Weekly News Digest for Legal Career Professionals

Each week NALP provides a summary of news articles of interest to legal career professionals.

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.



June 7, 2024


    Top Stories

  1. "State AGs Warn Bar That Its Law School DEI Rules Are Illegal," 06.05.24.
    Bloomberg Law reports, "More than 20 Republican state attorneys general warned the American Bar Association of potential discrimination violations over diversity requirements in the Bar's law school accreditation system in a letter."

  2. "Law Firms Start Training Summer Associates on Using Generative AI," 06.04.24.
    "K&L Gates, Dechert, and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe have incorporated training on the technology for this year's class of summer associates, teaching them how to use research and chatbot tools now being used by the firms. The programs offer a window into what some firms believe artificial intelligence will mean for those now entering the profession," reports Bloomberg Law.


  3. Law Schools/Higher Education

  4. "College students with these majors crush the LSAT. End of logic games may change that," 06.04.24.
    "Law students with a background in science, tech, engineering and math tend to have strong Law School Admission Test scores and are in short supply compared with the thousands of applicants coming out of humanities and social science majors…. But STEM majors looking to become attorneys could lose some of their competitive edge with the August removal of the 'logic games' portion of the LSAT," reports Reuters.

  5. "NCBE Releases Results of NextGen's First Pilot Test," 06.03.24.
    The National Conference of Bar Examiners has released results from the first pilot test of the NextGen bar exam, in which "participants answered drafts of new types of questions being developed for the NextGen exam, and then provided feedback on the questions and on their overall experience taking the pilot test."

  6. "Report: Toronto Law Students Did Not Breach School's Code of Conduct With Pro-Palestinian Letter," 05.31.24.
    Law.com International reports, "Toronto law school students who wrote an 'aggressive' and 'harsh' letter to their deans calling on the school to be more actively pro-Palestinian after the Hamas attacks last October did not breach their school's non-academic code of conduct, an external review has found."

  7. "Meet Jennifer Rosato Perea, who'll lead ABA accreditation and legal ed as managing director," 05.29.24.
    ABA Journal introduces the managing director for accreditation and legal education at the ABA. (Subscription required.)

  8. "U.S. News & World Report's law school rankings 'irrelevant' to applicants, study finds," 05.28.24.
    Reuters reports on recent research that "found little to no correlation between ranking changes and the behavior of applicants. That is, schools that jumped in the rankings didn't generally bring in stronger classes, and those that fell didn't necessarily enroll weaker ones."

    1. "Frye & Ryan: Entering Law Students Do Not Rely On The U.S. News Rankings In Choosing A Law School," 05.28.24.
      TaxProf Blog has a link to the research paper.

    2. "Once A Standard, US News Rankings Now 'Entirely Irrelevant,'" 05.29.24.
      Law360 reports, "Once 'the bellwether of the legal academy,' the annual law school rankings published by U.S. News & World Report don't matter to today's prospective law students, a pair of law professors say in a new study."

    3. "U.S. News Law School Rankings Aren't Useful Anymore to Applicants," 06.05.24.
      In his column at Bloomberg Law, David Lat shares his observations on the new study.

  9. "'Raising Up' Student Parents," 05.28.24.
    Inside Higher Ed examines a new docuseries on "the lives of student parents and the supports they need to thrive in college."


  10. Law Firms

  11. "Amid Law Firm Merger Frenzy, Former Leaders of Wilmer and Hale Offer Insights," 06.06.24.
    At The National Law Journal, leaders from WilmerHale share their experiences with merging two firms and discuss their thoughts on why their merger was successful.

  12. "Lateral Leaps Are Far From Solo Endeavors — Even Among Young Lawyers," 06.06.24.
    Three young lawyers, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, reflect on their experience of making a lateral move as a group from a mid-size firm to a Big Law firm.

  13. "For Law Firm Succession Planning, GCs Take Matters Into Their Own Hands," 06.04.24.
    The American Lawyer reports, "The question of succession planning within law firms doesn't haunt corporate counsel when they look to select their outside counsel. Instead of fearing an unexpected departure or retirement and relying on an attorney's own succession plan, they cultivate their own lines of succession for their outside lawyers, ensuring there is a backup in place to take care of the company's work."

  14. "4 Ways Young Attys Can Balance Pro Bono And Billable Hours," 05.29.24.
    Law360 shares insights from experts on "how lawyers can commit to meaningful volunteer work while keeping up with their regular responsibilities." (Subscription required.)

  15. "Largest Law Firms Increase Partner Pay Spread, as Comp Models Hit 'Inflection Point,'" 05.28.24.
    The American Lawyer reports that the pay ratio at Am Law 100 firms went up in 2023, while "the average spread among Second Hundred firms fell a bit, as that segment arguably focused on building leverage and increasing lawyer head count last year."

