditions might be ripe for future stabilization of the sector.

11. "Settlement Will Pay for Scholarships, Dialog at UCLA Law," 07.14.14.
The National Law Journal reports that the UCLA Black Alumni Association will oversee the newly established David S. Cunningham III Scholarship for Civil Rights, funded as part of a settlement by the university with a judge who accused campus police of roughing him up during a traffic stop last year.

12. "Number of LSAT Test Takers in June Falls to 14-Year Low," 07.11.14.
The Wall Street Journal Law Blog reports that the number of law school admission tests administered in June was down 9.1% compared to a year earlier.

    a. "LSAT Tea-Leaf Reading: June 2014 Edition," 07.11.14.
    More number crunching and analysis on what the continued steep drop in LSAT test-takers might mean from Matt Leichter at the Law School Tuition Bubble.

    b. "Who Is To Blame For Declining LSAT Applications?," 07.14.14.
    A thoughtful piece from Elie Mystal at Above the Law on the big decline in test takers: "Law schools themselves are encouraging people to stay away in droves. They put up flashing "Don't Come In Here" signs every time they unleash another disaffected class of graduates out onto the market."

    c. "Law schools and the lost generation," 07.14.14.
    And a thoughtful response from Northwestern dean and AALS president Dan Rodriguez, who does not disagree with Mystal: "...hats off to Elie...for making an essential and powerful point about the connection between the applicant decline, young alumni anger, and the flaws in the current structure of legal education."




Week Ending July 11, 2014

1. "Young Lawyers: It Pays to Ask 'Why' When Doing Your Work," 07.11.14.
Advice for young lawyers from a litigator writing for The Legal Intelligencer.

2. "In Passing 3 Bills, House Panel Takes First Step to Renew Higher Education Act," 07.10.14.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on the latest political developments in the long process of Congressional renewal of the Higher Education Act: "Members of the US House of Representatives' education committee took the first step on Thursday toward renewing the nation's chief higher education law, approving a trio of bipartisan bills that would promote competency-based education, expand financial counseling for student-loan borrowers, and streamline the information the government provides to prospective students."

3. "Confidence in Legal Industry Mixed Among Firm Leaders," 07.09.14.
The Am Law Daily reports on the results of the second quarter survey by the Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group that measured slightly increased optimism among law firm leaders about profit growth "driven more by expectations of improved expense control than of projected revenue increases." ("Overall confidence in the legal industry declined ever-so-slightly in the second quarter versus the first quarter.")

4. "Law Schools Unveil Targeted Academic Scholarships," 07.09.14.
The National Law Journal reports on the development of ever more tailored law school scholarships at St. Mary's University School of Law and Indiana University Maurer School of Law - Bloomington.

5. "LinkedIn to MBA Admissions," 07.09.14.
Inside Higher Ed reports that in a first of its kind program, students can now apply to the business school at Cornell University through tools available via LinkedIn.

6. "Inside a Law School's In-house Training Program," 07.09.14.
Corporate Counsel reports on the development of the Corporate Counsel Externship Program at SMU Dedman School of Law, which provided in-house externship experience for SMU students at 30 companies in 2013.

7. "Courts, Law Schools Gear Up for Pro Bono Scholar Program," 07.09.14.
The New York Law Journal reports on the rollout of the new program in New York where law students can dedicate their final semester to pro bono work on behalf of low-income clients in exchange for early bar admission.

8. "Employment After the Recession," 07.08.14.
Inside Higher Ed reports on a new US Department of Education study on what happened to US college graduates from the class of 2008: "Four of five students who graduated college in 2008 were able to find some sort of employment in the four years after their graduation, despite entering the work force during the worst of the recession."

    a. "How a Class That Graduated in the Early Days of the Recession Has Fared Since," 07.08.14.
    More on this from The Chronicle of Higher Education.

9. "Army of Long-Term Jobless Dwindles as Hiring Accelerates," 07.08.14.
Bloomberg reports on the US jobless figures for June, numbers that show the smallest number of jobless in five years.

10. "After Outcry, Ethics Committee Will Look Again at Opinion on 'Nonlawyer Officers' in Firms," 07.07.14.
Texas Lawyer reports that reports that the Texas Bar's Professional Ethics Committee will reevaluate its decision to prohibit law firms from giving non-lawyer professional the Chief title.

    a. "53 Texas Firms Fight Bar Opinion Banning Officer or Principal in Nonlawyer Titles: New rule strips nonlawyer legal professionals of C-suite titles such as CIO and CTO," 06.27.14.
    Law Technology News reports that 53 law firms have joined together to challenge a Texas State Bar Professional Ethics Committee ruling that bans the use of the word officer in nonlawyer law firm staff titles.

