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 Samuel Halpert, NALP's Director of Public Service Initiatives, at www.psjd.org.

October 13, 2017

1. "Ropes & Gray Issues Bonuses to Retain Associates Amid Lateral Raids," 10.13.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "Ropes & Gray has been offering associates retention bonuses of up to $50,000 per person in order to prevent mass exits in the wake of a stream of partner departures."

2. "PwC Launches On-Demand Flexible Lawyering Service for Clients," 10.12.17.
Law.com reports that PwC has launched a new flexible lawyering service that "will help clients with their staffing needs by providing temporary lawyers for in-house teams during abnormal spikes in workload."

3. "City Law Department Hires 53 Recent Law School Graduates," 10.12.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that "the New York City Law Department has hired 53 recent law school graduates and 2 post-graduate volunteer attorneys to work in its various divisions."

4. "Tech Isn't a Silver Bullet for Adapting to Competitive Market," 10.12.17.
The American Lawyer reports on a panel discussion at the Thomson Reuters' Law Firm Leaders Forum in New York where panelists agreed that "technology is only one part of the solution for law firms, in addition to creating new process and bringing in new nonlegal staff."

5. "Citi: First-Half Results Largely Met Firm Leaders' Projections," 10.11.17.
Gretta Rusanow and David Altuna from Citi Private Bank, writing for The American Lawyer, review law firm financial performance for the first half of 2017, and the confidence index of law firm leaders, noting once again that behind relatively strong industry average numbers lurk "widening dispersion and heightened volatility" and positive bias on the parts of law firm leaders who continue to "believe that their firms will be the ones to grow, likely at the expense of others."

6. "ABA Legal Ed committee suggests changes to rule on law school admissions tests," 10.11.17.
The ABA Journal reports that the ABA's Standards Review Committee has recommended that the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar do away with requirement of taking the LSAT, and instead simply require a valid test, or, alternatively, that the Council do away entirely with a testing requirement.

7. "Yes, It's News When Big Law Elects a Black Leader," 10.11.17.
Vivia Chen, writing for The American Lawyer, speaks with Ellisen Turner, the newly appointed managing partner of Irell & Manella.

8. "Bryan Cave's TechX 'Incubates' Firm Attorneys, Not Technology," 10.11.17.
Legaltech News reports that Bryan Cave's recently launched technology incubator is a different kind of incubator: "instead of 'incubating' various technology companies in the legal sector, TechX is looking to bolster the firm's own attorneys in understanding and shepherding in new technology innovation to its core infrastructure."

9. "Changing the lawyer assessment system," 10.11.17.
Jordan Furlong from Law21 offers some ideas on changing the lawyer assessment system: "Individual performance metrics inherently drive me-first behaviors that can undermine attempts to build a firm-wide culture of performance geared towards the client's interests." (Note Jordan Furlong will be a featured plenary speaker at NALP's 2017 Professional Development Institute.)

10. "Baker McKenzie Brand Twice As Strong As Any Other Law Firm's," 10.10.17.
The American Lawyer reports that the annual release of the Acritas Global Elite Brand Index, atop which Baker McKenzie has long sat, shows that the firm's brand is now twice as strong as any other law firm's among more than 1,000 in-house counsel from more than 50 countries.

11. "Susskind on the Evolution of Legal Services," 10.10.17.
The second in The American Lawyer's series of excerpts from Richard Susskind's second edition of Tomorrow's Lawyers.

    a. "Law Firm Leaders React to Susskind's Take on Legal Education's Future," 10.12.17.
    Leigh Jones, writing for Law.com, gathers reactions from four prominent law firm leaders to Susskind's analysis of what's wrong with legal education.

    b. "Susskind's AI Bet: Too Far or Not Far Enough?," 10.10.17.
    And Legaltech News evaluates how accurate Susskind's predictions about the impact of AI on the legal sector have been.

    c. "Susskind on Legal Education: Reactions from Law School Leaders," 10.10.17.
    And Leigh Jones, writing for Law.com, gathers reactions from three prominent leaders in legal education to the recommendations that Susskind has made about the ways that legal education needs to change to prepare tomorrow's lawyers.

    d. "How To Avoid Becoming Irrelevant in a Fast-Changing Legal Market," 10.10.17.
    And the ALM Susskind-fest continues, with The American Lawyer gathering law firm lawyer reactions to Susskind's predictions about the way that the legal services industry would change.

    e. "Legal Operations Directors Are Here, and They're Vital, Say GCs," 10.09.17.
    And Corporate Counsel reflects that Susskind was in many ways the first to see the rise of the Legal Operations Director as an important and inevitable evolution in the general counsel's office.

12. "AI Hype Overshadows Legal's Slow Crawl With Adoption and Understanding," 10.10.17.
Legaltech News reports that "a Thompson Reuters survey found that many legal departments are not ready to use artificial intelligence in their operations and do not fully understand its applications."

13. "An Interview How-To for Introverts," 10.10.17.
Julie Brush, the Lawyer Whisperer, writing for The Recorder, provides some sound interviewing advice for introverts. (Note Julie Brush will be a featured speaker at NALP's 2018 Legal Recruiting Summit.)

14. "Legal Chiefs' Total Compensation Up Four Percent From Last Year, Report Says," 10.10.17.
The Recorder reports that according to a new report "median total direct compensation for top legal officers grew 4 percent overall in 2016."

15. "Using Technology To Increase Diversity," 10.09.17.
Olga Mack and Katia Bloom, writing for Above the Law, argue that "technology can be extremely helpful in specifically targeting diverse candidates."

16. "PA. Bar Passage Rates Improve After Historic Low," 10.09.17.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that "the passage rate for first-time takers of the July Pennsylvania bar exam showed marked improvements after hitting a new low last year," with 81.2 percent of first-time applicants passing this year, compared to only 75.4 percent of first-time test-takers last July.

17. "What Happens to Kirkland's Legions of Income Partners?," 10.09.17.
The American Lawyer takes a look at what has become of the many income partners named to Kirkland's non-equity partnership class since 2010.

18. "Why Your Law Firm Isn't Anywhere Near As Profitable As You Think," 10.06.17.
ALM's chief global correspondent, writing for The American Lawyer, plays with the numbers and concludes that most law firms publish artificially high profit margins that do not account for the true costs of equity partners.

19. "Slight Job Growth In Legal Sector: Labor Dept.," 10.06.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "the US legal services industry added 900 jobs in September," according to the latest USBLS data released last Friday.

20. "Columbia Law Students Create 'Legal Corps' for Puerto Rico," 10.06.17.
Law.com reports that "a trio of Puerto Rican students at Columbia Law School is mustering an army of attorneys and fellow law students on the mainland to provide free legal assistance to those on the island impacted by Hurricane Maria."

    a. "Mobilizing the Legal Corps in Puerto Rico," 10.08.17.
    More on this from Slaw.

21. "Following Layoffs, Former ILTA Founder Launches Association of Legal Technologists," 10.06.17.
Legaltech News reports that after a rocky leadership transition at ILTA, a new organization has formed, the Association of Legal Technologists (ALT), that will hold its first member conference in February — the new group seeks to be a think-tank for the industry, focusing on problem solving and networking.

22. "How AI's Opportunities Will Augment Rather than Replace Lawyers," 10.05.17.
This piece from last week's Legaltech News provides a good overview of AI generally and the potential applications of AI in the legal space.

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.

October 6, 2017

1. "'Why Law?' These Students Show You Benefits of a JD," 10.05.17.
Karen Sloan, writing for Law.com, highlights a new online video titled "Why Law?" — "a collaboration between 12 law schools to highlight the doors that can open with a law degree and the ability of attorneys to have a positive impact on the world." You can view the video here.

2. "Hogan Lovells Sheds Staffers, Confirms Financial Reporting Tweaks," 10.05.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "Hogan Lovells, which earlier this week changed the way it reports some of its financial results, is set to trim its US business services ranks by more than 40 staffers as part of a voluntary retirement program."

3. "Orrick Taps Consulting Firm for New Diversity, Inclusion Head," 10.05.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "Joi Bourgeois, an attorney and veteran legal career expert, has joined Orrick as its new global head of diversity and inclusion."

4. "When Is the Best Time to Make a Lateral Move?," 10.05.17.
The American Lawyer takes a data-driven look at the variables that can maximize the likelihood of a successful lateral move.

5. "Sedgwick Departures Continue As Chicago Managing Partner Leaves For UK Rival," 10.05.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "senior level attorneys continue to leave Sedgwick…and [the firm] recently closed its offices in Washington, DC, and Austin, TX."

6. "Post-Recession Borrowers Struggle to Repay Loans," 10.05.17.
Inside Higher Ed reports that "new federal data show that college students are taking out more student loan debt and also taking longer to pay it off."

7. "Andrews Kurth, Hunton & Williams Explore Merger," 10.04.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that Andrews Kurth and Hunton & Williams are in merger talks.

8. "Another Thing Amazon Is Disrupting: Business-School Recruiting," 10.04.17.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon is now the top recruiter at most of the top business schools, and has hired more than 1,000 MBAs in the past year (and their recruiting process looks nothing like law firm recruiting). (Subscription required.)