    1. "It's Not Just the Spread. Big Law Is Making More 'Business-Driven' Pay Choices," 06.03.24.
      "Big Law isn't just increasing the spread between its highest- and lowest-paid partners — it's evolving on compensation in several ways, according to observers and recent industry analysis. Those include increasing bonus pools, redrawing lines between equity and nonequity partners and expanding credits to go beyond origination," according to The American Lawyer.

  16. "Is There a Maximum Number in This Salary Race?" 05.27.24.
    This Law.com International editorial reports that "In the last five years junior lawyer salaries have increased by about 50%," and suggests, "Surely this process cannot continue forever. At some point it will become too costly to pay such numbers."

  17. "Dear Dan: Blunt Advice from Top Law Firms About Legal Recruiters — Part One," 05.24.24.
    Recruiter Dan Binstock, writing for The American Lawyer, shares the inside scoop on working with third-party recruiters. This first installment is called "Yes, Your Choice of Recruiter Can Directly Help or Hurt You."

    1. "Dear Dan: Blunt Advice From Top Law Firms About Legal Recruiters — Part Two," 05.31.24.
      The second installment "provides detailed (but anonymous) quotes and advice on selecting the right legal recruiter."

  18. "Soaring Salaries Force Tough Decisions by Big Law Leaders," 05.23.24.
    Bloomberg Law's Big Law Business column explores "the management headache associated with tweaking compensation policies."

  19. "Mid-Law Heads Focus On Fundamentals Amid BigLaw Raiding," 05.23.24.
    Law360 reports, "With several Mid-Law firms losing large groups of attorneys to BigLaw in 2024, firm leaders say they are focused on growth, maintaining their culture and implementing their strategic plans, rather than fixating on BigLaw's potential efforts to recruit their talent." (Subscription required.)

  20. "Is The Sky The Limit For BigLaw Billing Rates?" 05.21.24.
    "Data continues to pile up demonstrating large law firms' success in raising their billing rates at a historic pace while also continuing to command ever-larger portions of in-house legal departments' spending, which seems to point to a seemingly unfettered ability to raise rates," according to Law360. (Subscription required.)


  21. Employment Market/Return to Office

  22. "The Law Firm Disrupted: With an Office Status Quo Established, Full Steam Ahead on Real Estate Decisions," 06.06.24.
    Law.com's Law Firm Disrupted column looks at return-to-office policies and amenities and concludes, "even if firms may overestimate the value of an extravagant office, top firms locked in a talent fight that also want bodies on site can't sit on the sidelines."

  23. "'Recruitment and retention crisis' leading to potential strike for New Brunswick Crown prosecutors," 06.05.24.
    Canadian Lawyer reports, "The New Brunswick Crown Prosecutors Association (NBCPA) has the greenlight from its membership to strike if upcoming talks with the province fail to produce a resolution to their concerns about retention, recruitment, and the resulting overwhelming workload."

  24. "Group urges US judiciary to halt conservative judges' clerk boycotts," 06.05.24.
    Reuters reports, "A government watchdog group on Wednesday urged the U.S. judiciary to rein in the recurring practice of conservative judges boycotting the hiring of law clerks from specific schools over protests and disruptions on their campuses."

  25. "Why So Many GCs Are Jumping To Law Firm Partnerships," 05.31.24.
    "What started as a trickle of general counsel retiring and then finishing out their careers at law firms has expanded into a growing number of senior in-house counsel leaving their companies for private practice. And not only in part-time, of counsel positions, but often as full partners," according to Law360. (Subscription required.)

  26. "Inside Track: Career Path for Aspiring GCs Becoming More Daunting," 05.31.24.
    Law.com reports on how the job of general counsel has changed and what that means for aspiring GCs, noting, "few lawyers encompass the broad range of skills needed to thrive in such a role — a reality that is causing companies to hire battle-tested lawyers who already were GCs elsewhere over up-and-comers who are overflowing with promise but ultimately unproven."

  27. "Quality Development Programs Are Key to Legal Staff Retention," 05.30.24.
    Corporate Counsel reports, "Offering high quality development programs is key to developing and retaining lawyers and legal staff."

  28. "How Do We Know Who 'Wins' the War for Talent?" 05.30.24.
    The American Lawyer examines "what 'success' in the lateral market means and whether that definition can vary from firm to firm or even partner to partner."

  29. "Fully Human Lawyer: The Secret Thoughts of Lateral Partner Hires," 05.30.24.
    Executive coach Lauren Krasnow, writing for The American Lawyer, discusses the delicate balance of communication (or non-communication) that happens in the early stages after a lateral hire, noting, "While firms often believe they're doing everything they can to ensure their lateral partners' success, I observe that the two to three years in which it takes most firms to write off new laterals as 'underperforming' is the same two to three years in which laterals fester with concerns that they are (rationally) afraid to voice."

  30. "Hiring New Grads During Israel-Hamas War Risks Pitfalls for GCs," 05.28.24.
    A lawyer, writing for Bloomberg Law, "reviews in-house counsels' options as they consider hiring students from schools with active war protests."

