Weekly News Digest for Legal Career Professionals

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

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



November 17, 2017

1. "Big Law Looks On as 'New Law' Gets Closer to Clients," 12.07.17.
The American Lawyer suggests that the deal between UnitedLex and DXC Technology to essentially outsource the corporation's in-house legal department is a Kodak moment for the legal industry, marking a historic break with the past as new law begins to replace old law in very real ways.

    a. "UnitedLex to Support Bulk of DXC Technology's In-House Department," 12.05.17.
    Corporate Counsel reports that United-Lex will essentially take over the bulk of the in-house responsibilities of a large corporation in what is being called "the largest-ever managed services transaction in the legal industry."

2. "Law School Applications on the Rise," 12.07.17.
Law.com reports that "as of Dec. 1, the number of law school applicants was up by 12 percent…compared with this time last year, while the number of applications was up by 15 percent."

    a. "NY Law Schools See Early Rise in Applications," 12.07.17.
    The New York Law Journal reports that New York law schools are experiencing a rise in applications.

3. "Law Schools Say: Please Come, No LSAT Required," 12.07.17.
The Wall Street Journal reports on the rise in the number of law schools that will accept the GRE in lieu of the LSAT — at least 14 law schools by their count.

    a. "Touting Diverse Career Backgrounds, Brooklyn Law Says It Will Accept GRE Scores," 12.06.17.
    The New York Law Journal reports that "with a nod to students from sciences, engineering, medicine and technology backgrounds, Brooklyn Law School announced on Tuesday that it will soon begin accepting Graduate Record Exam scores from applicants to the school."

4. "Banning Laptops in Law School Classes?," 12.06.17.
This Slaw post argues that laptops should probably be banned in law school classrooms in order to enhance learning, and should perhaps be banned in courtrooms as well.

5. "'Many' Sedgwick Lawyers to Join UK Law Firm in New Year," 12.05.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "a team of San Francisco-based Sedgwick lawyers…will be joining the US arm of insurance-focused British firm Clyde & Co on Jan. 1."

6. "Moody's Downgrades Higher Ed's Outlook From 'Stable' to 'Negative'," 12.05.17.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that Moody's cited financial strains and uncertainty over federal policy changes in downgrading its outlook for higher education from stable to negative.

7. "Do Mergers Increase Profitability?," 12.05.17.
The American Lawyer says the answer is yes, but not for the reasons that most people think.

8. "Middle Market Proves Top Prospect for Many Am Law Firms," 12.04.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "a number of law firms have doubled down on their commitment to the middle market…businesses with $50 million to $500 million in annual revenue…clients who want deep relationships with their lawyers more than a big brand-name firm."

9. "Time for graduated licensing for lawyers," 12.04.17.
Canada's Law Times calls for graduated licensing for lawyers in Ontario, calling for three different tiers of licensing that would reflect different levels of experience within the different areas of the law.

10. "Students From UPenn, Other Elite Law Schools Vow to Combat Mental Health Suffering on Campuses," 12.01.17.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that "the student leaders from 13 of the nation's top law schools have pledged to broaden mental health initiatives on their campuses and to fight the stigma of seeking treatment."

11. "With Rise of Startup Culture, Millennials Are Moving In-House," 12.01.17.
Corporate Counsel reports that the fast paced, hands-on work at innovative startups is pulling more lawyers in-house straight out of law school, especially in Silicon Valley.

12. "No, Really. Compliance Is Fun. And It's Good For Business.," 12.01.17.
A Chief Compliance Officer writing for the Daily Report makes the case for compliance being a rich and satisfying career, and an area of expertise that helps support the mission of the organization.

13. "AI Will Transform the Economy, But How Much, and How Soon?,"11.30.17.
The New York Times takes a look at new research to try to understand the likely trajectory, reach and influence of the AI boom and concludes: "It can probably do less right now than you think. But it will eventually do more than you probably think, in more places than you probably think, and will probably evolve faster than powerful technologies have in the past."

14. "The Law Firm Disrupted: A Big Law Leader Sees Tech as a Threat," 11.30.17.
The American Lawyer speaks with Winston & Strawn chairman Thomas Fitzgerald about "the threat technology poses to the future of the Big Law business model, and how to respond to the competition created by alternative legal service providers."

15. "We Need to Talk About Dog-Whistle Diversity," 11.29.17.
A good piece on diversity from Time magazine: "Though the companies are increasing the headcount of multicultural employees, they are missing what researchers call effective diversity management, or the inclusion piece."




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.



November 17, 2017

1. "ABA works to address attorney substance abuse and mental health disorders," December 2017.
From the December issue of the ABA Journal magazine, ABA President Hilarie Bass writes about the recommendations in the new report from the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, "The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change."

2. "GC Compensation Is Up, as the Gender Pay Gap Lives On," 11.30.17.
Corporate Counsel reports on the results of the 2017 In-House Counsel Compensation Survey from MLA, noting that general counsel saw overall pay increase 9.6% over the last year, but that there continues to be a gender pay gap at all levels in legal departments.

3. "Bay Area Hits Diversity Milestone With 100 Asian-American GCs, But More Work Remains," 11.30.17.
The Recorder reports that "Six years ago, there were about 30 Asian-American general counsel in the Bay Area. Now, there are more than 100."

4. "Black Female Lawyers Face the Double Jeopardy of Racial and Gender Stereotyping," 11.29.17.
Vivia Chen, writing for The American Lawyer, reports that "according to a new Harvard Law School study of black alumni, male black alums were more likely to be partners than their female counterparts…and far more likely to have leadership roles."

5. "Valpo Law seeks new way forward amid 'severe financial challenges'," 11.29.17.
The Indiana Lawyer has more on the status of Valparaiso Law School, which has announced that it will not admit students for the fall of 2018, and is considering affiliating with another law school or relocating to another geographic region.

6. "Can the GRE Cure What Ails Law Schools?," 11.29.17.
Law.com reports that what is driving law schools to adopt the GRE as an alternative admissions test is not just more applications, but "a potential to improve not only the gender, racial and ethnic mix of law students, but also broader metrics such as socioeconomic status, educational background and professional experience."

7. "ABA voices opposition to elimination of school loan interest deduction in Tax Cuts and Jobs Act," 11.29.17.
The ABA Journal reports that the director of the ABA's government affairs office has written to the chairs of the House Committee on Ways and Means, and the US Senate Committee on Finance, urging that the student loan interest deductions be kept in place.

8. "After ABA Sanction, John Marshall Dean Says School Is Committed to Improve Bar-Pass Rate," 12.28.17.
The Daily Report reports that the Dean of Atlanta's John Marshall Law School is committed to both improving the school's bar passage rate and preserving the school's historic mission of serving the legal needs of the community.

