Weekly News Digest for Legal Career Professionals

Each week NALP's Executive Director, James Leipold, provides a summary of news articles of interest to legal career professionals. Read past issues here.

For news in the public interest arena, see the news digest from Christina Jackson, NALP's Director of Public Service Initiatives and Fellowships, at www.psjd.org.



January 13, 2017

1. "10 Years Out, Report Says Recession's Impact on Firms is Clear," 01.12.17.
The American Lawyer reports on the release of the 2017 Report on the State of the Legal Market, published by the Center for the Study of the Legal Profession at the Georgetown University Law Center and Thomson Reuters' Peer Monitor: "The report examines the challenges the legal industry has faced in the 10 years since the start of the Great Recession, and how law firms have had to change the way they operate to accommodate their clients' budgetary needs. Perhaps the most significant challenge has been clients' insistence on predictable and manageable bills." (You can download a complimentary copy of the report here.)

2. "Meet The Law Firm Paying First-Years $200K," 01.12.17.
Today's General Counsel reports (via ATL) that a California litigation boutique is paying its first year lawyers $200,000.

3. "A Modern Associate Manifesto (Beta)," 01.12.17.
An associate blogging for Slaw lays down the gauntlet, criticizing the current law firm business and staffing models, and offering "actionable advice" to law firms that want a better way forward. (If nothing else, this should be a required read for partners who want to get into the heads of their current junior associates: "Times have changed. The best people will not necessarily work for you on old terms anymore.")

4. "Optimizing your law firm for trust," 01.11.17.
The latest from Jordan Furlong at Law21, wherein he takes up the question "What would a law firm look like if it were optimized for trust? That is to say, if a law firm reordered its priorities and re-engineered its processes so that its activities were bent towards increasing the degree to which its clients completely and implicitly trusted the firm, what would that look like?"

5. "Two Law Schools Get an 'F' for High Student Debt from Education Dept.," 01.11.17.
The National Law Journal reports on the latest fallout from the Department of Education's enforcement of the gainful employment rule, involving five law schools: "Florida Coastal School of Law and Charleston School of Law are identified as failing on the department's 'gainful employment list,' released Monday. Should those schools fail a second year in a row, they will lose access to federal student loan funds." (Arizona Summit and Western State College of Law were also flagged.)

    a. "Department of Education flags 5 law schools' debt-to-income ratios, including 3 in Infilaw System," 01.11.17.
    More on this from the ABA Journal.

    b. "Overburdened With Debt," 01.10.17.
    More on the DOE's enforcement of the gainful employment rule from Inside Higher Ednearly 2,000 institutions were cited, including five law schools.

6. "Is Doomsday Imminent for Charlotte Law School?," 01.10.17.
Karen Sloan, writing for The National Law Journal, reports that the opening of Charlotte Law School has now been delayed until at least January 27 as school officials work to secure tuition financing for its students after losing federal loan eligibility.

    a. "Charlotte School of Law students reportedly will receive spring loan money," 01.10.17.
    The ABA Journal reports that Charlotte School of Law has said that classes are scheduled to begin January 17 and that spring semester student loan proceeds will be disbursed, despite a DOE finding that the school was no longer eligible to receive federal loan funds.

    b. "Embattled Charlotte School of Law to Reopen," 01.10.17.
    And Inside Higher Ed reports that Charlotte Law School will reopen this semester: "Without access to federal aid, the school said on its website that students might need to explore 'bridge financing' such as private loans."

    c. "Troubled Charlotte Law School Will Open for Spring Semester," 01.09.17.
    The National Law Journal reports that administrators at Charlotte Law School have informed students that the school will remain open, although the question of financing for students remains unanswered.

7. "With Competition Fierce, Even Elite Law Firms Resort to the Unusual," 01.09.16.
Elizabeth Olson, writing for The New York Times, delves into the fiercely competitive lateral partner market and other ways "fierce competition is prompting firms to take unusual steps to bolster their profiles."

8. "Firm Leaders Showing More Economic Confidence in 2017," 01.09.17.
Law.com reports on the results of an October law firm leader survey conducted by Citi Private Bank's law firm group, noting that law firm leaders expect modest growth in both demand for legal services and revenue in 2017. (You can read the Citi report here.)

9. "Penn State Names Minnesota Professor as New Law Dean," 01.06.17.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that "Pennsylvania State University has tapped Hari Osofsky…as the new dean of its University Park law campus."

10. "Legal Industry Outpaces US Jobs Figures for December," 01.06.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "after losing 500 jobs in November, US legal sector employment rebounded in December, adding 2,000 jobs, according to preliminary data released Friday by the US Labor Department." ("…the sector remains more than 52,000 jobs shy of its pre-recession high in 2007.")

11. "The Profitability Quick Fix That Isn't," 01.01.17.
The data crunchers at The American Lawyer report that their data analysis "yields a counterintuitive and surprising result: A statistically significant correlation exists between the ratio of nonequity to equity partners and declining PPP." In other words, trying to prop up profits per partner by promoting associates to nonequity rather than equity status is actually counterproductive.

12. Roundup of additional coverage of the new NALP report on law firm diversity, issued last week:

    a. "What Happened To All The Black Women Lawyers?," 01.10.17. (Madam Noire)

    b. "Minority law firm representation up modestly post-recession," 01.09.17. (The Indiana Lawyer)

    c. "US law firms failing to attract and retain black women lawyers," 01.09.17. (The Global Legal Post)

    d. "Law Firms Struggle to Hire and Keep Black Women," 01.06.17. (Bloomberg)

    e. "Diversity In The Legal Profession Has Flatlined Since the Great Recession; Who Is To Blame?," 01.06.17. (Above the Law)



Past News Digests

Prior digests for past weeks are provided below for reference; some articles may no longer be offered online or may have moved to different URLs than the links shown here.



January 6, 2017

1. "Could Spreading the Bar Exam Over Three Years Raise Passage Rates?," 01.05.17.
The National Law Journal reports on a discussion taking place at the AALS conference this week about falling bar passage rates and what might be done about it.

2. "Law Students Performed 2.2 Million Pro Bono Hours Last Year," 01.05.17.
The National Law Journal reports on the results of a new AALS survey of law student pro bono hours, released this week at the AALS conference in San Francisco.

3. "Top Canadian Firm Scoops Up E-Discovery Shop," 01.05.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "McCarthy Tetrault, one of Canada's largest firms, announced Thursday a first-of-its-kind deal that will see it absorb Wortsmans, a leading electronic discovery firm in Toronto."

4. "More Older Americans Taking Out Student Loans," 01.05.17.
The Wall Street Journal reports that a new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shows that the number of older Americans with student loans is growing rapidly (the loans are often taken to finance the educations of children or grandchildren). (Subscription required.)

    a. "Growth in Numbers of Older Student Loan Borrowers," 01.06.17.
    More on this from Inside Higher Ed: "Older Americans are the fastest-growing group in the student loan market and nearly 40 percent of borrowers over 65 were in default in 2015."