  31. "'Acceptance' of Return-to-Work Policies Permeates Big Law," 05.28.24.
    This editorial at The American Lawyer reports, "A recent survey of large law firm employees found 57% were 'satisfied' with their office attendance policies while 29% were 'neutral.' Only 13% registered as 'not satisfied.'"

  32. "Will an earlier big law firm recruiting calendar change the market for prospective law school transfer students?" 05.10.24.
    Derek Muller at Excess of Democracy discusses the impact of earlier recruiting cycles on transfer students.


  33. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

  34. "New Federal Pregnancy Regulations: Five Key Takeaways and Five Key Action Steps for Employers," 06.05.24.
    This op-ed in Daily Report outlines five takeaways from the EEOC's newly published final regulations and interpretive guidance for the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA).

  35. "Eleventh Circuit Grants Injunction Against Nonprofit for Excluding Women Not of Color From Entrepreneurship Contest," 06.05.24.
    "The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued an opinion June 3 upholding a ruling against a nonprofit organization finding an entrepreneurship funding competition open only to Black female business owners to be discriminatory," according to Daily Report.

  36. "Conservative Duo Wants to Take Down DEI One Bias Claim at a Time," 06.05.24.
    Bloomberg Law takes a deep dive into the two conservative organizations that are fighting diversity programs.

  37. "The Surge of Anti-LGBTQ+ Bills and How We Can Protect Ourselves," 06.04.24.
    This op-ed at The Legal Intelligencer outlines the "unprecedented upsurge of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation introduced across the United States" and provides advice on protecting yourself and your family.

  38. "Standards Are Murky As Legal Employers Vet Protesters," 06.03.24.
    "As violence in Gaza rages on, law firms have vowed not to employ pro-Palestinian lawyers whose conduct they deem unacceptable. But unacceptable is in the eye of the beholder, and that makes it difficult for law students and lawyers who advocate for a ceasefire to navigate the workplace and the job market," reports Law360. (Subscription required.)

  39. "From Refugee To Shareholder: A Call For Inclusive Law Firms," 06.03.24.
    At Law360, "A Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard PC shareholder recently shared her experiences advancing as a woman at a law firm, and why businesses must create an inclusive workplace culture." (Subscription required.)

  40. "Companies Quietly Ramp Up DEI Efforts Amid Political Turmoil," 06.03.24.
    Bloomberg Law reports, "most companies plan to invest more in DEI initiatives over the next two years, according to survey results released Monday by global executive head-hunting firm Bridge Partners. Uncertainty over the outcome of the November presidential election — and its repercussions — means executives may make these investments quietly, however, said Tory Clarke, co-founder and partner of Bridge Partners."

  41. "Ex-Judge Tatel Regrets Focusing Clerk Hiring on Applicants from Elite Law Schools," 05.31.24.
    Law.com previews an upcoming memoir by a former federal judge, who "shares problems with the ultra-competitive and increasingly ideologically driven clerk-selection process, including his own focus on applicants from top-ranked law schools."

  42. "NYU law school dodges white man's lawsuit claiming law review discrimination," 05.30.24.
    Reuters reports, "A Manhattan federal judge on Thursday dismissed a race and sex discrimination lawsuit challenging the selection process for New York University School of Law's flagship law review, saying the anonymous white male plaintiff lacked standing to sue and that his complaint lacked facts to support his allegations."

  43. "Foley Sued for Revoking Job Over Israel-Palestine Comments," 05.29.24.
    "Foley & Lardner is being sued for scrapping a recent law school graduate's job offer over her comments about the Israel-Hamas war," reports Bloomberg Law.

    1. "Arab American lawyer sues firm that revoked job offer over Gaza comments," 05.31.24.
      The Washington Post has more.

  44. "Efforts To Improve Diversity On State High Courts Stagnating," 05.29.24.
    Law360 reports, "A lack of publicly available data is hampering efforts to make state Supreme Courts more representative of the populations they serve and diversity pushes appear to have stalled out, according to a recent report." (Subscription required.)

  45. "US law clerks in rare anonymous statement decry 'genocide' in Gaza," 05.29.24.
    "Twenty-five federal law clerks on Wednesday issued a public statement criticizing restrictions the judiciary has placed on their ability to speak out against the treatment of Palestinians by Israel during its war with Hamas in Gaza," according to Reuters.

    1. "Statement By Federal Law Clerks Regarding the War In Gaza," 05.29.24.
      Read the full statement at Balls & Strikes.

    2. "Anonymous Law Clerks Claim Forced Silence on Israel-Hamas War," 05.29.24.
      Bloomberg Law has more.

  46. "Gen Z Women Are Shunning BigLaw Partnership. Here's Why," 05.17.24.
    Law360 reports, "A recent survey of Generation Z lawyers at large law firms found that significantly more men than women say their ultimate career goal is to make partner, while far more women than men say their goal is to transition in-house." (Subscription required.)


