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 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?



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 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."




Week Ending June 27, 2014

1. "Pay Careful Attention to Unpaid Internships," 06.27.14.
Corporate Counsel reviews a FindLaw piece that looks at what the US Department of Labor has to say about unpaid internships.

2. "Are Law Schools Heading into a Bull Market?," 06.26.14.
The Wall Street Journal Law Blog looks at the Slate piece below and the new NALP employment data and asks whether the pendulum of correction in supply and demand has now swung too far, such that now really is a good time to apply to law school.

    a. "Apply to Law School Now! Things are looking rosy for the class of 2018," 06.25.14.
    Jordan Weissmann, Slate's senior business and economics correspondent, argues that now might be a good time to apply to law school: "thanks to the historic enrollment crash that has shrunk law school classes during the past few years, it means that graduates might soon be looking at a shockingly strong job market."

3. "Anonymous $4M Gift Backs Family Law Clinic at SMU Law," 06.26.14.
The National Law Journal reports that "Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law will launch a family law clinic in 2015, financed by a $4 million gift from an anonymous donor."

4. "Americans' Generational Race Gap Gets Wider: Demographic Divide Between Older Whites and Younger Minorities Is Growing Wider, According to Census Bureau Data," 06.26.14.
The Wall Street Journal reports that in most states, the older generation is disproportionately white while the younger generation is disproportionately diverse; in some states, like Arizona, the disparity is extreme (in Arizona, 82% of people over 65 are white, while just 41% of those under 15 are white). (Subscription required.)

5. "Young Associates Should Strive to Be Part of the Team," 06.26.14.
A litigation associate, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, writes that in order to become fully integrated into a firm, young associates should strive to become indispensible.

6. "Economy in First Quarter Was Worse Than Everybody Thought," 06.25.14.
The New York Times reports that the first quarter of 2014 was economically the worst quarter since the end of the last recession ended five years ago.

7. "UCLA Law Launches $100,000 Entrepreneurship Contest," 06.25.14.
The National Law Journal reports that UCLA law school has announced a competition that will finance startups backed by students and recent graduates.

8. "On the Move: 'Actors Studio' for Mercer Law Students Wins Award," 06.25.14.
The Daily Report reports that "an innovative way of teaching professionalism to first-year law students, modeled on 'Inside the Actor's Studio,' has won Mercer University School of Law a national award from the American Bar Association."

9. "House and Senate Offer Different Visions for Renewal of Higher Education Act," 06.25.14.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the first partisan volleys are being lobbed across the net in the race to make college more affordable through the renewal of the Higher Education Act as both parties this week released proposals for updating the legislation that governs so much of higher education.

    a. "Fault Lines Surface," 06.25.14.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that dueling Higher Education Act reauthorization proposals portend partisan clashes over accountability.

    b. "3 Changes in Financial Aid That Democrats and Republicans Agree On," 06.25.14.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that despite differences in ideology and approach, there is some common ground between the two parties proposals for the Higher Education Act.

10. "Am Law 100 Firms Hold Steady as Client Demand Dips: While demand for hours was off in Q1, The Am Law 100 held the line on revenues," 06.24.14.
Aric Press, writing for The American Lawyer, reports that "the legal economy got off to a slow start this year."

11. "A Young Obama Ponders Problem of Minority Retention at Big Firms," 06.24.14.
The Am Law Daily has dug up a quote from a young Barack Obama in a Chicago news story from 1990 when he was a second-year summer associate at what was then the law firm of Hopkins & Sutter, who said at the time: "It's common knowledge that a lot of lawyers are unhappy with their profession. The difficulties end up, inevitably, being magnified for young minorities, either because they don't have the support networks or because their abilities may be questioned dues to racism. They feel under the gun."

12. "Mississippi College Names New School of Law Dean," 06.24.14.
The National Law Journal reports that Mississippi College has named Wendy Scott as the next dean of its School of Law.

13. "Economists at Federal Reserve Bank of NY Say College Is Worth the Cost," 06.24.14.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "two economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released a study on Tuesday concluding that, despite colleges' growing costs and students' lower earnings after graduation, attending college is still worth it."

