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.
April 21, 2017
1. "Whittier Law School, Unable to 'Right-Size,' Will Close," 04.19.17.
The Recorder reports that "the Board of Trustees of Whittier College announced on Wednesday that Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, California, will close."
a. "Whittier Law School Says It Will Shut Down," 04.19.17.
The New York Times reports that "Whittier is the first law school fully accredited by the American Bar Association to announce plans to close."
b. "Whittier Law School To Close, Will Not Admit A 1L Class This Fall," 04.19.17.
TaxProf Blog publishes the message from the Whittier Board of Trustees.
c. "Whittier Law School's Collapse Won't Be the Last: Experts," 04.20.17.
Law.com speaks with pundits who foresee more law school closures ahead "because its economic troubles are not unique."
d. "Whittier Law to close; profs fighting to keep it open," 04.20.17.
More on this from the ABA Journal, reporting that "a group of law professors…have filed a temporary restraining order motion asking the Los Angeles Superior Court to halt the decision."
e. "Whittier Law School Won't Enroll New Students," 04.20.17.
More on this from Inside Higher Ed.
2. "Law school transfers grow, taking achieving 1Ls to higher-ranking schools," 04.19.17.
The ABA Journal takes a look at the implications of the ever increasing numbers of law school transfer students, with successful first-year students easily moving to higher-ranked schools to complete their degrees.
3. "Embracing Digital, LSAT Loosens Its Grip on the No. 2 Pencil," 04.19.17.
Law.com reports that reports that "the Law School Admission Council…will conduct the first national digital [LSAT] exam with 1,000 prospective law students taking the test on tablet computers."
4. "'Smart Contracts' Demand Sharper Tech Skills From Lawyers, Experts Say," 04.19.17.
LegalTech News writes that "as 'smart contracts' become more common in more sectors of the economy, lawyers will need to increase their technical know-how."
5. "Addicted or Depressed Lawyers Need More than 'Wellness'," 04.19.17.
A behavioral health consultant focused on the legal industry, writing here for Law.com, tackles wellness programs and the role they can play when more serious issues are in play.
6. "Salary bump keeps more BigLaw associates from going in-house, but will partners feel a pinch?," 04.18.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "the big bump in BigLaw associate salaries last year has slowed the movement of young lawyers to in-house jobs."
7. "Will Law Schools' LL.M Programs Suffer from Trump's 'America First' Stance?," 04.18.17.
The National Law Journal reports that "law school administrators say concerns are growing from foreign students about how the myriad immigration and travel policies emerging from Washington could impact their plans to obtain LL.M degrees in the United States."
a. "Executive Order Targeting H-1B Could Hurt Schools and Universities, Immigration Attorney Says," 04.18.17.
Corporate Counsel speaks to an immigration partner to explore the potential implications of this week's executive order to retool the H-1B visa program.
b. "Trump's New Order on Visas Could Make American Colleges Less Appealing Overseas," 04.19.17.
More on this from The Chronicle of Higher Education.
8. "New Movie's Profits to Fund UCLA Law School Human Rights Institute," 04.18.17.
The Recorder reports that, in an unusual deal, a new human rights institute at UCLA's law school will be funded with a $20 million gift partially generated from profits of the upcoming film "The Promise," starring Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac.
9. "Study Shows Gender Diversity Varies Widely Across Practice Areas," 04.18.17.
The American Lawyer reports "a recent study found that women still lag significantly behind their male counterparts in certain key Big Law practice areas," including banking, corporate, and litigation.
10. "Why Diversity Really Matters," 04.18.17.
An employment law lawyer writing for Above the Law provides five tips for employers seeking to enhance diversity.
11. "Dentons Culls Partners Amid Budget Shortfall," 04.17.17.
According to The American Lawyer, "as many as 20 or more partners have been forced out" at Dentons. ("Dentons acknowledged last month that it had laid off 60 staff members in the US following consolidation from the McKenna Long merger. It also cut lawyer and staff jobs in the UK this year.")
a. "Dentons reportedly ousts 20 or more partners," 04.18.17.
More on this from the ABA Journal.
12. "Berkeley Law, Ex-Dean Settle Suits Over Alleged Harassment," 04.15.17.
The National Law Journal reports that "UC Berkeley has reached a settlement with ousted law school dean Sujit Choudhry, ending a tumultuous saga that erupted last year after his former executive assistant sued him for sexual harassment."
a. "Accuser gets $1.7M from UC Berkeley in settlement over unwanted touching," 04.17.17.
More on this from the ABA Journal.
13. "Big Law Bends to Challenge Midsize Firms on Flexibility," 04.14.17.
Law.com reports on a wave of BigLaw flexibility announcements that it says are already common place at midsize and smaller firms.
14. "The Young Lawyers Issue," April 2017.
Law Practice Today has published its annual Young Lawyers Issue, with more than a dozen articles that will be of interest to young lawyers.
April 14, 2017
1. "Interim dean at Charlotte School of Law resigns after less than a month on the job," 04.13.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "the interim dean of Charlotte School of Law abruptly resigned on Thursday after he worked in the position less than a month."
a. "Seen as last hope, Charlotte School of Law dean resigns three weeks into job," 04.13.17.
More on this, including an interview with outgoing dean Scott Broyles, from The Charlotte Observer.
b. "Dean Of Struggling Law School Quits After Less Than A Month On The Job," 04.13.14.
And more on this from Above the Law.
2. "A Perfect Global Storm: In-House Leaders See Rough Waters, Similar Challenges," 04.13.17.
New survey research findings from in-house legal leaders show that their top concerns remain regulation and cybersecurity threats, according to analyses by Corporate Counsel (so we're good with those compliance jobs).