  47. Mental Health/Well-Being

  48. "5 Day-to-Day Factors That Make Work a Grind: A Partner's Guide to Revitalizing Work," 06.05.24.
    Tracy LaLonde of Joychiever, writing at Law.com, provides tips for any manager of people on how to "champion an environment where your team members are actively engaged and deeply invested in the work they do."

  49. "Talking Mental Health: Life As A Lawyer With OCD," 06.03.24.
    Over at Law360, "Kelly Hughes at Ogletree discusses what she's learned in the 14 years since she was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, recounting how the experience shaped her law practice, what the legal industry and general public get wrong about the disorder, and how law firms can better support employees who have OCD." (Subscription required.)

  50. "Mental Health in the Legal Industry: How to Mitigate Systemic Challenges and Boost Individual Resilience," 05.31.24.
    The LegalSpeak podcast at The American Lawyer discusses "how law firms and lawyers can mitigate systemic challenges and boost individual resilience to help create safer spaces for struggling individuals to get the help they need."

  51. "Legal Profession's Mental Health Woes Start to Take Root in Law School, Many Attorneys Say," 05.30.24.
    "The way law schools teach and the pressure-cooker environment many proudly embrace carry over into the workplace, legal observers say, contributing to the high levels of depression, anxiety, substance abuse and other mental health challenges that practicing attorneys experience," reports Corporate Counsel.

  52. "Disability claims involving toxic workplace allegations surge with return to office: injury lawyer," 05.29.24.
    Law Times speaks with a personal injury lawyer in Canada who says that most of his "long-term disability cases have a mental health component, and in most of those cases, the workplace environment either caused or contributed to mental illness."

  53. "Are Organizations All Talk and No Walk When It Comes to Mental Health Benefits?" 05.28.24.
    The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports "a gap between the mental health resources companies offer and the level of comfort employees feel in using these benefits. Employees often face obstacles preventing them from using the available resources, such as feelings of uncertainty, difficulty getting time off, and an overall lack of awareness of what's offered."


  54. Technology

  55. "Ontario Bar Association Launches Novel AI Initiative to Boost Use in Everyday Practice," 06.06.24.
    Law.com features an interview with Canadian legal tech visionary Colin Lachance, who "will be the association's innovator-in-residence, leading a year-long program to get lawyers to better understand and implement artificial intelligence."

  56. "Does the Duty of Competence Extend to Developments in Technology?" 06.03.24.
    This Daily Report op-ed encourages lawyers to stay abreast of technological developments.

  57. "GPT-4 didn't ace the bar exam after all, MIT research suggests — it didn't even break the 70th percentile," 05.31.24.
    Live Science reports, "a new study has revealed that the much-hyped 90th-percentile figure was actually skewed toward repeat test-takers who had already failed the exam one or more times — a much lower-scoring group than those who generally take the test. The researcher published his findings March 30 in the journal Artificial Intelligence and Law."

  58. "The Real Issue Beyond the Stanford Study's Gaffes: Where Are Legal Tech's Benchmarks?" 05.29.24.
    Legaltech News reports on a recent study on generative AI hallucinations, noting that the study "received pushback from the industry for flawed methodology. But the real issue may lie within the lack of transparency from legal tech providers into how exactly their tools work."



May 24, 2024


    Top Stories

  1. "Law school applicants' socioeconomic hurdles measured by new metric," 05.20.24.
    "The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) is developing a new 'environmental context' metric pertaining to colleges and universities based on factors such as institutional student spending, graduation rates, and the percentage of undergraduates who received federal need-based Pell Grants," reports Reuters.

  2. "Are Law Firms Headed for an Era of Rapid Staff Turnover?" 05.22.24.
    "Lingering fallout from office attendance policies, as well as heightened demand for tech-savvy professionals, among other factors, may drive an uptick in support staff turnover in Big Law," says this editorial from The American Lawyer.


  3. Law Schools/Higher Education

  4. "The LSAT is about to get rid of logic games. Who will miss them? None of the above," 05.24.24.
    As we approach the last version of the LSAT with logic games, Karen Sloan at Reuters explores differing opinions on their removal.

  5. "'Ahead of the Curve': Are Campus Protests in the Rearview Mirror?" 05.23.24.
    In Law.com's Ahead of the Curve column, Christine Charnosky looks at the current status of campus protests.

  6. "Golden Gate law school needs a receiver to save it, say students and alumni," 05.22.24.
    Reuters reports, "Beleaguered Golden Gate University School of Law could be saved under the control of a court-appointed receiver, a group of students and alumni argue in a new court filing, opens new tab challenging the school's planned closure."

  7. "ASU Law, Diné College, Navajo Nation partner on first-ever tribally affiliated legal program," 05.20.24.
    A press release from Arizona State University announces, "In a historic move in the advancement of legal education, the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University has announced a groundbreaking set of partnerships with the Navajo Nation and Diné College. These collaborations establish the world's first tribally affiliated legal education by packaging four comprehensive law degrees uniquely tailored to meet the evolving legal needs of the Navajo Nation."