9. "Legal Innovation: It's the New Roles that Make the New Tools," 10.04.17.
The head of practice analytics and service innovations and the practice management counsel from Orrick, writing for Legaltech News, describe what their new project teams look like, and they include analytics attorneys, specialized programmers, statisticians and data scientists, chief data officers, and project managers.

10. "The Paradox of the Client-Driven Market," 10.04.17.
Bill Henderson, writing for Law.com, responds to "four very good questions about the changing economic landscape," and predicts that "in the short to medium term, we are likely to see more entry-level employment in large legal departments."

11. "Tomorrow's law firm, today," 10.04.17.
Jordan Furlong of Law21 talks to Jacky Wetzels about "how lawyers and law firms can respond to the major shifts underway in the legal market."

12. "The Rise of Predictive Programming in the Law," 10.04.17.
This Slaw piece raises some concerns about the use of predictive coding's use to predict the outcome of legal cases.

13. "'Best' Law Firms for Women? Really?," 10.04.17.
ALM's Vivia Chen, writing for The American Lawyer, rants about lists of women-friendly law firms, arguing that "too often these lists reward effort rather than result."

14. "Latest Law School to Accept GRE is Washington U. in St. Louis," 10.03.17.
Law.com reports that "Washington University School of Law announced Tuesday that it will start accepting either GRE or LSAT scores from applicants, starting with those applying for a seat next fall."

    a. "Move Over LSAT — As Of Today 6 Law Schools Accept the GRE," 10.03.17.
    More on this from Above the Law.

15. "Indiana, New York Mergers Highlight Record Pace of Deals in 2017," 10.03.17.
The American Lawyer on the law firm merger frenzy: "law firm mergers are on pace to shatter a two-year-old record."

16. "Are Law Firms Charging Less or Just Making Less?," 10.03.17.
The American Lawyer on what it means that realization rates continue to fall: "outside of the Am Law 50, we aren't seeing any appreciable growth in the rates law departments are paying."

    a. "Should Law Firms Charge Less or Differently?," 10.03.17.
    And The American Lawyer excerpts Richard Susskind's updated Tomorrow's Lawyer, with his thoughts on charging less.

17. "Note to Law Students: Consider a Career in Privacy Law," 10.03.17.
Legaltech News reports that George Washington University Law School will host a panel encouraging students to consider a data privacy practice.

18. "Parsing Susskind: Examining Disruptions Caused by Project Management and AI," 10.03.17.
Legaltech News gathers reactions to Susskind's industry predictions from law firm chairs, top legal educators, general counsel, law students, and industry analysts.

19. "Applying Artificial Intelligence in the 'Legal Aid Space'," 10.02.17.
A good Slaw post on the promise of technology to help close the justice gap.

    a. "'Apps' and the Waning of the Solicitor-Client Relationship," 10.03.17.
    And some Slaw counterpoint and words of caution about the promise of technology in the delivery of direct legal services.

20. "Firms Offer More Web-Based Legal Tools, But at What Price?," 10.02.17.
The American Lawyer takes a look at the proliferation of law firm-based proprietary online legal tools, and the role they play in turning a profit — some firms are giving them away and some are charging a subscription fee, but all of them are intended to raise the law firm's profile.

21. "Interviewing Advice For People Who Hate To Interview," 10.02.17.
A cute piece with some practical advice on interviewing by a millennial law professor writing for Above the Law.

22. "Axiom Brings in Microsoft, Amazon Exec to Expand AI and Automation Development," 10.02.17.
Legaltech News reports that Axiom is opening a new research and development center that will "create and test advanced technology solutions for Axiom, which provides compliance and contract technology for corporations and law firms."

23. "A law degree provides a larger earnings boost to whites than minorities, researchers say," 10.02.17.
The ABA Journal provides a summary of new research findings that show "white law graduates get a median annual boost to earnings of about $41,000…[while] the median boost to earnings is $34,000 for Asians, $33,000 for blacks, and $28,000 for Hispanics."

24. "Is Department of Education data on student loan defaults an accurate reflection of law schools?," 10.02.17.
The ABA Journal reports that the law school student loan default rate data that was published last week is incomplete because "law schools that are part of a university have their default rates aggregated with the university, so it is difficult to determine their default rates."

25. "Job Skills Are Job 1 for Santa Clara's New JD Tech Program," 09.29.17.
The Recorder reports that Santa Clara University School of Law is launching a Tech Edge JD program that will rigorously prepare students for careers in law and technology.

26. "Training Short-Term Lawyers Is Long-Term Investment for Firms," 09.29.17.
The American Lawyer reports that according to a recent survey by Robert Half Legal, "firms are spending an average of $12,000 recruiting and training each first-year associate they hire, while larger firms spend $62,000 on average."

27. "Millbank Seeks Secretarial Cuts Ahead of HQ Relocation," 09.29.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that New York-based Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy is shedding administrative staff ahead of its move to its new location at 55 Hudson Yards.

28. "Why Don't Law Firms Like Experienced Managers?," 09.25.17.
The American Lawyer writes that "there is still a degree of stigma attached to management within law firms."

September 29, 2017

  1. "Program helps law firms see progress in gender diversity — but is it enough?," 10.01.17.
    This feature article from the October issue of the ABA Journal magazine takes a look at the various lists and assessments that attempt to measure what top firms are doing to attract and retain female attorneys, noting that despite all of the data collection, "for most female lawyers at major US firms, the likelihood of becoming a top-earning partner is close to non-existent."

  2. "Technology Offers Law School Grads New Ways to Tap into the Job Market," 09.29.17.
    Legaltech News takes "a look at some of the new tools helping new lawyers get a foot in the door to their legal careers."

  3. "At the U. of Puerto Rico, Widespread Damage and Anxiety After Maria," 09.28.17.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "more than a week after Hurricane Maria made landfall, the leaders of Puerto Rico's public university are confronting damaged buildings, broken windows, felled trees, and water damage, a level of destruction that they say will keep their campuses closed for at least several more weeks." Meanwhile, a note from the dean at the University of Puerto Rico School of Law yesterday says that "The major challenge is the lack of electricity. Today a group of volunteers helped us clean up the school and the building is in good shape. As soon as power is restored we will resume our semester."

    1. "Big Law Picks Up the Pieces in Puerto Rico," 09.27.17.
      Law.com reports that lawyers at large law firms in Puerto Rico are trying to return to some sense of normalcy following Hurricane Maria.

  4. "From her dad's killing during the crack epidemic to a Supreme Court clerkship," 09.28.17.
    The Washington Post delivers the feel-good story of the week, reporting on the brutal pathway that Tiffany Wright has taken to become a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

  5. "Ex-Big Law Associate Who Flunked Bar Can Proceed With Suit Against Examiners," 09.28.17.
    Law.com reports that "a former Ropes & Gray associate and Harvard Law School grad who failed the bar exam twice can move ahead with parts of her federal lawsuit [brought under the Americans With Disabilities Act and the New York City Human Rights Law] against the New York State Board of Law Examiners."

  6. "Which law schools had highest loan default rates for fiscal year 2014?," 09.28.17.
    The ABA Journal reports on law school student loan default rates as documented in data released Wednesday by the US Department of Education.

    1. "The Law Schools With The Highest Student Loan Default Rates," 09.29.17.
      And more on this from Above the Law.

    2. "Federal Loan Default Rates Rise," 09.28.17.
      Inside Higher Ed reports that "federal student loan default rates are on the rise after four decades of declines, according to the US Department of Education."

    3. "National Default Rate for Student Loans Rises, Breaking Streak of Declines," 09.27.17.
      More on this from The Chronicle of Higher Education.

  7. "Law Firm Mergers Keep Record Pace in Third Quarter," 09.27.17.
    The American Lawyer reports that "law firm mergers kept up their record pace in the third quarter of the year and are on track to eclipse a record set just two years ago."

  8. "Student's Post-Grad Plans Show Confidence in Job Market," 09.27.17.
    NACE reports that "the post-graduation plans from the [undergraduate] Class of 2017 resemble those for the pre-recession Class of 2007 more closely than any other class in 10 years," noting in particular that a smaller percentage of them plan to continue with post-graduate education than any class since the Class of 2007.

  9. "New Space Law Center Focuses on Regulation of the 'Final Frontier'," 09.27.17.
    Law.com reports that Cleveland-Marshall College of Law has opened a new Global Space Law Center.

  10. "That Makes Five: Winston & Strawn Suit Adds to Growing List of Gender Bias Claims," 09.27.17.
    The American Lawyer provides an overview and update on the five gender bias lawsuits that have been lobbed at large law firms: "the suits allege that women at the firms received lower pay than male counterparts for work of similar quality, that they received fewer promotions and business generation opportunities, and, in some cases, that they were subjected to sexual harassment."

    1. "Winston & Strawn Hit With Explosive Gender Bias Suit," 09.25.17.
      Law.com reports that a new gender bias suit has been filed against Winston & Strawn in San Francisco County Superior Court.

    2. "Winston & Strawn Is The Latest Biglaw Firm to Face A Gender Discrimination Lawsuit By A Former Partner," 09.26.17.
      More on this from Above the Law.

