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.
May 22, 2015
1. "Uniform Bar Exam Gathers Steam as New York Signs Up: New York becomes 16th state to adopt the uniform bar examination test," 05.21.15.
The National Law Journal considers what lies ahead in the wake of New York's decision to adopt the UBE.
2. "Two global law firms will use software to find standout UK hires from underprivileged backgrounds," 05.21.15.
The ABA Journal reports that Baker & McKenzie and Hogan Lovells will be using social mobility software to identify standout candidates in London who have overcome underprivileged backgrounds.
3. "ACC Crowns Its Value Champions for 2015," 05.20.15.
Corporate Counsel reports on the Association of Corporate Counsel's 2015 Value Champions, a list of in-house legal departments (and some of their law firm partners) that have generated savings and more predictable outcomes for their organizations. (The honors are part of an initiative that encourages the use of tactics such as value-based fee arrangements, efficient use of technology, and process improvement).
a. "ACC Recognizes Efficiency, New Technology at Legal Departments: 'Every single one of the 2015 ACC Value Champions employed technology to bring innovation and efficiencies to legal matters'," 05.19.15.
More on this from Legaltech News.
4. "Maryland Law Fellowships Emphasize Business Experience," 05.20.15.
The National Law Journal reports that "a new fellowship program at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law will send students and graduates in-house to learn about corporate clients' needs and gain marketable experience."
5. "Bloomberg BNA Launches Corporate Transactions Tool: Bloomberg Law offers practical guidance in market standards for financial transactions with new drafting workflow," 05.19.15.
Legaltech News reports that Bloomberg has launched a new product that automates transactional drafting and integrates information from the BNA financial databases.
6. "2014 Bar Exam Takers to Get Refund for Software Glitch," 05.19.15.
The New York Law Journal reports that "ExamSoft has agreed to pay $2.1 million to bar takers who ran into technical problems while trying to upload their exam responses last year."
7. "Why it's good news that fewer people are going to college," 05.19.15.
The Washington Post reports on new research that shows that as the US economy continues to improve, college enrollment continues to drop as more (mostly older) would-be college students opt to join the workforce directly.
8. "US Senator's Bill Would Make Public 4-Year Colleges Free for All," 05.19.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "Bernard Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont and a long-shot candidate for the Democratic Party's 2016 presidential nomination, introduced a bill on Tuesday that would make attending all four-year public colleges free."
9. "Facing Budget Deficit, Pace Law Decides to Trim Faculty Pay," 05.18.15.
The New York Law Journal reports that Pace Law School faculty salaries will be cut by ten percent and staff salaries will be cut by five percent for the 2015-2016 academic year (the move is aimed at narrowing a $5 million deficit).
a. "Paychecks will shrink for Pace Law School professors and staffers," 05.18.15.
More on this from the ABA Journal.
b. "In Wake of 35% Enrollment Decline, Pace Law School Dean Cuts Faculty Pay 10%, Eliminates Research Stipends And Sabbaticals, And Warns Faculty Not to Speak to Press," 05.14.15.
More on this from the TaxProf Blog, which broke this story late last week.
10. "For Lawyers Who Took Time Away, an In-House 'ReEntry'," 05.18.15.
Corporate Counsel reports on a new program at JP Morgan Chase & Co.'s legal department that provides a reentry internship experience for lawyers who have left the practice of law and wish to return.
11. "U. of Denver Law School Scores a Marijuana Professorship," 05.18.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the University of Denver's Sturm College of Law has established the world's first professorship of marijuana law.
a. "Q&A: How Denver Law's Pot Professorship Came to Pass," 05.19.15.
More on this from The National Law Journal in an interview with Brian Vicente, the founder of Vicente Sederberg, a "marijuana law firm" that made the donation to Denver's law school that made the new professorship possible.
12. "Numbers Flat at Top 25 Firms in Summer Associate Survey," 05.18.15.
The Texas Lawyer looks at 2015 summer associate programs at the top firms in Texas.
13. "Law Schools: This is the Moment — for Clinics," 05.18.15.
The National Law Journal, in its annual Law Schools Special Report, focuses on clinics:
14. "The In-State Tuition Break, Slowly Disappearing," 05.18.15.
The New York Times' Upshot columnist takes a look at the erosion of in-state tuition discounts at public colleges and universities over the last ten years, eroding one of the most important pathways to upward mobility.
15. "Foreclosure Firm Butler & Hosch Shuts Down," 05.18.15.
The Daily Business Review reports that "Butler & Hosch, one of the largest foreclosure law firms in the country with 11 office and about 700 attorneys and staff nationally, has abruptly closed its doors."
a. "Foreclosure law firm closes its doors; 700 workers lose jobs, are told there's no money to pay them," 05.18.15.
More on this from the ABA Journal.
16. "Profs Call Off Tenure Suite Against William Mitchell Law," 05.18.15.
The National Law Journal reports that "two professors at William Mitchell College of Law have voluntarily dismissed their breach-of-contract lawsuit against the St. Paul school," a legal challenge that could have disrupted the proposed merger of William Mitchell with Hamline University School of Law.