5. "Asians and Hispanics Make Small Diversity Gains in Firms," 01.04.17.
The American Lawyer reports on NALP's latest report on law firm diversity, noting that "Asians and Hispanic men accounted for nearly all of the minority gains among the associate ranks over the last five years, while the percentage of black associates actually fell over that period of time."

    a. "Women and Minorities Make Slow Progress in Filling Ranks at Law Firms," 01.04.17.
    The New York Times reports on the new NALP report on law firm diversity demographics.

    b. "NALP report on law firm diversity highlights 'incredibly slow pace of change'," 01.04.17.
    The ABA Journal also reports on the new law firm diversity findings from NALP.

    c. "Women and Black/African American Associates Still Below Pre-Recession Numbers Despite Small Gains in 2016 Overall," 01.04.17.
    You can read the NALP press release here, and you can read the full report here (PDF).

6. "New in Career Counseling: Brain Wave Scanning," 01.04.17.
Inside Higher Ed reports that the Royal Bank of Scotland is using a brain wave-sensing headset at career fairs to determine which jobs are most catching students' interests.

7. "Meet the New President of the American Association of Law Schools," 01.03.17.
The National Law Journal speaks with incoming AALS President Paul Marcus, a longtime professor at the College of William and Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law, about his goals for the coming year.

8. "Harvard Dean Martha Minow to Step Down," 01.03.17.
The National Law Journal reports that Martha Minow, dean of Harvard Law School since 2009, will step down at the end of the academic year.

9. "Congratulations, You Made Partner! Now What?," 01.01.17.
The American Lawyer asked seasoned partners at law firms across the country to give advice to new partners.

10. "Fraud Claims Against Arizona Summit Law School Tossed," 12.29.16.
The National Law Journal reports that "a federal judge has dismissed fraud claims against Arizona Summit Law School brought by a former student and employee who alleged the school misrepresented incoming students' grades and Law School Admission Test scores."

11. "4 Ways Technology Is Changing Contracts," 12.29.16.
Legaltech News reports that automation, natural language processing, and data handling technology are driving changes to traditional contract work that could change its basic structure.

    a. "Smart Contracts 101 for the Non-Techie Lawyer," 01.05.17.
    Legaltech News provides a primer on smart contracts, and the new roles and skills they will demand of attorneys.

    b. "Relax Lawyers, Nick Szabo Says Smart Contract Won't Kill Jobs," 12.08.16.
    And in a related piece, CoinDesk reports that one of the pioneers of smart contracts, speaking at a Microsoft event in New York, said that smart contracts are making new things possible but they are not likely to eliminate lawyer jobs.

12. "What Employers Will Worry About in 2017," 12.28.16.
Fortune reports on a new study that reveals "the biggest priority, and concern, for business leaders in 2017 will be retaining employees in a competitive talent market."

13. "Resilience," 12.28.16.
A good post on resilience from Slaw, noting that while lawyers as a group exhibit low levels of resilience, "there are proven ways to boost one's resilience allowing for a greater ability to deal with and recover from unsettling and upsetting situations and will become a key skill for tacking anxiety and depression in the profession."

14. "Bankruptcy Becomes an Option for Some Borrowers Burdened by Student Loans," 12.27.16.
The Wall Street Journal reports that "borrowers are beginning to win battles to erase some student loans in bankruptcy court, overcoming stiff obstacles that have generally blocked that path except in extreme case of financial hardship." (Subscription required.)

15. "Flat Enrollment Overall Masks Wide Swings Among Programs," 12.22.16.
The New York Law Journal reports that while overall enrollment at New York law schools grew by just 13 this fall, enrollment varied greatly at individual schools, with some reporting large increases in first-year class size and others reporting large decreases.

16. "How Subtle Class Cues Can Backfire on Your Resume," 12.21.16.
Two business school professors, writing for the Harvard Business Review, write about their field research with large law firms — a resume audit project that found that men with resume markers that signaled wealth or higher economic class received more interview invitations at elite law firms than all other applicants combined (strikingly, similar resumes from women did not experience the same bounce). Key takeaway: "Eliminating signals about class and gender as resumes are screened could open the door more widely for talented individuals with varied backgrounds, while creating a more diverse workforce of qualified talent."

17. "Michigan man's case against American Bar Association & LSAT could go the US Supreme Court," 12.20.16.
Michigan Public Radio reports that a blind man who was denied admission to law school is taking his case to the US Supreme Court.

18. "ABA Accuses Government of Reneging on Law School Loan Forgiveness," 12.20.16.
The National Law Journal reports that "the American Bar Association and a group of individual public interest lawyers sued the US Department of Education on Tuesday claiming that the agency illegally walked back on a loan-forgiveness program meant to encourage attorneys to take low-paying public-sector positions."

    a. "ABA sues Department of Education over retroactive denials to lawyers under Public Service Loan Forgiveness," 12.20.16.
    The ABA Journal also reports on this litigation challenging the retroactive denial of eligibility under PSLF for plaintiffs who had already had their public service careers approved for the program and who had made decisions and loan payments based on those approvals.

    b. "ABA Sues Education Dept. on Loan Forgiveness," 12.21.16.
    More on this from Inside Higher Ed.

19. "Social Security Checks Are Being Reduced for Unpaid Student Debt," 12.20.16.
The Wall Street Journal reports that "the federal government is increasingly taking money out of American's Social Security checks to recover millions in unpaid student debt, a trend set to accelerate as more baby boomers retire," and a development that is leaving many with Social Security earnings below the poverty line. (Subscription required.)

    a. "Student Loans Lead to Reduced Social Security Payments for More Older Borrowers," 12.20.16.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education also reports on the new GAO report that highlights the growing number of older Americans who are having to repay their defaulted student debt through garnishments of their Social Security benefits.

20. "Education Dept. Denies Student-Aid Funds to For-Profit Law School," 12.19.16.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "the US Department of Education will end access to federal student aid for the Charlotte School of Law, a for-profit institution." The Department of Education Press Release can be viewed here.

    a. "Education Department denies federal student aid to for-profit NC law school," 12.19.16.
    The Washington Post also reports on this story: "The Education Department on Monday said Charlotte School of Law can no longer receive federal loans and grants for misleading students about their chances of passing the bar and its shaky accreditation with the American Bar Association."

    b. "Federal student financial aid yanked at Charlotte School of Law," 12.19.16.
    The ABA Journal reports on this development, and includes a statement by Barry Currier, the managing director of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

    c. "Charlotte School of Law loses federal aid over 'dishonest' practices," 12.19.16.
    More on this from The Charlotte Observer.

    d. "Federal Aid Cut to For-Profit Law School," 12.20.16.
    And Inside Higher Ed also has the story.

    e. "Law School DENIED Access To Federal Student Loan Dollars," 12.19.16.
    And Above the Law reports on this development, and hosts a copy of the 14-page letter sent to Charlotte Law School from the DOE.

    f. "Charlotte School of Law students express anger at school, circulate petition for free tuition," 12.22.16.
    The ABA Journal reports that students at Charlotte law school are angry, and scrambling to figure out what comes next, in the wake of the US Department of Education announcement that it is cutting off federal student financial aid for the school — and two students have files a class action that accuses the school of engaging in misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, breach of fiduciary duty, and constructive fraud.

