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.
March 27, 2015
1. "Data Shows 2014 a Historic Year for Patent Litigation," 03.27.15.
Corporate Counsel reports on the results of Lex Machina's second annual Patent Litigation Year in Review report, noting that activity at the US Patent and Trademark Office's Patent Trial and Appeal Board continued to climb in 2014, even as the number of new patent cases filed fell from 2013 levels.
2. "Alumnus Baier Pledges $20M for Indiana Law Facilities," 03.26.15.
The National Law Journal reports that "the Indiana University Maurer School of Law — Bloomington will rename its building to honor Lowell Baier, who has pledged $20 million from his estate to him alma mater."
3. "Lawyers With Real Intelligence Will Defeat Artificial Intelligence," 03.26.15
This piece from Bloomberg BNA argues that technology is an enabler rather than a disruptor in the legal services industry, positing that improved technology will allow lawyers to do more client work, rather than replacing lawyers with machines.
4. "Lessons From Sweet Briar," 03.25.15.
Barry Currier, the Managing Director of Accreditation and Legal Education for the ABA, writing for Syllabus, the newsletter of the Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar, offers thoughtful reflections on what law schools might learn from the recent decision to close Sweet Briar College.
5. "LinkedIn Ethics Alert: What Lawyers Should Know," 03.25.15.
The National Law Journal reports on a new ethics opinion about LinkedIn released by the New York County Lawyers Association Professional Ethics Committee that finds attorneys must treat their LinkedIn profiles as advertising and include appropriate disclaimers.
6. "Will California be the next state to allow legal technicians? Bar group call for pilot program," 03.23.15.
The ABA Journal reports that bar task forces in both California and Oregon are exploring the development of limited legal license practitioner programs based on the model that has been implemented in Washington state.
a. "Calif. Bar Task Force Calls for Legal Technician Pilot Program," 03.20.15.
More on this from the Law Sites blog.
7. "Lawyers Beware: The accountants are coming after your business," 03.22.15.
The Economist reports that the Big Four accounting networks are building up their legal services divisions, posing a threat to law firms, noting that one analyst has called them "the biggest underestimated threat to the legal profession today."
8. Year-end Law Firm Financial Results Roundup:
a. "Cozen O'Connor Grows Revenue 2.1 Percent, PPP 2.8%," 03.27.15. (The Legal Intelligencer)
b. "Kirkland's Performance Accelerates in 2014," 03.25.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 6.6%, PPP up 7%)
c. "Squire Patton Boggs Shows Stable Revenue Per Lawyer After Merger," 03.25.15. (The National Law Journal)
d. "Partner Profits Inch Up at McGuire Woods to $960K," 03.24.15. (Legal Times, Gross Revenue up 2%, PPP up 1%)
e. "Mintz Levin Holds Flat Amid Partner Moves," 03.23.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 1.9%, PPP up 0.5%)
f. "Pepper Hamilton Grows Revenue 3 Percent, PPP 8 Percent," 03.23.15. (The Legal Intelligencer)
g. "Revenue Down at Alston & Bird as Toyota, Other Litigation Concludes," 03.20.15. (Daily Report, Gross Revenue down 4.4%, PPP down 7.2%)
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.
March 20, 2015
March 13, 2015
1. "Law Students Tell Justices How Same-Sex Marriage Bans Harm Careers," 03.12.15.
The National Law Journal reports that ten LGBT student organizations from Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, UCLA and NYU have filed an amicus brief in the US Supreme Court's same-sex marriage challenges, arguing that nonrecognition laws restrict students from pursuing coveted jobs like federal clerkships in jurisdictions where their marriages are not recognized.
2. "Kilpatrick Townsend Names First Female Leader in DC," 03.12.15.
The Legal Times reports that Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton has named its first female managing partner, Catherine Munson, a Native American affairs lawyer.
3. "Dean Advises Other Deans to Punish Law Schools in US News Peer Reputation Voting for Manipulating Rankings With School-Funded Jobs and Transfer Students," 03.11.15.
The headline of this TaxProf blog post says it all — things are getting ugly out there.
4. "Student Loans Viewed Differently Than Other Debt, Study Finds," 03.11.15.
Inside Higher Ed reports on new research from the New America think tank that finds "borrowers of federal student loans have a fundamentally different relationship to their debt than other financial obligations."
5. "'Bill of Rights' for Student Borrowers," 03.10.15.
Inside Higher Ed reports that the Obama administration has announced a series of executive actions aimed at helping those who owe federal student loans, including the creation of a centralized complaint system for borrowers as well as a single web site where they can manage their loan payments.
a. "White House Floats Bankruptcy Process for Some Student Debt," 03.10.15.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Obama administration "is weighing steps to make it easier for Americans to expunge certain student loans through bankruptcy, opening the door for student debt made by private lenders to be treated on par with credit-card debt and mortgages."
6. "Law Grads' Earning Advantage Seems Recession-Proof," 03.10.15.
The National Law Journal reports on new academic research that suggests that law students who graduate during a recession experience very little long-term effect on their lifetime earnings.
7. "How to Manage Law Firm Lay-Offs," 03.10.15.
Three lawyers, writing for The Recorder, provide a primer on terminating both attorneys and staff that aims to protect law firms from unnecessary professional, legal or ethical complications.
8. "Strength in Numbers for Firm Leadership?," 03.10.15.
The Legal Intelligencer reports on the growing trend of law firms appointing management committees, distributing power at the top, rather than single managing partners.
9. "Law schools are in a death spiral. Maybe now they'll finally change," 03.09.15.
An Emory law professor, writing for The Washington Post, argues that no law school has yet figured out how to handle the new normal of legal education.
10. "College for a New Age," 03.09.15.
Joe Nocera, writing for The New York Times, takes a look at Kevin Carey's new book, The End of College, which he describes as "both a stinging indictment of the university business model and a prediction about how technology is likely to change it."
11. "Yale Remains Atop US News' List of the Best Law Schools," 03.09.15.
The National Law Journal reports that that US News & World Report released its latest law school rankings on Tuesday.
a. "Five Failures of the US News Rankings," 03.09.15.