  11. "Women Get Paid Less, No Matter What," 09.26.17.
    A good rant by Vivia Chen, writing for The American Lawyer, in response to some new Harvard Business Review research that suggests the ban on asking job applicants about their salary histories is actually causing women to get paid even less.

    1. "We're Not There Yet, Not Even Close," 09.27.17.
      And a good rant by Jill Switzer, writing for Above the Law, who is justifiably frustrated and disappointed that women continue to be so poorly represented/compensated/advanced in law firms.

  12. "What Do Lawyers Really Do With Their Time?," 09.26.17.
    Law.com reports on the findings of a new billing trends report that says lawyers spend only 29 percent of each work day on billable time and measures an average realization rate of 82 percent and an average collection rate of 86 percent.

  13. "Why Do Employers Require Big Law Experience When Hiring a GC?," 09.26.17.
    More legal career insight from Julie Brush in The Recorder.

  14. "The Global 100: Firms Ranked by Head Count," 09.25.17.
    The American Lawyer publishes its annual Global 100 Report, here ranking law firms by lawyer head count, and noting that "overall lawyer headcount for global 100 firms was up 2.7 percent in 2016." (It is no surprise that Dentons sits atop the list.)

    1. "The Global 100: Firms Ranked by Profits Per Equity Partner," 09.25.17.
      And The American Lawyer also ranks its Global 100 firms by profits per equity partner, noting that "profits per equity partner among Global 100 firms averaged $1.6 million in 2016, an increase of less than one percent." (And here it is no surprise that Wachtell again sits atop this list.)

    2. "For Global Law Firms, Is This as Good as It Gets?," 09.25.17.
      And Chris Johnson at Law.com provides this commentary and analysis of the 2017 Global 100 results, characterizing the new normal as "a stifling mixture of flattening growth, widespread uncertainty, intense competition and severe pricing pressure from clients."

  15. "New Akin Gump Blog Aims to School Big Law Recruits," 09.25.17.
    Karen Sloan, writing for Law.com, reports that Akin Gump has launched Legal Scoop, a new blog "meant to help decode the large firm hiring process for law students."

  16. "Who Will Train Tomorrow's Lawyers and How Will They Learn?," 09.25.17.
    A good piece in Forbes about why what we are doing in law schools right now to train tomorrow's lawyers is not enough.

  17. "Pepperdine Law grad donates record $8 million to the school," 09.22.17.
    The ABA Journal reports that "a 1997 graduate of Pepperdine University School of Law has donated $8 million to fund its global justice program."

  18. "Should You Include a Short Job Stint on Your Resume?," 09.22.17.
    Julie Brush, the Lawyer Whisperer, writing for The Recorder, says the answer to that question is yes, offers good reasons for that being so, and provides advice about how to frame short stints on a resume.

  19. "A Whistleblower Takes On Charlotte School of Law," 09.22.17.
    Steven J. Harper, writing for The American Lawyer, reviews the latest developments at the Charlotte School of Law and the other InfiLaw schools.

  20. "PwC's entry into the US legal market is important — just not for the reasons you think it is," 09.22.17.
    ALM analyst Nicholas Bruch, writing for Law.com, dissects PwC's announcement that they will open a US law firm.

    1. "How to Counter the Growing Big Four Threat," 09.26.17.
      More on this from The American Lawyer: "law firms need to become more efficient and develop alternative services in areas such as technology and process management in order to counter the growing threat posed by the Big Four."

  21. "Smart Contract 2.0: the need for 'smart lawyers'," 09.22.17.
    This is a good piece on smart contracts and blockchain — like it or not we all have to understand this emerging technology — from IT Web Legal View in South Africa (the contract issues at play here transcend jurisdictions). (Hat tip to NALP's new Director of Public Service Initiatives, Sam Halpert, for this piece.)

  22. "Outside firms see Boston as market of opportunity," 09.21.17.
    Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly reports that "a recent wave of entrants to the Boston legal market underscores that outside firms large and small are finding the client-rich environment irresistible and are undaunted by the challenge of competing with the city's established firms." (Subscription required.)

  23. "MIT professor allays bar's fears of 'robot lawyers'," 09.21.17.
    Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly reports on a research paper by two academics titled Can Robots Be Lawyers? (Subscription required.)

  24. "The legal education model is out of touch, writes new ABA commission member," 09.21.17.
    More on last week's provocative Quartz piece by Gillian Hadfield, from the ABA Journal.

September 22, 2017

1. "The Best Big Law Firms for Summer Associates," 09.21.17.
The American Lawyer reports on the results of its annual Summer Associate Survey.

    a. "Summer Associate Satisfaction: A National View," 09.21.17.
    The American Lawyer ranks law firms based on summer associate satisfaction.

    b. "City by City: A Regional Breakdown of Summer Associate Satisfaction," 09.21.17.
    And The American Lawyer ranks law firm offices in individual cities by overall summer associate satisfaction scores.

2. "PwC to Launch US Law Firm as Big Four Expand Legal Offerings," 09.21.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "PricewaterhouseCoopers is set to launch a law firm in the US, a clear sign that the concerted push into legal services by the Big Four accounting firms continues."

    a. "PwC to open US law firm, a sign of increasing focus on legal operations by Big 4 accounting firms," 09.21.17.
    More on this from the ABA Journal.

3. "First-Year Associate Jobs Set For Slight Rise, Survey Finds," 09.21.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "the number of first-year associate jobs at law firms across the US and Canada is set to rise slightly over the next 12 months, a new survey has found."

4. "Winston & Strawn Welcomes New Talent Management Team," 09.21.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "Winston & Strawn is expanding its talent team following its addition earlier this year of chief talent officer Susan Manch by recruiting three new directors…Diane Costigan, Sylvia James, and Julie Mercier."

5. "Dentons Reviewing 32 Support Roles After Scottish Deal," 09.21.17.
Legal Week reports that "Dentons has begun a redundancy consultation ahead of its proposed combination with Maclay Murray & Spens that could see up to 32 business services roles cut across three of the leading Scottish firm's offices."

6. "On the LSUC Dialogue on Licensing, Pt 1: Is There a Need for Change?," 09.21.17.
A good post on Slaw that reviews the proceedings of the Law Society of Upper Canada to date and queries whether there is indeed a need for a change to the requirements for the licensing of lawyers in Ontario.

7. "In San Francisco, A New Chasm Erupts on Legal Pay," 09.20.17.
The Recorder reports that a new study shows "male median earnings for legal positions in San Francisco increased by almost $2,000 between 2010 and 2015, while female median earnings fell by $4,000 during the same period…women in the city's legal workforce now make 68 cents for every dollar that men earn." Ugh.

8. "Law schools are letting down their students and society — here are three steps they can take to fix things," 09.20.17.
A law professor from USC, writing for Quartz, argues that "Law schools in the US today have become depressingly single-purpose: training members of a closed profession and failing to equip them to tackle the full breadth of problems facing economies and societies that are undergoing extensive transformations," and offers three practical suggestions for turning the ship around. (Hat tip to NALP President-Elect Melissa Lennon for this one.)

9. "Will Your Case Go to Trial? This Computer Program Might Know the Answer," 09.20.17.
Law.com reports that Hong Kong-based SettlementAnalytics has announced that it has "the world's first quantitative legal measurement to indicate the likelihood of a lawsuit proceeding all the way to trial and adjudication."

10. "Even College Doesn't Bridge the Racial Income Gap," 09.20.17.
This New York Times editorial draws attention to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute that found "last year, black college graduates earned about 21 percent less per hour on average than white college graduates; in 1979, the gap was 13 percent." (You can read the Economic Policy Institute Report here.) (And ugh.)

11. "Women Make Slight Gains In Big Law Equity Partnership: Report," 09.19.17.
Bloomberg Law reports that a new survey conducted by the National Association of Women Lawyers shows that "women have made modest gains in the highest ranks of Big Law firms, but they remain underrepresented and out-earned by their male counterparts."

    a. "Female Equity Partner Rate Is At All-Time High. (But It's Not That Great.)," 09.18.17.
    And Vivia Chen, the ALM's Careerist, writing for Law.com, weighs in with her thoughts on the latest NAWL report on the representation of women law firm partners.

    b. "Why Women Leave Big Law To Start Their Own Firms," 09.19.17.
    And in a related piece, Bloomberg Law reports that "increasingly, women are choosing to start their own law firms rather than persist in Big Law."

12. "Pay for Associate Hours? More Companies Say 'No Thanks'," 09.19.17.
The American Lawyer reports that there is "a slow-moving but persistent wave of corporate general counsel who are tired of waiting — and paying — for law firms to train lawyers, and are bringing more first-year law school graduates directly into their in-house legal departments."

13. "Hogan Lovells Offers Voluntary Retirement to 400 US Business Services Staff," 09.19.17.
Law.com reports that "Hogan Lovells has offered hundreds of its US support staff voluntary retirement."

    a. "Hogan Lovells Eyes 90 Job Redundancies in UK Restructuring," 09.18.17.
    More on Hogan from Legal Week, where layoffs are expected in their UK operations as well.

14. "'Really Hard and Intense:' Departing Northwestern Law Dean Says of Competition Among Top Schools," 09.19.17.
The National Law Journal reports that "Daniel Rodriquez will step down as dean of Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law at the end of the academic year."