9. "Taking One for the Team: Companies Foster Collaboration," 11.28.17.
This Wall Street Journal story about the importance of collaboration in the business setting says that "employers in most industries are trying to foster employee collaboration across departments to help them react more rapidly to changes in their markets…[and] teaming employees with diverse backgrounds also tends to produce better ideas and decisions."

10. "Should I Include My GPA on My Resume?," 11.28.17.
Julie Brush, writing for The Recorder, says that "employers who hire legal professionals do not expect a candidate's numerical GPA to be included on the resume."

11. "Bonus Season Begins as Cravath Again Sets the Stage," 11.27.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that Cravath, Swaine & Moore has announced year-end bonuses on a scale with last year, and additional firms are following suit.

    a. "Cravath announces bonuses that repeat last year's amounts; other firms follow suit," 11.28.17.
    More from the ABA Journal on the 2017 law firm associate bonus season.

    b. "Bonuses Come With Billable Hours Catch at Some Law Firms," 11.29.17.
    The New York Law Journal reports that "some firms are setting billable hour requirements for bonuses this year."

12. "The legal profession is diversifying. But not at the top.," 11.271.7.
The Washington Post reports on the latest research from the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, that finds, among other things, "African American attorneys make up a slightly smaller percentage at law firms now — 3 percent — than they did a decade ago."

13. "Bryan Cave, BLP Merger Talks Move Forward With Deloitte," 11.27.17.
The American Lawyer reports that Deloitte has been retained to advise Bryan Cave and Berwin Leighton Paisner on their proposed merger.

14. "At Midsize Firms, It Pays to Give Millennials a Voice," 11.27.17.
The American Lawyer reports that regional and midsize firms are evolving to accommodate the generational shift.

15. "Vast Majority of NY Law Schools Improve Bar Exam Passing Rates," 11.27.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that "graduates of 12 of the state's 15 law schools passed the New York bar exam in July 2017 at higher rates than their classmates did a year earlier." ("Overall, 86% of first-time test takers made the grade, an improvement of 4 percentage points from July 2016.")

16. "What 2017's Trends Can mean for Big Law in 2018," 11.26.17.
The American Lawyer identifies key industry trends it expects to intensify in 2018, among them, mounting gender discrimination lawsuits, ongoing law firm mergers and consolidation, high lateral volume focused on practice group movement, ever more technology, and more non-JDs in C-suite management positions.

17. "The Rise and Fall of a Law-School Empire Fueled by Federal Loans," 11.24.17.
A good, and sobering, article in The Wall Street Journal about the rise and fall of the three InfiLaw System law schools. (Subscription required.)

    a. "Report: For-Profit Looking to Sell 2 Law Schools," 11.29.17.
    And Inside Higher Ed takes note of the WSJ story, noting that "for-profit law school chain InfiLaw is looking to sell its two remaining law programs."

18. "Why Law Firms Should Already Be Embracing the Mobile Workforce," 11.22.17.
The Legal Intelligencer writes that law firms that are reluctant to embrace work-from-home policies need to understand that "the average worker who has the ability to work from home is not only more engaged but is often more productive."

19. "Millennials Keep Atlanta's Largest Law Firms on the Ball," 11.22.17.
The Daily Report reports that law firms in Atlanta "are providing more training and mentoring to advance millennials' lawyering and business development skills [and] are taking millennials' viewpoint into account on everything from office redesign to new legal technologies, and they are creating more flexible workplaces."

20. "Laptops Are Great. But Not During a Lecture or a Meeting.," 11.22.17.
The New York Times reports that "a growing body of evidence shows that over all, college students learn less when they use computers or tablets during lectures," and suggests that laptops hurt productivity in all kinds of workplaces.

21. "alt.legal: Law Schools Can, Should, And Must Teach Innovation," 11.22.17.
Above the Law speaks with Dan Linna, the technology and innovation guru at Michigan State's law school who is the Director of LegalRnD at the Center for Legal Services Innovation there.

22. "How to Get Out of a Job Rut," 11.22.17.
Julie Brush, writing for The Recorder, has career advice for those who have been in a job for a long time.

23. "10 Law Schools Sanctioned by ABA for Lax Admissions," 11.21.17.
The National Law Journal reports that "the American Bar Association has publicly disciplined 10 law schools since August 2016 for enrolling students that it says are unlikely to graduate and pass the bar."

24. "As More Partners Depart, Sedgwick Confirms Plans to Close," 11.21.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "San Francisco-based Sedgwick will be shuttering its operations in early January."

    a. "Sedgwick announces it is closing in January," 11.21.17.
    More on this from the ABA Journal.

    b. "Duane Morris Takes Sedgwick Employment Group, With More to Come," 11.28.17.
    The Legal Intelligencer reports that "nearly a dozen employment lawyers from soon-to-close Sedgwick are joining Duane Morris' San Francisco office, and additional Sedgwick lawyers may soon follow."

25. "UC Hastings Law to Add AI, Startup Tech Courses," 11.21.17.
Legaltech News reports that "UC Hastings College of the Law recently announced its new course offerings…including two new courses centering on technology and its potential applications to the law…'Using Artificial Intelligence in Legal Practice,' and 'Legal Tech Startup Skills'," both of which are part of the school's new innovation hub, LexLab.

26. "Berkeley Law Offering a Realistic Taste of Patent Practice," 11.21.17.
The Recorder reports that two prominent IP litigators are teaching an advanced patent litigation course at Berkeley that will have students drafting and arguing petitions for inter partes review.

27. "GSU Names Hensel as Law School Dean," 11.21.17.
The Daily Report reports that Georgia State University College of Law "has named Wendy Hensel, who has been serving as interim dean for the past four and a half months, as the law school's new leader."

28. "Harvard Faces DOJ Probe Over Affirmative-Action Policies," 11.21.17.
The Wall Street Journal reports that "the Justice Department has opened an investigation into the use of race in Harvard University's admissions practices and has accused the university of failing to cooperate with the probe."

    a. "Justice Department opens Harvard admissions probe, threatens to sue for documents," 11.21.17.
    The ABA Journal also reports on this story: "The Justice Department is investigating whether Harvard's admissions policies violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which bans discrimination in programs receiving federal funding." (An underlying suit contends that Harvard discriminates by limiting the number of Asian-Americans admitted to the university.)

    b. "Justice Dept. Says Harvard Is Not Complying With Probe on Race in Admissions," 11.21.17.
    More on this from The Chronicle of Higher Education.

29. "The Millennial Influence," 11.21.17.
A good post in Slaw on "a new report from The Action Group on Access to Justice…Millennials, Technology and Access to Justice in Ontario was released in October in an effort to help answer questions [like] Why would Ontario Millennials seek justice through technology? Are Ontario Millennials ready for disruptive services in the justice sector?"