17. "Dentons to Develop New Technologies Through NextLaw Labs," 05.18.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that Dentons "has launched NextLaw Labs, a wholly owned subsidiary through which it will invest in and develop technologies so that attorneys can deliver services to their clients 'better, cheaper, faster'."
18. "What will lawyers be doing in 5 to 10 years?," 05.18.15.
The ABA Journal reports from the Lawyernomics conference in Las Vegas, taking up the question of what the practice of law will look like in the future.
19. "Can this legal maneuver save Charleston School of Law?," 05.18.15.
An ABA Journal update on the status of Charleston School of Law.
20. "City Bar Urges ABA to Drop Ban on Credit for Paid Work," 05.15.15.
The New York Law Journal reports that the New York City Bar Association has urged the ABA to lift its ban on giving academic credit to students for the paid legal work they do for private employers.
21. "Employment Picture Improving for Conn. Law School Grads: Some practice areas are 'hot,' but seasoned lawyers offer stiff competition," 05.15.15.
The Connecticut Law Tribune takes a look at the job market for new law school graduates in Connecticut.
22. "6 Tips to Make Students Better Attorneys," 05.14.15.
An associate, writing for the Texas Lawyer, provides a list of six things law students can do while in law school to equip themselves to be successful young attorneys.
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.
May 15, 2015
1. "New Cardozo, Suffolk Law Deans Plan Smaller Classes," 05.14.15.
The National Law Journal reports that Melanie Leslie will become the first female dean of the Yeshiva University Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and Andrew Perlman will become dean at Suffolk University Law School.
2. "Survey: 49% of Recent Grads Say They're Underemployed," 05.14.15.
Inside Higher Ed reports that according to new survey research "forty-nine percent of students who graduated college in 2013 and 2014 consider themselves underemployed."
3. "Even Private Colleges Feel the Pain as Enrollment Falls Again," 05.14.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that total college enrollment fell by nearly two percentage points this year, and noting that the drop affected all sectors, public and private, four-year and two-year institutions. (The drop was fueled by the exit of older students from the system who are leaving school to rejoin the workforce as the overall unemployment rate continues to come down.)
a. "Enrollments Fall," 05.1 4.15.
More on this from Inside Higher Ed: improved economy leads to enrollment dips among two-year and four-year colleges.
4. "Utilizing Your Alumni Network for Personal Development," 05.14.15.
A good article on networking for young attorneys from The Legal Intelligencer.
5. "Hawaii Law Will Admit Students Who Haven't Taken LSAT," 05.13.15.
The National Law Journal reports that the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law will allow certain undergraduates to apply without taking the LSAT, a practice allowed under new ABA regulations and already adopted by at least four other law schools.
6. "Interest Rates on New Federal Student Loans Will Drop for 2015-16," 05.13.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "The rate on undergraduate Stafford loans will drop to 4.29 percent, down from 4.66 percent this year. Graduate Stafford loans' interest rate will be 5.84 percent, down from 6.21 percent. The rate on PLUS loans for parents and graduate students will be 6.84 percent, down from 7.21 percent." More on this from The Wall Street Journal, Inside Higher Ed, and The Washington Post.
7. "Millennials Pose Risk to Corporate Mobile Security," 05.13.15.
Legaltech News reports that new survey results show that "despite being digital natives, millennial technology habits could compromise corporate-issued device security."
8. "Firm Leaders Say Overcapacity Is Hurting Profitability," 05.12.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that new Altman Weil survey results show that most law firm leaders still believe most law firm partners are not sufficiently busy, and that overcapacity is driving down profitability.
a. "Are nonequity partners at risk? 43 percent of surveyed law firms say they have too many," 05.13.15.
More on the Altman Weil law firm leader survey from the ABA Journal.
b. "Survey Indicates Use of Computer Learning Systems Is the Future of Legal Spending," 05.13.15.
Legaltech News also reports on the Altman Weil survey results, noting that as the costs of technology come down and the pressures on law firms to reduce costs remain high, law firms are likely to purchase computer learning technologies, like Watson, that will be disruptive to the sector.
9. "Lawyers With Lowest Pay Report More Happiness," 05.12.15.
The New York Times reports that new research published in the George Washington Law Review suggests that lawyers in high-income jobs in large law firms do not report anywhere near the happiness and satisfaction levels reported by lawyers in public service jobs that pay the lowest salaries of all.
a. "Disappointed with earnings after law school? You're in good company, lawyer happiness study says," 05.13.15.
More on this research from the ABA Journal.
b. "What Makes Lawyers Happy?: A Data-Driven Prescription to Redefine Professional Success," by Lawrence S. Krieger with Kennon M. Sheldon.
You can read the GWLR article in its entirety here (PDF).
10. "Harvard Study: Women Lawyers Work More Than Men," 05.12.15.
Bloomberg BNA reports that "Harvard Law School's Center on the Legal Profession...released the results of a widespread survey of its graduates which suggests women work more hours on average than men."
a. "Think Harvard law grads are more likely to stay in law practice than others? 28% ditched legal jobs," 05.13.15.
The ABA Journal also reports on the results of the new Harvard study, noting that "about 28 percent of Harvard law grads from four graduating classes are no longer practicing law."