15. "Baker Donelson the Latest Firm to Adopt AI for Contract Analysis," 09.19.17.
Legaltech News reports that Baker Donelson has signed a deal with Kira Systems to use artificial intelligence to analyze and manage their contract operations.

16. "UC Law Schools Orchestrate 2-Day Civil Rights Conference," 09.19.17.
The Recorder reports that "the four University of California law schools have launched a conference to prepare lawyers to protect the civil rights of vulnerable people."

17. "Should You Send a Thank You Note After an Interview?," 09.19.17.
Julie Brush, writing for The Recorder, says the answer to this question is undoubtedly yes. (Julie Brush, the founder and author of The Lawyer Whisperer, will be a featured speaker at NALP's Legal Recruiting Summit in January.)

18. "25 Percent Of Law Schools Say They Plan To Accept The GRE," 09.18.17.
Above the Law reports that "in a survey done by Kaplan Test Prep of admissions officials from 128 law schools, a full 25 percent say accepting the GRE is an admission policy they plan on implementing."

    a. "GRE Gaining Traction as Alternative Test for Law School Admission," 09.19.17.
    Law.com also reports on these survey results.

    b. "More law schools plan to accept GRE scores, but there's still hesitation, survey finds," 09.18.17.
    As does the ABA Journal.

19. "Understanding The Duty Of Legal Technology Competence," 09.18.17.
Above the Law correctly notes that five years after the ABA created an ethical duty of technology competence, a majority of states have adopted this duty, and "yet most lawyers still have little understanding of the scope of this duty and what it means for the day-to-day practice of law." ATL is offering a free webinar to try to combat this relative state of ignorance.

20. "Major Lindsey Unveils Legal Cost-Saving Tool for Corporate Clients," 09.18.17.
The American Lawyer reports that Major, Lindsey & Africa "announced Monday the launch of Make-Buy Analysis, an interactive tool that conducts a cost-benefit analysis for corporate legal departments to determine whether or not their workloads justify the hire of another internal attorney."

21. "Florida Law Grads Weathered The Storm When It Came To The Bar Exam," 09.18.17.
Above the Law reports on the July bar exam results in Florida for each of the Florida law schools.

22. "When Affirmative Action Isn't Enough," 09.17.17.
The New York Times reports that "despite the continued debate and legal wrangling over whether college affirmative action efforts are too aggressive, black and Hispanic freshmen were more underrepresented at the nation's tops schools in 2015 than they were in 1980." Ugh.

23. "JDs from middle-rank schools in states with many public colleges may give the best investment return," 09.15.17.
The ABA Journal reports on new research by Jerry Organ that shows "between 2010 and 2014, net tuition declined the most at middle ranked law schools, due to merit scholarship patterns associated with maintaining or improving rankings." (You can read more on Professor Organ's article here.)

24. "Over 70 Law Schools to Offer Software and iPhone App to Help Students in their Job Search," 09.15.17.
This press release says that "over 70 law schools across North American will be deploying Lawcountability, JD, a software platform and iPhone app designed to help students raise their profiles, network more effectively, meet potential employers, and ultimately, get a job." (Ari Kaplan, author of The Opportunity Maker: Strategies for Inspiring Your Legal Career Through Creative Networking and Business Development, is behind the project. Any law student can register for a free Lawcountability account here.)

September 15, 2017

1. "Do the Big Four Accounting Firms Pose a Big Threat to Big Law?," 09.14.17.
The American Lawyer reports on the release of a new report from ALM Intelligence, "Elephants in the Room Part I: The Big Four's Expansion in the Legal Services Market," noting that "the Big Four's formidable brand strength, client base and ability to offer multidisciplinary services has helped them take market share from traditional law firms."

2. "Figuring Out What Young Associates Want, Over 15 Coffees," 09.14.17.
Law.com interviews a seventh-year associate who spent his summer interviewing summer associates over coffee.

3. "Nixon Peabody's On-Site Incubator a Boost for LGBT Entrepreneurs," 09.14.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "Nixon Peabody has donated 2,300 square feet of its 16th floor San Francisco office and partnered with StartOut, a nonprofit LGBT business accelerator, to launch the StartOut Growth Lab. The firm's lawyers provide free legal advice and give critical information on business know-how to the seven LGBT-owned businesses they nurture."

4. "As 'Dreamer' Deadline Looms, Law Schools' Immigration Clinics Scramble to Help," 09.14.17.
Law.com reports that "law school clinics across the country have mobilized in the past week to assist DACA recipients."

5. "This Silicon Valley start-up wants to replace lawyers with robots," 09.14.17.
The Washington Post profiles a Silicon Valley entrepreneur — his newest legal technology start-up is actually incorporated as a law firm — who seeks to "create a law firm full of technology turbo-charged lawyers who can offer clients more efficient services for a single, transparent bill."

6. "Gender-Pay Suit Against Google Seeks 'Fairness for Women'," 09.14.17.
The Recorder reports that "a class action filed Thursday against Google Inc. claims the tech company systematically pays women less than men in similar jobs and also enables unequal promotions and opportunities for male and female workers."

7. "Federal Inquiry of Charlotte Law School Is Disclosed by Suit," 09.13.17.
The New York Times reports on the details of a whistle-blower lawsuit against Charlotte School of Law, and the ensuing federal investigation. (This story appeared in the print edition of Thursday's New York Times under the Headline "Whistle-Blower Suit Discloses Inquiry Into Practices of For-Profit Law School.")

8. "Law School Students Protest Military's Transgender Ban," 09.13.17.
The Harvard Crimson reports that "more than two dozen Law School students staged a sit in outside offices where students were interviewing for positions in the US military Tuesday in protest of President Donald Trump's announcement that transgender people may not serve in the military."

    a. "Harvard Law Students Protest Military Trans Ban During JAG Interviews," 09.14.17.
    More on this from Above the Law.

9. "Technology is the Solution: What Law Firms Can Learn From LegalZoom," 09.13.17.
This piece in Legaltech News argues that "if law firms used technology to automate tasks, lower prices and give personalized advice, they'd have an undeniable competitive advantage."

10. "The revenue-neutral associate," 09.13.17.
Jordan Furlong, writing for Law21, is always worth the read: "My modest suggestion, therefore — especially modest because I suspect few firms will adopt it — is that law firms consider re-envisioning the role of the new associate, de-emphasizing the importance of billing and emphasizing instead the primacy of training and experience. What I'm suggesting is the revenue-neutral associate."

11. "SMU Law Embraces Innovative Flash Mentoring," 09.12.17.
Law.com takes a look at a social media-based flash mentoring program that has been implemented at SMU Dedman School of Law.

12. "Why Are So Many Partners Leaving Ropes & Gray," 09.12.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "over the last two months, seven partners have left the firm across four offices worldwide, with a total of 22 heading for the exit door since January 23."

13. "Ballard Spahr to Merge With Levine Sullivan, Growing Media Practice," 09.12.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "in its second merger announcement in two weeks, Ballard Spahr has reached a deal to add 25 lawyers from media law boutique Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz."

14. "When Will Disruption Hit the Legal Industry?," 09.11.17.
The American Lawyer parses law firm and USGDP data and reaches some unsettling conclusions, notably that in the next inevitable economic downturn, law firms are not poised to weather the storm very well.

15. "5 Things to Know About Lawyers With Disabilities," 09.11.17.
The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism provides this very good piece on lawyers with disabilities.

16. "Florida's 12 Law Schools Closed Until Wednesday, At Least," 09.11.17.
The Daily Business Review reports that "Florida's 12 law schools remained closed…as the remnants of Hurricane Irma churned northward out of the Sunshine State."

    a. "Lawyers Find Ways to Cope During and After Irma," 09.12.17.
    The Daily Report gathers hurricane coping stories from lawyers in the Atlanta area.

    b. "Many offices of Florida's BigLaw firms are open again after Hurricane Irma closings," 09.13.17.
    The ABA Journal provides a post-storm update on law firms in Florida.

    c. "Savannah Firms Weather Irma," 09.13.17.
    The Daily Report provides an update on the aftermath of Hurricane Irma on law firms in Savannah.

17. "How US News college rankings promote economic inequality on campus," 09.10.17.
This much-read and much-circulated article from Politico makes the case that "the criteria used in the US News rankings…create incentives for schools to favor wealthier students over less wealthy applicants."

18. "University of California, With Covington's Help, Sues Trump Over DACA," 09.08.17.
The Recorder reports that "Lawyers for Covington & Burling, working pro bono, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of [University of California President] Napolitano and the regents of the University of California against the Department of Homeland Security. The lawsuit claims that by rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, known as DACA, DHS and acting Secretary Elaine Duke violated the Administrative Procedures Act and the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment."

19. "Civil Rights Center at UNC Law School Shut Down," 09.08.17.
Law.com reports that "university leaders on Friday voted to strip the Center for Civil Rights at the University of North Carolina School of Law of its ability to litigate cases."

    a. "UNC Board Bars Litigation by Law School Center," 09.11.17.
    More on this from Inside Higher Ed.