30. "University of Illinois at Chicago reveals 'preliminary discussions' to add John Marshall Law School," 11.20.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "the University of Illinois at Chicago revealed on Monday that it has been in 'preliminary discussions' with the John Marshall Law School to explore absorbing it into the university."

    a. "UIC may absorb John Marshall Law School," 11.20.17.
    Crain's Chicago Business broke this story last week.

    b. "Law School May Join U Illinois at Chicago," 11.22.17.
    And more on this from Inside Higher Ed.

31. "Husch Blackwell Layoffs Hit Partner, Counsel Ranks," 11.20.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "Kansas City, Missouri-based Husch Blackwell confirmed Monday that it is letting go of about 40 lawyers, roughly 4 percent of the Am Law 100 firm's head count."

    a. "Husch Blackwell cuts about 40 lawyers through layoffs and retirements," 11.20.17.
    More on this story from the ABA Journal.

32. "Cooley Law School has it 'exactly backward' and students deserve to know the truth, ABA filing says," 11.20.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "the American Bar Association decision that Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School was 'significantly out of compliance' with an accreditation standard regarding admissions was final and not subject to further appeal, the association argued Friday in a response brief to Cooley Law's motion for a temporary restraining order to seal the finding."

33. "3 More Law Schools Will Accept GRE, Not Just LSAT," 11.20.17.
Inside Higher Ed reports that the law schools at St. John's University, Texas A&M University, and Wake Forest University will all begin accepting the GRE for admission purposes.

34. "Orrick Labs to Build Law Firm Technology In-House," 11.20.17.
Legaltech News reports that "Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has launched Orrick Labs, an in-house technology incubator tasked with developing efficiency for the firm."

35. "Legal ops moves to role of in-house quarterback," 11.20.17.
Canadian Lawyer speaks with Richard Steward, BMO Financial Group's deputy general counsel and chief operating officer with their legal, corporate & compliance group, about the coming of age of Legal Ops.

36. "Ropes & Gray's Next Chair Will Be a Woman," 11.20.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "Ropes & Gray has selected corporate partner Julie Jones to become the firm's first-ever chairwoman."

37. "Why In-House Counsel Have Made LGBTQ Inclusion a Priority," 11.20.17.
In the wake of the publication of HRC's 2018 Corporate Equality Index, Corporate Counsel speaks with "several in-house attorneys from top-ranked companies about why and how they've focused on making their workplaces LGBTQ-friendly."

38. "The Decline of the PeopleLaw Sector," 11.19.17.
The latest from Bill Henderson's Legal Evolution blog, wherein he uses some new data to support what he says is an obvious truth: "Our legal system as it pertains to ordinary people is unraveling."

39. "When Unpaid Student Loan Bills Mean You Can No Longer Work," 11.18.17.
The New York Times reports that "in 19 states, government agencies can seize state-issued professional licenses from residents who default on their educational debts…[and] another state suspends driver's licenses." ("Public records requests by The New York Times identified at least 8,700 cases in which licenses were taken away or put at risk of suspension in recent years, although that tally almost certainly understates the true number.")

40. "California Bar Exam Ends 3-Year Slide, As Nearly Half Pass July Sitting," 11.17.17.
The Recorder reports that "the percentage of prospective lawyers who passed California's July bar exam crept upward to 49.6 percent, ending a three-year skid in scores marked last year by the lowest pass rate — 43 percent — in three decades." ("The success rate for graduates of American Bar Association-approved law schools in California rose from 62 percent in July 2016 to 70 percent this year."

    a. "California sees increase in pass rates for July 2017 despite denying requests to lower cut score," 11.20.17.
    And the ABA Journal reports on this story as well.

    b. "UC Hastings Law Dean Calls Bar Exam Failure for Top Schools 'Unconscionable'," 11.20.17.
    The Recorder reports that despite the small overall rise in the pass rate for the July bar exam in California, UC Hastings Dean David Faigman remains critical of the California Supreme Court for not lowering the state's cut score.

41. "UC Berkeley Law Tackles Blockchain with New Interdisciplinary Course," 11.17.17.
Legaltech News reports that "University of California, Berkeley School of Law this spring will offer an interdisciplinary course, 'Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, and the Future of Technology, Business and Law,' that will explore some of the potential uses and concerns around blockchain technology," and will be open to students from the law school, business school, and the undergraduate engineering department.

42. "EDI and Duke Law Partner on 'Advanced eDiscovery' Curriculum," 11.17.17.
Legaltech News reports that Duke Law School and the non-profit Electronic Discovery Institute have announced an 'Advanced eDiscovery' curriculum "aimed at legal and other professionals seeking deep mastery of eDiscovery strategy and best practices in litigation."

43. "Introducing the Law Firm Disrupted," 11.17.17.
Law.com introduces a new weekly column about law firm disruption and the biggest challenges and opportunities facing law firms today — here Roy Strom predicts, among other things, that "Silicon Valley will try to replace lawyers, but that will take a long time if it happens on a meaningful scale."

44. "This Australian AI Aims to Be a 'Law Firm Without Lawyers'," 11.17.17.
Legaltech News reports that an Australian legal tech startup has rolled out a "Law Firm Without Lawyers" service — essentially a chatbot that answers legal questions and provides legal documents at a shopping complex in northern Australia.

45. "After Trump's election, more students consider law school, hoping to make a difference," 11.17.17.
And finally, the Chicago Tribune reports on the rise in the number of LSAT test-takers.



November 17, 2017

1. "Wells Fargo Report Shows Legal Market Stalled in Third Quarter," 11.16.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "the legal market took a turn for the worse in the third quarter of the year, according to a report released Thursday by Wells Fargo & Co."

2. "Valparaiso law school told by board to not admit first-year students in 2018," 11.16.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "the Valparaiso University board of directors has voted to suspend the admission of first-year students at the law school for the fall of 2018."

    a. "Valparaiso Law School Suspends Admissions," 11.16.17.
    More on this from The Wall Street Journal: "This year's incoming class had just 29 full-time students, down from 206 in 2013." (Subscription required.)

    b. "Law School Won't Admit New Students," 11.17.17.
    More on this from Inside Higher Ed: "…the university is going to seek to merge its law school with that of another institution, or to move the law school to another part of the country, where it might attract more students."

    c. "ABA removes accreditation censure for Valparaiso School of Law," 11.14.17.
    The ABA Journal reports that "a public censure given to Valparaiso University School of Law for not being in compliance with admissions standards has been removed by the Council of the ABA's Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar."

3. "Cooley Law seeks TRO to prevent ABA from releasing accreditation findings," 11.16.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School has filed a federal lawsuit against the American Bar Association, alleging that a letter made public about the school's accreditation compliance violates the Higher Education Act and common law due process."