21. "Women Make Up Majority of US Law Students for First Time," 12.16.16.
The New York Times takes note of the fact that the latest release of ABA consumer data shows that women now make up more than 50% of law students in accredited US law schools.

    a. "Women outnumber men in law schools for the first time, newly updated data show," 12.19.16.
    More on this from the ABA Journal.



December 22, 2016

1. "To Boost the Economy, Help Students First," 12.21.16.
This New York Times op-ed, written by a university president who served as chairwoman of the FDIC, advocates scrapping the current complex federal student loan repayment system and replacing it with a single repayment plan based on income where payments are built into the tax withholding system.

2. "ABA Accuses Government of Reneging on Law School Loan Forgiveness," 12.20.16.
The National Law Journal reports that "the American Bar Association and a group of individual public interest lawyers sued the US Department of Education on Tuesday claiming that the agency illegally walked back on a loan-forgiveness program meant to encourage attorneys to take low-paying public-sector positions."

    a. "ABA sues Department of Education over retroactive denials to lawyers under Public Service Loan Forgiveness," 12.20.16.
    The ABA Journal also reports on this litigation challenging the retroactive denial of eligibility under PSLF for plaintiffs who had already had their public service careers approved for the program and who had made decisions and loan payments based on those approvals.

    b. "ABA Sues Education Dept. on Loan Forgiveness," 12.21.16.
    More on this from Inside Higher Ed.

3. "Social Security Checks Are Being Reduced for Unpaid Student Debt," 12.20.16.
The Wall Street Journal reports that "the federal government is increasingly taking money out of American's Social Security checks to recover millions in unpaid student debt, a trend set to accelerate as more baby boomers retire," and a development that is leaving many with Social Security earnings below the poverty line. (Subscription required.)

    a. "Student Loans Lead to Reduced Social Security Payments for More Older Borrowers," 12.20.16.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education also reports on the new GAO report that highlights the growing number of older Americans who are having to repay their defaulted student debt through garnishments of their Social Security benefits.

4. "Another Big Law Firm Stumbles," 12.20.16.
Steven J. Harper, writing for The American Lawyer, draws lessons from the unraveling of another big law firm: "The lesson for big law firms seems obvious. Since the demise of Dewey, that lesson has also gone unheeded. A true partnership requires a compensation structure that rewards partner-like behavior — collegiality, mentoring, expansion and transition of client relationships to fellow partners, and a consensus to pursue long-term strategies promoting institutional stability rather than maximizing short-term profit metrics."

5. "For Midsize NYC Firms, 2016 Highlighted Need to Merge," 12.20.16.
The New York Law Journal writes that 2016 was a tipping point for regional New York firms in the Am Law 200, most of which are "finding it increasingly difficult to compete without a large merger."

6. "Education Dept. Denies Student-Aid Funds to For-Profit Law School," 12.19.16.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "the US Department of Education will end access to federal student aid for the Charlotte School of Law, a for-profit institution." The Department of Education Press Release can be viewed here.

    a. "Education Department denies federal student aid to for-profit NC law school," 12.19.16.
    The Washington Post also reports on this story: "The Education Department on Monday said Charlotte School of Law can no longer receive federal loans and grants for misleading students about their chances of passing the bar and its shaky accreditation with the American Bar Association."

    b. "Federal student financial aid yanked at Charlotte School of Law," 12.19.16.
    The ABA Journal reports on this development, and includes a statement by Barry Currier, the managing director of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

    c. "Charlotte School of Law loses federal aid over 'dishonest' practices," 12.19.16.
    More on this from The Charlotte Observer.

    d. "Federal Aid Cut to For-Profit Law School," 12.20.16.
    And Inside Higher Ed also has the story.

    e. "Law School DENIED Access To Federal Student Loan Dollars," 12.19.16.
    And Above the Law reports on this development, and hosts a copy of the 14-page letter sent to Charlotte Law School from the DOE.

7. "UC-Hastings Gives Leadership Nod to Interim Dean," 12.19.16.
The Recorder reports that "UC-Hastings College of the Law's acting Chancellor and Dean, David Faigman, will stay on in that role permanently."

    a. "UC-Hastings Law Dean to Focus on Bar Passage, Real Estate Development," 12.20.16.
    And The Recorder has more on the new UC-Hastings law dean.

8. "Top Partners at Kirkland See Cuts to Equity Shares," 12.16.16.
The American Lawyer reports that Kirkland & Ellis has adjusted its equity allocation among partners, cutting the equity shares of some partners, particularly litigators.

9. "Sutherland-Eversheds Deal Catapults Atlanta Firm Onto Global Scene," 12.16.16.
The Daily Report has more on the Sutherland-Eversheds merger that was approved on Friday: "Sutherland will now be part of a global, 2,300-lawyer firm to be called Eversheds Sutherland."

10. "Women Make Up Majority of US Law Students for First Time," 12.16.16.
The New York Times takes note of the fact that the latest release of ABA consumer data shows that women now make up more than 50% of law students in accredited US law schools.

    a. "Women outnumber men in law schools for the first time, newly updated data show," 12.19.16.
    More on this from the ABA Journal.

11. "Blockchain 101 for the Non-Techie Lawyer," 12.14.16.
If you're still uncertain what blockchain is and why it is one of the most potent technologies currently disrupting traditional law practice, this piece from Corporate Counsel does a great job of demystifying.



December 16, 2016

1. "Number of Students Enrolling in Law School Basically Flat," 12.15.16.
The National Law Journal reports that the number of first-year law students increased by 36 this fall, from 37,071 to 37,107, the first increase since 2010 (enrollment has fallen 29 percent over the last six years).

    a. "For First Time, Women Are Majority of Law Students," 12.16.17.
    Inside Higher Ed points to some number crunching of the ABA's annual data release that finds that "women, for the first time, make up a majority of law students."

2. "The Billable Hour Just Won't Die, Report Finds," 12.15.16.
Corporate Counsel reports on the results of the Ninth Annual Law Department Operations Survey, including findings that alternative fee arrangements as a percentage of all legal work is still dwarfed by billable hour work.