3. "Multistate bar exam scores drop to lowest point ever; is there a link to low-end LSAT scores?," 04.12.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "the average score on the multistate bar exam in February 2017 dropped by another point, reaching the lowest level since the exam was first administered in 1972."
a. "Most Law Schools Did Horrendous on This State's Bar Exam," 04.11.17.
Above the Law reports on the results of the February 2017 Florida bar exam that had its lowest pass rate since the February 2009 exam.
4. "How Gender Bias Corrupts Performance Reviews, and What to Do About It," 04.12.17.
This Harvard Business Review article by Paola Cecchi-Dimeglio says research shows that women are more likely than men to receive critical subjective feedback in performance reviews. (See the May issue of NALP's Professional Development Quarterly about things employers can do to move the needle forward on gender diversity.)
5. "Recent Grads Are Drowning In Debt, Think It's Too Easy To Get Into Law School," 04.12.17.
Above the Law reports that according to a new survey by Kaplan Bar Review, 64 percent of graduates from the class of 2016 think that law schools should raise their academic standards for admissions.
6. "How to bring about change in law firms," 04.12.17.
The latest from Jordan Furlong at Law21, this week on why law firm change is particularly difficult ("lawyers fight change more aggressively and successfully than other people"), but has never been more important — with some self-admittedly shameless promotion of his new book (watch your June NALP Bulletin for a review of his book by yours truly).
7. "A Duty to Be Technologically Competent: Coming Soon to a Professional Code of Conduct Near You?," 04.12.17.
This post in Slaw reports that the Federation of Law Societies in Canada is considering a change to its Model Code that would add an ethical duty for lawyers to use technology competently, as the ABA's Model Rules of Professional Conduct, recognized by 27 US states, now requires.
8. "For Law Firms, It's from Alternative Fees to Alternative Business Models," 04.12.17.
Legaltech News reports on a panel discussion in Palo Alto that addressed "how technology plays a part in changing the billable hour and the law firm partner structure."
9. "Dollars & Data: Law Firms Increasing Marketing, Business Development Tech Spend," 04.12.17.
Legaltech News reports that new survey results from Bloomberg Law/Legal Marketing Association shows that "law firms are focusing on marketing as an arena ripe for technology use."
10. "Black college graduates are losing wealth. Here's what can help.," 04.12.17.
This op-ed in The Washington Post reacts to new research that shows "between 1992 and 2013, college-educated whites saw their wealth soar by 86 percent while college-educated blacks saw theirs plummet by 55 percent," and suggests some strategies for combatting the trend.
11. "Clients Not Ready to 'Talk to a Robot,' but Jackson Lewis Bets on Automating Compliance Tasks," 04.11.17.
Legaltech News reports that Jackson Lewis has announced the beta launch of new client-facing technology to handle compliance.
12. "Gay Twins Strive for Equality in Big Law," 04.11.17.
Leigh Jones, writing for The American Lawyer, profiles two Big Law partners who happen to be twins, and gay: "The 44-year old lawyers are both openly gay, and they are adamant about improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people."
13. "What's Next in Legal Tech? A Podcast From Stanford's FutureLaw," 04.10.17.
Law.com provides this podcast from Stanford's recent FutureLaw conference, where "if there was an overriding theme at this year's event…it was that the current law firm model is unsustainable and isn't serving the needs of clients or society generally."
14. "Addressing Large Employment Gaps on Your Resume," 04.10.17.
Julie Brush, writing for The Recorder, provides lawyers with advice about addressing employment gaps on a resume.
15. "Harry Reid Takes Fellowship at UNLV Law School," 04.10.17.
Law.com reports that former Senate majority leader Harry Reid will be a distinguished fellow in law and policy at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
16. "Another Biglaw Firm Raises Billing Requirements In The Wake Of The Pay Raise," 04.10.17.
David Lat, writing for Above the Law, says there are four ways for law firms to pay for the recent associate pay hike — by raising billing rates, by taking money out of partner pockets, by laying off staff, and by raising billable hour requirements — and suggests that the market reveals firms are doing all of those things.
17. "How I Learned to Take the SAT Like a Rich Kid," 04.10.17.
A high school student from Flint, Michigan, who will attend the University of Michigan in the fall as a first-generation college student, and writing here for The New York Times, writes about what he learned at a summer program at Phillips Exeter: "To get into elite colleges, one must train for standardized tests with the intensity of an athlete."
18. "Billing and Fees: The Trends, the Feuds, and the Future," 04.10.17.
ALM provides a special report on current billing trends and "how clients are changing the billing game."
19. "Firms Announce Flextime Policies. How Exciting.," 04.10.17.
Vivia Chen, ALM's Careerist, writing here for The American Lawyer, suggests that recent law firm announcements about new flex time policies are no big deal.
20. "Fixing Student Debt: A Common-Sense Approach," 04.09.17.
The President of Indiana University, writing here for The Chronicle of Higher Education, suggests a strategy for curbing student debt that has been piloted at his school, and is the basis for a proposed House bill that "would require colleges and universities that accept federal aid to send an annual 'debt letter' to every student, estimating their total loan debt and future monthly payments." (Subscription required.)
21. "The Utter Uselessness of Job Interviews," 04.08.17.
A Yale management professor, writing for the Sunday New York Times, argues that research shows job interviews are generally worse than useless: "They can be harmful, undercutting the impact of other, more valuable information about interviewees."
22. "Number of LSAT Takers is Up, But Law School Applications Are Down," 04.07.17.