4. "CLOC Survey Shows Legal Departments Still Spending More Externally," 11.16.17.
Corporate Counsel reports that "a survey released this week by the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium…[reveals] that a large percentage of the legal budget still goes to external legal costs."

5. "Calls for Tougher Oversight of For-Profit Law School," 11.15.17.
Inside Higher Ed reports that that all three of the law schools run by InfiLaw have struggled to maintain compliance with ABA admission and bar passage standards for accreditation, and Department of Education gainful employment ratings that evaluate the debt-to-earnings ratios of the schools' graduates.

6. "ABA places Thomas Jefferson School of Law on probation," 11.15.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "Thomas Jefferson School of Law has been placed on probation by the Council of the ABA's Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar."

7. Survey: Law Departments' Legal Spend Stabilizing," 11.15.17.
Corporate Counsel reports that the HBR 2017 Law Department Survey shows that "law departments bulked up staff numbers this past year, while total legal spending began to stabilize."

8. "Lights, Camera, Action at UCLA Law for Documentary Film Clinic," 11.15.17.
The Recorder reports that the law school at UCLA "will be offering free legal assistance to independent filmmakers at its new Documentary Film Legal Clinic, opening spring semester."

9. "Dentons, in Latest Growth Bid, Launches In-House Consulting Service," 11.15.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "Dentons announced on Wednesday the formation of a consulting service…staffed by more than 50 former general counsel…that will help corporate law departments adopt technology and legal project management; select outside counsel; and mentor new general counsel."

10. "Succession Still a Struggle for Law Firms, States New Study," 11.15.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "a new survey by ALM Legal Intelligence finds that a third of law firms don't have succession plans for leadership or client relations."

11. "Why are women lawyers leaving the profession mid-career? ABA initiative hopes to answer the question," 11.15.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "an ABA initiative to study why women are leaving the profession mid-career kicked off last week with a summit at Harvard Law School."

12. "A Deep Dive Into Axiom," 11.15.17.
In his Legal Evolution blog Bill Henderson writes that "Axiom has become the leading exemplar of the NewLaw sector," and explains why that is so by looking at Axiom's founding values and evolving business model.

13. "Wisconsin considers law school loan repayment for lawyers willing to represent rural clients," 11.14.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "Wisconsin lawmakers are considering a bill that would pay up to $20,000 annually toward attorneys' school loans, providing they practice in remotely populated areas of the state and take court-appointed cases."

14. "How to Line Up the Best References Before a Job Search," 11.14.17.
More good advice from Julie Brush, writing for The Recorder, on how best to solicit references before you need them.

15. "For Alternative Providers, Your Biggest Client Is Their Biggest Opportunity,"11.14.17.
The American Lawyer reports that new research from CLOC shows that "the largest companies are the most receptive to using new ways to solve their legal problems."

16. "Northwestern Law School, ROSS Intelligence Move Forward with AI Partnership," 11.14.17.
Legaltech News reports that "Northwestern University's Pritzker School of Law and Ross Intelligence are moving forward with a partnership that will let students use new technology [artificial intelligence] in classrooms and public interest activities."

17. "No Pain, No Gain for Law Firms as Client Demands Get More Extreme," 11.14.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "with demand still slack and competition among top firms fiercer than ever, corporate clients are finding new ways to exploit their advantage."

18. "State Bar Incubator's First Batch of Lawyers Leaves the Nest," 11.14.17.
The Daily Report reviews the State Bar of Georgia's innovative incubator program as the first class of its lawyers moves on — the program is a collaborative effort by the state bar and its five law schools.

19. "Following 'Mansfield Rule' Popularity, Diversity Lab Touts 2 New Hackathons," 10.13.17.
The American Lawyer reports that following the "success of the 2016 Women in Law Hackathon that produced the widely implemented Mansfield Rule, the Diversity Lab, an organization dedicated to closing the gender diversity gap in the legal profession, is poised to announce this week that it will be holding two new hackathon sessions in 2018."

20. "Showing Better 2017 Financial Results Just Got a Little Tougher," 11.13.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "Law firms'…revenue growth decelerated from the first half of the year," according to new data from Citi Private Bank.

21. "Unhappy Hour: Law Firms' Drinking Culture Amplifies Sexual Harassment Problems," 11.13.17.
Patrick Krill, writing for Law.com, argues that "free-flowing booze is certainly a risk-factor for inciting behavior that can range from mildly annoying and inappropriate to wholly outrageous and legally actionable." (Watch for an article on lawyer well-being from Patrick Krill and his colleague Paula Davis-Laack in the February issue of NALP's PD Quarterly.)

22. "New International Enrollments Decline," 11.13.17.
Inside Higher Ed reports that "after years of growth, enrollments of international students at American universities started to flatten in fall 2016, and a downward trend in new enrollments appears to be accelerating this academic year."

23. "Small Law Firms Gather to Get Advice of Their Own," 11.13.17.
The New York Law Journal reports on the proceedings of the 14th annual small law firm symposium of the New York City Bar Association.

24. "LSAT-Takers Trending Up Following 5-Year Plunge. Why?," 11.10.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "LSAT numbers have seen modest single-digit gains in the last two testing years, following a five-year decline in which the number of LSAT test-takers dropped by nearly 41 percent."

25. "'A Wake Up Call' for Companies in Weinstein, Spacey Scandals," 11.10.17.
Corporate Counsel reports that legal fallout from recent high profile sexual harassment and assault allegations is affecting companies and their general counsel across the country.

    a. "The Workplace After Harvey Weinstein: Harassment Scandals Prompts Rapid Changes," 11.10.17.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "sexual misconduct claims in Hollywood and beyond have prompted firms to scrutinize how employees work together." (Subscription required.)

26. "New Rivalries Emerge as Law Firms Race to Innovate," 11.10.17.
The American Lawyer reports that law firms and alternative legal services providers are racing to harness technology to help clients navigate EU privacy regulations, and looks at new technology developments at Orrick, DLA, Hogan, and Axiom, among others.

27. "Why Millennial Lawyers Aren't Flocking to Top Pa. Cities," 11.10.17.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that "young lawyers are less plentiful in Pennsylvania's big cities than in many other metro areas."

28. "Law Firm's Internship Program Offers Military Veterans a Career Stepping Stone," 11.09.17.
The New York Law Journal takes a look at a veteran's internship program at Hughes Hubbard & Reed, now in its second year, aimed at helping veterans transition out of the military and into the private sector.

29. "alt.legal: Diffusing Innovation In The Law, The Amazing Work of Bill Henderson," 11.08.17.
This piece from Thomson Reuters published by Above the Law argues that "Bill has thought more deeply about legal innovation than anyone out there."