  8. "Journey toward fully online law schools inches forward after ABA Legal Ed council vote," 05.20.24.
    ABA Journal reports, "After receiving pushback from law school deans and with many logistical questions looming, the council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar voted to continue examining what standards are necessary to start fully accrediting online-only law schools at its May 17 meeting in Chicago." (Subscription required.)

  9. "Judge on Clerk Hiring Boycotts: 'Students Should Be Seen as Individuals'," 05.17.24.
    Law.com shares the opinion of one judge, who says, "Students should be seen as individuals. Many have striven to achieve commendable records. They have every right to be judged by their accomplishments, not blacklisted based on what institution they may happen to attend."

  10. "Bar exam alternatives gain American Bar Association backing," 05.17.24.
    Reuters reports, "The American Bar Association on Friday endorsed alternative attorney licensing pathways that don't involve the bar exam, marking a major shift in ABA's stance on admission to practice law."

    1. "ABA Legal Ed council gives its blessing to alternative licensing," 05.17.24.
      ABA Journal also has this story, of course. (Subscription required.)

    2. "Legal Experts Weigh In on ABA's Support of Alternative Pathways to the Bar," 05.22.24.
      Law.com's Christine Charnosky reports "The ABA's position encourages states to reflect on their own licensing practices and consider whether it's possible to 'license attorneys in a manner that better serves both consumer protection and equity,'" and discusses the development with various experts.


  11. Law Firms

  12. "Law Firms Can Keep Lateral Partners With Support at Work, Home," 05.24.24.
    A Bloomberg Law op-ed provides tips for how law firms can proactively retain talent, including by providing communication, community, and flexibility.

  13. "Once 'Unheard Of,' $20M Partner Pay Becomes Standard to Meet at Davis Polk, Simpson Thacher," 05.22.24.
    The American Lawyer reports on recent developments in partner pay and how we reached this peak in the market.

    1. "Soaring Salaries Force Tough Decisions From Big Law Leaders," 05.23.24.
      Bloomberg Law's Big Law Business column explores the change, which represents a "drastic departure for most elite New York firms, which within a generation have gone from an egalitarian compensation approach to one that acknowledges some partners are more valuable than others."

  14. "'Mission Critical': Big Law Firms Prioritize Right C-Suite Talent," 05.20.24.
    The American Lawyer reports on recent C-suite moves and says, "law firms are now more concerned with getting the 'right' business professionals for the role."

  15. "UK Law Firms' Salary War Risks Their Ability to Expand, Compete," 05.20.24.
    "Major UK law firms battling one another over salaries are taking a risk that higher costs hamper expansion plans and impede their ability to compete with US rivals," according to Bloomberg Law.

    1. "Are We on the Cusp of a New NQ Pay War?" 05.20.24.
      Law.com International reports on the escalating salary scale in the U.K. and asks, "does this mean we're on the brink of a new pay war of the kind that tore through the industry in 2021?"


  16. Employment Market/Lawyer Development

  17. "The Power of Pro Bono: Why Junior Lawyers Should Embrace This Work Early and Often," 05.23.24.
    The Young Lawyer Editorial Board at The Legal Intelligencer asseerts, "More junior lawyers should embrace the nearly endless opportunities to engage in pro bono work, as they would benefit not only from providing legal counsel to those who desperately need it, but also by gaining valuable legal experience (often in a new area of the law) and expanding their professional networks."

  18. "Summer Associate 101: Focus on Knowledge of Self, Setting," 05.21.24.
    This op-ed by a lawyer, writing for Daily Business Review, offers advice for summer associates on how to use their experience to learn more about themselves and about the organization.

  19. "New ways to develop new lawyers," 05.21.24.
    In his latest blog post, Jordan Furlong looks at the impact that technology and other factors will have on the work that lawyers do and therefore the training that lawyers need, and he argues, "We need a new approach to lawyer development, one that's actually focused on developing a lawyer."

  20. "GC Searches Veer Away From Internal Hires, Upending In-House Promotion Tracks," 05.20.24.
    Corporate Counsel reports, "Roughly two-thirds of companies are going outside to fill general counsel openings, a dramatic increase from past practice driven by the reality that few legal departments have candidates in the pipeline with the broad range of skills the job now requires," including leadership and business skills.

  21. "The Great COVID Divide: Becoming an Attorney Before and After the Pandemic," 05.20.24.
    At Daily Business Review, a lawyer discusses the impact of the pandemic on lawyer development and argues, "It is critically important that young attorneys be given the room to provide the unique skills they offer as a result of being trained at a different time."

  22. "What We Should Have Learned from COVID: Communicate," 05.17.24.
    This op-ed at Law.com, written by a consultant, asserts, "The first lesson we should have learned from COVID: Leaders should communicate regularly to their firms in a more personal way, let their personality shine through, show some vulnerability and maybe reveal that they own a dog."