And Kyle McEntee, writing for Law.com, provides a critique of the US News law school rankings, noting that in his opinion the rankings pay insufficient attention to law school employment outcomes.
12. "Which 5 law firms made Fortune's list of best places to work?," 03.09.15.
The ABA Journal reports on the five law firms that made Fortune's list of best places to work.
13. "Major Changes Could Be in Store for Law Firm Websites," 03.09.15.
The Legal Intelligencer takes a look at what may be coming down the road for law firm websites, changes that are being driven by the tech companies they serve.
14. "Why Are Filings Falling? Civil Lawsuits Down 17 Percent in 10 Years," 03.09.15.
Texas Lawyer looks at the dramatic decline in civil lawsuits filed in that state.
15. "Why Law Firms Fail," 03.08.15.
A Huffington Post blog post by UC Hastings Chancellor and Dean Frank Wu examines why law firms fail: "Very few, if any, of the law firms that have failed had foundered because the people employed there were lousy lawyers."
16. "Legal Sector Gains 3,100 Jobs in February," 03.08.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that the latest USBLS numbers show that "after two consecutive months of declines, the legal sector added 3.100 jobs in February."
17. "K&E Foundation Gives $5.5M to Chicago Law's Corporate Lab," 03.06.15.
The National Law Journal reports that "the Kirkland & Ellis Foundation has donated nearly $5.5 million to support the University of Chicago Law School's Corporate Lab, which prepares students for corporate law careers."
18. "Practice Ready? Law Students and Practitioners Disagree," 03.06.15.
The National Law Journal reports on the findings of new survey research from BARBRI that shows that a far higher percentage of law students think that they are practice-ready than do the practitioners for whom they work.
19. "ABA committee to consider changes in reporting of law school entering class credentials," 03.06.15.
The ABA Journal reports that the ABA Data Policy and Collection committee is recommending changes to the way that law schools are required to report the LSAT scores and UGPAs of their entering students.
20. "Head of National Bar Exam Group Defends UBE," 03.06.15.
The New York Law Journal reports that the president of the National Conference of Bar Examiners testified Wednesday that there is no evidence that the Uniform Bar Exam negatively affects minorities.
21. Year-end Law Firm Financial Results Roundup:
a. "Blank Rome Revenue Up 3.3 Percent," 03.13.15. (The Legal Intelligencer, Gross Revenue up 3.3%, PPP up < 1%)
b. "O'Melveny Down, But Eyes Rebound," 03.07.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue down 9.3%, PPP down 8%)
March 6, 2015
1. "McKenna Long, Dentons Looks to Merge Again," 03.05.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that more than a year after a potential merger between the two firms fell apart, Dentons and McKenna Long are once again moving seriously towards combining their two firms.
a. "Slimmer This Time, McKenna May Be Pondering Dentons Merger Again," 03.05.15.
More on this from the Daily Report, noting that a partnership exodus at McKenna may be driving the current merger momentum.
2. "Carey Foundation Gives $10M to Penn Law-Wharton Program," 03.05.15.
The National Law Journal reports that "the University of Pennsylvania Law School has received $10 million from the W.P. Carey Foundation to endow the joint JD-MBA program it runs with the Wharton School."
3. "Entry-level Law Firm Recruiting Ticks Up," 03.04.15.
NALP released it's analysis of the 2014 summer/fall recruiting data this week, finding that "six years after the Great Recession, entry-level law firm recruiting activity increased measurably." Read the Press Release. Read the full "Perspectives on Fall 2014 Law Student Recruiting" report.
a. "Summer-Associate Hiring Increases for Fifth Straight Year," 03.04.15.
The National Law Journal reports on the new NALP recruiting data analyses, including findings that while the overall numbers were up, the growth in summer programs was spread unevenly across law firms.
b. "Summer Associate Hiring: Is It Making A Comeback?," 03.05.15.
And Above the Law weighs in on the NALP recruiting data. (It is somehow oddly gratifying to read David Lat saying "James Leipold of NALP hits the nail on the head.")
4. "Shocking Decision at Sweet Briar," 03.04.15.
Inside Higher Ed reports that the higher education world was rocked this week by the announcement that Sweet Briar College will close at the end of this academic year.
a. "Is Sweet Briar's Closure a Warning for Other Small Colleges?," 03.04.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education dissects the decision by the Sweet Briar Board of Directors to shut down the small women's liberal arts college despite having $84 million in its endowment noting that it "comes as a grim reality check for small liberal-arts colleges that have been facing enrollment and financial challenges in recent years."
b. "Who's Next? Who Isn't?," 03.06.15.
And further analysis on the Sweetbriar closure from Inside Higher Ed, asking whether the closure will prompt other struggling private colleges to throw in the towel.
5. "The Toughest Job in Big Law?," 03.03.15.
The American Lawyer looks at the harsh realities of being a managing partner at a big law firm in 2015.
6. "H-1B Spouses Now Can Work in the US Too," 03.03.15.
Corporate Counsel reports that "US Citizenship and Immigration Services recently announced that...some spouses of H-1B visa holders will be able to apply for authorization to work in the United States."
7. "An Elite Education's Going to Cost You: Tuition at top law schools surpasses $55K per year," 03.02.15.
The National Law Journal reports that "tuition at US law schools continues to increase even as demand for law degrees declines...and the increases are particularly pronounced at the elite schools that send the most graduates into the nation's largest law firms."
a. "This law school charges more than $60K; tuition is up 13% in 3 years at top BigLaw feeder schools," 03.02.15.
And the ABA Journal runs with the law school tuition hike story.
8. "The Lonely Shame of Student Debt," 03.02.15.
A recent Ph.D. grad, writing for The Chronicle of Higher Education, says that student loan debtors face "a dehumanized student-financial-aid bureaucracy, combined with shame and lack of shared knowledge."
9. "The Inside Story of Dentons' Combination with Dacheng," 03.02.15.
The American Lawyer provides an inside look at the law firm tie-up that will produce the world's largest law firm.
10. "US millennials post 'abysmal' scores in tech skills test, lag behind foreign peers," 03.02.15.