November 10, 2017

1. "Percentage of New Women Partners Rising Slowly; Still Low Compared to Men," 11.09.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "a record number of women made partner in 2017, but female attorneys still lag far behind their male counterparts in promotions to partnership, according to a new report by the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance."

2. "Big Law Outpaces Big Biz for LGBTQ Equality," 11.09.17.
The American Lawyer reports that according to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's latest Corporate Equality Index findings, "the country's biggest law firms continue to outpace corporate America in their level of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employees." ("Of the 160 large firms that participated in this year's [CEI]…127 received perfect scores, up from 112 last year.")

3. "Texas law school serving at-risk students achieves 59% bar pass rate," 11.09.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law, which opened in 2014 to help students with lower admission credentials gain law licenses, had a 59.3 percent pass rate for the July 2017 Texas bar exam, its first graduating class."

4. "ABA Summit Examines Why Seasoned Women Are Leaving the Law," 11.08.17.
The American Lawyer reports that the ABA's Long-Term Careers for Women in Law initiative held its initial event at Harvard this week, "where heads of law firms and legal departments attempted to disentangle the riddle as to why seasoned female lawyers are leaving the law."

5. "Most In-House Law Departments Spend 'Inefficiently,' Study Says," 11.08.17.
The American Lawyer reports on new research that suggests "six out of 10 in-house law departments allocate their legal spend inefficiently."

6. "St. John's University School of Law Announces It Will Take GRE Scores," 11.08.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that "St. John's University School of Law announced Wednesday that it will accept Graduate Record Exam scores for its JD program starting with applicants for the Fall 2018 class."

7. "Think Your Law School Is 'Innovative?' This Professor Has a Ranking System," 11.07.17.
Legaltech News reports that Michigan State University has developed a ranking system for innovative law schools.

    a. "Michigan State institute tracks law school innovation," 11.07.17.
    The ABA Journal has more on the Law School Innovation Index that was launched by Michigan State University last week.

8. "Lawmakers ask Dept. of Ed to extend student loan discharge for Charlotte School of Law students," 11.07.17.
The ABA Journal reports that members of Congress from North Carolina have written to US Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to ask that students enrolled in Charlotte School of Law between December 2016 and August 2017 have their federal student loans discharged under a provision that requires exceptional circumstances.

9. "Should You Ask for a Raise After an Interim Title Bump?," 11.07.17.
Good advice as always from Julie Brush, writing for The Recorder, on the question of whether an interim promotion (in this case Interim GC) merits a request for more money.

10. "Bar Report Details Lag in Pay and Partnerships for Women, Minorities," 11.06.17.
The New York Law Journal reports on the release of the New York City Bar Association's latest diversity benchmarking report, which shows "frustratingly slow" progress for women and minority lawyers when it comes to partnership and top earnings.

11. "Where the Millennials Are: Tracking the Generations in Big Law," 11.06.17.
The American Lawyer reports that data collected by ALM Intelligence show that millennials now outnumber lawyers from GenX and baby boomers in Big Law.

    a. "This generational group is the largest in BigLaw," 11.08.17.
    More on the mounting wave of millennials in BigLaw from the ABA Journal.

12. "LSAT Test-Takers Continue To Surge, With 10.7% Increase In Sept/Oct Following June's 19.8%," 11.06.17.
The TaxProf Blog reports that the number of LSAT test-takers has risen over both of the last two test administrations in this cycle, the largest increase since 2009-2010.

13. "PPP Growth at US Top 10 Outpaces UK Rivals by 50 Percent Over 5 Years as Earnings Gap Widens," 11.06.17.
The American Lawyer reports that new research shows "partner profits at the top 10 US firms growing by roughly 50 percent more than their equivalent UK rivals over the last five years."

14. "Black on Bay Street: Hadiya Roderique had it all. But still could not fit in," 11.04.17.
A former BigLaw associate in Canada, writing for The Globe and Mail, tells her story of not fitting in as a person of colour on Bay Street.

15. "Suffolk Law Launches 'Legal Innovation & Technology' Program for Legal Professionals," 11.03.17.
Legaltech News reports that "Suffolk University Law School this week announced the launch of an online certificate program in 'Legal Innovation and Technology' designed to help legal professionals think more broadly about potential applications of technology in law practice."

16. "NY Employers Take Note: Paid Family Leave Benefits Law Becomes Effective Jan. 1st," 11.03.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that on January 1, 2018, the New York Paid Family Leave Benefits Law takes effect, imposing new or unfamiliar obligations on New York employers.

17. "Legal Industry Loses 1,100 Jobs in October," 11.03.17.
The American Lawyer reports that the latest USBLS stats show that "the legal services sector dropped 1,100 jobs in October as the overall US economy posted jobs gains." ("Generally the monthly reports since June 2013 have shown between 1.12 million people and 1.13 million people employed in the legal industry — a range that's about 50,000 fewer jobs than the pre-recession high in 2007.")

18. "GRE or LSAT? Council's Latest Move Could Nix Tests Altogether," 11.03.17.
Law.com reports that at its meeting last weekend, the Council of the ABA's Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has accepted a recommendation to do away with the standard that requires a standardized admissions test.

    a. "ABA Legal Ed council revisits admissions test requirement, tables bar exam standard," 11.06.17.
    More on the ABA Council meeting outcomes from last week from the ABA Journal.

    b. "ABA Backs Testing Choices on Law Admissions," 11.07.17.
    And even more on this from Inside Higher Ed.




November 3, 2017

1. "The T-Shaped Lawyer: Successful Skills and Abilities of Current and Future Lawyers," 11.03.17.
A great post on Slaw about T-shaped lawyers: "To have a successful career in the legal field, new lawyers need to develop new skills and mindsets."

2. "New Index Measures Law Schools on Innovation and Technology Programs,"11.02.17.
Law Sites reports that the director of The Center for Legal Services Innovation at Michigan State University College of Law has launched a new Law School Innovation Index that aims to measure how well law schools are preparing students to deliver legal services in the 21st century.

3. "It's Lonely at the Top for Big Law's Few Black Leaders," 11.02.17.
Vivia Chen, writing for The American Lawyer, highlights the fact that since 1991, there have been just seven black managing partners or chairs; she asks "How did these men (no women, of course) beat the odds? And what advice do they have for lawyers of color?"

4. "Racial Gaps in Belief That College is Necessary," 11.02.17.
Inside Higher Ed reports on new polling data from the Public Policy Institute of California that reveals racial gaps in how people view the importance of higher education: "Two-thirds (67 percent) of Latinos said that college today is necessary. A little more than half of Asian Americans (54 percent) and African Americans (51 percent) agreed. Among white people the figure was only 35 percent.")

5. "Newer lawyers are needed on Legal Ed council, says Young Lawyers Division recommendation," 11.01.17.
The ABA Journal reports that the ABA Young Lawyers Division has recommended that the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar add two young attorneys who are not employed in legal education. The Council will consider this recommendation during its meeting today.