3. "It's True: Republican Partners Give Female Associates Smaller Bonuses," 12.15.16.
Vivia Chen, ALM's Careerist, writing here for the American Lawyer, reviews new research published in the Harvard Business Review that found "the partner's political ideology influences how he or she allocates discretionary income to female associates."

4. "Colleges Really Need to Rethink the Career Advice They Deliver," 12.15.16.
The Atlantic reports on new research from Gallup, Purdue University, and the Lumina Foundation that found only "just 17 percent of those who graduated between 2010 and 2016 said their career services office was very helpful." (The research is part of a broad, multi-year effort to look at how people with bachelor's degrees in the United States are faring — hat tip to Bruce Elvin for this one.)

5. "Atlanta's Emerging Legal Tech Scene: UnitedLex's Down-South Data Center," 12.15.16.
Legaltech News reports that a number of legal technology startups have recently made Atlanta their home.

6. "3 Technologies Set to Modernize Corporate Legal Departments in 2017," 12.15.16.
Legaltech News reports that artificial intelligence, blockchain, and compliance technology are poised to further shake up the legal world in 2017, and offers a basic explanation of each.

7. "Trump's Election Inspires New Law School Course," 12.14.16.
The National Law Journal reports that the recent presidential election has led to at least one new law school course, Executive Power and Its Limits, that will be offered as an upper level class at the University of Washington School of Law next semester.

8. "Citi Report Claims Growth Will Remain Slow in 2017," 12.13.16.
The American Lawyer reports on the release of the annual year-end report by Citi Private Bank's law firm group and Hildebrandt Consulting, noting that it predicts "low single-digit growth in revenue and profitability next year," and also predicts that top performing firms will continue to pull away from the pack. You can find a PDF copy of the Citi 2017 Client Advisory here.

9. "Crowell & Moring and Herrick, Feinstein in Tie-Up Talks," 12.13.16.
The American Lawyer reports that "Washington-based Crowell & Moring and New York-based Herrick Feinstein are in close merger negotiations."

10. "Daniel Filler Tapped for Dean's Job at Drexel Law," 12.13.16.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that Daniel Filler, a member of the faculty, will assume the deanship at Drexel University School of Law beginning in January.

11. "Weak Demand at Some Firms Makes for Uneven Fiscal 2015," 12.13.16.
The Legal Intelligencer takes a look at law firm performance in Pennsylvania in 2016.

12. "By the Numbers: How California Law Schools Fared on the Bar Exam," 12.12.16.
The Recorder reports on the July bar exam pass rates for the 21 California law schools accredited by the ABA, noting that only five of them had at least a 75 percent pass rate.

13. "Law Firms Struggle With Lateral Partner Due Diligence, Report Finds," 12.12.16.
The American Lawyer reports on the release of a new report from ALM Intelligence that finds "firms place a lot of weight on lateral hiring, but many of them aren't very good at it," and recommends ways that law firms can improve the process.

14. "Student-Debt Forgiveness Irks Some Borrowers," 12.12.16.
The Wall Street Journal reports that some people who have paid their loans off see an injustice in federal programs that forgive student debt. (Subscription required.)

15. "LexisNexis Enters Startup Accelerator Scene," 12.12.16.
Legaltech News reports that "LexisNexis is the latest organization to take on a technology accelerator, offering startups access to its data, tools and professional networks."

16. "Something's Gotta Give: Partner Profit Rises While Law Firm Market Share Declines," 12.11.16.
Mark Cohen, writing for Forbes, argues that there is a fundamental misalignment of the traditional law firm model with the marketplace, and posits that the current rise of partner profits in the shadow of a shrinking law firm percentage of the corporate legal services spend is unsustainable.

17. "The ABA Raises the Wrong Bar," 12.09.16.
Steven J. Harper, writing (fuming?) for The American Lawyer, sees the recent change in the bar-passage standard as too little too late, and advocates for more drastic changes by both the ABA and the federal government, including tying the availability of student federal loan dollars to a law school's employment outcomes.

18. "Midmarket Firms Step Back From Bonus Buzz," 12.09.16.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that midmarket firms were less likely to match the Cravath bonus scale this year.

19. "After In-House Careers, Lawyers Find Freedom in Launching Consulting Firms," 12.09.16.
Corporate Counsel charts an emerging career path — from law firm lawyer to in-house counsel to business consultant, finding that many lawyer-founded consultancies provide a mix of consulting and legal services.

20. "Is AI Placing Legal at the Forefront of Industries?," 12.09.16.
This piece in Legaltech News argues that rather than being behind the curve, the legal industry is leading the AI revolution in many ways.

21. "36 law firms join 'hackathon alliance' to test gender parity programs," 12.09.16.
The ABA Journal reports that "thirty-six law firms have agreed to test one or more pilot programs developed as a result of a Women in Law Hackathon last summer in which teams competed to develop solutions to the gender gap in law firms."

22. "How Law Firms Can Move Beyond Diversity Plan Hype," 12.05.16.
Caren Ulrich Stacy, writing for The American Lawyer, argues that law firms and corporate legal departments need to measure the results of their diversity initiatives more aggressively, and then report out on their successes — she advocates a "measure and share" approach for achieving the greatest good.

23. "The relentless advance of the super-intelligent attorney," 12.05.16.
The Financial Times has published a special report on innovation in North American law firms, focusing specifically on the efficiency gains that are being realized through technology and artificial intelligence. (The FT interviews Jordan Furlong for this piece, among others.)



December 9, 2016

1. "UMass-Dartmouth Gets ABA Accreditation," 12.08.16.
The National Law Journal reports that the ABA has granted full accreditation to the University of Massachusetts School of Law-Dartmouth.

2. "Cheaper Law School for Federal Employees Courtesy of U of Maryland," 12.08.16.
The National Law Journal reports that "the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law is cutting tuition for federal employees and their spouses who enroll in its master of laws programs."

3. "Tech knowledge makes lawyers more productive, and could be key to increasing access to justice," 12.08.16.
Two lawyers writing for the ABA Journal's Legal Rebels column make the case for MCLE on technology competencies for lawyers, arguing "that technology is now central to the delivery of legal services has gone from heresy to orthodoxy in record time."

4. "Silicon Valley Partners Earn More Than Partners in Any Other Market," 12.07.16.
The Recorder reports that according to a recent survey by Major, Lindsey & Africa, Silicon Valley partners are the most highly compensated in the country.

5. "What Will Fix Legal's Diversity Problem? Analytics May Be the Start," 12.07.16.
Legaltech News reports that Wal-Mart and Goodwin Procter are using diversity metrics to force legal organizations to push for more diverse workplaces.