14. "The Reality of Student Debt Is Different From the Clichés," 06.24.14.
David Leonhardt, writing here for The New York Times, takes a look at a new paper issued by the Brooking Institution that argues "the share of income that young adults are devoting to loan repayment has remained fairly steady over the last two decades."

    a. "Student-Debt Debate Is Stoked by Caveats About Data," 06.25.14.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on the "debate...raging about whether rising student-loan debt constitutes an existential crisis in American higher education or the natural outcome of more Americans' pursuing a college degree."

    b. "The Solution to the Student-Loan 'Crisis'? Depends on How You Define It," 06.25.14.
    And more on this from The Chronicle of Higher Education.

15. "Will the Rise of the Machine Bring Lawyers New Clients? Online legal documents and forms are not the end of lawyers, but a signal of change in the profession that requires a proper response," 06.24.14.
Law Technology News dabbles in the question of what some consumer-based legal technology tools mean for the practice of law.

16. "Lowering Law-School Tuition Benefits Everyone, Not Just the Students," 06.23.14.
The dean at Brooklyn Law School, writing here for The Chronicle of Higher Education, explains his strategy in lowering tuition by 15 percent: "The fact is that the financial models of law schools is broken. Unless the schools do what they can to make legal education affordable, they will price themselves out of business, contribute to the high cost of legal services that most people need, and widen the gap in access to justice."

17. "To Do or Not Do Social Media Searches on Applicants: If you search for applicants' social media posts, don't be too selective and be consistent," 06.23.14.
Law Technology News looks at the risks and benefits of doing social media searches on job candidates.

18. "For Women in Midlife, Career Gains Slip Away," 06.23.14.
This much-circulated article from The New York Times reports that an increasing number of women in their late 40s and early 50s are leaving the work force just as they reach their peak earning years.

19. "Big Law Firms Resume Hiring: Odds Improve for New Graduates, Though Levels Remain Soft," 06.23.14.
The Wall Street Journal reports on last week's release by NALP of the new employment and salary data for the Class of 2013, and provides perspectives from a number of large law firms.

    a. "Odds Improve for New Law Graduates, but Hiring Levels Remain Soft," 06.23.14.
    And The Wall Street Journal Law Blog provides its take on the new NALP employment numbers.

    b. "BigLaw hiring is up, NALP survey says, but record law grad class vied for fewer overall jobs," 06.23.14.
    The ABA Journal reports on the Class of 2013 NALP jobs data, focusing on the number of jobs for new associates in Big Law following the recession.

    c. "How Did The Law School Class of 2013 Do In The Job Market?," 06.20.14.
    Above the Law spins the NALP numbers.

    d. "Jobs Are Still Scarce for New Law School Grads," 06.20.14.
    And Bloomberg Businesweek provides this story on the NALP jobs data.

20. "Avoiding Discrimination in a Multigenerational Workforce," 06.23.14.
Corporate Counsel tackles the problem of Gen-X lawyers managing an older workforce.

21. "Student Debt Takes a Toll on Some Home Buyers: Economists Debate Whether School Loans Are Undermining the Housing Recovery," 06.20.14.
The Wall Street Journal looks at the question of whether record high student loan debt levels and record low home ownership levels are related.

22. "Howard Law's New Dean Follows a Family Tradition," 06.20.14.
The National Law Journal reports that Howard University has tapped Danielle Holley-Walker as its next law dean.

23. "A College Major Matters Even more in a Recession," 06.20.14.
The New York Times reports on new work by three Yale economists who conclude that a college degree is even more important during a recession, and that during tough economic times, the pay gap widens between people in the scientific and business professions and those in the arts and social sciences.

24. "Alternative Workstyles," 06.16.14.
The Lawyer reports on changes facing law firms in the UK, noting that by 2019 most major law firms will have some form of alternative sourcing, whether setting up operations in low-cost regions, sending back office operations overseas, or sending jobs or parts of jobs to external providers.



Week Ending June 20, 2014

  1. Fixing the Fafsa, a Popular Idea, Makes Its Way to Congress,” 06.20.14.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that Senator Lamar Alexander (R) and Senator Michael Bennet (D) have introduced a bill that would radically simplify the way that students apply for federal financial aid.