11. "Entering the Job Market in a Fitful Time," 05.12.15.
The New York Times notes that the new crop of college and university graduates entering the job market this spring faces a strengthening job market but stagnant wages.
12. "Law School with goal of making legal education affordable has $3.8M deficit," 05.12.15.
The ABA Journal reports that the University of Massachusetts School of Law reported a $3.8 million deficit last year (UMass acquired what was previously called the Southern New England School of Law in 2010) largely because of falling enrollment. See more on this in The Boston Globe.
13. "Gateley is poised to become first UK law firm to go public, hopes to raise $15M in IPO," 05.12.15.
The ABA Journal reports that "a midsized commercial law firm is poised to become the first in the UK to go public," something now allowed under the UK's 2011 Legal Services Act.
14. "Firms Tell Gay Couples: Wed or Lose Your Benefits," 05.12.15.
The Wall Street Journal reports that amidst the push to make same-sex unions legal, some employers are telling gay workers that they must marry in order to keep benefits coverage for their partners. (Subscription required)
a. "As same-sex marriage gains ground, some employers cut benefits for same-sex couples who don't wed," 05.13.15.
More on this from the ABA Journal.
15. "Law School in Two Years? Most Grads Say Yes," 05.11.15.
The National Law Journal reports that 56% of law grads surveyed by Kaplan Test Prep say that law school should be reduced to two years.
16. "Native Americans Left Behind: In legal profession, they feel 'simply invisible'," 05.11.15.
The National Law Journal reports on the results of the first comprehensive survey of Native American lawyers, commissioned by the National Native American Bar Association, noting that Native Americans (including American Indians, Alaska natives, and native Hawaiians) make up less than one half a percent of all US lawyers even though they make up about 1.6% of the US population.
17. "Legal Services Gains 2,300 Jobs in April, But Industry Layoffs Continue," 05.08.15.
The Am Law Daily reports on the latest USBLS jobs data for the legal sector, noting modest gains for the month of April but also reporting that the sector is still down about 59,000 jobs from its peak in 2007.
18. "Anonymous Benefactor Gives $4.5M to Case Western Law," 05.08.15.
The National Law Journal reports that "Case Western Reserve University School of Law has received its largest donation ever — $4.5 million from an anonymous donor."
19. "Proskauer lays off 29 staff members," 05.07.15.
The ABA Journal reports that Proskauer Rose is laying off 29 staff members in New York.
May 8, 2015
1. "Am Law 100 Analysis: The Year's Hottest Markets," 05.08.15.
The American Lawyer identifies New York, Texas, Silicon Valley, and Washington, DC, as the hottest legal markets in the US.
2. "GC's Top 2 Concerns: Regulation and Costs," 05.08.15.
Corporate Counsel reports on new survey research that identifies the two key concerns of general counsel: "how to manage growing threats from regulators and how to keep costs down while adding value to the company."
3. "Fordham Law Offers Early Enrollment to RI School," 05.08.15.
The New York Law Journal reports that "qualified undergraduates from Salve Regina University in Rhode Island who have completed at least three years of study can apply for early enrollment at the Fordham University School of Law" the schools announced this week.
4. "The Hidden Portion of Student-Loan Debt," 05.08.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education data blog looks at the hidden portion of student debt — namely family borrowing via home-equity loans and credit cards to pay for college tuition.
5. "Citi Report: Law Firm Expenses Outpace Revenue in First Quarter," 05.07.15.
Gretta Rusanow from Citi Private Bank's Law Firm Group, writing here for the Am Law Daily, reports that demand for legal services was flat in the first quarter and the growth of expenses outpaced the modest growth of revenue, and notes wide continued dispersion across the market.
6. "Will Charleston School of Law close? Announcement expected next week," 05.07.14.
The ABA Journal reports that the Charleston School of Law is considering whether to admit new students for the fall.
7. "NY Law Grads Benefit From Less Competition for Legal Jobs," 05.07.15.
The New York Law Journal parses the ABA jobs data for the law schools in New York.
8. "New York State to Adopt Uniform Bar Exam," 05.06.15.
The New York Law Journal reports that New York has become the 16th state to adopt the UBE as its bar examination.
a. "New York will use Uniform Bar Exam to test bar applicants, starting in July 2016," 05.05.15.
More on this from the ABA Journal.
9. "$3M Gift Boosts 'Faculty Excellence' at Northwestern Law," 05.06.15.
The National Law Journal reports that Northwestern University School of Law has received a $3 million gift from an alumnus to create an endowed fund to support faculty excellence.
10. "'Human Capital' Theory Doesn't Explain Law Grad Earnings," 05.06.15.
Matt Leichter, writing for the Am Law Daily, critiques some of the recent scholarship on law school grad earnings, including the recent pieces by Simkovic and McIntyre, and by Deborah Merritt.
11. "All-MOOC MBA," 05.05.15.
Inside Higher Ed reports that the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has unveiled its new iMBA — a virtually free online MBA degree.
12. "The National Law Journal's Outstanding Women Lawyers," 05.04.15.
The National Law Journal publishes its annual list of 75 of the most accomplished female attorneys.
a. "A Career of Advancing Women in the Law," 05.04.15.