6. "10 Most Underrated Law Schools in America," 12.07.16.
Vivia Chen, ALM's Careerist, writing here for The American Lawyer, and using a recent ranking of law schools based on employment outcomes, comes up with her own list of "the 10 most underrated law schools in the land."

7. "Artificial Intelligence: Helping Lawyers More Than You Know," 12.07.16.
Legaltech News provides examples of simple ways that AI is being used in most law offices right now.

8. "Bill Would Create Law Clerkships on Capitol Hill," 12.06.16.
The National Law Journal reports that "a bipartisan coalition of four US senators [has] introduced a bill that would create a dozen yearlong clerkships on Capitol Hill for recent law graduates."

9. "The High School Graduate Plateau," 12.06.16.
Inside Higher Ed reports that after two decades of growth, the number of high school graduates in the US is set to decline at the same time that the remaining pool will become significantly more diverse.

    a. "Supply of High-School Graduates Is Expected to Fall," 12.06.16.
    More on this from The Wall Street Journal: "The sharp decline in births during the great recession will result in a fall-off in the number of students graduating from US high schools starting around 2024, a phenomenon likely to translate into additional pressure on US colleges already struggling to fill their classrooms and employers seeking university graduates." (Subscription required.)

10. "Special Report: The Road Ahead for Big Law," 12.05.16.
The American Lawyer identifies eight big developments in 2016 that will have a significant impact on Big Law in 2017.

11. "From A to Zen: Law Schools Offer More Antidotes for Final Exam Angst," 12.05.16.
The National Law Journal reports on some of the many ways that "law schools nationwide are stepping up their efforts to reduce the stress of finals by encouraging students to take study breaks, maintain perspective, and stay well-fed."

12. "Law Firms Earn Top Marks for LGBT Equality," 12.05.16.
The American Lawyer reports that more law firms earned a perfect score than companies in any other industry on the HRC's Corporate Equality Index, a survey tool that measures how well employers protect their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers.

    a. "How One Firm Is Confronting Its LGBT Diversity Deficit," 12.08.16.
    The National Law Journal profiles one law firm that is trying to improve its HRC Corporate Equality Index score, and improve its overall LGBT inclusion.

13. "Is This App The Tinder of Legal Hiring?," 12.05.16.
Above the Law reports on a new legal hiring app that is making waves in the UK; the app, Route 1, is being hailed as the Airbnb of legal hiring, and is promising disruption in the competitive headhunter market.

14. "Could 2016 Break Law Firm Merger Record?," 12.02.16.
The American Lawyer reports that "2016 is shaping up to come at least close to last year's record for law firm combinations."

15. "Brooklyn Law School Sells Office Building for $76.5M," 12.02.16.
The New York Law Journal reports that Brooklyn Law School has sold a downtown Brooklyn office building to a group of investors for $76.5 million.

16. "Elite Law Firms Increasingly Suing Clients to Collect Fees," 12.02.16.
The American Lawyer reports that "in an era when demand for legal services is softening, the country's largest firms are increasingly going to courts and arbitration against their former clients to collect fees."



December 2, 2016

1. "10 to 15 law schools could close if enrollment keeps shrinking, higher-ed market analyst says," 12.01.16.
The ABA Journal reports on a new study of US law schools by a professor from Penn's Institute for Research on Higher Education concludes that if current market conditions persist, between 10 and 15 law schools will close.

2. "Mandatory tech CLE: An idea whose time has come," 12.01.16.
This ABA Journal Legal Rebels column makes the case that all jurisdictions should require continuing legal education on technological competence for lawyers.

3. "General Counsel Pay Just Keeps Rising," 12.01.16.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that according to recent survey results, "compensation for in-house counsel is up across the board, ranging from 3.7 percent to as much as 6 percent at some general counsel and expert counsel levels."

4. "Michigan program allows people to resolve legal issues online," 12.01.16.
The ABA Journal reports that Michigan, Ohio, and a small number of other states are adopting a software program called Matterhorn that allows individuals to resolve some legal issues online.

5. "How Social Media is Impacting Law Students," December 2016.
D Magazine takes a look at how an imprudent social media trail can negatively impact a law student's job search, highlighting the importance of mastering e-professionalism early in their student careers.

6. "'Leaky pipeline' study spotlights gender inequality in law schools," 11.30.16.
The Indiana Lawyer highlights a new report based on ABA data that suggests gender inequality in the profession begins in law school, and even before: "Women are applying to law school at a much lower rate than men, they are not admitted in the same numbers as their male counterparts and they are more likely to attend schools that have worse job placement rates."

    a. "More Law Degrees for Women, but Fewer Good Jobs," 11.30.16.
    More on this new report from The New York Times.

    b. "Law School Gender Gaps," 11.30.16.
    And even more on this from Inside Higher Ed.

7. "Law Schools Ranked by Employment," 11.30.16.
Another law professor tries another methodology for crunching the ABA employment data to come up with another numerical ranking of US law schools by employment rate, here on the blog Witnesseth.

8. "Allen & Overy posts record half-year revenues with 13% hike," 11.30.16.
The American Lawyer reports that "Allen & Overy has become the first magic circle firm to announce financial figures for the first half of 2016-17, posting a double-digit increase in revenues."

9. "You're not selling what we're buying," 11.30.16.
The latest from Jordan Furlong at Law21, exploring why corporate legal departments are increasingly shifting their legal spend to multiple non-firm entities, mainly, he argues, because "clients are buying things that law firms don't sell."

10. "Wells Fargo Survey Sees Revenue Growth Masking Troubling Trends," 11.29.16.
The American Lawyer reports on the latest report from the Wells Fargo Private Bank's Legal Specialty Group that finds low productivity, lawyer headcount that is too high, and soft demand for legal services, despite positive revenue figures.

11. "$108 Billion in Student Debt Is Likely to Be Forgiven, Government Says," 11.29.16.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the USGAO has released a new report that contains higher estimates of the overall amount of student debt likely to be forgiven under the income-driven repayment programs.

    a. "US Underestimates Cost of Loan Programs," 12.01.16.
    More on this from Inside Higher Ed: "the Education Department drastically underestimated the cost of the government's income-driven repayment plans for student loans in its original estimate."

12. "Sutherland and Eversheds Are in Talks to Combine," 11.29.16.
The Daily Report writes that "Atlanta-based Sutherland Asbill & Brennan is in talks to combine with Eversheds, one of the UK's largest firms."

13. "Houston's Legge Farrow Inks Merger With Leading UK Firm," 11.29.16.
The American Lawyer reports that "Houston's Legge, Farrow, Kimmit, McGrath & Brown has agreed to merge with London-based Holman Fenwick Willan, one of the UK's 30 largest law firms by revenue."