11. "Waning ranks at law schools: Institutions fear recession's effect could be lasting," 07.06.14.
The Boston Globe reports on the plunging law school enrollment figures, focusing on the Boston-area law schools.

12. "What the Rise of Pricing Officers Says About Big Law's Future," 07.03.14.
Aric Press, writing for the Am Law Daily, writes about the implications of the fact that 76% of big law firms now employ some sort of pricing officer.

13. "Partner Pay Spreads, Firm by Firm," 07.03.14.
The American Lawyer looks at the results of its latest survey on partner compensation spreads: at the high end it is 23 to 1. (Subscription required.)

14. "Legal Sector Adds 1,200 Jobs in June," 07.03.14.
The Am Law Daily reports on the latest jobs figures from the US BLS, noting that the June figures put the legal sector down 300 jobs for the year but up 5,400 jobs from this time last year.

15. "UC-Hastings Dean Fights Rankings Dive," 07.03.14.
The Recorder reports on efforts by UC Hastings Dean Frank Wu to reposition his law school in the US News rankings, among other things.

16. "Record-Setting Law Firm Merger Pace Continues," 07.02.14.
The Am Law Daily reports that the latest law firm merger data from Altman Weil suggests that US law firm mergers are on pace to match the record set in 2013.

17. "Cooley Law Suffers Setbacks Financially and in Court," 07.02.14.
The National Law Journal reports that "the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit...affirmed a trial judge's dismissal of a defamation lawsuit brought by the Thomas M. Cooley Law School against three plaintiffs lawyers who sued the school for alleged fraud in 2011." The story also reports that Cooley will not accept new students at its Ann Arbor campus for the fall.

    a. "Judge Tosses Defamation Suit Against Cooley Law," 06.30.14.
    The National Law Journal reports that "a federal judge in New York has dismissed a defamation lawsuit brought against Thomas M. Cooley Law School by a plaintiff's attorney who helped spearhead a series of fraud class actions against law schools in 2011."

    b. "Retrenchment at Nation's Largest Law School," 07.03.14.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that the Thomas M. Cooley Law Schools has announced that it will be downsizing.

18. "Boston University to Offer Real-World Training to 1Ls," 07.02.14.
The National Law Journal reports that beginning next year all 1Ls at Boston University School of Law will be required to complete the school's Lawyering Lab, "a weeklong, one-credit course in which they will learn transactional law by simulating a business deal."

19. "Baker Donelson Hires Nonlawyer To Manage Group," 07.01.14.
The Daily Report writes that "Baker Donelson has hired its first nonlawyer managing director to help run its financial institutions group."

20. "Vermont Incubator to Place Lawyers in Underserved Areas," 07.01.14.
The National Law Journal reports that Vermont Law School has launched a solo-practitioner incubator program with the Vermont Bar Association that is designed to keep young lawyers within the state and practicing in underserved areas.

21. "Firms Beginning to Take Flat-Fee Model to E-Discovery," 07.01.14.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that at least one law firm has negotiated a flat rate deal with a managed services provider for all of its e-discovery needs.

22. "The 2014 A-List: 20 Stand-Out Firms," 06.30.14.
The American Lawyer publishes its annual A-List of "the most well-rounded firms.... they not only delivered strong financial performance but also sustained a top-notch firm culture."

    a. "Is Your Firm on The List?," 06.30.14.
    Here's a quick list of The American Lawyer's honorees.

23. "Pro Bono: How Does Your Firm Rate?," 06.30.14.
The American Lawyer publishes its annual special report on all things pro bono at largest US law firms. (Subscription required.)

24. "Now Is a Great Time to Apply to Law School," 06.30.14.
A second piece by Jordan Weissmann for Slate, exploring "in a little more depth the reasons why — despite the horrors of the past few years and the sky-high tuition rates that schools charge — now really is a good time to pick up an LSAT guide."

25. "Small Firms: Steal Business From Big Law," 06.29.14.
Law Technology News reports from LegalTech West Coast: "Like the nursery rhyme says, be nimble, be quick and effectively use technology to succeed."

    a. "How Technology Can Fuel Small Law Firms," 06.27.14.
    More reporting from Law Technology News from the legal tech show in Los Angeles: "Julie Pearl and J. Craig Williams outline key ways to incorporate tech into transactional and litigation shops."

26. "Fordham Begins Search for a New Law School Dean," 06.26.14.
The New York Law Journal reports that "Fordham University has launched a search for a new law school dean to replace Michael Martin, who will return to the faculty at the end of the 2014-2015 academic year."

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