This National Law Journal op-ed provides a remembrance of Marty Africa, and the central role she played in advancing the role of women lawyers over more than three decades.
13. "Firm Leaders Expect Corporate Work to Drive Revenue," 05.04.15.
The New York Law Journal reports on the results of its informal survey of law firm leaders after the first quarter, concluding that "corporate practices are strong, litigation is slowing down, and law firms continue to face pressure from clients to keep costs under control."
14. "True innovation in the legal industry requires outside views and thinking, summit speakers say," 05.04.15.
The ABA Journal reports on the proceedings of the National Summit on Innovation in Legal Services held this week at Stanford University.
15. "6 Tips For Smarter Lateral Hiring," 05.04.15.
David Lat at ATL reports on the contents of three panels on lateral hiring that he attended last month at NALP Annual Education Conference in Chicago.
16. "ABA committee wants to end use of alternative law school admission tests," 05.04.15.
The ABA Journal reports that an ABA committee has recommended eliminating the rule that allows law schools to admit up to 10% of their entering classes without an LSAT score.
17. "Changes at the Top at West Virginia, New Mexico Law," 05.04.15.
The National Law Journal reports that a new dean has been announced at West Virginia University College of Law (Greg Bowman) and that the dean at the law school at the University of New Mexico has stepped down (David Herring).
18. "Howard U. asks alumni to help clear student debts before gradation," 05.02.15.
The Washington Post reports that the President of Howard University has reached out to alumni to ask them to help cover the loan debt of graduating seniors.
19. "A Woman-Led Law Firm That Lets Partners Be Parents," 05.01.15.
The New York Times profiles "the Geller Law Group, a six-woman firm, the founding credo of which is family-friendliness."
20. "Five Questions to Ask Before Leaving Law Firm Life," 05.01.15.
The Recorder provides a list of things to consider before giving up a legal career for something in another industry.
21. "Student Loan Facts They Wish They Had Known," 05.01.15.
The New York Times "Your Money" columnist reports on what he learned when he asked readers what they wish they had known before they borrowed their student loans.
22. "New York Law School to Host Business School on Campus," 04.30.15.
The New York Law Journal reports that the University of Rochester Simon Business School will move to the New York Law School's campus — the law school will hold classes on weekdays and the business school will host classes on weekends, and the two schools will be discussing how they can partner to cross offer classes between JD and MBA students.
April 24, 2015
1. "These Girl Scouts Are Going to Law School," 04.22.15.
The National Law Journal reports that the Girl Scouts of Suffolk County, New York, are partnering with the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center to expose young girls to the profession and to women role models.
2. "Arizona State University to offer freshman year online, for credit," 04.22.15.
The Washington Post reports that Arizona State University will offer a freshman curriculum online through the nonprofit web site edX.
a. "Promising Full College Credit, Arizona State University Offers Online Freshman Program," 04.22.15.
More on this from The New York Times: "Arizona State University, one of the nation's largest universities, is joining with edX, a nonprofit online venture founded by MIT and Harvard, to offer an online freshman year that will be available worldwide with no admissions process and full university credit."
b. "Arizona State and edX Will Offer an Online Freshman Year, Open to All," 04.23.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education also reports on this development, noting that the project, the Global Freshman Academy, "opens a new low-cost, low-risk path to a college degree for students anywhere in the world."
c. "MOOCs for (a Year's) Credit," 04.22.15.
And finally even more on the development at Arizona State from Inside Higher Ed.
3. "Business Development Is an Essential Skill to Cultivate," 04.22.15.
The Daily Report provides business development advice for associates.
4. "What Makes an Outside Counsel a 'Trusted Adviser'?," 04.21.15.
A consultant, writing for Corporate Counsel, provides insights about how outside counsel become the trusted advisors of in house lawyers.
5. "In-House Lawyers Applying Metrics in New Ways," 04.21.15.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that "In-House counsel are using an increasing array of metrics to drive behavior both inside their organizations as well as within external sources ranging from outside counsel to politicians."
6. "For Those Without One, College Degrees Are Seen as Important but Too Expensive," 04.21.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on new research from the American Enterprise Institute that finds "people without a college degree recognize its importance...but [don't] necessarily think they [need] a college credential themselves."
7. "Which law firms are most family friendly? Yale Law Women names top 10," 04.21.15.
The ABA Journal reports on the annual Yale Law Women list of the top ten law firms based on their family friendly policies.
8. "Concerned about lifestyle and balance? You probably won't amount to much in the law, recruiter says," 04.21.15.
The ABA Journal talks to legal recruiter Harrison Barnes, who says that "not everyone is cut out for practicing law in a high-pressure environment."
9. "The Business Case for Including Gay Lawyers," 04.20.15.
The National Law Journal reports on this week's second annual Out in Law leadership summit in New York.
a. "Wake Up Call: Lawyers in New York Promote LGBT Inclusion," 04.23.15.
More on this from Bloomberg BNA.
10. "Diversity and the Law: Old Problem, New Approach," 04.20.15.