14. "Cravath Kicks Off Associate Bonus Season, Other Firms Follow," 11.28.16.
The American Lawyer reports that Cravath will pay associate bonuses on the same scale as last year, and that other firms are following.

    a. "Associate Bonus Season: Method or Madness?," 12.02.16.
    The American Lawyer asks whether it makes sense for firms with disparate strategies, practices, staffing models, remunerations systems and profitability to all pay the same bonus rates.

15. "Big Law Leaders Say They're Bullish on 2017," 11.28.16.
The American Lawyer reports on the results of its 14th annual Law Firm Leaders Survey, noting that "69 percent of respondents said that there were moderately optimistic about 2017."

16. "Stepping Up for Diversity: Law Societies Must Begin to Address Challenges Faced by Racialized Lawyers and Paralegals," 11.28.16.
This Slaw post argues that the recommendations made by the report from the Law Society of Upper Canada's Working Group on the Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees should not be ignored — the report calls for a requirement that all lawyers adopt and abide by a statement acknowledging their obligation to promote equality, diversity and inclusion generally and in their behavior towards colleagues, employees, clients and the public.

17. "Access Group To Give $1.3 Million To Enhance The Legal Profession's Diversity Pipeline," 11.25.16.
Above the Law reports that Access Group has announced awards of nearly $1.3 million in grants to promote access, diversity and research in legal education.

18. "First-year lawyers in Delaware can make $160K — or $60K," 11.25.16.
The Delaware News Journal reports that law firm associate salaries are on the rise in Delaware.

19. "Georgetown Law to Launch Institute for Technology Law and Policy," 11.23.16.
Legaltech News reports that "Georgetown University Law Center is the latest law school to expand its offerings in the technology sector, launching its Institute for Technology Law and Policy this month."

20. "California Bar Exam Pass-Rate Reaches Low," 11.21.16.
The Recorder reports that the pass rate for the July bar exam in California was just 43 percent, the lowest pass rate in 32 years.

21. "Law Firms, Struggling Financially, Cull Partner Ranks," 11.21.16.
The New York Times reports that law firms continue to de-equitize partners in an attempt to cut costs and shore up profits.

22. "Law School Accreditors Raising the Bar," 11.21.16.
The Wall Street Journal takes a look at ABA efforts to adopt a tighter bar passage requirement for law schools. (Subscription required.)

23. "Which Big Law Firms Get the Work?," 11.21.16.
The American Lawyer reports on a Corporate Counsel survey that measures how legal spending patterns have changed, and provides a list of the top go-to law firms used by Fortune 50 companies.

24. "New In-House Networking Group Helps Women Land GC Jobs," 11.21.16.
Corporate Counsel reports on SunLaw, a new group that provides networking and training opportunities to help midcareer women get the substantive legal knowledge they need to serve as GCs.

25. "Law schools experiment to increase ethnic diversity," 11.20.16.
The Financial Times takes a look at some innovative diversity initiatives being undertaken by law firms and law schools in the UK and the US.



November 18, 2016

1. "A Year Before Public-Service Loan Forgiveness Kicks In, Uncertainty Looms," 11.18.16.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that as the first wave of borrowers in the federal public-service loan forgiveness are poised to have their remaining debt forgiven next fall, neither borrowers nor government officials have a good sense of what to expect. (Subscription required.)

    a. "Trump's Election Fuels Worry Over Lawyer Loan Forgiveness," 11.16.16.
    The National Law Journal reports that student loan experts and public-interest advocates and anxious about what the new administration will do with student load programs, particularly those that provide for loan forgiveness after payment periods of ten or twenty years.

2. "ABA Sanctions Two More Law Schools for Lax Admissions," 11.16.16.
Law.com reports that the ABA has publicly censured Valparaiso University School of Law and Charlotte Law School, placing both schools on probation for violating accreditation admission rules by enrolling students who are not likely to graduate and pass the bar.

3. "Nearly 40 Percent of Law Firms Waste C-Suite Talent," 11.16.16.
The American Lawyer reports that new survey results show 39 percent of law firm C-suite executives feel they do not play a pivotal role in affecting the future of their law firms.

4. "Citi Report: Third-Quarter Growth Slowed," 11.15.16.
David Altuna and Gretta Rusanow from Citi, writing here for Law.com, say the Citi Private Bank data for the third quarter show continued challenges facing the legal industry, citing very slow growth in demand at just 0.3 percent, and modest revenue growth of 3.7 percent over the first nine months of the year with billing rate hikes remaining the primary driver of that growth.

    a. "Associate Salary Hike to $180K Cited as Strain to Law Firm Profits," 11.16.16.
    Bloomberg Big Law Business argues that the recent associate pay hikes are in part responsible for the slow profit growth reported in the Citi third quarter report.

    b. "McCarter & English Latest Firm to Bump First-Year Pay," 11.15.16.
    And even as higher associate salaries put a strain on law firm bottom lines, the pressure mounts for firms to move salaries up — here the New Jersey Law Journal reports that McCarter & English will increase first-year pay from $135,000 to $150,000 as of January 1.

5. "Mentoring Is a Win-Win-Win for Aspiring Attorneys, Mentors and Firms," 11.15.16.
Three partners and an associate, writing here for The Legal Intelligencer, argue for the value of mentoring, and lay out some guidelines for making it more effective.

6. "Can Hiring an Attorney Be a Data-Driven Choice? This Startup Thinks So," 11.15.16.
Legaltech News reports that a new legal tech startup is focused on using data analytics to help clients hire the right lawyer.

7. "Overcoming Credential Bias from Legal Recruiters," 11.15.16.
Julie Brush, writing for The Recorder, makes the case that "in today's legal profession, academic credentials have diminished as a sole marker to determine a candidate's viability…relevant work and industry experience, culture fit, presentation, quality of employer(s), and personal recommendations all play vital roles."

8. "Women in Law: Some Advice From Successful Women," 11.15.16.
Three law firm partners, writing here for The Legal Intelligencer, argue that "measuring the number of female partners yields an unrealistic, overly pessimistic view of the contributions of women in the profession," and offer thoughts on alternative measures of success for women lawyers.

9. "Move Over LSAT, There's Another Test in Town," 11.15.16.
Law.com reports that an increasing number of schools are working with the Educational Testing Service to validate the GRE for law school admission purposes.

10. "Microsoft: Our Law Firm Diversity Push Is Working," 11.15.16.
The Recorder reports that Microsoft says its retooled diversity initiative is working and that it has seen marked increases in minority representation in law firm leadership and overall partner makeup at the law firms it uses for outside counsel. (Firms are rewarded for upping minority representation in firm leadership, relationship partners working directly with Microsoft, and attorneys working on Microsoft matters.)