Law.com reports that according to the Law School Admission Council, the number of LSAT test takers is up 3.3 percent across the last four testing dates, but as of March 31, the number of law school applicants was down 1.9 percent.
a. "Number of LSAT test-takers is up, but the surge isn't helping law schools," 04.11.17.
More on this from the ABA Journal.
23. "Jobs Report Brings More Bad News for Legal Employment," 04.07.17.
The American Lawyer reports that according to the latest numbers from the USBLS, the US legal sector lost 1,500 jobs in March, the third month in a row of job losses for the sector, which remains down more than 50,000 jobs from the pre-recession high in 2007.
a. "Legal sector loses 1,500 jobs in March," 04.07.15.
More on this from the ABA.
24. "5 Things First-Years Need To Do To Survive Biglaw," 04.07.17.
Lateral Link provides advice for new associates on Above the Law.
25. "Small But Scrappy, Independent Law Firms Make Their Stand," 04.07.17.
The American Lawyer previews a gathering of small and independent law firms that will take place later this year in London.
26. "New York City just banned bosses from asking this sensitive question," 04.06.17.
The Washington Post reports that New York City has joined Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, and Philadelphia in banning employers from asking job applicants about what they make in their current or past job. (The Post reports that more than 20 other city and state legislatures have introduced similar provisions.)
a. "Employment Law Experts Question Bill Banning Salary History Questions for Job Applicants," 04.07.17.
The New York Law Journal takes a look at this development.
27. Law Firm Year-End Financial Reporting:
a. "Kirkland's Gross Revenue, Partner Profits Hit New Highs," 04.11.17. (American Lawyer: Revenue up 15%, PPP up 14%)
b. "New York's High-Flying Firms Hit New Heights in Profits, Revenue," 04.10.17.
ALM reports on the 2016 financial performance of a group of New York law firms: "Top firms in New York outperformed their Am Law 100 counterparts across the country last year, with several reporting double-digit growth in profits and revenue."
April 7, 2017
1. "Top 3 Reasons for Associate Attrition and 3 Ways to Combat It," 04.07.17.
Legaltech News identifies the top three reasons for costly associate attrition, including lack of associate training and mentoring, and suggests three ways to combat it, including, not surprisingly, technology.
2. "Up to 100,000 Taxpayers Compromised in Fafsa Tool Breach, IRS Says," 04.06.17.
The New York Times reports that "the Internal Revenue Service said on Thursday that the personal data of as many as 100,000 taxpayers could have been compromised through a scheme in which hackers posed as students using an online tool to apply for financial aid."
a. "Breach of Financial-Aid Tool May Have Compromised Data on 100,000 Taxpayers," 04.06.17.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "nearly 100,000 taxpayers may have had their personal information compromised by a security breach of an Internal Revenue Service tool that makes it easier to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the Fafsa."
3. "Crackdown on For-Profit Law Schools," 04.06.17.
Inside Higher Ed takes a look recent ABA sanctions against "some of the lowest-performing institutions it accredits," including Arizona Summit Law School and Charlotte School of Law, both owned by Infilaw System.
4. "Can changing how we measure lawyer performance unlock diversity?," 04.06.17.
Paul Lippe, writing for the ABA Legal Rebels column, argues that "diversity is one of a number of reasons law urgently needs to improve how it measures performance."
5. "ASU Law Bets on Video Education With New Facility Integration," 04.06.17.
Legaltech News reports that Arizona State University's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law has opened a new law campus in downtown Phoenix that integrates the Mediasite video capture platform.
6. "Legal Depts. Ask Firms for Diversity, Make Efforts In-House," 04.05.17.
Corporate Counsel takes a look at the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity's Pathfinder program that aims to teach minority lawyers with three to six years of experience about networking, career development, and personal branding.
7. "Law Firm Merger Mania Continues in First Quarter of 2017," 04.05.17.
The American Lawyer reports that according to Altman Weil, "law firm merger activity in the first quarter of 2017 continued to accelerate as legal services shops gained growth and market share through acquisitions."
8. "Ex-Cincinnati Dean Claims Her Removal Was Improper," 04.05.17.
Karen Sloan, writing for Law.com, reports that an attorney representing the former dean of the University of Cincinnati College of Law, Jennifer Bard, has said that "the university violated its own internal rules when it pushed her out of the dean job on March 22."
9. "How to Get Addiction Treatment Without Killing Your Legal Career," 04.05.17.
A behavioral health consultant writing for Law.com provides advice for practicing lawyers who are fearful of seeking help for substance use or mental health problems for fear of damaging their careers.
10. "Women and Rejection," 04.04.17.
Vivia Chen, writing as The Careerist for Law.com, takes a look at a recent study reported in the Harvard Business Review that finds "women are less likely to apply for a job if they had been rejected for a similar position in the past."
11. "Another Woman Law Dean Appointed, This Time at U. of Missouri," 04.04.17.
Law.com reports that the University of Missouri School of Law has selected Lyrissa Barnett Lidsky as its next dean.
12. "Top Black Lawyers Share Advice with Young Attorneys of Color," 04.04.17.
Bloomberg Law speaks with some of the participants at the National Summit of Black Women Lawyers, held last week in Chicago, and asks them what advice they have for their younger peers.
13. "Student Debt May Prevent Some Americans From Buying Homes," 04.03.17.
The Wall Street Journal reports that according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, "Americans continue to default on student loans at a 'stubbornly high' rate, and a small share of borrowers are unable to buy homes due to high levels of student debt." (Subscription required.)
a. "Student Debt and Home Buying," 04.04.17.
More on this from Inside Higher Ed.
14. "While Not a 'Tech Unicorn,' Allen & Overy Joins Law Firms in the Tech Hub Circuit," 04.03.17.