6. "Lack of Gender Diverse Partnership: Is It the Woman or the Firm?," 11.01.17.
ALM intelligence analysts, writing for The American Lawyer, crunch the data and suggest three reasons why gender diverse partnership fails.

7. "Tougher Bar Pass Standard for Law Schools on Agenda at ABA Meeting," 11.01.17.
Law.com reports that the ABA's Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar will again take up "a controversial proposal to toughen law school accreditation standards regarding bar exam pass rates."

8. "The Sometimes Murky Path to Partnership," 11.01.17.
The American Lawyer reports on the results of its New Partner Survey, noting that "an overwhelming 88 percent of new partners said their firms adequately prepared them for the partnership."

9. "Ex-MoFo Chairman Wetmore to Join Major, Lindsey & Africa," 11.01.17.
The Recorder reports that Keith Wetmore, former chairman and current chairman emeritus of Morrison & Foerster, will join MLA's San Francisco office as a managing director. (Wetmore led MoFo for twelve years, and was one of the first openly gay men to lead a large law firm — some of you may remember that he spoke at the NALP Annual Education Conference in Phoenix in 2001.)

10. "Study Shows Despite Plethora of Policies, Big Law Still Struggles With Gender Diversity," 10.31.17.
The American Lawyer reports that new research from McKinsey & Co. and Thomson Reuters shows that law firms' gender diversity initiatives are "not necessarily translating into transformative changes within the industry."

    a. "Survey chronicles female lawyers' exodus from equity partnership, belief they can't have it all," 11.01.17.
    More on the new study by McKinsey and Thomson Reuters from the ABA Journal: "law firms are taking steps to improve gender equality, but it's not translating to a better gender balance past the associate level."

11. "ETS Validity Study on GRE for Law Schools Admissions," 10.31.17.
Inside Higher Ed reports that "the Educational Testing Service is today releasing a study that it says shows that the Graduate Record Examination, not just the traditionally required Law School Admission Test, has validity for law school admissions."

12. "Foley & Lardner, Gardere Mull Potential Merger," 10.31.17.
The American Lawyer reports that Foley & Lardner and Gardere Wynne Sewell have confirmed that the two firms are talking about a merger.

13. "Artificial Intelligence Beats Big Law Partners in Legal Matchup," 10.31.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "lawyers from leading international law firms…have been beaten in an accuracy contest by artificial intelligence software developed by students."

14. "Which law schools have the best professors and the best classroom experience? New rankings released," 10.31.17.
The ABA Journal reports on the Princeton Review's 2018 annual law school rankings.

15. "Ontario's Law Society: Orwell's Big Brother or Fuller's Rex?," 10.31.17.
A good column from Slaw about whether or not a diversity and inclusion obligation can be imposed on individual lawyers by the bar — it is a thoughtful piece on the difference between individual and institutional roles and responsibilities when it comes to diversifying the profession — worth a read even for those of us not steeped in this particular debate in Ontario. ("Imagine that individual lawyers did have a duty to promote equality, inclusion, and diversity. What would that look like…? Far more useful would be requiring law firms, organizations, corporations, and law schools to have that positive obligation to promote equality, diversity, and inclusion.")

16. "Florida Coastal, which has 47.7% bar pass rate, out of compliance with ABA accreditation standards," 10.30.17.
The ABA Journal reports that the ABA has notified Florida Coastal School of Law that it is "significantly" out of compliance with a variety of ABA standards.

17. "For Love of Client, GCs Say Law Firms Need to Be More Proactive," 10.30.17.
The American Lawyer speaks with several law department leaders about the advice they have for outside counsel: "the overwhelming theme was a desire for their outside firms to be more proactive — on everything from pitching for work and offering innovative solutions to simply asking their clients how the firms could be more effective."

18. "Alternative fee arrangements have plateaued, survey author says," 10.30.17.
The ABA Journal reports on the results of the 2017 Litigation Trends Annual Survey.

19. "No, You Really Cannot Ask That and Other Implications of New Laws Impacting Employers," 10.30.17.
Two labor and employment lawyers from Sidley, writing for The Recorder, provide guidance on implementing new state employment laws in California that prohibit employers from asking about criminal records or doing background checks before extending a conditional offer, prohibit employers from asking about salary history, and expand coverage of the California Family Rights Act.

20. "#MillennialGCs: To Be Young and In-House," 10.30.17.
Corporate Counsel speaks with young lawyers who are working in-house: "according to a 2017 survey from the Association of Corporate Counsel, 30 percent of in-house lawyers who are millennials…did not have previous experience at a law firm."

21. "Georgia Bar Exam Pass Rate Is Finally on the Rise," 10.30.17.
The Daily Report brings news that "for the first time in five years, the pass rate for the Georgia bar exam has gone up." (The first-time pass rate rose by 4 percent.)

22. "Aligning Partner Compensation to Actual Contribution," 10.30.17.
A good piece on partner comp from ALM: "In a legal market increasingly characterized by aggressive competition between law firms for the most commercially-successful partners, getting partner compensation right is profoundly important and arguably the highest responsibility of any firm's leadership."

23. "'You're Going to Fail' — and Other Great Advice for Rookie Lawyers," 10.30.17.
Senior members of the Georgia Bar share advice with junior lawyers in the Daily Report.

24. "To Poach, or Not To Poach, That is the Question," 10.30.17.
Julie Brush, writing for The Recorder, offers advice on the delicate topic of poaching a valued employee from a former employer: "…such a move can jeopardize relationships and taint your reputation."

25. "For-Profit Law Schools Inspired John Grisham's Latest Book. Here's Why.," 10.27.17.
The National Law Journal reports that John Grisham's new book, The Rooster Bar, takes a jab at for-profit law schools.

    a. "For-profit law schools set scene in John Grisham's new novel," 10.26.17.
    More on the new Grisham novel from the ABA Journal, noting that the Paul Campos Atlantic article "The Law-School Scam" was the inspiration for the book.

26. "Possibilities and Frustrations of the 'On Demand' Attorney," 10.27.17.
Legaltech News takes a look at Susskind's predictions about document automation and connectivity, and the rise of the "on-demand lawyer," and how that reality is playing out in the marketplace.

    a. "Richard Susskind on Document Automation and Connectivity," 10.27.17.
    And here is the related Susskind excerpt from Tomorrow's Lawyers.

27. "A Student Loan Nightmare: The Teacher in the Wrong Payment Plan," 10.27.17.
As the first student loans eligible for public service loan forgiveness become ripe for actual forgiveness (a 2007 federal program for public servants promises to forgive student loan debt after 10 years of qualified on-time payments), The New York Times publishes this cautionary tale. (Expect to see more stories like this in the coming months and years.)