20. "How Big Firms Can Foster, Develop Female First-Chair Trial Lawyers," 09.08.17.
A litigation partner at Squire Patton Boggs, writing here for Law.com, describes her experience becoming a first-chair trial attorney.

    a. "Addressing the Gender Divide in the Courtroom," 09.07.17.
    A law firm partner and associate, writing together for the New York Law Journal, join the discussion about the gender imbalance of lead counsel appearing in courtrooms.

21. "Law Schools Begin Classes in Fancy New, Upgraded Digs," 09.08.17.
Law.com reports that several law schools opened this fall with new or upgraded facilities, including a new $80 million building at the University of South Carolina School of Law and upgraded facilities at the University of Akron School of Law.

September 8, 2017

1. "ACT Test Metrics Show Wide Gap in College Readiness," 09.07.17.
The Wall Street Journal reports on new ACT data that show that "students identifying as low-income, racial minority, or first in family to attend college did far worse on the college-entrance exam."

2. "Summer's End Sees Partner Departures Mount at Wilson Sonsini," 09.06.17.
The Recorder reports that Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, having seen several prominent partner departures this year, has lost five additional partners so far in September.

3. "New Bar Exam Leader Looks to the Future of the Test," 09.06.17.
Law.com reports that Judith Gunderson has stepped in as the new president of the National Conference of Bar Examiners following the retirement of longtime president Erica Moeser.

4. "Florida Law Firms Bracing for Impact of Hurricane Irma," 09.06.17.
Law.com reports that "South Florida law firms were closely monitoring Hurricane Irma."

    a. "Courts and one law school in Florida announce closures as Hurricane Irma Strengthens," 09.05.17.
    The ABA Journal reports that courts and law schools in South Florida are preparing for the arrival of the hurricane.

    b. "Florida state courts to close Friday for Hurricane Irma; some Georgia courts also announce closings," 09.06.07.
    The ABA Journal reports on hurricane-related disruptions and closures throughout Florida and Georgia.

    c. "Savannah Legal Community Prepares to Evacuate Ahead of Irma," 09.07.17.
    The Daily Report brings news that "Savannah firms are battening down the hatches in preparation for Hurricane Irma," with most of them planning to be closed on Friday as most residents prepare to evacuate.

5. "California bar board of trustees sends state supreme court 3 options for bar exam cut score,"09.06.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "rather than suggest to the California Supreme Court that it should or shouldn't lower its bar exam cut score, which is currently 1440, the State Bar of California's Board of Trustees voted Wednesday in favor of providing the court with three possibilities — keep the score where it is, lower the score to 1414 or lower it to 1390."

    a. "State Bar Leaves Reducing Exam Score for Supreme Court to Resolve," 09.06.17.
    More on this from The Recorder.

6. "Bryan Cave, University of Colorado Partner for Legal Tech Internship," 09.06.17.
Legaltech News reports that "Bryan Cave has partnered with the University of Colorado Law School to offer a legal tech-focused seven month internship to a current law student."

7. "How AI Will Actually Transform the Legal Industry," 09.06.17.
Legaltech News writes that while "AI is changing the legal industry…AI will not be writing briefs, interviewing witnesses, or arguing cases anytime in the near future."

8. "Trump Will End DACA in 6 Months, Confirming Dreamers' Fears and Putting Onus on Congress," 09.05.17.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "a program that has given some 800,000 undocumented immigrants a chance to attend college, work, and build lives in the United States without fear of immediate deportation will be phased out after a six-month delay to give Congress a chance to come up with a legislative fix."

    a. "'Dreamer' Law Students in Turmoil over DACA Uncertainty," 09.07.17.
    Law.com reports that among the approximately 800,000 undocumented immigrants who are recipients of Deferred Action for Children Arrivals, or DACA, are an unknown number of law students, and interviews several law students with DACA permits.

9. "Should you go to law school?," 09.05.17.
A thoughtful piece, as always, from Jordan Furlong at Law21: "I'm convinced that from a business perspective, the role of the lawyer will change profoundly in the years to come. But I'm equally certain that from a societal perspective, the importance of lawyers will not change at all — unless it's to become even more pronounced. Every few decades, during a moment of crisis, society remembers why it really has lawyers: to protect the rule of law and advance the cause of human dignity."

10. "8 Ways To Help Your Millennial Law Students Learn More This Semester," 09.05.17.
A millennial law professor, writing here for Above the Law, provides "8 things you can do this semester to help your students learn more effectively and be more engaged."

11. "Class of 2016 NALP Data," 09.05.17.
Matt Leichter analyzes NALP's Class of 2016 employment data on his blog The Last Gen X American (formerly The Law School Tuition Bubble).

12. "International Enrollments: From Flat to Way Down," 09.05.17.
Inside Higher Ed reports that "after years in which American universities enjoyed steady growth in numbers of foreign students, many institutions expect international enrollments to be flat or down — in some cases significantly — this fall."

13. "Post-Harvey, Houston Law Schools Reopen, with Challenges," 09.05.17.
Law.com reports that "classes resumed Tuesday at Houston's three law schools after being canceled for a week due to flooding in the area from Hurricane Harvey."

14. "Two Philly law firms announce separate mergers," 09.05.17.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that "Ballard Spahr LLP and Saul Ewing LLP announced separate mergers on Tuesday that will expand the Philadelphia firms' geographic reach and service offerings."

    a. "Ballard Spahr Grows to 650 Lawyers With Lindquist & Vennum Deal," 09.05.17.
    The Legal Intelligencer reports that Philadelphia-based Ballard Spahr is combining with Minneapolis-based Lindquist & Vennum.

    b. "Saul Ewing Merger With Arnstein & Lehr Creates New 400-Lawyer Firm," 09.05.17.
    The Legal Intelligencer reports that Philadelphia-based Saul Ewing and Chicago-based Arnstein & Lehr have merged.

    c. "Latest Law Firm Combinations Show Method to Merger Madness," 09.06.17.
    The Legal Intelligencer provides analysis of the latest Philadelphia law firm mergers.

15. "Transgender Military Ban Targeted by One of the World's Most Powerful Law Firms," 09.05.17.
The National Law Journal reports that "Latham & Watkins represents the LGBT civil rights group Equality California and several transgender members of the military in a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in California challenging the constitutionality of…the President's ban on transgender military service."

16. "The Cost of Making Partner and How Senior Associates Should Prepare," 09.01.17.
Law.com takes a look at the financial costs of becoming a new law firm partner, and what senior associates can do to plan for that.

17. "Legal Industry's Job Numbers Stall in Summer Heat," 09.01.17.
The American Lawyer reports on the latest USBLS jobs numbers, finding that the legal sector added just 100 jobs in August: "Since June 2013, the industry's total number of jobs has fluctuated between about 1.12 million and 1.13 million jobs — roughly 50,000 fewer jobs than the industry's pre-recession high of 1.18 million jobs in May 2007."

18. "Happiest Associates Give Firms High Marks for Technology," 09.01.17.
The American Lawyer reports on its midlevel technology survey, finding that "the two firms with the happiest midlevels…are also the two firms where associates are most pleased with their firm's technology."

19. "In-House and Outside Counsel Can Expect Higher Salaries in 2018, Study Says," 09.01.17.
Corporate Counsel reports on the findings of Robert Half's 2018 Salary Guide.

20. "Technology Lets Workday Continue for Houston Law Firms, Legal Tech Companies Despite Flooding," 09.01.17.
Legaltech News reports that "Houston-based law firms both large and small as well as technology providers with offices in the region appear to have been largely able to keep operations going as flood waters crippled much of the city."

21. "Inside the Client's Head: 2017 CLOC Institute Programming," 09.01.17.
A fascinating piece from Bill Henderson, published on his new blog Legal Evolution, that takes a quantitative look at the programming offered at this year's CLOC conference in Las Vegas: "legal operations is a field that focuses on systems and controls for managing legal problems and complexity."

22. "California Committee of Bar Examiners recommends keeping bar exam cut score the same," 08.31.17.
The ABA Journal reports that last Thursday the State Bar of California's Committee of Bar Examiners voted to keep the bar cut score the same — a decision by the state's Supreme Court is expected sometime in September.

23. "Tips for Hiring Contract Attorneys," 08.30.17.
Two law firm partners, writing for The Recorder, offer some good advice for law firms hiring contract attorneys.

24. "Michigan State College of Law Ranks Number One," 08.30.17.
Above the Law writes that the law school is at the forefront of emerging technologies.

25. "Good News for Young Strivers: Networking Is Overrated," 08.24.17.
A fun read by a Wharton professor writing for the Sunday New York Times and a good antidote to the networking über alles mentality: "If the very thought of networking makes you throw up in your mouth, you're not alone."

26. "Class Actions Survive Against Defunct Charlotte Law School," 08.22.17.
Karen Sloan, writing for Law.com, reports that "two proposed class actions against the now defunct Charlotte School of Law brought by former students have survived motions to dismiss, leaving their unfair and deceptive trade practice claims intact."

27. "Ready to Feel Old? Time for the Mind-Set List," 08.22.17.
Inside Higher Ed reports on Beloit Vollege's annual mind-set profile of first-year college students — the class that began their studies this fall were the last class to be born in the 1990s, and they are the last of the millennials!