Law.com reports that Allen & Overy has joined the growing list of law firms that have created technology hubs — with its announcement that its London office will launch a tech innovation space called Fuse — this will be "a collaborative environment for A&O lawyers and their clients and technology companies to brainstorm and develop technologies for transacting deals, regulatory compliance, and the delivery of legal services and advice."
15. "The 2017 Pro Bono Hot List," 04.03.17.
The National Law Journal publishes its annual Pro Bono Hot List.
16. "Four Iconic DC Law Firms Travel Distinct Paths to Growth," 04.03.17.
The National Law Journal takes a look at the four different growth strategies used by Arnold & Porter, Covington, Hogan and Wilmer.
17. "Crowell & Moring, Herrick Call Off Tie-Up Talks," 04.03.17.
The National Law Journal reports that "advanced merger talks between Crowell & Moring, and Herrick, Feinstein have ended."
a. "Crowell and Herrick Feinstein call off merger talks," 04.04.17.
More on this from the ABA Journal.
18. "Facebook Pushes Outside Law Firms to Become More Diverse," 04.02.17.
The New York Times reports that "Facebook is requiring that women and ethnic minorities account for at least 33 percent of law firm teams working on its matters."
19. "Dallas Legal Market is Smoking Hot in 2017," 04.01.17.
The American Lawyer, via Texas Lawyer, reports that "the Dallas legal market is rollicking like it never has before."
20. "In 'digital-first strategy,' National Law Journal will switch weekly newspaper to monthly magazine," 03.31.17.
The ABA Journal reports that The National Law Journal will discontinue its weekly newspaper and replace it with a monthly magazine and enhanced daily online reporting.
a. "Requiem for a Weekly Newspaper," 04.03.17.
And in an eerie bit of legal publishing synchronicity, the Canadian publication Lawyers Weekly will cease print publication and replace it with online legal news reporting — here Jordan Furlong, writing for Slaw, provides an eloquent requiem.
21. "Dechert Debuts New Talent Team With Fried Frank, AP Hires," 03.31.17.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that Dechert has hired Alison Nina Bernard as chief talent officer, and Satra Sampson-Arokium as director of diversity and inclusion.
22. "Big Law Rainmakers Spill Their Secrets," 03.30.17.
The American Lawyer speaks with rainmakers about their secrets for developing great client relationships.
23. Law Firm Year-End Financial Reporting:
a. "DC Cheat Sheet: How 10 Washington Firms Fared in Revenue, Profits," 04.05.17.
The National Law Journal aggregates the 2016 year-end financial results for some of DC's largest law firms.
b. "Schulte Roth Holds Steady With Modest Increases in its 2016 Financial Results," 04.03.17. (American Lawyer: Revenue up 1%, PPP up 2.6%)
March 31, 2017
1. "Law firms use data to judge lateral hires' potential success," 04.01.17.
The April issue of the ABA Journal magazine reports that an increasing number of law firms are "turning to statistics and performance analytics to help them determine which of their laterals are delivering and which are not."
2. "Underestimate Harvard's New Admissions Strategy at Your Own Risk," 03.30.17.
Bill Henderson, writing for Law.com, suggests that Harvard's decision to accept the GRE is a marker of a much bigger paradigm shift in legal education.
3. "If It's a New Dean, It's Likely a Woman," 03.30.17.
Karen Sloan, writing for Law.com, reports that "six of the eight new law deans appointed this month are women [and] well over half of the new deans taking the reins starting this summer are women."
4. "Cincinnati Law Dean Is Put on Leave After Proposing Ways to Cut Budget," 03.30.17.
The New York Times takes a deep dive into the firing of the Cincinnati law dean last week, finding that school's fact pattern of troubled finances emblematic of what is happening at many other law schools across the country.
5. "Student Interest Drives New Tech Law Program at Cornell Law's NYC Campus," 03.29.17.
Legaltech News reports that "Cornell Law will offer a program in Information and Technology Law from its New York City campus…that focuses on legal issues surrounding modern technology, cybersecurity, and online privacy, and the constitutional and regulatory implications of emerging technologies and big data."
6. "South Florida's Billing Rates Remain Flat As Small Firms Get More Than Half the Work," 03.29.17.
The Daily Business Review reports that "lawyer billing rates in the South Florida market grew more slowly than in most large markets through 2015, and a larger percentage of the work went to smaller law firms."
7. "Legal Leaders Discuss Pathways to Success for Black Women," 03.29.17.
The New York Law Journal reports on the proceedings at a bar association program, "Black Women Lawyers: Lessons in Leadership," that was hosted this week at Goodwin Procter.
8. "185 Corporate Counsel Urge Congress to Fund LSC," 03.28.17.
The National Law Journal reports that "leaders of corporate legal departments…urged Congress in a letter on Tuesday to preserve the LSC at a funding level of $450 million."
a. "Why General Counsel Oppose Trump's Legal Services Cuts," 03.19.17.
The National Law Journal takes a look at what motivated the GC letter, noting that "many of the volunteer hours that in-house lawyers spend doing pro bono…would not be possible without the funding and structure LSC provides for local legal aid groups across the country."
b. "More than 160 Law School Deans Pen Letter of Support for Legal Services Corporation," 03.24.17.
And in related news, LSC reports that "more than 160 law school deans sent a letter to Congressional leaders on Thursday, March 23, urging support for the Legal Services Corporation."
c. "Law deans and GCs join campaign to save Legal Services Corp. funding," 03.29.17.
More on this from the ABA Journal.
9. "Arizona Summit Law School Slapped With Probation," 03.28.17.