28. "Conversations with Newsmakers: Greg Nevins on LGBT Workplace Fairness," 10.27.17.
The National Law Journal speaks with Greg Nevins, the workplace fairness program strategist at Lambda Legal, about how the conversation about sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace has shifted in recent years, and noting that "an argument that would protect gay workers under existing federal law is gaining momentum."

29. "Law Firms Becoming Tech-Savvy, Efficient Businesses? Thank Their Clients," 10.27.17.
Legaltech News reports from Thomson Reuters' 16th Annual Law Firm COO & CFO Forum, where law firms discussed the extent to which the industry's recent evolution is directed and shaped by client business.

30. "Yes, You Should Think About Your Post-Law Career," 10.27.17.
Vivia Chen, ALM's Careerist, speaks with Paul Irving, former managing partner and co-chair of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, who left the practice of law and reinvented himself — the interview about his post-law career is published in The American Lawyer.

31. "Artificial Intelligence: An Historic Perspective," 10.24.17.
A good piece on emerging trends in AI legal tech, with Dean Sonderegger from Wolters Kluwer writing here for Above the Law.




October 27, 2017

1. "Bar passage and admissions tests among topics to be revisited by ABA Legal Ed Council," 10.26.17.
The ABA Journal reports that at its meeting next week, the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar will again take up the bar passage requirements for ABA-accredited law schools, as well as revisiting the standard that currently governs the LSAT requirement for law school admission.

2. "Trusting Your Legal Interns Has Never Been More Important," 10.26.17.
An in-house lawyer, writing for Above the Law, argues that "whether working in-house, Biglaw, or as a solo practitioner, we have a duty to train the next generation of legal talent whenever we have the opportunity to do so."

3. "Law Schools Say Tuition Discounts Not Sustainable: Survey," 10.26.17.
Law.com reports that survey results from a study conducted by the National Association of College and University Business Officers and the AccessLex Institute show that "most law schools say their tuition discount practices are not sustainable long term."

4. "Your Law Firm's True Profitability Revealed," 10.26.17.
The American Lawyer provides an interactive chart with financial data for the world's 100-largest law firms by revenue that allows for the calculation of a firm's profit margin if partner "salaries" were taken into account.

5. "A Law School Class on How Innovation Diffuses in the Legal Industry," 10.25.17.
Bill Henderson, writing for his blog Legal Evolution, shares the syllabus and objectives behind a new course he is teaching on how innovation diffuses in the legal industry.

6. "Law Departments Are Adding Lawyers, Legal Ops While Cutting Budgets," 10.25.17.
Corporate Counsel reports on new Thomson Reuters research on corporate legal departments that shows that in order to control costs "more legal departments are taking an operationally focused approach to optimize processes, rather than relying solely on blanket approaches such as fixed fees or matter budgets."

7. "The Rise of the Legal Engineer," 10.25.17.
Legaltech News takes a look at the increasingly important role of the legal engineer — a relatively new group of professionals who "could be one of the key groups of people that make or break a firm in the near future." (The piece says that a legal engineer is "a facilitator who can identify new opportunities to improve existing ways of working and deliver innovative new client solutions, marrying legal knowledge with technological expertise.")

8. "These Millennial Legal Tech Entrepreneurs Are Changing Big Law," 10.25.17.
And Legaltech News reports that "Millennial legal professionals are finding entrepreneurial opportunities in technology, and using it to change Big Law." This piece profiles some of these new practitioners.

9. "Northwestern Law and Kellogg B-School to Launch Bay Area Tech Program," 10.25.17.
Legaltech News reports that Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law is partnering with the university's Kellogg School of Management to give JD students an opportunity to work as externs at Silicon Valley companies and take courses in law and business.

10. "Nearly 70 Percent of Test Takers Pass New York State Bar Exam," 10.24.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that "68 percent of test takers passed the New York State Bar exam, an increase of 4 percent from last year."

    a. "New York State Bar exam sees slight pass rate increase for July 2017," 10.25.17.
    More on this from the ABA Journal.

11. "Law Student Debts Contribute to Gender Disparity, Study Says," 10.24.17.
The Eyeopener reports that "a new study from Ryerson University and the University of Pennsylvania found that student debt from law school can negatively influence career choices and partner prospects for female lawyers."

12. "The legal profession's 'status-health paradox': BigLaw success brings more depression, study says," 10.24.17.
The ABA Journal reports that according to a new study from the University of Toronto, "People with higher income typically have better mental health. But the opposite is true for lawyers in the United States and Canada."

    a. "High-pressure law jobs linked to depression," 10.26.17.
    More on this study from the Canadian Lawyer: "The more lawyers get paid, the more likely they are to experience depression, dissatisfaction with their career choice and work-life balance conflict."

13. "Healthy Job Market Predicted for New College Grads," 10.24.17.
Inside Higher Ed reports that "hiring of new college graduates is expected to increase by 19 percent this year," according to new research from Michigan State University.

14. "Parsing the Data as Susskind Warns of 'The End of Leverage'," 10.24.17.
The American Lawyer takes a look at what is happening with law firm leverage in light of Susskind's prediction that high leverage will disappear in law firms as clients drive cost reduction.

    a. "Susskind on The Future for Law Firms and Leverage," 10.24.17.
    And Law.com excerpts Susskind on the future of law firms, including the demise of the leverage model.

15. "Millennials Won't Destroy Your Law Firm. Can They Save It?," 10.23.17.
The American Lawyer writes that for law firms that get it right, "the changes [that millennials] embrace may be key to success in a new era for legal services."

16. "New Online Undergrad Program Aims to Boost Legal Profession's Diversity Pipeline," 10.23.17.
Law.com reports that "the ABA and Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law are jointly launching an online program to introduce minority undergrads to legal education."

    a. "Pipeline program for underrepresented students to enter legal ed launched by ABA, IU McKinney Law," 10.23.17.
    More on this from the ABA Journal.

17. "The Future Of The Legal Profession," 10.20.17.
Olga Mack shares one of her Venn diagram doodlegraphics via Above the Law,

18. "Hundreds of NYC-Area Lawyers Volunteering to Assist Puerto Rico," 10.20.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that "the New York City office of LatinoJustice is sending lawyers on a fact-finding mission to Puerto Rico next week in advance of a larger effort to dispatch hundreds of lawyers to help residents file insurance claims, seek disaster assistance and get compensated for lost wages following Hurricane Maria."

19. "New Law Prohibits Employers From Asking Applicants About Salary History," 10.19.17.
The Recorder reports that "beginning Jan. 1, 2018, California employers will no longer be able to ask job applicants about their salary history."