    1. An Answer on a Postcard: Simplifying Fafsa Will Get More Kids Into College,” 06.18.14. This New York Times Op-Ed by Senators Alexander and Bennet explains their proposal for simplifying financial aid.

    2. “Senators Start In on HEA,” 06.20.14. More on this from Inside Higher Ed.

  2. For Second Year in a Row New Grads Find More Jobs, Starting Salaries Rise – But Overall Unemployment Rate Rises with Historically Large Graduating Class,” 06.19.14.
    NALP released its annual employment and salary findings for the most recent class – the Class of 2013 found more jobs but had higher overall unemployment. Read the full report here (PDF).

    1. Market Struggles to Absorb Record Law School Class of ’13,” 06.19.14. The National Law Journal reports on the new NALP jobs data for the Class of 2013.

    2. Median salary is $95K for new law grads working in law firms, NALP study shows,” 06.19.14. The ABA Journal reports on the latest NALP findings on employment outcomes and salaries for members of the Class of 2013.

  3. In-House Counsel Hiring for Summer Amid Dearth of Law Firm Programs,” 06.19.14.
    The New Jersey Law Journal reports that “New Jersey law students are finding summer employment in corporate law departments.”

  4. ABA Approves Plan to Split Penn State’s Law School,” 06.19.14.
    The National Law Journal reports that “Pennsylvania State University has won the American Bar Association’s blessing to split its two law school campuses into separate institutions under different administrations.”

    1. Penn State to Run Its 2 Law-School Campuses Separately,” 06.19.14. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the ABA has approved splitting Penn State’s two law school campuses into two separate law schools: “The University Park campus will be known as Penn State Law, and the Carlisle campus as Dickinson Law.”

  5. Hampshire College Will Go ‘Test Blind’,” 06.18.14. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that Hampshire College, a selective liberal arts college, has announced that it will no longer consider standardized test scores (as in not even look at, not even put them in the file) in the admissions and financial aid processes.

    1. ’Test-Blind’ Admissions,” 06.19.14. Inside Higher Ed reports that while there are more than 800 test-optional colleges, Hampshire College is the only college to announce that it will not consider standardized test scores from any applicant.

  6. Women, Minorities – And Lawyers – Scarce on Corporate Boards: While supporting diversity in theory, public company directors lag in recruiting diverse candidates to their boards,” 06.18.14.
    The Daily Report takes a look at the persistent lack of diversity on publicly held company boards.

  7. Race-Blind Affirmative Action?,” 06.18.14.
    Inside Higher Ed reports on an event held in Washington, DC, to discuss a new book titled The Future of Affirmative Action: New Paths to Higher Education Diversity After Fisher v. University of Texas; according to the book, “a combination of some race-blind approaches could actually be more effective at increasing the percentage of African-American and Hispanic students than the consideration of race alone.”

  8. Report Shows Uptick in Diversity but Progress Is Slow,” 06.18.14.
    The New York Law Journal reports on the latest New York City Bar Association’s law firm diversity report, which shows that “[firms have made scant progress] on key issues such as retaining minority and women attorneys and elevating them to senior leadership.”

  9. Promotion for West Virginia Law School Dean,” 06.18.14.
    The National Law Journal reports that the dean of West Virginia College of Law has announced that she will leave that position to become the university’s provost and vice president for academic affairs.

  10. Nearly One-Third of Class of 2014 Grads Had a Job at Graduation,” 06.18.14.
    NACE reports that 30.1% of graduating college seniors from the Class of 2014 had jobs, a number that is up slightly from the 29.3% measured for the Class of 2013.

  11. Conn. Task Force Calls For Legal Education Reforms,” 06.17.14.
    The Chair of the Connecticut Bar Association’s Task Force on the Future of Legal Education and Standard of Admission, writing here for the Connecticut Law Tribune, calls for changes in legal education, including the use of additional unpaid internships as part of law student training.

  12. Partners Going In-House Not Always Big Payday for Firms,” 06.17.14.
    The Legal Intelligencer explores the question of whether or not firms benefit when their lawyers go in-house.

  13. ’Get Gritty’ Is the new Career Advice for Women Lawyers,” 06.17.14.
    The Recorder reports that the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession has launched an online toolkit called ‘The Grit Project,' which focuses on grit and growth for women.