Law.com reports that "the American Bar Association has placed Arizona Summit Law School on probation for violating a number of its standards, including rules covering admissions, bar passage and academic support."
a. "ABA puts Arizona Summit School of Law on probation," 03.27.17.
More on this from the ABA Journal.
10. "Supreme Court lets stand ruling in favor of ABA in blind man's LSAT disability suit," 03.28.19.
The ABA Journal reports that "the US Supreme Court on Monday let stand a ruling in favor of the ABA in a suit by a blind man who claimed accreditation standards discriminate against law school applicants with disabilities."
a. "Blind Law School Applicant Loses High Court Case, But Vows Continued Fight," 03.28.17.
More on this from Supreme Court Brief.
11. "In answer to ABA lawsuit, Education Department says it never changed loan forgiveness rules," 03.28.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "in response to a lawsuit from the American Bar Association, the US Department of Education appears to be arguing that it has never issued any approval to participate in its Public Service Loan Forgiveness program."
a. "Student Loan Forgiveness Program Approval Letters May Be Invalid, Education Dept. Says," 03.30.17.
More on this from The New York Times: "In a legal filing submitted last week, the Education Department suggested that borrowers could not rely on the program's administrator to say accurately whether they qualify for debt forgiveness. The thousands of approval letters that have been sent by the administrator, FedLoan Servicing, are not binding and can be rescinded at any time, the agency said."
12. "Law Students Share How It Feels to Win a Man's Freedom," 03.28.17.
Law.com reports on the release of a man held in prison for 32 years for a murder he didn't commit, and the role that law students from Loyola Law School played in securing his freedom.
13. "Study: Income-Based Repayment Reduced Defaults," 03.28.17.
Inside Higher Ed reports on a new study that finds that the federal income-based repayment program has led to fewer student loan defaults.
14. "Partners Question 'Unreasonable' Deutsche Demands on Junior Lawyer Pay," 03.28.17.
The American Lawyer reports on partner reactions to last week's announcement by Deutsche Bank that it would no longer pay law firms for the work of junior lawyers.
15. "Emory Law Dean to Step Down In July," 03.28.17.
According to the Daily Report, "Emory University School of Law's dean, Robert Schapiro, has announced he will step down as dean and return to teaching when his term ends this summer."
16. "Are In-House Lawyers Happy With Their Outside Counsel?," 03.28.17.
Above the Law reports on new research that measures the happiness of in-house lawyers, and their happiness with their outside counsel: "While in-house lawyers generally like their current jobs better than their old ones (many are Biglaw refugees), they could be made a little happier by the improved performance of their outside counsel."
17. "Low-Cost Bar Prep Materials? Unbundling To Drive Down Costs," 03.28.17.
Kyle McEntee, writing for Above the Law, interviews the founder of a new company that is looking to unbundle bar prep materials so that students have affordable options.
18. "Law school debt — and private school tuition revenue — may be declining," 03.27.17.
The ABA Journal reports that according to new analyses of the US News numbers, "when inflation is calculated in, 115 law schools have seen students' debt loads decline between 2013 and 2016." (The research suggests that "a potential reason for the trend…could be that fewer law school students pay full tuition.")
19. "M&A's Missing Women," 03.27.17.
The American Lawyer takes a look at how women, long absent from the deal table, are slowly changing mergers and acquisitions practices.
a. "The Gender Divide Among Dealmaking Laterals," 03.27.17.
And in a related piece, The American Lawyer takes a look at the breakdown along gender lines of lateral movement among dealmaking practices, finding that women seem to switch firms faster than men.
20. "With Hourly Rates Rising, Report Shows Spotty Record for GC's Cost-Constraint Tactics," 03.27.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "hourly rates are rebounding strongly from the post-recession doldrums and Big Law is leading the way in capturing more money for their time [while] overall demand for lawyers' time continues to fall."
21. "ABA May Open Door to More Adjunct-Taught Classes," 03.24.17.
Karen Sloan, writing for Law.com, reports that "the American Bar Association is considering deep-sixing a rule requiring full-time faculty to teach at least half of every law school's upper-level courses."
a. "More Law School Courses for Adjuncts?," 03.29.17.
More on this from Inside Higher Ed.
22. "Women Leaders Forum Co-Founder Kim Stuart Presents a 360-Degree Case For Diversity," 03.24.17.
Above the Law reports on a program hosted by the Women Leaders Forum in Washington, DC, and speaks with the leader of the group about the importance of redoubling law firm diversity efforts: "I want to see those small percentages of women in leadership roles increase substantially in my lifetime."
23. "Could Biglaw See Another Associate Pay Raise — Followed By A Recession?," 03.24.17.
David Lat, writing for Above the Law, opines that there is actually historical precedent for a double pay bump for associates: "one raise is followed by another raise or raises in fairly short succession — followed by multiyear periods of no raises at all."
24. "Law Firm Spinoffs an Option as Lawyers Look to Go Lean," 03.24.17.
The Legal Intelligencer finds mounting evidence that "for lawyers looking to reinvent the way they practice, sometimes the best option is to just start from scratch."
25. "Biglaw Associates Offered Work/Life Balance Perks That Go Unused," 03.23.17.
Above the Law reports on the latest Law Firm Flexibility Benchmarking Survey that finds not many associates actually use perks geared toward improving their work/life balance.
26. "What Does It Take to Climb Up the Ladder?," 03.23.17.
An interesting Op-Ed in The New York Times takes a look at some new research that shows when it comes to professional and economic success, "cognitive skills are important, but so are harder-to-measure strengths that fall under the heading of what is sometimes called character."