11. "Enrollment From Abroad Sets Record at US Colleges," 11.14.16.
The Wall Street Journal reports that "the number of international students enrolled in US colleges and universities exceeded one million for the first time during the 2015-16 academic year, a 7% increase from the previous year and nearly double the level of 10 years ago." (Subscription required.)

    a. "International Student Numbers Top 1 Million," 11.14.16.
    More on this from Inside Higher Ed.

12. "Innovating Talent Management in Law Firms," 11.14.16.
A good article in Law Practice Today by Terri Mottershead on the growing importance of law firm talent management. Note that Mottershead's new book, Innovating Talent Management in Law Firms: Developing tomorrow's legal workforce, will be published by NALP later this month, and Mottershead will be a keynote speaker at NALP's PDI conference next month.

13. "Top Women in the Law," 11.14.16.
The New York Law Journal publishes a special report honoring top women in the law — some of the related articles are collected below.

    a. "Step Into a More Active Role: Advice From the Courtroom and Boardroom," 11.11.16. (New York Law Journal)

    b. "Five Tips for Working Moms to Maintain a Work-Life Balance," 11.11.16. (New York Law Journal)

    c. "Why No One Diversity Program Will Work," 11.11.16. (New York Law Journal)

    d. "Counsel's Table Should Mirror Real-Life Diversity," 11.11.16. (New York Law Journal)

14. "Indiana Tech: Another Law School Lesson Ignored: A law school that never should have existed bites the dust; systemic problems remain," 11.11.16.
The latest from Steven J. Harper, writing for The American Lawyer, arguing that "the federal student loan program absolves marginal law schools of accountability for their graduates' poor employment outcomes while encouraging administrators to fill classrooms with tuition-paying bodies."

15. "The Profession and the Academy Reconnect About Legal Education," 11.11.16.
Slaw reports on the October meeting between the Federation of Law Societies of Canada and representatives of Canadian law schools to discuss the shared responsibilities for legal education, and the need to establish nationwide lawyer competencies for the future.

16. "Compliance Came to the Forefront of Legal Technology in 2016," 11.11.16.
Legaltech News reports that that regulatory compliance is placing ever-greater demands on technology, and is elevating its importance.

17. "For Law Students Upset About Trump Win, Schools Lend Support," 11.10.16.
The National Law Journal reports that a number of law schools hosted student and faculty forums after the election to allow law school communities to come together and discuss their feelings in the aftermath of the Trump victory.

18. "Employers should formalize marijuana policies now," 11.09.16.
Business Insurance, noting that eight additional states approved either recreational or medical marijuana use in the elections last week, argues that "employers should set up written rules and procedures now to deal with the issue if they have not already done so."



November 11, 2016

1. "Big Law Helps Veterans Transition to Civilian Life," 11.10.16.
To mark Veteran's Day, The American Lawyer takes a look at some of the Big Law pro bono programs that have been set up to provide legal services to veterans and help them transition from military to civilian life.

2. "Bar Exam Pass Rate Rose for Many Schools in First Year of UBE," 11.10.16.
The New York Law Journal reports that "graduates of New York law schools who took the July bar exam — the first time the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) was administered — improved the state's pass rate by 4 percentage points, to 83 percent, bouncing back from its lowest rate in a decade." (See related chart: Bar Exam Pass Rates for New York Law Schools.)

3. "For Law Students Upset About Trump Win, Schools Lend Support," 11.10.16.
Karen Sloan, writing for The National Law Journal, reports that many law schools held events on Wednesday to give students an opportunity to meet with law faculty and staff to discuss the election.

4. "For Law Firms, AI is Becoming Part of Legal Practice," 11.10.16.
Legaltech News reports that artificial intelligence is increasingly being integrated into the workflow of law firms.

5. "Arnold & Porter, Kaye Scholer Agree to Combine," 11.09.16.
The New York Law Journal reports that "Arnold & Porter and Kaye Scholer, two firms with declining revenue and profits last year, announced Thursday morning that they have agreed to combine by Jan. 1, 2017, and form Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer."

    a. "Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer Attempts to Put Washington 'On the Map' In New York," 11.10.16.
    The National Law Journal reflects on the significance of the Arnold & Porter/Kaye Scholer merger.

6. "Per-Partner Revenue Slipped in 2015, Study Finds," 11.08.16.
The American Lawyer reports that reports that "law firms — especially small and midsize ones — faced a tough economic landscape in 2015, with sliding revenue and stagnant partner compensation, according to the latest survey of firm finances by ALM Legal Intelligence," noting that the 4.7% decline in per partner revenue is the largest since ALM began tracking that data in 1985.

7. "Many CLOs Are Cutting Outside Counsel Spend, Survey Finds," 11.08.16.
Corporate Counsel reports that according to Altman Weil's 2016 Chief Legal Officer Survey, legal departments are cutting costs by continuing to cut outside counsel spending.

8. "Name Change Ends Law School Suit," 11.08.16.
Inside Higher Ed reports that the Houston College of Law, formerly known as the South Texas College of Law, will now be known as South Texas College of Law Houston, following a lawsuit by the University of Houston Law Center.

    a. "South Texas College of Law announces its latest new name," 11.07.16.
    More on this from the ABA Journal.

9. "Report Shows Dip in Demand as Billing Rates Rise," 11.07.16.
The American Lawyer reports that according to new data released by Thomson Reuters, demand for legal services fell for the second quarter in a row after two years of steadily increasing demand.

10. "Survey: What It Takes to Become a New Partner," 11.07.16.
The American Lawyer reports on the results of its annual survey of new partners.

11. "Pittsburgh Startups, Law Firms Form Alliances," 11.07.16.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that "three Pittsburgh-founded firms recently announced collaborations with members of the technology and startup communities."

12. "State Bar Can Keep Exam Data Confidential, SF Judge Rules," 11.07.16.
The Recorder reports that UCLA law professor Richard Sander has lost his most recent bid to compel the release of demographic data about California bar exam applicants.

    a. "Judge denies law prof's request for bar-exam racial data," 11.08.16.
    More on this from the ABA Journal.

13. "Book Review: The Future of the Professions by Richard Susskind," 11.07.16.
Slaw provides a good review of Susskind's latest, published last year in the UK and now widely available in North America: "The Future of the Professions is a must read for anyone seeking a clearer picture of the future of legal services."

14. "Jobs Report Shows No October Surprise for Legal Sector," 11.04.16.
The American Lawyer reports on the latest jobs data from the USBLS, noting that the legal sector, down a scant 100 jobs in October, shows 1,500 more jobs than at this time a year ago, but still lags the pre-recession employment level by about 55,000 jobs.

15. "Percentage of women attaining partnership is steadily increasing, report finds," 11.03.16.
The ABA Journal reports that a new report from the Diversity and Flexibility Alliance indicates that "the percentage of women promoted to partnership in US offices at many of the nation's top law firms reached a five-year high of 37.3 percent this year."