  14. 10 Essential Tips for Summer Associates,” 06.17.14.
    Grover Cleveland and fellow guest blogger Katherine Larkin-Wong, writing here for The Careerist, offer timeless advice for success as a summer associate.

  15. “Fish & Richardson Shifts Back-Office Functions to Minneapolis,” 06.17.14.
    The Am Law Daily reports that Fish & Richardson is the latest Am Law 100 firm to consolidate its back office operations to a less expensive locale (the firm expects to save $3 million a year by making the move to Minneapolis).

  16. Legal Educators Plot the Future of Real-World Learning,” 06.17.14.
    The National Law Journal reports on a recent meeting of the Alliance for Experimental Learning in Law (a group of 150 legal educators from 75 law schools) that met last week to take up the question of how best to prepare tomorrow’s lawyers.

  17. Net Losses Outweigh Gains at Firms: Government Office Head Counts Increase,” 06.16.14.
    The New York Law Journal has released its annual NYLJ survey results and rankings, noting that “the number of attorneys employed full time by the largest private law offices in New York continues to decline.”

  18. Want a College Experience That Matters? Get to Work,” 06.16.14.
    A thoughtful piece from the Chronicle of Higher Education on the role that work experience plays as a part of a good college education.

  19. Downsizing Firms And Practice Groups: Every termination should be treated with formality and everything should be confirmed in writing,” 06.16.14.
    The Daily Report provides a how-to on terminating attorneys and non-attorney staff.

  20. Gender Disparity In BigLaw Pervasive Among Partners,” 06.13.14.
    Today’s General Counsel looks at recent reports from Adam Smith, Esq. and Above the Law that both focus on gender disparity in lawyer trajectories in large law firms – both of which find that the gaps begin early and widen with time.

  21. US Economic Recovery Looks Distant as Growth Slows,” 06.11.14.
    This piece from last week’s New York Times suggests that slow growth may be the way of the future.




Week Ending June 13, 2014

1. "What happened to 2004 SCOTUS clerks? Law prof checks them out," 06.12.14.
The ABA Journal reports that a law professor has investigated what has happened professionally to US Supreme Court clerks from the 2004 term following their clerkships.

2. "Senate Republicans Block Bill to Allow Student-Loan Refinancing," 06.11.14.
As has been widely reported (here by The Chronicle of Higher Education), "Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked a bill that would have let borrowers refinance their student-loan debt." (The bill, which was introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren, "would have allowed struggling borrowers to refinance their loans at current interest rates.")

3. "RIP Clearspire: Is this an ominous sign for NewLaw?," 06.11.14.
Patrick Lamb, writing for the ABA Journal's Legal Rebels/New Normal column tries to find meaning in last week's demise of the virtual law firm Clearspire: "Clearspire's demise is unfortunate, but does not reflect on NewLaw any more than the demise of a new microbrewery reflects on the success of the other microbreweries and their ability to challenge incumbents."

    a. "Clearspire's Technology Outlives 'Virtual' Law Firm," 06.06.14.
    And another Clearspire post mortem, here from The Wall Street Journal Law Blog.

4. "Dentons takes a stand, won't report 'meaningless' profits per equity partner," 06.11.14.
The ABA Journal reports that "Dentons has decided it will no longer report average profits per equity partner, and it hopes other law firms will do the same."

    a. "In Defense of PPP," 06.11.14.
    The editor-in-chief of the Am Law Daily responds to the Dentons critique of the PPP metric, and suggests that the firm may have ulterior motives in launching its "don't report your PPP" campaign, noting that by its calculations PPEP at Dentons has declined twenty percent over the last year, the steepest decline in the Am Law 100.

5. "New Challenge to Christian Law School's Anti-Gay Stance," 06.11.14.
Inside Higher Ed reports that in Canada, "members of the Law Society of British Columbia have voted overwhelmingly to urge their organization to revoke its accreditation for a new law school at Trinity Western University...that bars students and faculty members from any sexual relationships outside of heterosexual marriage."

6. "Obama Defends College Ratings," 06.11.14.
Inside Higher Ed reports that President Obama is pushing back against Congressional efforts to prohibit the college ratings scheme that his administration has proposed.