20. "California Law Deans React to Lack of Movement on Passing Bar Exam Score," 10.19.17.
The Recorder gathers reactions from the California law school deans to the California Supreme Court announcement last week that it would not change the passing score on the state's bar exam.



October 20, 2017

1. "California Bar Exam to Remain One of Nation's Most Difficult, Court Rules," 10.19.17.
The Wall Street Journal reports that "the California Supreme Court said in a letter Wednesday that it was 'not persuaded' by recommendations that the passing score of the exam be lowered."

    a. "California Supreme Court Won't Lower Bar Exam Passing Score," 10.18.17.
    The Recorder reports that "the [California] Supreme Court on Wednesday announced it will not lower the passing score for the state's bar exam."

    b. "Cut score for California state bar exam to stay at 1440 — for now," 10.18.17.
    And more on this from the ABA Journal.

2. "Above the Law's David Lat taking a break from 'the trenches' of daily journalism," 10.19.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "David Lat is stepping down as managing editor of Above the Law." Lat will take a parental leave, and then will return as an editor-at-large, with Elie Mystal taking over as executive editor of the blog.

3. "On the LSUC Dialog on Licensing Pt 2: Where Is Access to Justice?," 10.19.17.
More on the Ontario lawyer licensing question from Slaw, here arguing that the process for reevaluating the licensing regime has not taken proper recognition of access to justice issues.

4. "With BLP Merger, Bryan Cave Would Get Bigger. But Will It Get Better?," 10.18.17.
The American Lawyer dissects Bryan Cave's proposed merger with UK-based Berwin Leighton Paisner.

    a. "Bryan Cave, Big British Firm BLP Confirm Merger Talks," 10.16.17.
    The American Lawyer reports that a potential merger between Berwin Leighton Paiser and Bryan Cave was acknowledged in a joint statement from the firms this week.

5. "Revisiting the Case for Project Management in Legal Practice," 10.18.17.
A good column from Slaw on why project management is a good fit for legal practice and how it fits into legal information work.

6. "Columbia Law, Embracing GRE for Fall 2018, Is Latest School to Join Wave," 10.17.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that "Columbia Law School will join six other law schools, including Harvard and Georgetown, in accepting the Graduate Record Exam for admission as an alternative to the LSAT."

7. "Taking on the World: The Big Four in the Global Legal Market," 10.18.17.
A good piece by David Wilkins and friends for The American Lawyer on the threat that the Big Four accounting firms pose for Big Law.

8. "Big Law's Misguided Fascination With Growth," 10.18.17.
The American Lawyer debunks the myth that growth is always good for law firms.

9. "Student lawsuits against Charlotte School of Law consolidated," 10.17.17.
The ABA Journal reports that a federal district court has consolidated three class actions files against Charlotte School of Law, "all of which allege that the for-profit law school misrepresented its ABA-accreditation status and bar passage rates."

10. "More Mergers — and Merger Whispers — Keep Firms on Their Toes," 10.17.17.
The American Lawyer on the merger mania gripping law firms, and noting that "the number of firms engaged in undisclosed negotiations is also on the rise."

11. "Study of black Harvard law grads finds many leave private practice; 66% would recommend legal career," 10.17.17.
The ABA Journal reports on the results of a new study of black Harvard Law alums conducted by David Wilkins. (You can read a copy of the report here.)

12. "ISO African-Americans to study law: University of Baltimore recruits top talent from historically black colleges," 10.17.17.
The Baltimore Sun reports on efforts by the University of Baltimore's law school to recruit African-American undergraduates from Maryland's four historically black colleges and universities.

13. "Akin Gump Hires Former Prudential Exec for New Diversity Position," 10.17.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has hired its first chief officer for diversity and inclusion, bringing on former Prudential Financial Inc. vice president and chief diversity officer Michele Meyer-Shipp."

14. "Q&A: USC's Hadfield on Law Schools, Client Needs, Legaltech," 10.17.17.
Law.com interviews USC law prof Gillian Hadfield, an outspoken critic of the legal profession and legal education.

15. "The Right Way to Decline a Job Offer," 10.17.17.
Julie Brush, the Lawyer Whisperer, writing for The Recorder, offers advice on how to decline a job offer without burning bridges.

16. "Outside Counsel Diversity Initiatives Force Companies to Confront Norms," 10.17.17.
The National Law Journal reports that "companies around the country ever more are facing questions about improving the biases through which the promotion and hiring of white males can happen at a faster clip than women and minority counterparts."

17. "PwC: Law Firms Are Falling Behind on Technology, Client Expectations," 10.16.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "a new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers says that Big Law firms are not keeping pace with cutting edge technologies and growing client expectations."

18. "AI Goes To Law School," 10.16.17.
Legaltech News reports that "as AI's presence increases, law schools are beginning to consider what their relationship to such technologies could and should look like."

19. "Midsize Firms Offer Flexibility to International Clients," 10.16.17.
The Legal Intelligencer writes that regional midsize firms can offer international clients efficiency and personal connections.

20. "Columbia Law School Launches $300 Million Fundraising Campaign," 10.16.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that Columbia Law School is kicking off an "ambitious" $300 million fundraising campaign that it "hopes will draw the best students from around the world, attract the highest-caliber faculty and improve its law library."

21. "Richard Susskind On In-House Lawyers Sharing Risks Through Fee Arrangements," 10.16.17.
Corporate Counsel excerpts Richard Susskind on risk-sharing between law firms and legal departments, and gathers lawyer reactions.

    a. "Here's What Law Students Think of Susskind's Ideas on the Profession's Future," 10.17.17.
    Leigh Jones, writing for Law.com, gathers law student reactions to Susskind's advice for finding the right job.

    b. "Susskind's Job Interview Advice for Law Students Misses Mark, Career Pros Say," 10.18.17.
    And Law.com gathers reactions of law school career services professionals to Susskind's advice that students seeking jobs with law firms ask pointed questions about the firm.

22. "After Hurricane Maria, some University of Puerto Rico law students come to mainland schools," 10.13.17.
The ABA Journal reports that in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, about 40 students from law schools in Puerto Rico will be taking courses at five mainland law schools as visiting students.

23. "Firm Culture, Flexibility Key in Retaining Millennial Attorneys," 10.13.17.
The American Lawyer reports on a session led by Larry Richard at last week's Thomson Reuters 22nd Annual Law Firm Leaders Forum — Richard identified "four changes firms can make to better train the youngest generation of attorneys."

24. "How To Sell Yourself Without Feeling Sleazy," 10.13.17.
More from Julie Brush in The Recorder with advice for lawyers on how to effectively "sell" themselves to potential clients.

25. "Texas law firms are catching a case of merger fever," 10.12.17.
The Houston Chronicle reports that "Texas-based corporate law firms…are on pace in 2017 to record the most corporate law firm mergers in the state's history."





October 13, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



October 6, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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