27. Law Firm Year-End Financial Reporting:
a. "Revenue Creeps Up, Partner Profits Dip at Kilpatrick," 03.30.17. (Daily Report: Revenue up 1.2%, PPP down 1.5%)
b. "Growth Surge Ends at Debevoise, But Ex-Partners Return," 03.30.17. (American Lawyer: down 2.9%, PPP down 8.2%)
c. "Kasowitz Reports Down Year; Trims Firm Name as Ex-Partner Assumes Ambassador Post," 03.30.17. (American Lawyer: Revenue down 7.5%, PPP up <1%)
d. "Still in Growth Mode, Squire Patton Boggs Boosts Partner Profits," 03.29.17. (American Lawyer: Revenue up 6%m PPP up 15%)
e. "Wilmer Grows Partner Profits, Trims Head Count as California Beckons," 03.28.17. (National Law Journal: Revenue flat, PPP up 3%)
f. "Seyfarth Grows Revenue, Profits as Lean Investment Pays Off," 03.08.17. (American Lawyer: Revenue up 6%, PPP up 3%)
g. "Am Law 100/200: The Early Reports," 02.03.17. The American Lawyer is collecting law firm year-end financial reports here as they are published.
March 24, 2017
1. "Women Take Charge in Fox Rothschild Changing of the Guard," 03.23.17.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that "Fox Rothschild is installing a half-dozen new office managing partners, including in the firm's largest offices, effective April 1…and three of the new leaders…are women."
2. "Cincinnati Law Sacks Dean," 03.23.17.
Law.com reports that "The University of Cincinnati has ousted law dean Jennifer Bard less than two years into her five-year term."
a. "University of Cincinnati Places Law Dean on Leave," 03.24.17.
More on this from Inside Higher Ed.
3. "Can InfiLaw schools be had on the cheap, and would they be worth it?," 03.23.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "Sterling Partners may be unloading all three of its for-profit InfiLaw System schools," noting that Charlotte Law School has announced plans to affiliate with an unnamed university in the Northeast, Arizona Summit will affiliate with Bethune-Cookman University, and Florida Coastal has hinted at a similar move.
a. "Charlotte Plans To Go Non-Profit While Still Paying Profits To InfiLaw Or Something," 03.22.17.
Above the Law reports that beleaguered Charlotte School of Law is seeking to become a non-profit by affiliating with an unnamed college in the northeast. (See also "Charlotte School Of Law To Go Non-Profit As Part Of Overhaul")
b. "How to Con Black Law Students: A Case Study," 03.20.17.
ATL's Elie Mystal, writing for The New York Times, is critical of the affiliation of Arizona Summit Law Schools with HBCU Bethune-Cookman, arguing that "for-profit schools like Arizona Summit prey on students with high aspirations but little knowledge about how the postgraduate system really works," including many black students.
4. "Prosecutors Find Refuge in Law School Posts," 03.22.17.
The National Law Journal reports that "three of the 46 recently ousted US attorneys have in the past week unveiled plans to join law schools."
5. "Global Law Firms and Vereins: The End of the Affair?," 03.22.17.
The American Lawyer takes a critical look at the Swiss verein, a business structure that allows international law firms to combine more easily, noting that the arrangement carries considerable risk that may mitigate the most appealing benefits.
6. "IBM's Watson Makes New Inroads Into Legal With Discovery, Business Research Offerings," 03.22.17.
Legaltech News reports that IBM's artificial intelligence-powered cognitive computing platform Watson has recently made further inroads into the legal space with the launch of Watson Discovery Service.
7. "The California bar exam flunks too many law school graduates," 03.21.17.
The dean at UC Hastings College of the Law, writing for the Los Angeles Times, argues that the bar examiners in that state have acted recklessly in setting the highest cut score in the nation, which has resulted in the lowest bar passage rates in the nation.
8. "In a First, Major UK Client Says No to Paying for Junior Lawyers," 03.21.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "Deutsche Bank will stop paying its outside law firms for work carried out by newly qualified lawyers and trainees."
9. "A River Runs Through, Under and Over this Law School Class," 03.21.17.
Karen Sloan, writing for Law.com, profiles an innovative water law class at the University of Colorado Law School that includes a two-week rafting trip down the Colorado river.
10. "Learning From Failure at the Oscars," 03.21.17.
This cute piece from Slaw offers some good lessons on project management: "Most project failures are the result of a series of smaller failures, none of which, by themselves, would doom the project."
11. "Which lawyers will win or lose in front of which judges? There's now an app to predict that," 03.21.17.
The Legal Post reports on Canadian legal tech startup Loom Analytics that uses data analytics to, among other things, predict how certain judges will rule in certain cases.
12. "Bar Groups Gear Up to Preserve Legal Services Funding," 03.20.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that "New York bar groups are joining law firm leaders and the American Bar Association to stop President Donald Trump's plan to defund the Legal Services Corp."
a. "ABA President Klein reaffirms commitment to endangered LSC," 03.18.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "ABA President Linda Klein reaffirmed the ABA's commitment to the Legal Services Corporation, calling on ABA Techshow attendees to do what they could to help persuade Congress to fund the under-fire nonprofit corporation."
13. "The 'Trump Bump' for Law Schools Is (Kind of) a Thing," 03.20.17.
Karen Sloan, writing for Law.com, inquires whether "the Trump administration's early turmoil is a gift to legal education," and finds that some schools with rising applicant pools think it may be.
14. "Step Aside Gentlemen. Women in Law Schools Take the Lead," 03.20.17.
Law.com reports that, at "50.3 percent of the JD students enrolled in ABA-accredited law schools, women number 55,728 — the highest total since the ABA started keeping track of gender numbers in 1963."
15. "'Not Your Mother's Law Career': The New Student Issue of LAWPRO Magazine," 03.20.17.