The Washington Post reports that new research conducted by ETS put American millennials at the very bottom of a list of 23 developed nations when it comes to being prepared to work in a complex, modern society.
11. "DLA Piper Breaks Into Canada With Davis Merger," 03.01.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that DLA Piper will merge with Davis, a 260-lawyer midtier firm based in Vancouver, providing DLA with offices in Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto, Tokyo, Whitehorse, Yellowknife, and of course Vancouver.
a. "DLA Piper and Canadian law firm vote to merge," 03.02.15.
More on this from the ABA Journal.
12. "The Career Advice You Probably Didn't Get," 03.02.15.
Kathleen Wu, writing for Texas Lawyer, provides good advice for young lawyers: know how the law firm makes its money, and know how your clients make their money!
13. "Will Law School Applicants Return?," 02.28.15.
The Tax Prof Blog picks up a blog post by Northwestern law prof McGinnis who asks and answers this question with a big no, citing advances in technology that have created structural change: "This technological shock has been good for the economy by reducing the transaction costs constituted by lawyers. But it raises a grave challenge to law schools. Since the cause of the decline in applications is structural, the applicants are not likely to come back in anything like previous numbers. Because the structural change is technological, it also may intensify as computation becomes ever more powerful."
14. "Legal incubator dubbed 'Project Lemonade' gets $400K grant from MacArthur Foundation," 02.27.15.
The ABA Journal reports that a legal incubator for recent law school graduates that is administered by the Chicago Bar Foundation has been awarded a $400,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation: "the Justice Entrepreneurs Program has the potential to develop replicable, market-based models," according to a written statement from MacArthur.
15. "A Strike Against Student Debt," 02.27.15.
A New York Times op-ed rails against the tyranny of student educational loan debt, and calls for radical remedies, including the discharge of all outstanding federal student loan debt.
16. Year-end Law Firm Financial Results Roundup:
a. "Proskauer Profits Hit New High," 03.05.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 6.5%, PPP up 7.7%)
b. "Steptoe Weathers Decline in Total Revenue, Profits as Part of Strategy," 03.05.15. (Legal Times, Gross Revenue down 3.4%, PPP flat)
c. "Kramer Levin Sees Mixed Results in 2014," 03.04.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue down 0.5%, PPP up 3.7%)
d. "Debevoise Delivers Solid Revenue, Profit Growth," 03.04.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 3.3%, PPP up 3%)
e. "DLA Posts Record Profits Despite Flat Revenue," 03.04.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue flat, PPP up 12.5%)
f. "Arnold & Porter's Modest Growth Still Made for a Strong Year," 03.04.15. (Legal Times, Gross Revenue up 1%, PPP up 4%)
g. "Reed Smith Revenue Up 7 Percent, PPP 5.7%," 03.04.15. (Legal Intelligencer)
h. "Willkie Farr Achieves Personal Best in 2014," 03.27.15. (The Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue and PPP both up 14.5%)
i. "Kaye Scholer Grows PPP While Shrinking Headcount," 02.26.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue down 1.3%, PPP up 1.8%)
j. "Covington Boasts 16 Percent PPP Growth But Thinks Long-Term," 02.27.15. (Legal Times, Gross Revenue up 8%, PPP up 15.6%)
k. "Kasowitz's Revenues Get Big Bounce From FHFA Settlement," 02.25.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 14.6%, PPP up 35.5%)
February 27, 2015
1. "Really Big and Really Global: A blockbuster merger brings together a big international firm with China's biggest," 03.01.15.
Corporate Counsel provides this update on the Dentons/Dacheng merger. (Firm leaders say it will take 90 days to fully integrate the two law firms — the new 6,600-lawyer megafirm will operate under a Swiss verein structure.)
2. "White Privilege, Quantified," 02.17.15.
The Atlantic takes a look at a fascinating new study that measured white privilege in Australia — a clever experiment showed that whites without bus fare money were much more likely to be allowed to ride the bus than blacks or members of other non-white racial groups.
a. "Straight Talk for White Men," 02.21.15.
And a great Sunday New York Times Op-ed from Nicholas Kristoff on white male privilege: "the evidence is overwhelming that unconscious bias remains widespread in ways that systematically benefit both whites and men...so white men get a double dividend, a payoff from both racial and gender biases."
3. "ABA to fund startup projects to hire new and underutilized lawyers," 02.26.15.
The ABA Journal reports that the ABA will award a second round of Catalyst Grants to groups with proposed programs to hire new and underutilized lawyers — the deadline for grant applications is April 17.
4. "A dangerous revolt: People are refusing to pay back student loans," 02.25.15.
The Washington Post reports that a group of former students from for-profit colleges have announced a debt strike, refusing to pay their student loans and insisting that the Department of Education should forgive loans they allege they were unfairly pressured into taking.
5. "Number of women, minority partners at law firms still far lower than counterparts: In 2014, minorities were 7.33 percent of partners at major US law firms, and women were 20.05 percent of the partners in these firms," 02.24.15.
Inside Counsel reports on the NALP law firm diversity and demographic data that was released last week.
a. "Women, minority partners increase at law firms," 02.23.15.
And New Orleans City Business reports on the latest NALP law firm demographic data.
6. "Northwestern Helps on Creation of Law School in Qatar," 2.24.15.
Inside Higher Ed reports that "Northwestern University is advising Hamad bin Khalifa University on the creation of its new graduate-level law school in Qatar," which will award an American-style, three-year JD degree.
7. "Columbia Again Tops The Go-To Law Schools: Our report on the law schools that supply the largest numbers of associates to the country's largest firms," 02.23.15.
The National Law Journal publishes its annual Go-To Law Schools Special Report. (NLJ collects half a dozen features in this special report, along with the numbers.)
a. "Howard Law Punches Above its Weight Class in Placing Grads," 02.24.15.
Howard gets a special shout-out from the NLJ in their Go-To Law Schools special report for being the only law school outside of the top 100 to make the list.
b. "In Texas, One Go-To Law School Dominates the Rest," 02.25.15.
And the University of Texas gets a shout-out from the NLJ as well for completely dominating the Texas market in producing Big Law associates and partners.
c. "Big Law's Top 10 Law Schools," 02.23.15.