September 1, 2017

1. "Salary Hikes Keep Associates Happy," 09.01.17.
The American Lawyer publishes the results of its annual Midlevel Associates Survey, finding that "associates generally continued to report high levels of satisfaction with their jobs," and report being happier with their compensation than they were a year ago.

    a. "Top Firms For Midlevel Associate Satisfaction: The National Rankings," 08.28.17.
    And The American Lawyer ranks law firms based on their associates' response to "[questions about] compensation and benefits, training and guidance, interaction with partners and other associates, the interest and satisfaction level of the work, the firm's policy on billable hours and management's openness about firm strategies and partnership chances."

2. "As Firms Centralize Management, Are Equity Partners Employees?," 09.01.17.
The American Lawyer explores a question raised by recent litigation that alleges law firm pay discrimination against women: "Given the business realities of large law firms, should partners be treated as employees, even if they hold an ownership stake in their firms?"

3. "California Bar Committee Endorses Lowering Exam Pass-Score," 08.31.17.
The Recorder reports that "a California State Bar committee stocked with law school deans recommended on Wednesday that the Supreme Court reduce the bar exam passing score from 144 to as low as 135."

4. "Julie MacFarlane on How Clients Are Transforming the Practice of Law," 08.31.17.
Slaw excerpts the second edition of "The New Lawyer: How Clients Are Transforming the Practice of Law," a book that looks like it is definitely worth a read. (The book is available from UBC Press here.)

5. "A Case For Letting Associates Drive Technology Advances in Law Firms," 08.31.17.
The American Lawyer profiles a Bryan Cave program designed to let associates drive technology and innovation at the firm.

6. "LSAT-Takers Cite Trump Presidency as Reason to Become a Lawyer," 08.31.17.
Karen Sloan, writing for Law.com, reports that "more than 24 percent of the 546 aspiring lawyers recently surveyed by Blueprint LSAT Preparation cited Trump and politics as their most important reason for wanting to become a lawyer."

7. "Charlotte Law Faced Criminal Probe While Seeking Federal Aid," 08.30.17.
Inside Higher Ed reports that "for-profit Charlotte School of Law and its parent company, InfiLaw, were under criminal investigation as they sought to negotiate restoration of federal student aid for Charlotte students, according to recently unsealed court filings from a whistle-blower lawsuit filed against the school."

    a. "Feds started criminal investigation of Charlotte School of Law, according to civil filing," 08.29.17.
    And more on this from the ABA Journal.

8. "Instagram: The Next Frontier for Law Firm Branding," 08.30.17.
This piece in Legaltech News makes the case for law firms jumping on the Instagram bandwagon: "law firms intent on branding themselves around their community, culture and clients are missing an opportunity to tap into a base of users that's 700 million strong, and growing."

9. "How Many Excess Partners Does Your Firm Have?," 08.30.17.
The American Lawyer takes a look at partner capacity and profitability, and provides a methodology for calculating how many excess partners exist at your firm.

10. "Big Law's Newest Competition for Talent Is an Old Foe," 08.29.17.
The American Lawyer reports that technology companies are once again a big draw for associates who are looking to make a change.

11. "In Bid to Retain Talent, Quinn Emanuel Creates New Bonus Pool," 08.29.17.
The American Lawyer reports that Quinn Emanuel has announced supplemental bonuses for associates who agree to stay on at the firm for another three years.

    a. "Quinn Emanuel creates 'associate longevity bonus pool'," 08.30.17.
    More on this from the ABA Journal.

12. "'Horrific' Storm Shutters Houston-Area Law Schools," 08.28.17.
Law.com reports that Houston's three law schools have been closed all week as a result of Hurricane Harvey.

    a. "Houston-area Courts Crippled by Hurricane Harvey," 08.27.17.
    Law.com reports that federal and state courts along the pathway of Hurricane Harvey have closed their doors, "grinding to a near halt one of the busiest jurisdictions in the country."

    b. "Hurricane Harvey Record Rainfall Floods Lawyers' Homes, Shutters Law Firms," 08.28.17.
    The Texas Lawyer reports on how the hurricane is affecting lawyers and law firms in the Houston area.

    c. "How Houston's GCs Are Coping With Record Rain and Floods," 08.28.17.
    And Corporate Counsel reports on how general counsel based in Houston are coping with the storm and its aftermath.

    d. "Legal Aids and Firms Start Mobilizing to Help Houston Compadres," 08.28.17.
    The Daily Report reports that "legal aids and law firm pro bono coordinators in Atlanta and elsewhere are mobilizing to help their compadres in Texas."

    3. "Lawyers Gear Up to Help Victims of Hurricane Harvey," 08.29.17.
    The Texas Lawyer reports that "bar associations and legal aid organizations are gearing up to provide legal help to hurricane victims, and firms have pledged money to support aid even as their Houston offices remain closed."

    f. "Louisiana closes several courts; law firms and law schools in Houston remain shuttered," 08.29.17.
    The ABA Journal provides updates on how courts, law firms and law schools are coping in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

    g. "How you can help those affected by Hurricane Harvey," 08.30.17.
    The ABA Journal provides information about how lawyers can provide legal assistance to those affected by the storm, with links to key sites and organizations.

    h. "Harvey's Destruction Will Test Employers' Pay, Leave Policies," 08.31.17.
    In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, when many businesses will be closed for an undetermined amount of time, Law.com asks what obligations employers have to their employees.

13. "How Law Firms Are Adapting to Meet Millennials' Needs and Why That's Good for Clients," 08.28.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "law firm management has started to bend to millennial demands…firms have begun to craft and adopt policies to cater to these new members of the legal profession."

14. "Big Law Takes On the Trans Military Ban," 08.28.17.
The National Law Journal reports that "civil rights groups with help from two big law firms [Kirkland and Covington] filed two lawsuits Monday against President Donald Trump's ban on transgender people serving in the military."

    a. "Law schools weigh bans on military recruiters over trans policy," 08.30.17.
    The Washington Blade reports that "at least two law schools — the Vermont Law School and Mitchell Hamline School of Law — are considering whether to enact a ban on military recruiters in response" to the President having directed the US military to enact a prohibition on transgender military service.

15. "Associate's Survival Guide: How to Adapt to the Changing Business of Law," 08.28.17.
This piece in The American Lawyer takes a look at the shift in demand for legal services, and what it means for young attorneys, and provides advice for taking advantage of the new environment.

16. "Freshfields Freezes Associate Pay at Last Year's Levels," 08.28.17.
The American Lawyer International reports that in the UK, "Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has held associate and trainee pay rates at last year's levels following a challenging year for the firm."

17. "The Necessity of Professionalism," 08.28.17.
Two law firm partners writing for the Daily Report make the case for professionalism among lawyers, and provide "tips for staying on the right side of professional."

August 25, 2017

1. "Department Lays Out Options for Charlotte Students," 08.25.17.
Inside Higher Ed reports that "the Department of Education Thursday set out options for students of the now-defunct Charlotte School of Law that will make the path to loan forgiveness more difficult for those who withdrew from the program before the spring."

2. "Even With Affirmative Action, Blacks and Hispanics Are More Underrepresented at Top Colleges Than 35 Years Ago," 08.24.17.
The New York Times provides data analysis and helpful infographics that look at minority college enrollment since 1980, noting that "the share of black freshmen at elite schools is virtually unchanged since 1980. Black students are just 6 percent of freshman but 15 percent of college-age Americans."

3. "Number of Women Law Profs Suing Univ. of Denver Rises to Six," 08.23.17.
Law.com reports that "a pay discrimination lawsuit filed on behalf of women law professors against the University of Denver by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission continues to grow," as two more tenured law professors are seeking to intervene in the suit.

4. "Two Big Law Firms Shed Partners Ahead of Mergers," 08.23.17.
The American Lawyer reports that two big international mergers have been characterized by a high degree of partner defection.

5. "What Law Schools Can Do To Encourage Solo Practice," 08.23.17.
Carolyn Elefant, writing for Above the Law, provides four suggestions for law schools that could give students a more favorable view of solo practice.

6. "First Half Financials Surprise on Strength of Biggest, Most Profitable Firms," 08.22.17.
Law.com reports that Wells Fargo Private Bank data show that "the first half was a surprising success for law firms," with revenue rising 5.6% compared to the same period a year ago, and revenue rising disproportionately at the largest firms.

    a. "Law firm revenue climbed 5.6 percent in year's first half, survey finds," 08.23.17.
    More on this from the ABA Journal.

7. "Supreme Court Clerk Bonuses Hit An Incredible New High," 08.22.18.
Above the Law reports that the highwater mark for Supreme Court clerkship bonuses has hit a record $350,000.

8. "UC Berkeley School of Law to Launch 'Hybrid' LL.M. Program," 08.22.17.
The Recorder reports that Berkeley School of Law has launched a new LL.M. program that will mostly be online, with students coming to campus for just three months over one summer — the program is designed specifically for foreign-trained lawyers.

9. "'Law Mart'," 08.22.17.
Inside Higher Ed takes a look at a new book published by Stanford University Press that analyzes the problems presented by for-profit law schools — the book, Law Mart: Justice, Access and For Profit Law Schools, argues that the struggling schools are a bellwether for for-profit higher education more broadly.