Slaw previews the newest student-focused issue of LAWPRO, including articles on artificial intelligence, tips for a smooth transition to practice, common practice pitfalls, and some wistful "what I wish I knew in law school" reflections from practicing lawyers.
16. "AI Is Doing Legal Work. But It Won't Replace Lawyers, Yet," 03.19.17.
This much circulated article from the Sunday New York Times asserts that the adoption of AI by law firms will be slow and methodical, and not an overnight revolution: "In other words, like it or not, a robot is not about to replace your lawyer. At least, not anytime soon."
17. "Will Dropping the LSAT Requirement Create More Miserable Lawyers?," 03.18.17.
This New York Times op-ed piece argues that the LSAT is a useful speedbump in weeding out applicants who aren't really serious about going to law school.
a. "With Harvard Law taking the GRE as admissions test, what does that mean for other schools?," 03.22.17.
The ABA Journal reports on this development from last week noting that "Nationwide the number of students who apply to law school has decreased by about 40 percent since 2006…meanwhile the number of people who take the GRE has increased by 38 percent since 2006."
b. "Harvard Law is now accepting the GRE. Could other schools follow?," 03.21.17.
More on this development from The Boston Globe.
18. "How Colleges Can Admit Better Students," 03.18.17.
This New York Times piece argues that colleges and universities ought to be using more data-driven processes to admit students more likely to matriculate and succeed, and to identify earlier those who will need additional support.
19. "No Corner Offices in the Law Firms of the Future (And That's Not a Bad Thing!)," 03.17.17.
The Work Project, writing here for The Recorder, says lawyer offices are all but a thing of the past as law firms will be called upon to radically rethink their space needs.
20. "Too Many New Lawyers? Build a Wall?," 03.17.17.
This piece in Slaw takes a deep dive into the vexing questions about "how to deal with the significant increase in the number of Canadian and foreign law school graduates seeking licensing in Ontario."
a. "The Lawyer Licensing System in Ontario," 03.17.17.
And this accompanying piece in Slaw is a very thorough analysis of Ontario lawyer licensing past, present, and even future.
21. "Navigating Our Shameful, Maddeningly Complex Student Aid System," 03.17.17.
This piece in The New York Times is critical of the US student financial aid system, and argues for simplification.
22. "Trump administration rolls back protections for people in default on student loans," 03.17.17.
The Washington Post reports that "days after a report on federal student loans revealed a double-digit rise in defaults, President Trump's administration revoked federal guidance Thursday that barred student debt collectors from charging high fees on past-due loans."
23. Law Firm Year-End Financial Reporting:
a. "Steady Growth Name of the Game for Paul Hastings," 03.23.17. (American Lawyer: Revenue up 1.7%, PPP 4%)
b. "Kramer Levin's Partner Profits Reach Nearly $2M," 03.23.17. (American Lawyer: Revenue up 6%, PPP up 8.5%)
c. "Husch Blackwell Revenue Soars, Partner Profits Slip After Merger," 03.22.17. (American Lawyer: Revenue up 20%, PPP down 8%)
e. "MoFo's Financials Took a Dip in 2016," 03.20.17. (The Recorder: Revenue down 3.5%, PPP down 9.3%)
f. "Revenue Slips Slightly at Morris Manning After Record Year," 03.20.17. (Daily Report: Revenue down 1.6%, PPP flat).
g. "Choate Posts Record Revenue, Profit After 5th Consecutive Year of Growth," 03.17.17. (American Lawyer: Revenue up 7.9%, PPP up 9.7%)
March 17, 2017
1. "It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's 'Biglaw Investor' to Associates' Rescue," 03.16.17.
Leigh Jones, writing for The American Lawyer, profiles a Big Law associate who writes a blog on the side that provides money management advice to young associates at large law firms — he believes most Big Law associates have little knowledge about how to handle their money.
2. "Running the Corporate Legal Department Like a Profit Center," 03.16.17.
Two writers from Thomson Reuters, writing for Legaltech News, argue that "for the GCs who want to be savvier about how they operate, it would be wise to align their departmental goals with those of the overall business."
3. "Trump budget eliminates Legal Services Corp. funding," 03.16.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "President Donald Trump's 2018 budget eliminates funding for the Legal Services Corp." ("LSC President Jim Sandman remained optimistic…He said he expected Congress to ignore Trump's proposal and to grant the full $502 million funding request.")
a. "Legal Services Corp., Under Trump, Faces New Threat to Existence," 03.16.17.
The National Law Journal also reports on this development.
4. "Amid 'Trump Effect' Fear, 40% of Colleges See Dip in Foreign Applicants," 03.16.17.
The New York Times reports that new survey results show "nearly 40 percent of colleges are reporting overall declines in applications from international students." ("Graduate schools appear to be feeling the worst pinch, with nearly half reporting drops.")
5. "Survey Finds Midsized LA Firms Looking for Right Fit," 03.16.17.
The American Lawyer reports that new survey results show "nearly nine out of 10 midsized Los Angeles law firms were approached in the past year by another firm looking to merge [and] almost half of those firms are open to the possibility of a future tie-up."
6. "Cathy Cox Appointed Dean of Mercer Law School," 03.16.17.
The Daily Report writes that "Mercer University School of Law announced Thursday that Cathy Fox, the former Georgia secretary of state and current president of Young Harris College, will take over as dean in July."
7. "Dentons Trims Ranks on Both Sides of the Atlantic," 03.15.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "Dentons…is slashing 60 jobs in the US and up to five lawyer jobs in the UK."
a. "Nationwide Layoff Watch: 60 Positions Across 22 US Offices," 03.10.17.