More on this from The Careerist blogger, Vivia Chen.
8. "Ground for Measured Optimism on Job Prospects: Increased hiring and reduced law school enrollment could spell happy futures for graduates," 02.23.15.
NALP's Executive Director, writing for The National Law Journal, provides an update on the legal employment market for new law school graduates and notes that "we can expect to see gradually improving job numbers for all three classes now enrolled in law schools."
a. "Job market for new law grads is improving, NALP chief says," 02.25.15.
And the ABA Journal repurposes my NLJ piece.
9. "Law Jobs See Lag in Recovery," 02.23.15.
In case you needed it, The American Lawyer brings us this infographic based on average quarterly government figures that clearly shows job recovery in the legal services sector lagging broader national nonfarm payroll jobs recovery.
a. "The Anemic Law Jobs Recovery," 02.25.15.
And the TaxProf blog is fascinated by the haunting graphic as well.
10. "Law school consumer data now available for comparative purposes," 02.23.15.
According to the ABA Journal, the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has now made available searchable, comparative law school consumer information data for 2011 through 2014 that includes information on admissions, tuition and living costs, grants and scholarships, class and faculty demographics, employment outcomes, and bar passage rates.
11. "What the State of Law Schools Can Teach the Rest of Higher Ed," 02.23.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education interviews Blake Morant, dean of The George Washington University Law School and president of the Association of American Law Schools, about the declining student demand, the weak job market, and some of the things law schools are doing in response. (Video and transcript)
12. Year-end Law Firm Financial Results Roundup:
a. "Paul Hastings' Revenue Surpasses $1 Billion," 02.26.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 6.3%, PPP up 8.5%)
b. "Ballard Spahr's Revenue Up 4.3 Percent," 02.26.15. (The Legal Intelligencer, Gross Revenue up 4.3%, PPP up 3.6%)
c. "Shearman Builds on Breakout 2013," 02.25.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 3%, PPP up 5.8%)
d. "Milbank Sees Spike in Revenue, Profits," 02.25.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 7.8%, PPP up 7%)
e. "Kilpatrick Townsend's PPP Spikes Due to Change in Equity Compensation System," 02.15.15. (Daily Report, Gross Revenue up 5.9%, PPP up 32.1%)
f. "Shook Hardy's Partner Profits Take Another Dip," 02.24.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 2.4%, PPP down 3%)
g. "Latham Gives Bob Dell a Spectacular Sendoff," 02.24.15. (Am Law Daily, (Gross Revenue up 14.3%, PPP up 16.5%)
h. "Profits Per Partner Climb at Wilmer to $1.6 Million," 02.23.15. (Legal Times, Gross Revenue down < 1%, PPP up 7%)
i. "Gross Revenue, Net Income Up at Winstead," 02.23.15. (Texas Lawyer, Gross Revenue up 9.4%, PPP up 11%)
j. "Gibson Dunn's Steady Growth Continues," 02.20.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 5.7%, PPP up 3.4%)
k. "Valley Firms Set Blistering Pace in a Strong Economic Year," 02.20.15. (The Recorder provides a snapshot of year-end finances at select California firms, noting that many of the firms that serve Silicon Valley saw revenues jump by double digits.)
February 20, 2015
1. "Merging law schools, merging firms: What does it mean?," 02.19.15.
Paul Lippe, writing for the ABA Journal's Legal Rebels/New Normal column waxes thoughtful on what the merger of two law schools in Minnesota means for the industry, and what the future might hold in light of the fact that "there are 50 or more schools...now facing multiyear deficits and a very low probability of real increases in enrollment."
2. "Law School Without the LSAT in Iowa, Buffalo," 02.19.15.
The National Law Journal reports that the University of Iowa College of Law and the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School will begin admitting high-performing undergraduates without LSAT scores, a practice allowed by new ABA standards.
3. "Unemployment Rates for College Graduates Are Dropping, Report Says," 02.19.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on new research from Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce that finds overall unemployment rates for college graduates are dropping.
4. "Schiff Hardin Makes Way for First Female Managing Partner," 02.18.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that "Marci Eisenstein has been elected managing partner of Schiff Hardin, making her the first female to serve in that role in the Chicago-based firm's 150-year history."
5. "UC Hastings Capitalizing on Increasingly Trendy Site," 02.18.15.
The National Law Journal reports that the University of California Hastings College of Law has announced plans to build a new law school building in the heart of San Francisco's growing technology hub.
6. "A GC Says to Outside Counsel: No Value Pricing, No Work," 02.18.15.
Corporate Counsel reports that one Australian GC is refusing to work with law firms that do not offer value-based pricing — noting that the firm has pulled hourly rates from all engagement terms.
7. "Diversity Numbers at Law Firms Eke Out Small Gains - Numbers for Women Associates Edge Up After Four Years of Decline," 02.17.14.
NALP released its latest law firm demographic findings, noting that women and minority partners and associates continued to make small gains in their representation among law firms. (NALP Press Release)
a. "US Law Firms Slowly Growing More Diverse, Survey Shows," 02.17.15.
The National Law Journal reports on NALP's latest findings on law firm demographics, noting that "women associates expanded their presence at firms during 2014 — the first percentage growth among that demographic group in four years."
b. "Women and Minorities Make Slight Gains at Law Firms," 02.18.15.
The New York Times reports on the new NALP law firm demographic data, noting that some of the gains in the representation of women could be attributed to the disproportionate growth of women in non-equity track positions like counsel and staff attorney.
c. "For Women Lawyers, SF Tops NALP Diversity Rankings," 02.17.14.
The Recorder also reports on the new NALP diversity numbers, noting that "among large US cities, San Francisco reported the highest rates of women associates and partners, with women comprising half of associates and just over 25% of partners."
d. "Women and Minorities Gain Marginally at Firms," 02.17.15.
More on this from Bloomberg.
e. "Best and Worst Cities for Women and Minorities," 02.19.15.
The Careerist looks at the new NALP law firm diversity data and identifies the best and worst cities for female and minority associates and partners.
8. "ABA committee seeks more detailed data on law school attrition," 02.17.15.