The National Law Journal looks at some of the creative thinking behind new ways of solving the legal profession's diversity dilemma.
a. "Chart: Minorities in the Professions," 04.20.15.
And a related infographic from The National Law Journal that shows minority representation in various professions, including law.
11. "Why law schools are losing relevance — and how they're trying to win it back," 04.20.15.
The Washington Post adds no new news or information in this front page above the fold story about the challenges facing legal education.
12. "Special Report: Law Schools," 04.20.15.
The New York Law Journal publishes its annual Law Schools special report for law students, that includes the following articles:
a. "Changing the How But Not the Why," 04.20.15.
A law school dean writes about some of the changes taking place in law schools.
b. "JD Advantage Versus JD Required: The Old Rules No Longer Apply," 04.20.15.
A law school career services professional takes a look at the rise of JD Advantage jobs.
c. "The Writing You'll Do, and the Writing They'll Read," 04.20.15.
A consultant offers tips for becoming a better legal writer.
d. "Think Outside the Box to Showcase Skills Firms Really Seek," 04.20.15.
A career management consultant offers career and job-seeking advice to recent grads.
e. "Networking Your Way to a Great Legal Career," 04.20.15.
A consultant provides networking tips for law students.
f. "Note to Law Schools: Show Your Work on JD Advantage Jobs," 04.23.15.
Kyle McEntee, writing for Law.com, responds to Jill Backer's JD Advantage piece that appears in the New York Law Journal, above.
13. "When Associates Leave Their Jobs to Clerk at the Supreme Court," 04.17.15.
The National Law Journal takes a look at "the revolving door between the court and law firms."
14. "Dentons Strikes Again," 04.17.15.
Steven J. Harper writing for the Am Law Daily critiques the Dentons/McKenna merger.
15. Blog posts from the Library of Law and Liberty that provide a give and take between three academics on the future of legal education:
a. "Reasons to Be Cheerful: The Future of Legal Education," 04.01.15. (Andrew Morris, Dean, Texas A&M University School of Law)
b. "Reasons to Be Gloomy About Legal Education," 04.06.15. (Brian Tamanaha, Professor of Law, Washington University Law School)
c. "The Non-Virtuous Circle," 04.13.15. (Samuel Estreicher, Professor of Law, New York University School of Law)
16. NALP Associate Salary Survey Roundup:
a. "Pay for new lawyers in Pittsburgh lags metros, but one big employer has boosted starting salaries," 04.21.15. (Pittsburgh Business Times)
b. "Triangle attorneys earn less than the national average," 04.21.15. (Triangle Business Journal)
c. "The state of salaries for new US law school graduates," 04.20.15. (Quartz)
d. "Study: Large law firms paying more for first-year lawyers," 04.20.15. (New Orleans City Business)
e. "First-year DC lawyers still receive good salaries, but fewer are seeing top-market pay," 04.17.15. (Washington Business Journal)
f. "Lawyer salaries going up, NALP says," 04.17.15. (Minnesota Lawyer)
g. "Welcome to Your First Year as a Lawyer. Your Salary Is $160,000," 04.17.15. (CNBC)
h. "For New Lawyers, $160,000 Remains the Norm," 04.17.15. (Bloomberg BNA)
i. "Associate salary rises 8pc in US to median of $135,000 for first years," 04.17.15. (The Global Legal Post)
17. Year-end Law Firm Financial Results Roundup:
a. "Ford & Harrison Bumps Up Partner Profit Despite Flat Revenue," 04.22.15. (Daily Report, PPP up 13%)
b. "Saul Ewing Revenue Up 6.5%, RPL Up 4.3% Percent," 04.20.15. (The Legal Intelligencer)
April 17, 2015
1. "Georgetown Law teams up with 2 firms to create 'low bono' law firm," 04.16.15.
The ABA Journal reports that Georgetown Law has announced that it will team up with DLA Piper and Arent Fox to create a new nonprofit law firm designed to help low income individuals with their civil law needs.
a. "Georgetown Pairs Up With DLA Piper, Arent Fox, to Open Low Bono Firm," 04.12.15.
More on this from The National Law Journal, noting that the new firm will be staffed by six new lawyers from this year's graduating class.
2. "First-Year Associate Salaries at Large Law Firms Have Become Less Homogenous, Though $160,000 Continues to Define the Top of the Market," 04.15.15.
NALP publishes the results of its 2015 Associate Salary Survey, finding that starting salaries of $160,000, while still dominant in the large firm market, continue to be less prevalent than they were in 2009.
a. "Associate Pay Still Lags Behind Prerecession Levels," 04.16.15.
The National Law Journal reports on the new NALP associate salary data, noting that "the country's largest law firms have largely rebounded from the recession, but associate pay has yet to fully recover."
b. "Welcome to Your First Year as a Lawyer, Your Salary Is $160,000," 04.16.15.
The New York Times' DealBook column takes a look at the new NALP associate salary numbers.
c. "NALP sees 'upward movement' in starting pay for associates; median increases $10K," 04.16.15.
The ABA Journal reports on the findings of NALP's 2015 Associate Salary Survey, noting a boost in the national median.
3. "The Smartest People Are Opting Out of Law School: Fewer people with high test scores are going to law school, and low performers are filling their slots," 04.15.15.