  23. "Nurturing the Next Generation: Professional Development in the Legal Sphere," 05.17.24.
    A lawyer writing for Daily Business Report shares tips on "various dimensions of professional growth tailored to the evolving needs of young lawyers, including succession planning, leadership training, mentorship, and mental health and wellbeing support."

  24. "Do Lawyers Ever Stop Working?" 05.20.24.
    Bloomberg Law shares data from their recent Workload & Hours Survey, which shows that the majority of lawyers (and especially female lawyers) work even on their days off and notes, "While…over half of attorneys admit to having a hard time disconnecting, this decrease may be a silver lining in return-to-office policies, which have reinstilled some boundaries between the office and home."

  25. "Path to Greatness: How Good Lawyers Become Great Leaders — the Power of Personal Responsibility," 05.17.24.
    This op-ed at the Legal Intelligencer outlines the qualities of effective leaders and provide tips for law firms and individual lawyers on developing leadership skills.

  26. "Law firm associate attrition continues to decline, NALP Foundation study shows," 05.17.24.
    Canadian Lawyer reports on the NALP Foundation's recent report on associate attrition.

  27. "Young Lawyers (Gen Z) Are Getting Tons of New Business — the Old-Fashioned Way," 05.17.24.
    A business development consultant, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, interviews some Gen Z lawyers on how they are building their books of business. Spoiler alert: "there are no shortcuts."


  28. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

  29. "ABA Faces Discrimination Complaint Over Student Hiring Programs," 05.21.24.
    "A conservative group in Wisconsin filed complaints against the American Bar Association, a federal judge, and three law schools over alleged bias in hiring programs for students," reports Bloomberg Law.

  30. "Lawyer Suing King & Spalding Asks Law Firm to Apologize for Diversity Program Exclusion," 05.17.24.
    Daily Report provides details on the discrimination lawsuit against King & Spalding.

  31. "How systemizing law firm work allocation enhances diversity efforts and overcomes affinity bias," 05.16.24.
    At Canadian Lawyer, two law firms discuss their work allocation systems, "where work is dealt to associates systematically and based on objective criteria," in order to distribute and manage work more fairly and effectively.


  32. Mental Health/Well-Being

  33. "The Partners Are Not All Right: Why Senior Lawyers Need Mental Health Support," 05.24.24.
    This op-ed at Law.com International reminds us that "At bottom, stress comes with the territory in the practice of law, especially when high stakes for clients means high demands on the lawyers. For that reason, it is even more important for partners to do more to educate and remind themselves to seek help when necessary, and firms can and must do more to, with creativity and resolve, to make mental health a greater priority."

  34. "Swelling Workloads Taking Toll on In-House Lawyers' Mental Health," 05.21.24.
    Corporate Counsel reports, "In-house lawyers generally like their jobs but are nonetheless anxious, exhausted and stressed. according to Law.com and ALM Intelligence's 2024 Mental Health Survey. It found that crushing workloads, understaffed teams and dysfunctional company culture are largely to blame."


  35. Technology

  36. "What Does Big Law Stand to Gain From Slow AI Adoption?" 05.23.24.
    "As Big Law's relationship with generative artificial intelligence hits a yellow light at the intersection of caution and optimism, some in the legal tech community question how much of the caution is motivated by commitment to a profitability model dependent on high leverage and hourly billing," according to the American Lawyer.

  37. "US's First State AI Bias Law Lets Job Seekers Fight Rejections," 05.22.24.
    Bloomberg Law outlines a new law set to take effect in Colorado, which it calls "the most comprehensive law to date governing US employers' use of automated decision-making tools such as resume and job candidate screening software."

  38. "Lawyers with AI Skills Can Enjoy 49% Wage Premium, Research Shows," 05.22.24.
    The American Lawyer reports on new research from PwC that shows, "job vacancies for lawyers that require AI skills can carry a 49% wage premium in the U.S., while ones in the U.K. can secure a 27% wage premium."

  39. "Experts Caution Law Schools to Be Wary of ChatGPT, Other AIs," 05.20.24.
    Government Technology features an interview with a law professor who shares his thoughts on the use of artificial intelligence.

  40. "Navigating the AI revolution: LegalTech Summit in Toronto explores the future of law," 05.16.24.
    "The legal profession is changing fast. But how exactly it will look in the future is far from certain," says Canadian Lawyer, in this story about their upcoming tech summit.



May 17, 2024


    Top Stories

  1. "Biggest law school scholarships disproportionately go to white students, ABA finds," 05.13.24.
    Reuters reports, "White law students are more likely to land full scholarships and less likely to receive scholarships covering less than half their tuition compared with their non-white classmates, according to new data from the American Bar Association."

  2. "Big Law Recruiting Rush Puts More Pressure on Diverse Students," 05.13.24.
    Bloomberg Law takes a deep dive into earlier recruiting practices and notes that they are "particularly bad news for students who are the first in their families to attend law school, and who may be less prepared for what to expect in law school early on."