The ABA Journal reports that the ABA Standards Review Committee has submitted a proposal for a change in the standards that govern law school accreditation that would require schools to report on the LSAT and undergraduate GPA information for all students who flunk out, transfer to another law school, or leave for any other reason.
9. "Penn Law Finds its New Dean Close to Home," 02.17.15.
The National Law Journal reports that The University of Pennsylvania has named longtime faculty member Theodore Ruger to be its next dean.
10. "Mediocre Millennials," 02.17.15.
Inside Higher Ed reports on new research that compares the achievements of millennials (aged 16 to 34) across developed nations and finds that amongst this group US millennials rank 20 out of 22 in literacy, and dead last in numeracy and problem solving.
11. "4 Trends That Will Change Legal Practice Management in 2015," 02.17.15.
A good Robert Half trends blog post identifies four top trends that will affect legal practice management this year.
12. "Lower Tier Leads in Diversity: Minorities grain at less prestigious law schools," 02.16.15.
The National Law Journal reports that according to new research, nearly all of the gain in law school diversity between 2010 and 2013 was at less prestigious law schools with lower admission criteria.
a. Minorities in Big Law: Few and Fewer," 02.17.15.
ALM's Careerist blogger Vivia Chen responds to research released last week that shows lower tier law schools bulking up on lower credentialed diversity candidates: "Blacks and Hispanics are filling low-ranking law schools, but fewer of them are entering the top schools."
13. "A law firm IPO? Not so fast," 02.16.15.
The Washington Post reports that a Georgetown law professor and co-founder of one of the fastest-growing litigation financing firms is the country is pushing for a law firm IPO as an antidote to the short-term thinking for fast annual gains that he sees undermining the ultimate value of large law firms.
a. "A Call for Law Firms to Go Public," 02.18.15.
The New York Times also reports on the suggestion by a law school professor that law firms should be allowed to go public in order to receive funding from outsiders so they can have the cash to invest in areas like lawyer training and technology.
14. "Law schools cut costs, rethink approach as enrollment falls," 02.14.15.
The Elkhart Truth (wow!) reports the Indiana law schools are taking extra measures to recruit new students and cut costs and enrollment in law schools across the state continues to fall.
15. "Texas Has Second-Best Legal Job Market in US," 02.13.15.
Texas Lawyer reports that NALP data reviewed by The National Jurist suggests that Texas has the second-nest legal job market in the country.
16. "Judge: ABA Needn't Track Disabled Law Students," 02.13.15.
The National Law Journal reports that a federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that alleged that the ABA's failure to collect and disseminate data about law students with disabilities violates the Americans With Disabilities Act.
17. "Law Schools Merging in Minnesota Amid Enrollment Declines," 02.13.15.
The National Law Journal reports that Hamline University School of Law and William Mitchell College of Law have announced that they will merge.
a. "Once rivals, two Minnesota law schools announce plans to merge," 02.17.15.
And the ABA Journal also reports on this development, noting that Hamline's first-year enrollment has dropped more than 54% since 2011, and William Mitchell's has dropped nearly 45%.
b. "2 Law Schools in Minnesota Will Merge," 02.19.15.
This news is also reported by Inside Higher Ed.
c. "Hamline, William Mitchell law schools to merge," 02.13.15.
More on this from the Star Tribune in Minnesota.
18. "Law Students Leave Torts Behind (for a Bit) and Tackle Accounting," 02.12.15.
The New York Times reports on law schools that are adding business boot camps and other business literacy efforts to their offerings for law students.
19. "Better Times for Law Firms, With More on the Horizon, Says Report," 02.12.15.
The Wall Street Journal Law Blog parses the numbers in Citi Private Bank's year-end law firm financial report that was issued last week, noting that for large law firms, net income was up 6% over the previous year, and partner profits were up 5.7%, with the firms at the top of the AmLaw pecking order racking up the biggest gains.
20. Year-end Law Firm Financial Results Roundup:
a. "K&L Gates Sees Revenue Fall 1.2 Percent, PPP Down Less Than 1 Percent," 02.20.15. (The Legal Intelligencer)
b. "White & Case Breaks Barriers," 02.19.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 4.4%, PPP up 5.3%).
c. "Hogan Lovells' Gross Revenue Grows by 3.6%," 02.17.15. (Legal Times, Gross Revenue up 3.6%, PPP up 0.4%)
d. "Troutman Sanders Increases Gains Over 2013," 02.16.15. (Daily Report, Gross Revenue up 7.2%, PPP up 7.3%)
e. "Davis Polk Posts Record-High Revenue, PPP," 02.13.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 9.9%, PPP up 12.1%)
February 13, 2015
1. Citi Report: M&A Work Boosts Firm Profitability in 2014," 02.11.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that legal industry performance was stronger in 2014 than 2013 (net income up 6%, profits per equity partner up 5.7%) driven largely by near record-level M&A volume with firms with significant transactional practices outperforming those with large litigation practices. (For more on individual law firm performances, see the roundup at the bottom of the hour.)
2. "The New Bachelor's Payoff," 02.11.15.
Adding more fuel to the fire under the eternal debate about whether there is economic return on a bachelor's degree, Inside Higher Ed reports that last month's federal jobs report showed an unemployment rate of only 2.8 percent for those with at least a bachelor's degree, compared to an overall unemployment rate of 5.7 percent, and notes that "a prominent financial analyst last week signaled an alarm that employers soon may face a shortage of job-seeking college graduates," (a finding that, if true, surely will not help the law school applications problem).
3. "Law School Diversity Improves — But Only at the Bottom," 02.10.15.
The National Law Journal reports that new research shows that "the percentage of African-American and Hispanic students enrolled in law school increased between 2010 and 2013, but those gains came almost exclusively at less prestigious law schools with lower admission standards." (The research finds that schools "at the bottom of the prestige ladder" have relied disproportionately on African-American and Hispanic students to fill their classes.)
a. "Less-Prestigious Law Schools Enroll More Minority Students, Report Says," 02.11.15.
More on this from The Chronicle of Higher Education.
b. "Law school diversity improves, but not at most prestigious schools," 02.12.15.