16. "Texas Bar Pass Rates on the Rise, Latest Results Show," 11.03.16.
The Texas Lawyer reports that the first-time pass rate for the July 2016 Texas bar exam for graduates of Texas law schools rose by more than five percentage points compared to a similar group that took the exam in July of 2015.



November 4, 2016

1. "Milbank's Unique Harvard-Run Client Training Program Catching On," 11.03.16.
The New York Law Journal reports that "Millbank, Tweed & McCloy is taking its business development to the next level by offering clients extensive, in-depth business and leadership training at Harvard University — for free."

2. "Linklaters Partners Vote in Favor of Lockstep Reform," 11.03.16.
The American Lawyer reports that "Linklaters partners on Thursday voted to approve a package of reforms to the firm's lockstep system at its partner conference in London…[giving] exceptional partners the chance to continue climbing the lockstep beyond [current] caps."

3. "Adderall in Law Schools: A Dirty Little Secret," 11.03.16.
Law.com reports that Adderall has become the drug of choice for law students: "a survey with responses from 3,400 law students published in August showed that 14 percent said they had taken a prescribed drug without a prescription within the last 12 months, and 79 percent of the students who had taken a controlled substance without a prescription identified Adderall as the drug they took."

4. "3 Reasons Why Associates Are Leaving Law Firms in Droves," 11.02.16.
Julie Brush, writing for The Recorder, provides her take on why "scores of associates are leaving the prestige and big money to pursue other ventures."

5. "Legal Departments Are Decreasing Outside Counsel Spend, Study Finds," 11.02.16.
Corporate Counsel reports on new survey results that show "corporate spending on outside counsel decreased by 2 percent…and 80 percent of the law departments said they want to increase their use of alternative fees next year."

6. "Artificial Intelligence Has BigLaw Rethinking Associate Hiring," 11.02.16.
Law360 predicts that "BigLaw will hire fewer young attorneys and give them more sophisticated work as artificial intelligence and automation technology are increasingly used for more mundane legal work." (Subscription required.)

7. "Networking is key in job hunt for new attorneys," 11.02.16.
The Indiana Lawyer writes that networking is still the way that most new lawyers find their jobs.

8. "Microsoft Hits Milestone in Partnership With Diverse Law Firms," 11.01.16.
Corporate Counsel reports that "more than $100 million of Microsoft's legal spend since 2010 has gone to women- and minority-owned law firms."

9. "10 Law Schools Where Starting Salaries Exceed Debt," 11.01.16.
US News & World Report has published a "short list" of "the 10 law schools where the salary-debt ratio was highest among 2014 graduates."

10. "How to Lure Lawyers to Small Town USA? Start There," 11.01.16.
Law.com reports on Nebraska's efforts to replenish its dwindling supply of rural lawyers, starting with high school students.

11. "Law Schools Flagged for Job Data," 11.01.16.
Inside Higher Ed reports on the preliminary findings of the ABA's inaugural audit of law schools' employment data.

12. "Access to Justice and Market Failure," 11.02.16.
A good Slaw column on the justice gap in North America — both what has caused it and how it might be solved.

13. "Diverse Legal Departments Are Within Reach, Says Former GC," 10.31.16.
Corporate Counsel talks to Major, Lindsey & Africa's Paul Williams about corporate legal department diversity.

14. "Georgia Bar Exam Scores Continue to Drop," 10.31.16.
The Daily Report writes that the overall pass rate for the July 2016 Georgia bar exam was down by 2.3 percentage points from last year, marking the second decline in two years.

15. "Indiana Tech Law School To Close, Citing $20 Million in Losses," 10.31.16.
Above the Law reports that Indiana Tech School of Law announced Monday that it would cease operation after June 30, 2017.

    a. "Indiana Tech Law School to Shut Down after Just Four Years," 10.31.16.
    Law.com also reports on the Indiana Tech closure notice, writing that "administrators announced to students and faculty on Monday that the university's board of trustees voted unanimously to shutter the school at the end of the academic year, after struggling to attract students and facing a dismal bar-pass rate by the inaugural class."

    b. "Dean of Failed Indiana Tech Law School: 'The Market Is What It Is'," 10.31.16.
    Karen Sloan, writing for Law.com, spoke with Indiana Tech Law School dean Charles Cercone, about what went wrong.

    c. "Indiana Tech Law School to close next June; losses at $20 million," 10.31.16.
    More on this from the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel.

    d. "Faculty, Students To File Suit Against Law School For Fraud," 11.01.16.
    And Above the Law somewhat breathlessly reports that "several faculty members and many students have retained counsel , and they plan to sue Indiana Tech…in a collective action alleging fraud, civil RICO, and misrepresentation, among other causes of action."

16. "Big Law Gets Smaller," 10.31.16.
The American Lawyer takes a look at the dramatic changes happening in law firm real estate and office use — gone are large corner offices and replacing them are cubicles and shared work spaces for lawyers — with less square footage for everyone.

    a. "Firms Shrink Footprints Amid New Real Estate Realities," 10.31.16.
    Law.com reports that "with rent for prime commercial real estate rising and revenue growth declining, law firms across the country are downsizing their office space."

    b. "DC Law Offices Set National Trends in Design, Price," 10.31.16.
    The National Law Journal reports that informal meeting spaces, glass walls, and smaller offices with optional treadmill desks define the new lawyer office spaces in DC.

    c. "Record Rents Drive Design Changes for San Francisco Firms," 10.31.16.
    The Recorder reports that the high cost of real estate in the Bay Area is causing San Francisco "law firms to rethink their office designs — shrinking or abandoning libraries, single-sizing attorneys' offices, or moving support staff offsite."

    d. "Philadelphia Firms Opt for Less Space, More Flexibility," 10.31.16.
    And from The Legal Intelligencer, the story is the same in Philly — "law offices in Philadelphia are adapting to new real estate realities, shaped by rising rents, transformative technologies and changing work habits."

    e. "Atlanta Firms Plot Moves in Tight Market," 10.31.16.
    And the Daily Report has its take on law firm real estate trends in Atlanta, noting that "in line with national trends, firms in Atlanta continue to reduce the amount of space they are using to lower occupancy costs…making lawyer offices smaller and doing away with libraries."

17. "'If Not Us, Who? If Not Now, When?': Reflections on the Law Society's Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees Working Group Report," 10.31.16.
A good Slaw blog post on the diversity challenges the legal profession is facing in Ontario, and the law society's attempts to deal with them.

18. Movie Bonus Track: I don't usually go off script to make movie recommendations in this space but I am moved here this morning to urge everyone to go see Moonlight when you get a chance. I've just seen it and will see it again. For more on this see "The Striking Humanity of Moonlight," and "'Moonlight': Is This the Year's Best Movie?" (The New York Times)


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