10. "NYU Law Center to Help State AGs Protect Environment," 08.21.17.
Law.com reports that "New York University School of Law has launched the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center, which will serve as a resource for attorneys general across the country who are fighting to preserve climate, clean energy, and other federal environmental protection initiatives through the courts."

    a. "NYU Law launches new center to help state AGs fight environmental rollbacks," 08.16.17.
    More on this from The Washington Post.

11. "New ABA President Sets Sights on Access to Justice, Diversity and Young Lawyers," 08.21.17.
The New York Law Journal profiles incoming ABA President Hilarie Bass, and takes a look at her ambitious agenda.

12. "More law school deans call for lowering California bar exam cut score," 08.18.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "law school deans at public hearings this week in San Francisco and Los Angeles called on the state of California to lower its bar exam cut score."

    a. "Lawyers and Grads Plea: Lower the Bar Exam 'Cut' Score," 08.14.17.
    The Recorder reports that "lawyers and law school graduates on Monday pleaded with California state bar officials to support the adoption of a lower passing, or cut, score on the bar exam."

13. "ABA Launches Legal Education Commission," 08.17.17.
Inside Higher Ed reports that "the American Bar Association on Wednesday announced a 10-member task force to address the challenging job market for new lawyers, falling bar-exam passage rates and other pressing issues in legal education."

    a. "Members of ABA's Commission on the Future of Legal Education named," 08.16.17.
    The ABA Journal reports that the new ABA president has launched a commission charged with redesigning legal education — its members include Richard Susskind.

14. "Trying to Train and Retain the Millennial Attorney," 08.17.17.
Legaltech News reports on a conference session at last week's ILTACON about trying to train, retain, and prepare the next generation of attorneys — young attorneys whose "ideas around solving modern legal problems are more in tune with the modern legal climate."

15. "Legal Demand 3.0," 08.17.17.
The latest from Jordan Furlong at Law21 — great reading as always — looking at the historical evolution of demand for legal services and what the post-procurement, post-legal ops world we now live in means for demand going forward.

16. "ABA and Jones Day to Launch Legal Website for Veterans," 08.16.17.
Legaltech News reports that Jones Day and the ABA are launching VetLex, an online platform that will connect attorneys and legal organizations to veterans and their legal problems.

17. "Law prof suggests ABA set an employment requirement for law school accreditation," 08.16.17.
The ABA Journal reports that law professor Scott Norberg has written a paper suggesting that law school accreditation should be linked to employment outcomes, arguing that bar passage rates are not enough.

18. "Charlotte Law School Closes With a Whimper," 08.15.17.
Law.com reports that Charlotte School of Law is shutting down immediately after failing to meet several state regulatory requirements.

    a. "Troubled Charlotte School of Law Will Close Its Doors, Reports Say," 08.15.17.
    More on this from The Chronicle of Higher Education.

    b. "The Slow Death of a For-Profit Law School," 08.16.17.
    And a good summary of these events from Inside Higher Ed.

19. "UC Berkeley law school faces $2M in budget cuts," 08.15.17.
The ABA Journal reports that the "University of California at Berkeley School of Law faces $2 million in budget cuts and will eliminate some of its associate dean positions."

20. "What to Do When a Second Choice Offer Comes Through First," 08.15.17.
Julie Brush, writing for The Recorder, offers some step-by-step advice for how to proceed when a second choice employment offer comes before a hoped-for first choice offer is ripe.

21. "ABA Will Consider Recent Change to Way it Counts Law Grad Jobs," 08.14.17.
Law.com reports that "the American Bar Association will take a second look at controversial changes it made earlier this summer to how law schools report graduate employment data."

    a. "After transparency criticism, ABA law school employment questionnaire revisions postponed," 08.11.17.
    More on the decision to postpone changes to how schools are to report school-funded jobs, reported by the ABA Journal.

    b. "Amid Criticism, ABA Pulls Back on Change to How Law Schools Report Jobs," 08.07.17.
    Law.com reports that the ABA has put the brakes on recently adopted changes to how law schools report graduate employment with respect to law school funded jobs.

    c. "ABA Legal Ed Council will talk more about how law school-funded jobs get reported," 08.07.17.
    And more on this from the ABA Journal.

22. "ABA Report Promotes Changes to Treat Addiction, Depression," 08.14.17.
The American Lawyer reports on the publication of a new report from the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being. (The report, The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, can be found here.)

    a. "Some Law Schools Take the Lead in Students' Well-Being, Report Finds," 08.17.17.
    The National Law Journal reports on the release of a new report from the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being that finds "[while] many law schools across the country run programs to help stressed out or depressed students, some of whom struggle with alcohol or drug problems…there's more work to do."

23. "ABA Calls for Bar Admission of Undocumented Law Grads," 08.14.17.
Law.com reports that "the ABA's House of Delegates on Monday adopted a resolution urging the federal government to amend the law to make clear that individual jurisdictions have the ability to admit undocumented law graduates to the bar without running afoul of federal immigration legislation."

    a. "Law Students Want ABA to Help Undocumented JD Grads Get Licensed," 08.10.17.
    Law.com reports that "the law student division will ask the ABA's House of Delegates to approve a resolution urging Congress to amend federal law to make clear that state courts may permit undocumented immigrants to join the bar and practice."

24. "Lawyers on the Rise: Three Ways to Recruit Resilience," 08.14.17.
This piece in Law Practice Today identifies three ways to detect resilience and growth mindset in applicants through the application review and interviewing stages of recruitment. (Hat tip to Susanne Aronowitz for this one.)

25. "CITI: First Half Marked by Slow Growth," 08.10.17.
Dan DiPietro and Gretta Rusanow, writing for The American Lawyer, report on the state of the industry halfway through 2017 and predict more of the same through the end of the year: "margin compression, low-single-digit growth in revenue and profits, and continued dispersion and volatility in performance."

26. "Reduction in law school applications result in favorable upsides for some," 08.10.17.
The ABA Journal reports on some of the upsides to the dearth of law school applications (less competition and more financial aid leverage for applicants).

27. "Georgetown Law launches center to fight for constitutional rights," 08.10.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "the Georgetown University Law Center has launched an institute bringing together expert prosecutors and students to litigate high-profile cases in efforts to defend constitutional rights in matters such as discrimination, immigration, national security, privacy and whistleblower protection."

28. "Artificial Intelligence is Molding the Attorney of the Future," 08.09.17.
A vice president for LexisNexis, writing here for Legaltech News, argues that "next-generation technology is beginning to yield next-generation lawyers."

29. "This ABA Innovation Fellow Is Bringing A2J Incubators Beyond Silicon Valley," 08.09.17.
Legaltech News reports on a pioneer who is using technology to bring social justice to rural America.

30. "What a Difference a Decade Makes," 08.09.17.
JDSupra notes that the global credit crisis that led to the great recession began ten years ago today, and identifies many of the changes that have happened in the legal industry since then.

31. "Northwestern's law school says it will accept the GRE as an entrance test," 08.07.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law will accept the Graduate Record Examination or the Law School Admissions Test for admissions starting in the fall of 2018."

    a. "Georgetown Joins List of Top Schools Using GRE for Admissions," 08.07.17.
    Law.com reports that reports that Georgetown University Law Center is now accepting GRE scores for admission to law school.

    b. "Shaking Up Law School Admissions," 08.08.17.
    More on the Georgetown and Northwestern GRE decisions from Inside Higher Ed.

    c. "Two More Law Schools Won't Require the LSAT," 08.08.17.
    And Bloomberg weighs in on this.

    d. "LSAT Leader Urges Caution in Law Schools' Use of GRE," 08.08.17.
    Karen Sloan, writing for Law.com, reports on the LSAC's response to recent announcements that additional law schools will no longer require the LSAT.

    e. "GRE as a Valid LSAT Alternative Requires Long-Term Study," 08.10.17.
    Kellye Testy, President and CEO of the LSAC, writing here for Law.com, argues that more study is needed before it can be determined if the GRE is a valid alternative to the LSAT.

32. "Summer Associate Offer Rates (2017): A Guide For 1Ls Dreaming Of Biglaw Bucks," 08.07.17.
Above the Law has a list of law firm offices that have given offers to all of their summer associates.

33. "New Report Shows Am Law 100 Firms Pulling Ahead of Smaller Peers," 08.07.17.
The American Lawyer reports that new data from Thomson Reuters Peer Monitor shows a widening gap between the Am Law 100 firms and the Am Law Second Hundred firms.

34. "Courtroom Study Finds Women Lawyers Eclipsed in Complex Cases," 08.07.17.
The National Law Journal reports on a new study by the commercial and federal litigation section of the New York State Bar Association that found a lower percentage of women attorneys appearing in a speaking role in courts at every level and in every type of court.

    a. "Female Lawyers Can Talk, Too," 08.08.17.
    A good New York Times op-ed on the dearth of women lawyers with lead roles in the courtroom.

35. "9 Ways The Legal Profession Needs To Change: Are You Ready?," 08.07.17.
Olga Mack and Katia Bloom, writing for Above the Law, identify "nine major dysfunctions and pivot points in today's corporate legal services industry."

36. "Big Law Returns to Law School for Summer Hiring in 'Steady' Numbers," 08.04.17.
Elizabeth Olson, writing for Bloomberg Law, takes a look at Big Law hiring, and what it means for students, as the OCI season gets underway.