    "Top Senate Republican Seeks To Block College Ratings," 06.13.14.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that Senator Lamar Alexander plans to attach an amendment to the labor, health, and education appropriations bill that would stop the Obama administration from moving ahead with its college ratings system.

7. "She Gets No Respect: Sexism Persists, Even Among the Enlightened," 06.11.14.
This Nicholas Kristoff Op-Ed in The New York Times makes a strong case that profoundly persistent sexism in all aspects of our culture exists as part of the unconscious bias landscape, and he offers up compelling support from recent research.

8. "ABA Council Says No to Paid Law Student Externships," 06.10.14.
The National Law Journal reports that in the course of wrapping up its multi-year standards review process last week, the ABA Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar decided not to accept the Standards Review Committee's recommendation that law schools be allowed to offer both credit and pay for student externship experiences.

    a. "Legal Ed Section's council wraps standards review, keeps ban on academic credit for paid externships," 06.09.14.
    The ABA Journal reports on the proceedings at the recent Council meeting of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, including the approval of the protocol for auditing employment outcomes data.

9. "Seattle University Plans Branch Law Campus in Alaska," 06.11.14.
The National Law Journal reports that Seattle University School of Law has announced a partnership with Alaska Pacific University allowing the law school to operate a satellite campus in Anchorage — the school plans to offer a full 3L curriculum in Alaska in fall 2015.

10. "In-house and Outside Counsel Face Similar Challenges," 06.10.14.
Corporate Counsel reports on an open letter to law firms posted by Bombardier GC Daniel Desjardins on the ACC website, calling on law firms to "adapt the service delivery to match the reality of the customer," and suggesting that law firms need to learn to become experts in their clients' businesses.

11. "Interns: New Anti-Discrimination Protections in NYC," 06.10.14.
With summer intern season upon us, two Big Law lawyers writing here for Law.com provide an update on the federal, state and local laws that protect interns in NYC.

12. "The NLJ 350: Our annual survey of the nation's largest law firms," 06.09.14
The National Law Journal publishes its annual ranking of the 350 largest US law firms by attorney head count, along with a great deal of related reporting and analyses of the data.

    a. "Backslides at Firms Amid a Stalled Market: Whether they called it 'downsizing' or 'rightsizing,' many shops had to make tough choices in 2013," 06.09.14.
    The National Law Journal reports that many law firms saw declining lawyer headcounts in 2013.

    b. "NLJ 350: Plenty of Domestic Mergers, But They're Small," 06.11.14.
    In a related story, The National Law Journal reports that there were numerous domestic mergers between US law firms in the last year, but few of them did much to boost any one law firm's head count in a meaningful way.

    c. "International Law Firm Mergers Bring Rebound: The biggest upswing since the recession comes from marriages of US and foreign operations," 06.09.14.
    The National Law Journal reports that most of the Am Law 350 headcount growth in 2013 was due to international mergers.

    d. "It's a Good Time to Be an Associate — Abroad: Junior attorney ranks rose respectably, but most of the gains were overseas and in Canada," 06.09.14.
    The National Law Journal reports that "associate hiring at the nation's largest law firms grew by 3.6 percent in 2013...[but that growth] stemmed from an influx of overseas associates acquired through a handful of mergers between large US and international firms."

    e. "Foreign Mergers Expand Ranks at Big Law Firms," 06.09.14.
    The New York Times Dealbook also dives into the NLJ headcount and merger data, noting that the legal sector is still down a net of 40,000 from its high in 2007.

    f. "Survey says BigLaw growth is highest since 2007, due to foreign mergers," 06.09.14.
    More on this from the ABA Journal.

13. "Intent on keeping a low profile, Quintairos Prieto nevertheless had eye-catching expansion," 06.09.14.
The National Law Journal reports that the Miami-based, minority-owned law firm Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer is one of the fastest growing firms in the US, with a current headcount of 275 lawyers that surged 26 percent in 2013.

14. "UC Irvine Law Wins Full Accreditation from ABA," 06.09.14.
The National Law Journal reports that the ABA has granted full accreditation to the University of California, Irvine School of Law, five years after admitting its first class.

15. "George Washington Law School Names New Dean," 06.09.14.
The Legal Times reports that GW's law school has announced that Blake Morant, currently the dean at Wake Forest University's law school will become GW's new dean on September 1.