  3. Law Schools/Higher Education

  4. "Cornell Law School sets more generous standard for public interest loan help," 05.15.24.
    Reuters reports, "Cornell Law School in June will begin providing full federal loan repayments for its graduates in public interest jobs earning up to $120,000 annually — a $40,000 increase from the current $80,000 salary cap."

  5. "California poised to reject national bar exam in an effort to cut costs," 05.14.24.
    "The State Bar of California is looking to develop its own bar exam, parting ways with the National Conference of Bar Examiners and rejecting its overhauled licensing test set to debut in July 2026," according to Reuters.

    1. "California shelves plan to create its own bar exam," 05.16.24.
      And this follow-up story from Reuters says the plan is on hold after "Deans of 13 California-accredited law schools had asked the state bar last month to delay adoption of the plan, calling the 10-month timeline 'hasty, risky, and poorly planned.'"

  6. "Interest rates on federal student loans may increase by 1 percentage point: 'A fairly big jump,' expert says," 05.08.24.
    CNBC reports, "federal student loan rates may increase in the 2024-2025 academic year, according to an estimate by higher education expert Mark Kantrowitz. The rate could go up by 1 percentage point."

    1. "One-point increase in student loan rates could cost new law school graduates tens of thousands of dollars in added debt," 05.09.24.
      The Excess of Democracy blog has more.


  7. Law Firms

  8. "Lateral Partner Integration Requires Business Development Plan," 05.17.24.
    Legal experts writing for Bloomberg Law provide tips on lateral partner integration, advising, "A 12-month marketing and business development plan should be created as a roadmap for integrating new lateral hires and partnering them with a business development liaison."

  9. "Clients Have All the Leverage in Law Firm Succession Planning," 05.17.24.
    This op-ed at Bloomberg Law explores the impact of clients on partner succession, noting, "If the retiring partner devotes little time and effort to socializing a client to successors, the client will assume the firm doesn't care about retaining the relationship."

  10. "Paul Weiss Chair Brad Karp Weighs In on How to Poach-Proof Your Firm," 05.16.24.
    The chair of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison discusses steps his firm has taken to foster a sense of connectivity and make partners want to stay at the firm, in The American Lawyer.

  11. "Abolish your partners' billable-hour requirements," 05.16.24.
    Jordan Furlong's latest blog post urges law firms, "Abolish any and all billable-hour requirements for your equity partners. Reorder the priorities that you want partners to really concentrate on and incentivize partner behaviours that will accomplish those priorities. Free up thousands of hours of work to be distributed to the associates who desperately need them."

  12. "Early Big Law Recruiting Is Ruining the First Year of Law School," 05.16.24.
    This Bloomberg Law op-ed, written by William Treanor and Amy Mattock of Georgetown Law, argues, "The push by firms to interview 1L students for 2L summer positions has heightened the stress on students as they adapt to the high pressure of their first year of law school. This can't be where law firms want our students' priorities to lie."

  13. "Citi Results Indicate Law Firm Industry Rebound in 2024," 05.13.24.
    The American Lawyer reports, "Citi's Q1 Flash Survey Report indicates a strong start and a positive year ahead."

  14. "Law's Up And Coming Job Title? Coach," 05.10.24.
    Law360 reports, "A title that once belonged to the athletic field is now increasingly common in the legal industry, with law firms expanding the ways in which they use coaches and building out their in-house coaching departments." (Subscription required.)


  15. Employment Market/Return to Office

  16. "As Debt Rises, New Grads More Likely To Pick Law Firm Jobs," 05.09.24.
    Law360 reports, "More than half of recent law school graduates are choosing jobs at law firms, an uptick from recent years, and some students and administrators say there's a simple reason: mounting student loan debt." (Subscription required.)

  17. "BC's Bill 21 aids access to justice, sacrifices independence of legal profession, say lawyers," 05.06.24.
    Canadian Lawyer reports on reactions to the Legal Professions Act, which makes changes to the lawyer regulatory body in the province.

    1. "Federation of Law Societies raises concerns over BC's Legal Professions Act," 05.12.24.
      The Federation of Law Societies of Canada "echoed the Law Society of British Columbia's concerns that the legislation does not adequately protect the independence of the legal professions and their regulation, which are crucial to upholding democratic principles," according to Canadian Lawyer.

  18. "You're Back from Your Leadership Development Program. Now What?" 05.10.24.
    Harvard Business Review has tips on how to sustain momentum and achieve results after your leadership development program.


  19. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

  20. "Women No Longer Face Discrimination for Jobs — If They're White," 05.11.24.
    Vivia Chen, on her blog, reports on "recent research by economists at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Chicago who analyzed how the names of job applicants affected their chances of getting hired."

  21. "King & Spalding Sued Over Diverse Law Student Hiring Program," 05.10.24.
    "King & Spalding is the latest major law firm to face legal challenges to diversity hiring programs," according to Bloomberg Law.