And the Dentons announcement has caused Above the Law to ask "Has the Great Associate Pay Raise of 2015 ushered in the Not-So-Great Staff Layoffs of 2017?"
8. "US News Law School Rankings Are Good News for Northwestern, Bummer for Berkeley," 03.14.17.
The National Law Journal reports on the reshuffling of the top schools in the new US News law school rankings.
a. "Northwestern enters top 10 in latest US News law school rankings; Harvard drops to No. 3," 03.14.17.
More on this from the ABA Journal.
b. "Is T14 Dead? Is It T15? Was T14 An Arbitrary Ranking All Along?," 03.15.17.
And Above the Law muses on the shuffle at the top.
9. "$137B in Federal Student Loans in Defaults in 2016," 03.15.17.
Inside Higher Ed reports that "an analysis of new student loan data finds the number of federal loans in default at the end of 2016 increased 14 percent from 2015."
10. "Getting over technology," 03.15.17.
Jordan Furlong, writing for Law21, provides his thoughts and insights on the topic of technology in law practice: "The great gift (and curse) of technology in the 21st century is how quickly it renders the magical commonplace. Law, which is so far behind technologically and has so much ground to make up, is going to experience that gift in an especially rapid-fire and visceral fashion."
11. "Reducing Legal Spend Still Top Concern for Many Litigation Chiefs," 03.14.17.
Legaltech News reports on the results of recent survey results that show "reducing legal spend is the top priority in 2017 for at least two-thirds of corporate-litigation chiefs."
12. "Loyola Chicago Names Michael Kaufman as Dean," 03.14.17.
Law.com reports that "Loyola Chicago University School of Law has named longtime faculty member Michael Kaufman as its new dean, effective immediately."
13. "Where Are the Asian-American Partners?," 03.14.17.
Vivia Chen, writing for The American Lawyer, laments the dearth of Asian Big Law partners, despite successful representation among associate and general counsel ranks.
14. "ABA Harnessing Legal Technology to Combat Surging of Hate Crimes," 03.14.17.
Legaltech News reports that "the ABA has announced a pilot project to create a web app to empower and inform victims of hate crimes."
15. "ABA's Legal Ed Section seeks comments on proposed revision to admissions test standard," 03.14.17.
The ABA Journal reports that the ABA's Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has put out a revision to Standard 503 that "calls for the council to establish a process that determines reliability and validity of other [admission] tests besides the LSAT."
a. "Why the LSAT Should Be Retired," 03.15.17.
And given the Harvard announcement last week that it will accept the GRE for admissions to law school, this Slaw post calls for abandoning the LSAT entirely.
16. "Are Lawyers With Foreign Law Degrees at a Disadvantage in the US Market?," 03.14.17.
The Recorder presents this Q&A for foreign trained lawyers who practice in the US.
17. "With Profits Up 75 Percent, Burford's Results Reveal Evolving Litigation Funding Industry," 03.14.17.
The American Lawyer reports the latest financial results from Burford Capital Ltd., a publicly traded litigation funder, and notes that the huge financial returns show that "the US litigation funding industry…is rapidly evolving as a way to help under-funded plaintiffs use America's costly court system."
18. "McDermott to Close Rome Office, With Layoffs to Follow," 03.13.17.
The American Lawyer reports that McDermott Will & Emery will close its Rome office, which will result in the loss of some jobs and some lawyer relocations to other offices.
19. "A Fumble on a Key Fafsa Tool, and a Failure to Communicate," 03.13.17.
The New York Times reports on the technology fail that has frustrated thousands of federal financial aid applicants trying to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid online this month.
20. "Is Your Firm's Partner Comp Spread Too Narrow?," 03.10.17.
A former law firm COO, writing for The American Lawyer, makes the case for increasing partner compensation spreads.
21. "Big Law Heads Home — But Will It Work For You?," 03.10.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "Morgan, Lewis & Bockius [has] announced a new policy allowing US and UK associates with two or more years at the firm to spend one to two days a week working remotely."
a. "Two BigLaw firms announce work-from-home policies for associates," 03.13.17.
More on this from the ABA Journal as Jackson Lewis also announces a new policy for associates.
22. "More Companies Consolidate Outside Legal Work: LexisNexis Report," 03.10.17.
Law.com reports on new survey results that show that corporate legal departments are continuing to cut the number of law firms that handle outside legal work.
a. "Report finds increase in consolidation of outside legal work," 03.13.17.
More on this from the ABA Journal.
23. "Arizona Summit law school to affiliate with historically black college," 03.10.17.
The ABA Journal reports that Arizona Summit School of Law has announced that it will sign an affiliation agreement with Bethune-Cookman University, a historically black college in Florida.
24. Law Firm Year-End Financial Reporting:
a. "Duane Morris Grows Revenue 4.6 Percent, PPP 4.4 Percent," 03.16.17. (Legal Intelligencer)
b. "Perkins Coie Posts Solid Growth in Revenue, Profits," 03.14.17. (American Lawyer: Revenue up 4.3%, PPP up 7.3%)
c. "DLA Piper's Revenue Falls on Post-Brexit Currency Slump, but New Approach Sees Profits Rise," 03.13.17. (American Lawyer: Revenue down 2.9%, PPP up 5.4%)
d. "O'Melveny & Myers Reports Strong Revenue and Income Growth in 2016," 03.10.17. (American Lawyer: Revenue up 5.2%, PPP up 10.8%).
e. "Saul Ewing Revenue Down 1.6%, PPP Down 5.6%," 03.10.17. (Legal Intelligencer)
March 10, 2017
March 3, 2017
February 24, 2017