And the ABA Journal weighs in on this as well.
4. "Flip Side of Reducing Student Debt Is Increasing the Federal Deficit," 02.10.15.
The New York Times' Upshot column takes a look at what the real long-term costs of the federal Income-Based Repayment program for student loans is likely to be (recently released federal estimates have suggested that it will be tens of billions of dollars).
5. "Villanova Law School receives $5M gift," 02.10.15.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that "former Blank Rome chairman David F. Girard-diCarlo and his wife, Constance, announced a $5 million gift Tuesday to the Villanova University law school for the establishment of a center on ethics and compliance."
6. "Berkeley Law Human Rights Center Wins $1M MacArthur Grant," 02.09.15.
The National Law Journal reports that "the University of California, Berkeley School of Law's Human Rights Center has been awarded $1 million by the MacArthur Foundation," and notes that the money will be used to expand the center's efforts to highlight and prevent sexual violence around the world.
7. "The Art and Science of Legal Project Management," 02.09.15.
A general counsel and a law firm partner, writing for The National Law Journal, demystify legal project management.
8. "Counsel young lawyers about debt, ABA policymakers urge law schools and bar groups," 02.09.15.
The ABA Journal reports that at its midyear meeting this week, "the ABA House of Delegates unanimously adopted a resolution...urging law schools and bar associations to counsel young attorneys on student loan debt."
9. "'No relief' for law school enrollment slump," 02.07.15.
The Indianapolis Business Journal reports on shrinking enrollments at Indiana's law schools, reflecting enrollment drops at law schools around the country.
10. "Legal Sector Loses 1,400 Jobs in January," 02.06.15.
The Am Law Daily, reporting on US BLS jobs data for January, notes that the legal sector lost 1,400 jobs for the month, and 4,500 jobs for the year ending January 31, noting that "the number of people working in the industry during the past year has been consistently lower than in 2013."
11. Year-end Law Firm Financial Results Roundup:
a. "Baker & Hostetler's Revenue Up, Profits Down," 02.12.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 7.2%, PPP down 13.4%)
b. "BuckleySandler Sees 'Breakthough Year' as Revenue Soars," 02.12.15. (Legal Times, Revenue up nearly 60%, PPP up 65%)
c. "A Trimmer Orrick Sees Revenue Per Lawyer Climb 8 Percent," 02.12.15. (The Recorder, Gross Revenue up 1.1%, PPP down 5.9%)
d. "Wilson Grows Top Line, Lifts Per Partner Profits to $1.9 Million," 02.11.15. (The Recorder, Gross Revenue up 12.3%, PPP up 8.2%)
e. "Arent Fox Counts Another Record Year, But Stays Comfortable in Size," 02.11.15. (Legal Times, Gross Revenue up 5%, PPP up 4%)
f. "Cooley's Revenue, Profits Surge," 02.10.15. (The Recorder, Gross Revenue up 19%, PPP up 11%)
g. "Mayer Brown Partner Profits Grow by Double Digits," 02.10.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 6.7%, PPP up 12.8%)
h. "Crowell Reaps Benefits of Cost Management Technology, Sees 11% PPP Growth," 02.10.15. (Legal Times, Gross Revenue up 2.6%, PPP up 10.8%)
i. "King & Spalding Tops 2013's Partner Profit Boost," 02.09.15. (Daily Report, Gross Revenue up 8.4%, PPP up 10%)
j. "Paul Weiss Rides Robust Workload to Record Highs," 02.09.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 10.9%, PPP up 6.2%)
k. "Greenberg Traurig's 2014 Financial Results are a 'Sign of Health at the Firm'," 02.09.15. (Daily Business Review, Gross Revenue up 3.3%, PPP up 5.6%)
l. "For Sidley, It's Another Year of Growth," 02.09.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 9.5%, PPP up 6.1%)
m. "History Making Year for Holland & Knight in 2014," 02.09.15. (Daily Business Review, Gross Revenue up 9.8%, PPP up 10.2%)
n. "Profits, Revenue Bounce Back for Jenner & Block," 02.06.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross Revenue up 14%, PPP up 31%)
o. "Venable Boasts Record Revenue and Profits in 2014," 02.06.15. (Legal Times, Gross Revenue up 8%, Net Income up 9%)
p. "An Early Look at The 2015 Am Law 100," 02.09.15. The American Lawyer provides a roundup of its "early coverage of 2014 financial results of the Am Law 100/200."
February 6, 2015
1. "Income-Based Repayment Costs Rising," 02.06.15.
Inside Higher Ed reports that the expanded Pay As You Earn program for federal student loan repayment will cost taxpayers $9 billion according to information released by the Obama administration this week.
2. "Fewer Top Graduates Want to Join Teach for America," 02.05.15.
The New York Times reports that applications for the Teach for America program are down sharply for the second year in a row and the program's teaching corps could be smaller by as much as a quarter come fall.
3. "Yackee: Law School Rankings, Not Skills Training, Drives JD Employment Outcomes," 02.04.15.
The Tax Prof Blog provides a summary of a new empirical paper by Jason Yackee that finds "there is no statistical relationship between law school opportunities for skills training and JD employment outcomes....employment outcomes do seem to be strongly related to law school prestige." (You can read the entire paper, Does Experiential Learning Improve JD Employment Outcomes?, on SSRN.)
4. "Is Your First Grader College Ready?," 02.04.15.
A fascinating (and maybe frightening) piece from The New York Times about the increasing prevalence of college-readiness and college-awareness work being done with grade school children.
5. "Poaching Law Students," 02.04.15.
Inside Higher Ed takes note of the aggressive transfer market for law students, calling it "the contentious underbelly of legal education."
6. "9 ways to change the carnivorous partnership model and save BigLaw firms," 02.04.15.
A good piece from the ever-thoughtful Ed Reeser, writing here for the ABA Journal's New Normal column, that posits a new strategy for law firm success: "A firm that refocuses its approach upon delivering value through hiring a select number of people and making every effort it can to invest in and retain as many of those people as it can — in skill development and compensation sharing that supports collaboration and fair value to all of the members of the team and to the stability of the business enterprise — will have an enormous competitive cost advantage over the present leveraged model that prevails."