Bloomberg BNA reports on new analyses from the Law School Admission Council that show that law school applicants with the highest test scores are dropping faster than those with lower test scores.
a. "Law school brain drain: Fewer individuals with high LSAT scores are applying," 04.16.15.
More on this from the ABA Journal.
b. "Number of Law School Applicants Has Bottomed Out, But Quality Of Applicants Continues to Plummet," 04.09.15.
More on this from the Tax Prof Blog, with some scary pictures.
c. "The Wrong Sort of Law School Applicants, Visualized," 04.07.15.
And more scary pictures from Derek Muller, a law professor at Pepperdine — check out his bar chart of the change in ABA applicants by high LSAT score.
4. "Introducing The National Law Journal's Outstanding Women Lawyers," 04.15.15.
The National Law Journal publishes its list of the 75 most accomplished female attorneys working in the profession today.
5. "Chicago Law Dean Schill Will Lead University of Oregon," 04.15.15.
The National Law Journal reports that "Michael Schill, dean of the University of Chicago Law School, has been selected as the next president of the University of Oregon."
6. "Survey Sees Slight Dip in Confidence Among Firm Leaders," 04.14.15.
The Am Law Daily reports on the latest results from the Citi Private Bank Law Group's Managing Partner Survey, noting that "confidence among law firm managing partners in the first quarter dropped...thanks to lower expectations for economic and legal industry growth."
7. "Ten Things to Toss: Third year of law school," 04.14.15.
David Lat, writing for The Washington Post, makes the case for eliminating the third year of law school.
8. "PA Big-Firm Associate Salaries in Flux," 04.14.15.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that in the wake of Dechert's salary bump last week, more PA firms are evaluating their compensation programs.
9. "Women Still Earn a Lot less Than Men," 04.14.15.
The New York Times Editorial Board marks Equal Pay Day by noting that women still make only 82.5% of what men make and that efforts to close the gap have stalled, and calls on Congress to update the Equal Pay Act.
10. "A Guide to Income-Share Agreements, Which Some See as a Better Way to Finance College," 04.14.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education takes a look at income share agreements as a replacement for student loans: "Under an income-share agreement...an investor pays for all or part of a student's education up front. In return, the student gives the investor a certain percentage of his or her income for a set number of years." (Subscription required)
11. "Under ABS Structure, Cahill Makes London Litigation Debut," 04.13.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that Cahill Gordon & Reindel has launched an English law litigation practice in London under a new alternative business structure license that under UK law allows law firms to raise capital from non-lawyers and creates new non-law firm entities that are able to offer legal services.
12. "Next Generation of Lawyers' Social Media Use Could Impact Future Practice: New study found that teens report massive dependency on Internet use," 04.13.15.
Law Technology News takes a look at some new Pew Research Center research on teen use of social media, and speculates about what such findings may mean for the way that future generations of lawyers will practice law.
13. "Legal technicians may partly own law firms in this state; is ban to nonlawyer ownership crumbling?," 04.13.15.
The ABA Journal reports that Washington state's limited legal license practitioners will be allowed to be minority owners in law firms.
a. "New Washington Rule Allows Legal Techs To Become Minority Owners in Law Firms," 04.08.15.
More on this from Bloomberg BNA.
14. "At Dentons, Strategy Is to Go Big," 04.12.15.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the world's largest law firm has plans to get much bigger. (Subscription required.)
15. "In Cambridge, Lawyers Debate Future of Their Profession," 04.10.15.
Bloomberg BNA reports on a program on the future of the legal profession that was held last week at Harvard Law School's Center on the Legal Profession.
16. Year-end Law Firm Financial Results Roundup:
a. "Corporate Work Uptick Fuels Arnall Golden Gregory Revenue," 04.16.15. (Daily Report, Gross Revenue up 3.9%, PPP up 3.6%)
b. "2014 Was 'Phenomenal Year' for Ogletree Deakins," 04.13.15. (Daily Report, Gross Revenue up 7.5%, PPP up 16%)
April 10, 2015
1. "Law profs design course to combat student anxiety," 04.09.15.
The ABA Journal reports that three law professors have designed a two-hour course for 1Ls that uses behavioral therapy to promote emotional health among law students and reduce stress and anxiety.
2. "The Benefits of Staying Engaged With Your Law School," 04.09.15.
Two associates, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, make the case for recent law schools grads to stay engaged with their alma maters and the next generation of law students coming up after them.
3. "Dentons, McKenna Long Reach Merger Deal," 04.08.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that the Dentons partnership voted Wednesday to merge with McKenna following the McKenna partnership approval of the merger last month.
a. "Dentons and McKenna Long Announce Merger," 04.08.15.
The Daily Report reports on the McKenna/Dentons merger announcement.
b. "McKenna Will Merge With Dentons, but Will Everyone Join?," 04.09.15.
The Daily Report also reports that it is unclear exactly how many McKenna partners will stick with the merged firm, as some have signed commitment letters and others have not.
4. "Review Provides Analysis And Models To Help The Legal Profession Assess Progress Towards Diversity," 04.08.14.
The Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession has released its 2014 State of Diversity and Inclusion in the Profession Review; read the press release here; read the full report here.
5. "Law school is way too expensive. And only the federal government can fix that: We need to re-think how we lend to students," 04.08.15.
David Lat, writing for The Washington Post, argues that the federal government needs to change its lending policy to law students, restricting overall fund availability in order to bring down the cost of tuition.
6. "How to Successfully Integrate Lateral Partners," 04.08.15.
A consultant, writing for The Recorder, sets out a roadmap for successful lateral partner integration.
7. "Dechert Raises Associate Pay in Philadelphia, Princeton," 04.07.15.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that Dechert has increased its first year associate salary to $160,000 in Philadelphia and Princeton, matching the rate it has been paying in its other offices.
a. "Firms Respond to Dechert Salary Increases," 04.08.15.
The Legal Intelligencer reports on the reaction of other local law firms as Dechert takes the Philly market to $160K, speculating about whether other firms will follow.
8. "ABA Offers Law Students Free Memberships," 04.07.15.
The National Law Journal reports that the ABA, in a bid to stanch falling membership numbers, is trying to secure the loyalty of future lawyers by offering all law students at ABA accredited law schools free membership in the association.
a. "ABA offers free memberships to law students," 04.06.15.
More on this from the ABA Journal.
9. "How much money can you make in every kind of job?," 04.07.15.
An interesting infographic from The Washington Post charts new BLS data showing occupational employment and wages in 2014 that puts lawyers right near the top of the heap.
10. "2 Professors Sue Law School, Claiming it Changed Tenure Policy to Fire Faculty," 04.06.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "two tenured professors at the William Mitchell College have sued the college, claiming it amended its tenure policy so it would be able to cut more positions as part of a merger that is in the process."
a. "Two law profs sue William Mitchell over proposed changes to tenure policy as law school merger looms," 04.06.15.
More on this from the ABA Journal.
b. "Suit Could Complicate William Mitchell-Hamline Law Merger," 04.07.15.
And much more on this from The National Law Journal.
11. "Law Firm Mergers Set New Record in First Quarter," 04.06.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that according to the latest Altman Weil data, the first quarter of 2015 set a record pace for law firm mergers, with 29 combinations announced, including the giant Dentons/Dacheng merger.
a. "First quarter of 2015 was one of the best ever for law firm mergers, Altman Weil survey says," 04.07.15.
More on this from the ABA Journal.
12. "Skadden Runs Up Against Davis Polk, S&C for Lead in M&A Rankings," 04.06.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that "Davis Polk & Wardwell and Sullivan & Cromwell bumped Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom out of the top spot in two of three separate quarterly rankings of M&A legal advisers by deal value."
13. "Access to Justice: South Dakota Addresses Its Rural Lawyer Gap," 04.06.14.
A special report from the Daily Report takes a look at the program that has been implemented in South Dakota to address the rural justice gap there.
a. "Rural Lawyer Recruitment Plan Flourishes in South Dakota," 04.06.15. (Daily Report)
b. "An Alternative Solution to the Rural Lawyer Shortage: A Virtual Lawyer," 04.06.15. (Daily Report)
c. "Book Explains How to Become a Rural Lawyer," 04.06.15. (Daily Report)
d. "Resources for a Deeper Look at South Dakota's Project Rural Practice," 04.06.15. (Daily Report)
14. "Law School Diversity Improves at Schools With Worst Job Outcomes," 04.03.15.
Matt Leichter, writing for the Am Law Daily, takes issue with the survival strategy he sees being employed by fifth quintile law schools — that is admitting more diverse students with lower entering credentials who will graduate with poor employment prospects.
15. "Misreading the Legal Sector's Outlook," 04.03.15.
Steven J. Harper, writing for the Am Law Daily, pushes back against last week's NYT op-ed by a Berkeley law professor who was making the case that everything is going to be just fine for law firms and law schools.
16. "Firms Make It Hard for Partners to Say Goodbye," 04.03.15.
The Recorder reports that amidst a very hot lateral partner market, "more firms are playing hardball — either to deter moves, punish the movers, protect the firm from the financial hit that can come when partners move en masse — or simply to get more leverage in exit negotiations."
17. "Legal Sector Jobs Backslide in March," 04.03.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that according to the new BLS numbers, the legal sector lost 1,200 jobs in March and is down about 2,300 from this same time last year.
18. "Rutgers Approves Law School Merger," 04.02.15.
The New Jersey Law Journal reports that the Rutgers Board of Governors has approved the merger of Rutgers School of Law — Newark and Rutgers School of Law — Camden, a move that must now be approved by the ABA. The new law school would be known at Rutgers Law School.
19. Year-end Law Firm Financial Results Roundup:
a. "Frosty Start Held Fisher & Phillips to Modest Growth in 2014," 04.07.15. (Daily Report, Gross Revenue up 6.1%, PPP up 3%).
b. "Drinker Biddle Revenue Down 1.8 Percent, PPP Up 2.1 Percent," 04.06.15. (The Legal Intelligencer)
April 3, 2015
1. "Saving the Law School, Hurting the Town," 04.03.15.