16. "Inspired by Vet School, Professor Proposes Overhaul of Law School Curriculum," 06.09.14.
The Daily Report writes that a law professor, inspired by the innovative curriculum at Cornell University's veterinary school, has a plan for overhauling the law school curriculum.

17. "Obama, Noting Own Student Debt Burden, Expands Repayment Cap and Pushes Bill," 06.09.14.
The New York Times reports that "President Obama signed an executive order on Monday intended to lessen the college loan burden on nearly five million younger Americans by capping repayments at 10 percent or the borrowers' monthly income." (The NYT also reports that the President has thrown his support behind a bill introduced by Senate Democrats that would allow 25 million borrowers to refinance student loans at lower interest rates.)

    a. "As Congress Bickers, Obama Takes Executive Action on Student Loans," 06.09.14.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that President Obama has taken executive action to expand eligibility for federal income-based student loan repayment plans as part of a larger set of executive actions on student debt.

    b. "Obama Set to Expand Income-Based Repayment Program," 06.09.14.
    More on this from Inside Higher Ed: "the administration plans to broaden eligibility for its Pay As You Earn program.

    c. "Obama's Student-Debt Plan Won't Fix America's College Crisis," 06.09.14.
    The Atlantic concludes that Obama's changes are not enough to fix the mounting student debt problem.

    d. "Student Borrowers and the Economy," 06.10.14.
    The New York Times Editorial Board weighs in with support for President Obama's executive order on student loans this week, noting that the action "speak[s] to a grave problem that has trapped recent college graduates and threatens the long-term health of the economy."

    e. "Obama's Loan-Debt Relief Might Not Reach the Neediest Borrowers," 06.10.14.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education predicts that far fewer borrowers than the total number eligible will actually enroll in the newly expanded income-based loan-repayment program.

    f. "Obama Expands IBR, Pushes Refinancing," 06.10.14.
    Post-game analysis of Obama's student debt actions this week from Inside Higher Ed.

    g. "White House Doesn't Know How Much Expanding Loan Program Will Cost," 06.10.14.
    And more post-game chatter from The Chronicle of Higher Education.

18. "Changing tides for law school graduates," 06.09.14.
Inside Counsel looks at the changing job market for new law school graduates.

19. "How to Make Clients Smile," 06.09.14.
This National Law Journal article takes a broad view of business development for lawyers.

20. "Starting Out Behind," 06.07.14.
The NYT editorial board writes that even though the worst of the recession has passed, "economic conditions are still subpar, damaging the immediate job prospects and long-term living standards of young adults starting out now."

21. "The Fight Over the Future of Charleston School of Law," 06.06.14.
Steven Harper, writing for the Am Law Daily, is really worked up over the pending sale of Charleston School of Law and responds here to the NYT piece last week about this situation: "Why should anyone profit at all when nondischargeable student loans are the source of those profits?"

22. "Legal Industry Shed 700 Jobs in May," 06.06.14.
The Am Law Daily reports on the latest BLS numbers, noting that "the legal industry's lagging performance on the hiring front last month stood in stark contrast to the employment gains made by the broader US economy."

23. "Law Firm Profitability Was Up In 1st Quarter," 06.06.14.
Today's General Counsel reports that according to Thomson Reuters' Peer Monitor Index, law firm profitability was up in the first quarter of 2014, although expenses are rising at a faster rate than they have in the last two years. You can view the 1st quarter PMI report here.

24. "Associates Are Doin' It for Themselves," 06.06.14.
The Recorder writes about young associates carving out their own practice niches within BigLaw.

25. "You Don't Have to Hate Your Job," 06.06.14.
A follow-up from The New York Times on its article from last week about why many people hate their jobs, including a review of some of the more than 500 comments that were received in response to the article. You can read the original article, 'Why You Hate Work,' here.

26. "Is There Such a Thing as an Affordable Lawyer? For many Americans, legal services are out of reach. But that's beginning to change," 05.30.14.
An excellent article in The Atlantic about access to legal services in the US, and what the future might look like (hint: it won't look like it does now, and one way or another, technology will play an increasing role). Hat tip to Steve Grumm at the ABA for sending this my way.

GWU Aug_Sept 2014
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