37. "Legal Industry Sees Jobs Numbers Dip in July," 08.04.17.
The American Lawyer reports that the latest jobs numbers from USBLS show that "the US legal industry lost 4,300 jobs in July."

38. "The Importance of LGBTQ Employee Resource Groups," 08.04.17.
A lawyer who specializes in LGBT law, writing here for The Legal Intelligencer, makes the case for the importance of LGBTQ ERGs as a way to drive competition and business.

39. "Microsoft Shifts From Paying Outside Lawyers by the Hour," 08.03.17.
The New York Times reports that Microsoft is planning to move 90 percent of the company's legal work to alternative fee arrangements.

40. People Suffer at Work When They Can't Discuss the Racial Bias They Face Outside of It," 07.10.17.
A very good Harvard Business Review article that was shared within the NALP Diversity and Inclusion Section that measures "what happens when racial bias isn't discussed at work."

August 4, 2017

1. "Without Any Transparency In The Process, ABA Legal Ed Council Approves Changes to Employment Report And Classification Of Law-School-Funded Positions That Erode Transparency," 08.03.17.
Jerry Organ, writing for the TaxProf Blog, rails against the recent decision by the Council of the ABA Sections of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar "to completely eviscerate the steps it approved in 2015 to assure greater transparency in reporting law-school-funded positions."

    a. "ABA Takes Giant Step Backwards On Transparency," 08.03.17.
    And Kyle McEntee, writing for Above the Law, takes up the same cause.

2. "An ABA Accreditation Standard on Employment Outcomes?," 08.03.17.
Scott Norberg, writing for the Faculty Lounge Blog, explains the argument he makes in a recent law review article for an ABA standard on law school employment outcomes. (This is the first in a series of planned posts on the article. The article itself, "The Case for an ABA Accreditation Standard on Employment Outcomes," can be found here.)

3. "How Far Are Lawyers From Drafting Smart Contracts?," 08.03.17.
A good Slaw blog post on the evolution of smart contracts — what they are ("a smart contract is a computer program that automates parts or the entirety of an actual legal agreement"), and how far we are from their becoming universal.

4. "Employment Rate for New Law School Graduates Rises As the Overall Number of Jobs, Class Size, Continue to Shrink," 08.02.17.
NALP released the preliminary results of its report on salary and employment outcomes for the Class of 2016, finding that "for the third year in a row the employment rate is shaped by a smaller number of jobs and a smaller graduating class size, with graduates benefitting from slightly less competition for the jobs that exist." (NALP Press release)

    a. "Big Law Associate Hiring Picked Up For Class of 2016," 08.02.17.
    The American Lawyer reports on the NALP employment report, noting that "firms with 500 or more lawyers increased their hiring by an impressive 6 percent."

    b. "Thanks to shrinking class sizes, a greater percentage of new law grads find employment," 08.03.17.
    And the ABA Journal reports on the NALP findings.

    c. You can find more information on the employment and salary findings for the Class of 2016 here, including the Selected Findings report, the press release, and a free member webinar on the preliminary findings.

5. "Hit or Miss: The Associate Salary Hike, One Year Later," 08.02.17.
The American Lawyer takes a look at the associate salary hike that kicked off one year ago when Cravath raised first-year salaries to $180,000 and many other firms quickly followed suit, and its varying economic impact on the firms that have increased their associate pay scheme.

6. "Legal Operations Skills During Your 1L Summer," 08.02.17.
Bill Henderson, writing for his new blog Legal Evolution, describes a 1L summer program in which students learned about data mapping, document automation, expert systems, data visualization and construction of metrics dashboards, database structuring and query writing, artificial intelligence, open source versus proprietary software codebases, and had speaking parts on calls with firm clients.

7. "Three Thoughts in Hiring Non-Attorney Laterals," 08.02.17.
Two partners from Dentons, writing for The Recorder, offer advice on hiring non-attorney laterals.

8. "Student Legal Chatbot Project Endures Growing Pains, Emerges as Enterprise Technology," 08.02.17.
Legaltech News writes about the evolution of a chatbot designed by a group of recent law graduates — a tool that will now live on Facebook Messenger and will help assess the likelihood of particular outcomes in a matter were it to go before a court.

9. "Microsoft Announces Plans to Nearly Phase Out Billable Hour," 08.01.17.
Bloomberg Law reports that Microsoft "hopes to shift 90 percent of its legal work into alternative fee arrangements within two years."

10. "This Year, Fewer but Better-Paid Summer Associates," 08.01.17.
Law.com reports that summer hires decreased an average of 2.02 percent and the average salary for a summer associate was up 11.36 percent based on the results of The American Lawyer's Summer Associates Survey. (They report that at AmLaw 200 firms there were 2,175 summer hires in New York, 311 in Chicago, 299 in Los Angeles, and 222 in Boston.)

11. "Justice Dept. to Take On Affirmative Action in College Admissions," 08.01.17.
The New York Times reports that "the Trump administration is preparing to redirect resources of the Justice Department's civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants."

    a. "Justice Department Will Target Affirmative Action," 08.02.17.
    More on this from Inside Higher Ed.

    b. "Trump Administration Will Investigate Affirmative Action in College Admissions," 08.01.17.
    And more on this from The Chronicle of Higher Education.

12. "Charlotte School of Law not alone in facing an uncertain future," 08.01.17.
The ABA Journal chronicles some of the very difficult facts facing a number of ABA accredited law schools. (This article also appears in the print edition of the August issue of the ABA Journal magazine under the headline "Troubled Passage: Charlotte Law School faces an uncertain future, but it is not alone.")

13. "ABA's Suit Over Loan Forgiveness Is Bogus, Says Dept. of Ed.," 08.01.17.
Law.com reports that "the US Department of Education has fired back in a suit brought by the American Bar Association, arguing that the ABA's case over public service loan forgiveness is fatally flawed."

14. "New Laws Block Job Interview Pay Questions. What If It Comes Up Anyways?," 08.01.17.
Julie Brush, writing for The Recorder, provides good advice about how to (and how not to) talk about compensation history during a job interview.

15. "University Moves to Block Law School's Center from Litigating," 08.01.17.
Law.com reports that "a proposal to block a civil rights law center at the University of North Carolina School of Law from litigating cases won initial approval on Tuesday."

16. "As Clients Get Tougher on Diversity, Some Firms See a Selling Point," 08.01.17.
The American Lawyer reports that as more companies ask law firms for their diversity data, some firms are finding an advantage.

17. "Baker McKenzie's Revenue, Profits Nudge Up Amid Global Uncertainty," 08.01.17.
The American Lawyer reports that Baker McKenzie saw revenue climb 5 percent and PPP climb 1.2 percent in 2016-17.

18. "Stepping Up: The 2017 GC Compensation Survey," 08.01.17.
Corporate Counsel reports on the results of its 2017 General Counsel Compensation Survey, noting that "a female is at the No. 1 spot on the list of the 100 highest-paid general counsel."

19. "State Bar Study Says 'Maybe' on Lower Exam Passing Score," 07.31.17.
The Recorder reports that "a much anticipated study commissioned by the state bar has found that California could cut its notoriously high bar exam score and still ensure that those who meet lawyer competency minimums are qualified to practice."

    a. "Proposal to lower California bar exam score considered," 08.01.17.
    More on this from the ABA Journal.

20. "Today's Law Degree Takes on a Broader Meaning," 07.31.17.
Bloomberg Law writes about the emergence of a distinct JD Advantage job market for law school graduates.

21. "Summer at a Big Firm? No Thanks, These Law Students Say," 07.31.17.
The Daily Report writes about law students who take low or no-paying public interest jobs in order to get hands-on legal experience.

22. "Charlotte School of Law says it may get federal loan cash; Education Department says not so fast," 07.31.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "the Charlotte School of Law announced that the US Department of Education 'is prepared to reinstate the school's ability to award' federal student loan money under the Title IV program," but goes on to note that the Department issued a statement saying that CSL currently remains ineligible to receive Title IV funds.

    a. "For-Profit Law School May Have Aid Restored," 08.01.17.
    More on this from Inside Higher Ed.

23. "With Better Pay, and Fewer Options, Associates Stay Put at Their Firms," 07.28.17.
The New York Law Journal reports on the findings in the latest NALP Foundation Associate Attrition Study, noting that "on average, 16 percent of associates left their firms in 2016, compared with 20 percent in 2015…the lowest attrition rate in the last four years."

24. "A Law Firm for the Millennial Generation: An 'Edgy' Miami Firm Dares to Be Different," 07.28.17.
The American Lawyer reports on the emergence of the AXS Law Group, "a less traditional firm branded with an urban-edge style, life-balance philosophy, less specialization and big on alternative fee structures."

25. "How Firms Should Be Measuring the Profitability of Matters," 07.28.17.
This piece in The Legal Intelligencer advocates for the use of the "margin per partner Hour (MPH)" as an effective tool for measuring profitability on matters.

26. "Issues to Consider When Asking a Partner to Leave," 07.26.17.
Two partners from Dentons, writing for The Recorder, provide practical advice about how to proceed when asking an individual or group of partners to leave the law firm.

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