Inside Higher Ed reports that Appalachian Law School, with an entering class of only 48 last fall, down from 146, is considering a move out of its small southwest Virginia town — an exit that would undoubtedly hurt the town itself.
2. "West Virginia's Steptoe & Johnson Lays Off Energy Lawyers," 04.02.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that Steptoe & Johnson PLLC has laid off 32 people, including 14 attorneys, "because of the recent steep drop in oil prices."
3. "Thousands Fall Out of Income-Based Repayment Plans," 04.02.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the US Education department has revealed that thousands of borrowers of federal student loans are falling out of income-based repayment plans because they are failing to file annual income documentation. (Subscription required.)
4. "Making the Transition from Junior to Midlevel Associate," 04.02.15.
A litigation associate writing for The Legal Intelligencer writes about the importance of adapting to changing roles and surroundings on the journey from junior associate to midlevel associate.
5. "Colorado Law Launches First Campus Entrepreneur Program," 04.01.15.
The National Law Journal reports that the University of Colorado's Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship will launch an Entrepreneurs in Resident program in the fall, bringing business leaders to the law school to pursue their ventures and help students learn about the startup process.
6. "The Decreasing Affordability of Public Flagships, in One Chart," 04.01.15.
The Chronicle of Higher Education takes a look at the net average price of public state flagship universities compared to changes in net median household incomes, and then graphs the gap. (Subscription required.)
7. "Columbia Dean Promotes Global World View," 03.31.15.
The New York Law Journal talks to Gillian Lester, the new dean at Columbia Law School, who talks about how the school is trying to innovate its curriculum and expand its international perspective.
8. "Hogan Lovells Makes First Move into Australia," 03.31.15.
The Asian Lawyer reports that Hogan Lovells will open offices in Sydney and Perth this summer, its first in Australia.
9. "Law Firms to Keep Chipping Away at Real Estate Costs," 03.31.15.
The Am Law Daily reports on the results of a new real estate survey that shows that since the recession the Am Law 100 and 200 firms have reduced their space usage by 15 to 32 percent.
10. "Law Schools and Industry Show Signs of Life, Despite Forecasts of Doom," 03.31.15.
A law professor from a top tier school, writing for The New York Times' DealBook column, makes the case that law schools and law firms are not finished just yet.
11. "Norton Rose Fulbright Reclaims Top Spot in Canadian Brand Survey," 03.30.15.
The Am Law Daily reports that "Norton Rose Fulbright has landed the lead position in Acritas' Canadian Firm Brand Index," as Blakes, the top firm in 2014, slipped to the second position.
12. "Cozen O'Connor Could Fill Market Void With Chicago Merger," 03.30.15.
The Legal Intelligencer reports on merger talks between Cozen O'Connor and Chicago's Meckler Bulger.
13. "Cox Smith Merging With Dykema," 03.30.15.
Texas Lawyer reports that "Cox Smith Matthews, the largest firm based in San Antonio, will merge with Detroit-based Dykema Gosset on May 1, creating a firm of about 450 lawyers in 15 offices."
14. "New Law Deans Named at DePaul, Widener, Wyoming," 03.30.15.
The National Law Journal reports that three law schools have recently named new deans: Jennifer Rosato Perea will become dean at Chicago's DePaul University College of Law, Klint Alexander will become dean at the University of Wyoming College of Law, and Widener has named two deans to lead its two now separate law schools (see immediately below), with Rodney Smolla leading the Wilmington campus and Christian Johnson leading the Harrisburg campus.
15. "Widener Splits, Renames Delaware, Pa. Law Schools," 03.30.15.
The Delaware Law Weekly reports that the ABA has approved the split of Widener's two law school campuses into two separately accredited law schools; the Delaware law school will become Widener University Delaware Law School, and the Harrisburg law school will now be called the Widener University Commonwealth Law School.
16. "Hope for Philadelphia to Increase Firm Diversity Numbers," 03.30.15.
A law firm partner and diversity committee chair takes a look at the law firm diversity numbers in Philadelphia, and finds reasons for both discouragement and encouragement.
17. "Wiley Rein Cuts 18 Partners, 30 Staff Members Amid Restructuring," 03.27.15.
The Legal Times reports that at the end of last week Wiley Rein laid off 18 partners, 18 secretaries, and 12 administrative staff members, but notably no associates lost their jobs.
a. "Wiley Rein lays off lawyers and staffers," 03.27.15.
More on this from the ABA Journal.
18. "ExamSoft After All?," 03.24.15.
Law Professor Deborah Merritt, posting on her Law School Cafe Blog, tries to unravel the link between the ExamSoft software failure and the universally lower scores on the bar exam last July. (Hat tip to Cybele Smith for alerting me to this series of blog posts that I had missed last week.)
a. "ExamSoft: By the Numbers," 03.26.15.
More by Deborah Merritt on this fascinating fact pattern and what it might mean.
19. Year-end Law Firm Financial Results Roundup:
a. "Sutherland's Revenue, Profit Dip After Big Case Winds Up," 03.30.15. (Daily Report, Gross Revenue down 3.1%, PPP down 4.8%)
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%)
March 20, 2015