7. "How Students' Economic Diversity Varies by College Type," 02.03.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that income inequality in higher education has widened over the last 45 years according to a new report issued by the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education and Democracy. (You can find the Pell report here.)
8. "A University Recognizes a Third Gender: Neutral," 02.03.15.
The New York Times reports that the University of Vermont is at the forefront of gender politics, and now allows students to select their own identity, including a third gender that comes with the pronoun "they."
9. "Skadden Once Again Snags Top Spot in Branding Survey," 02.02.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that for the fourth year in a row, Skadden has topped an annual survey that measures the strength of US law firm brands.
10. "Ignition Law: A Revolution in London's Legal Community," 02.02.15.
Newsweek reports that the advent of a new model legal service provider in the UK is bringing disruptive change to that market, noting that "the legal industry is in for exactly the same kind of disruption that the taxi industry has experienced with Uber...so that clients are given a more cost effective and transparent service."
11. "How a new program uses law students to cut costs and acrimony for divorcing couples," 02.02.15.
The ABA Journal provides this podcast about the University of Denver's innovative program that involves law students in a multidisciplinary program that provides a holistic counseling and mediation alternative to divorcing and separating families. Read more about this program here.
12. "The Great Recession's Lost Generation? Older Millennials," 02.02.15.
This op-ed piece in The Washington Post makes the case that based on census data, Americans aged 25 to 34 seem to have been more scarred by the economic slowdown than younger millennials.
13. "Embrace Diversity as a Business Imperative," 02.02.15.
The managing partner at Cadwalader, writing here for the New York Law Journal, makes the case that diversity is a business imperative and a business opportunity.
14. "Trust Darwin: How Tech Will Disrupt, Save the Legal Profession," 02.02.15.
A great article by the outgoing editor in chief of Law Technology News that provides excellent perspective on many of the way that technology will continue to challenge, change, and eventually improve the legal services profession.
15. "Applying to Top Law Schools Disserved Many in 2014," 01.30.15.
Matt Leichter is back at it, writing here for the Am Law Daily, making the case that despite the overall decline in law school applications, many elite schools saw their applications rise as students with lower credentials reached higher in a down market, but, he shows, the effort did not pay off for most applicants.
16. "Retired Emory Law Prof Gives $1M to Educate Deal Lawyers," 01.30.15.
According to the Daily Report Emory Law School received a $1 million challenge grant from a retired law professor for its Center for Transactional Law and Practice.
17. "An Rx for Lateral Heartache," 01.29.15.
Bill Henderson and Christopher Zorn, writing for The American Lawyer, offer prescriptive advice for curing what they describe as the dysfunctional lateral market.
18. "DLA Explores New Revenue Streams through CyberTrak," 01.27.14.
The Am Law Daily reports that "in an effort to diversify its revenue streams, DLA Piper has introduced CyberTrak, a subscription-based online platform that allows multinational companies to access information regarding cybersecurity laws for the countries in which they operate."
19. "The No. 1 Predictor of Career Success According to Network Science," 01.15.15.
Forbes reports that "according to multiple, peer-reviewed studies, simply being in an open network instead of a closed one is the best predictor of career success."
20. "LegalZoom enters market with ABS license," 01.07.15.
The Law Society Gazette in the UK reports that "the first US company has been approved to offer legal services in the UK as an alternative business structure."
21. "Why Women Don't Negotiate Their Job Offers," 06,19,14.
This Harvard Business Review article from June recently resurfaced on social media and is a must-read for men and women that explains why the social cost of negotiating for salary is higher for women than for men — hat tip to Vic Massaglia for bringing it to my attention.
22. Year-end Law Firm Financial Results Roundup:
a. "Akin Gump Reports 12.8% Jump in Net Income," 02.05.15. (Texas Lawyer, Gross revenue up 4.8%, PPP up 2.7%)
b. "Baker Botts Reports 25.5% Growth in PPP," 02.04.15. (Texas Lawyer, Gross revenue up 11.4%)
c. "Polsinelli's Revenue Soars While PPP Dips," 02.04.15. (Am Law Daily, Revenue up 13.4%, PPP down 5%)
d. "Cadwalader's Partner Profits Take a Hit," 02.03.15. (Am Law Daily, Gross revenue flat, PPP down 15.3%)
e. "Ackerman Sets a Revenue Record for a Law Firm, the $$ Is Impressive," (Daily Business Review, Gross revenue up 9%, PPP up 7.6%)
f. "Dechert Grows Revenue 8 Percent, PPP 7.7 Percent," 02.02.15. (The Legal Intelligencer)
g. "Munger Sees More Growth in Revenue, Profits," 02.02.15. (The Recorder, Revenue up 7.5%, PPP up 8%)
h. "McDermott's Revenue Spikes While Head Count Drops," 02.02.15. (Am Law Daily, Revenue up 2.2%, PPP down 1%)
i. "Dorsey & Whitney Records Most Profitable Year," 01.30.15. (Am Law Daily, Revenue up 3.8%, PPP up 11%)
j. "With Headcount Flat, Pillsbury Sees 3% Revenue Gain," 01.30.15. (The Recorder, Gross revenue up 3.3%, PPP up 6%)
January 30, 2015
1. "ACC Survey Finds Pay Disparity for Men and Women CLOs," 01.30.15.
Corporate Counsel reports on the results of the ACC's Chief Legal Officers 2015 Survey, noting findings that "a significant disparity was found between compensation for male and female chief legal officers."
2. "A Near-Record Year for Lateral Hires," 01.29.15.
The American Lawyer has published its annual Lateral Survey results, noting that lateral hiring was a key success strategy for law firms in 2014.
a. "Lateral Hiring Stays Strong, but Firms Curb Pay Pledges," 01.29.15.
More on this from The American Lawyer: findings indicate that lateral hiring volume increased 7% over 2013.
b. "The Numbers Behind the 2015 Lateral Report: The law firms with the most lateral gains, as well as the hottest markets and practice areas, in The American Lawyer's annual report on lateral moves," 01.29.15.
3. "Facing up to the challenge: It's time to prepare law students for their profession," 01.29.15.
Michael Roster, former MoFo managing partner and currently teaching at USC, writing here for the ABA's New Normal column, proposes an audacious goal for legal education: "By 2018, every graduate from a US law school will have the knowledge and skills currently expected of a second-year lawyer or higher and as such can function as a midlevel associate, a solo practitioner, an agency or judicial officer, a junior faculty member or in similar capacities. To achieve this proficiency , every student will have had a courses or comparable experiences involving all of the following: traditional substantive law, client skills, social service, advocacy and dispute resolution, government and administrative processes, and teaching and scholarly inquiry."
4. "Goodwin Procter Builds on 2013 Growth," 01.29.15.
The Am Law Daily, reporting on law firm year-end financial results, notes that in 2014 Goodwin Procter grew gross revenues by 4.4 percent, revenue per lawyer by 6.1 percent, and profits per partner by 7.1 percent, to $1.75 million.
a. "Irell & Manella Sees Revenue, Profits Climb," 01.29.15.
In more year-end financial news, The Recorder report that California-based IP boutique Irell & Manella saw gross revenue grow by 4.4 percent in 2014 and profits per partner surge by 8 percent to $3.625 million.
5. "Creighton Law Looks to Dayton for Next Dean," 01.29.15.
The National Law Journal reports that Creighton University School of Law has named Paul McGreal, now dean at the University of Dayton School of Law, as its next dean.
6. "Law Firm Founds Project to Fight 'Revenge Porn'," 01.29.15.
The New York Times reports that K&L Gates has established the Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project that will advise victims of online abuse.
7. "University Can Deny a Medical Degree Over Lack of 'Professionalism,' Court Rules," 01.29.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "a federal appeals court has ruled that Case Western Reserve University can deny a student a medical degree if it determines the students lacks 'professionalism'."
a. "Professionalism Required," 01.29.15.
More on this from Inside Higher Ed.
8. "DC Circuit's Patricia Millet Reflects on Clerking, Diversity," 01.28.15.
The Blog of Legal Times reports on remarks made recently by Judge Patricia Millet of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia who laments the fact the federal clerkship hiring process has become so competitive, and notes that if she were applying for a clerkship in this market she doubts that she would be successful; she also notes that her current clerkship pool is two-thirds male, making the search for diverse clerks more onerous.
9. "Berkeley Finds Faculty Salary Gaps by Gender and Race," 01.28.15.
Inside Higher Ed reports that an internal analysis at the University of California at Berkeley has found gaps in the average salaries of female and minority professors compared to while male professors.
10. "Dentons, Dacheng Seal the Deal for a Union," 01.27.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that the widely reported and historic merger between China-based Dacheng Law Offices and Dentons has been successfully concluded, with an agreement signed shortly after Chinese regulators gave the merger a greenlight this week.
11. "It's Not Easy for Firms to Make In-house Counsel Happy," 01.26.15.
Corporate Counsel looks at the implications from the 2015 Report on the State of the Legal Market from Georgetown/Thomson Reuters, notably the finding that law firms are currently collecting only 83 cents on the dollar for every hour of work they are recording, a historic low for realization, and speculates as to the implications for the future relationship between corporate counsel and their outside lawyers. (If you haven't seen it yet you can find the 2015 Report on the State of the Legal Market here."
12. "Marty Africa, 71, Pushed for a More Inclusive Profession," 01.26.15.
The Recorder reports that pioneer legal recruiter and longtime diversity advocate Marty Africa has died.
13. "Interns, Employers Prepare for Second Circuit Showdown," 01.26.15.
The Litigation Daily reports that in a much-watched case the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is set to hear oral arguments in an unpaid intern case brought by disgruntled unpaid interns.
14. "Nixon Peabody Reaches Merger Accord with Chicago Firm," 01.26.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that "Nixon Peabody has officially agreed to acquire Chicago's Ungaretti & Harris, taking on about 100 lawyers in the Windy City, making it the Boston-based Am Law 100 firm's second largest office."
15. "Uniform Bar Exam: A Template for New York?," 01.26.15.
Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, writing for the New York Law Journal, makes the case for adopting the Uniform Bar Exam.
16. "Is New Law the Answer for Women Lawyers?," 01.26.15.
This article from Slaw, Canada's online legal magazine, makes the case that New Law — firms that operate as legal outsourcers, offer flexible fee arrangements, and have lower hourly rates — may be a much more hospitable environment for women to work in than traditionally run law firms.
17. "Why are so many college students failing to gain job skills before graduation?," 01.26.15.
The Washington Post reports that many employers find that recent college graduates are "severely lacking in some basic skills, particularly problem solving, decision making, and the ability to prioritize tasks." Sound familiar?
18. "A Quiet Revolution in Helping Lift the Burden of Student Debt," 01.24.15.
The New York Times takes a look at the far-reaching changes that have been made to the federal student loan programs since 2007 that over time, the article notes, have greatly reduced the burden of student loan repayment.
19. "Lawmakers Want to Offer a Little Help to Low-Paid Lawyers," 01.23.15.
The Recorder reports that a state senator in California has introduced legislation that would ask California attorneys to contribute to the Public Interest Attorney Loan Program through voluntary donations via their annual Bar Association invoices.
20. "'Competition cohort' makes it a great time to go to law school, says Dinsmore managing partner," 01.23.15.
The ABA Journal reports on remarks made by a managing partner interviewed by a local blog: "I think the demand for legal services is increasing, applications for law school are down, so the competition cohort is going to be smaller....there's never a better time to go to law school than now." You can find the CincyBizBlog post here.
21. "Diversity Recruiting, Sidelined by Recession, Is Rebounding," 01.23.15.
This Daily Report piece makes the case that law firm diversity recruiting efforts are as strong as ever as the lawyer job market heats up.
22. "2015: The Year The Law School Crisis Ended (Or Not) — Conclusion," 01.23.15.
Stephen J. Harper, writing for the Am Law Daily, concludes his three part series on the law school crisis and makes the case once more that despite signs that the demand for legal services is growing, overall job growth for lawyers is likely to remain flat (or worse) for the foreseeable future.