  22. Mental Health/Well-Being

  23. "'Old School' Expectations Plague Young Lawyer Mental Health — But Not All Predecessors Are Sympathetic," 05.17.24.
    The American Lawyer reports on their recent mental health survey which shows "Sense of failure, lost motivation, hopelessness and exhaustion are all down slightly, but the proportion of lawyers and legal professionals who hate their jobs, struggle concentrating and feel detached went up. The negative impact of billable hours fell slightly, but the negative impact of understaffed teams went up," especially among younger generations, while older lawyers display little sympathy.

    1. "Mental Health by the Numbers: The 2024 Survey Infographic," 05.17.24.
      You can see the infographic on the Am Law research here.

  24. "A BigLaw suicide survivor's prescription for the legal profession's mental health crisis," 05.16.24.
    A lawyer shares his experience with depression and an attempted suicide in ABA Journal, along with his thoughts on what the profession needs to make progress — including more education during and after law school. (Subscription required.)

  25. "Beth Beattie, co-editor of a book on mental health in the legal profession, on breaking new ground," 05.14.24.
    Canadian Lawyer's podcast features an interview with a the author of a new book on mental health called The Right Not to Remain Silent: The Truth About Mental Health in The Legal Profession.

  26. "18-Hour Days — Let's Stop Ignoring Human Biology," 05.14.24.
    This op-ed at Law.com International asks, "why do so many lawyers push themselves up to and beyond their physical and psychological limits, and why don't they speak up when they're struggling?"

  27. "'A Leap of Faith': Some In-House Leaders Join Fight to Fix Big Law's Mental Health Crisis," 05.13.24.
    "Not all in-house lawyers watching the recent reckoning over the mental health of law firm lawyers have been passive observers. Some believe they must be part of the solution," according to Corporate Counsel.

  28. "'Two Separate Lives': Lawyers Share Personal Stories of Addiction, Recovery," 05.10.24.
    The Legal Intelligencer reports, "Participants in a panel hosted by Recovery Centers of America want a world in which employees are comfortable telling their supervisors they need help."


  29. Technology

  30. "Law Firms' AI Nightmare Is Fewer Billed Hours and Lower Profits," 05.16.24.
    The Big Law Business column at Bloomberg Law explores new research that asks, "How much time could AI cannibalize from a law firm?"

  31. "Big Law's AI Talent War Aims to Influence Software Development," 05.14.24.
    The American Lawyer reports, "In the AI edition of the classic 'build versus buy' dilemma, some marquee firms have opted to leverage their position as the largest buyers of legal tech to influence vendor development of AI-powered services to suit their needs."



May 10, 2024


    Top Stories

  1. "Education Department Steps Up Efforts to Combat Antisemitism," 05.08.24.
    Inside Higher Ed reports, "The Education Department is clarifying how exactly colleges and universities can comply with federal civil rights law as campuses continue to see antiwar protests and encampments and Jewish students continue to report feeling unsafe following a rise in antisemitic incidents across the country."

  2. "The 2024 Second Hundred: An Investment Story," 05.07.24.
    "The Second Hundred trailed the Am Law 100 in almost every financial metric, but much of that could be attributed to building for the future," according to The American Lawyer.

    1. "'Macro Impacts': How Much Am Law 200 Firms Have Reduced Their Space," 05.07.24.
      The American Lawyer examines data on how much and why big firms are reducing their office space.

    2. "Can Second Hundred Firms Gain Ground on 'Price-Insensitive' Practice Areas?" 05.07.24.
      The American Lawyer reports, "Smaller firms have more to lose when a client says, 'You're not price competitive.' That's forced them to keep focus on sophisticated work from mid-market clients and routine work for high-end clients."

    3. "Second Hundred Law Firms Closer to the 'Center of Gravity' in Q1," 05.08.24.
      "Second Hundred law firms may have lost the lead over the Am Law 100 in revenue and profit growth last year. But so far in 2024, they have the edge in demand growth over all other segments, with their litigation practices gaining even more strength, and clients finding them in a sort of 'Goldilocks Zone' for reach, billing rates and expertise," according to The American Lawyer.


  3. Law Schools/Higher Education

  4. "Bar exam alternatives, long out of favor with ABA, make inroads," 05.09.24.
    Reuters reports, "The ABA's Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar is slated to weigh a draft policy statement urging states to 'create diverse pathways to licensure' when it meets May 17."

  5. "CFPB Accuses Pa. Student Loan Companies of Stalling Thousands of Forbearance Requests During Pandemic," 05.08.24.
    "The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has sued two student financial aid companies, alleging the groups failed to provide essential information to borrowers who had questions about their private student loans during the COVID-19 pandemic," reports The Legal Intelligencer.

  6. "Judges Say They Won't Hire Clerks From Columbia Over Pro-Palestine Campus Protests," 05.06.24.
    "Thirteen federal judges appointed by Donald Trump sent a letter to Columbia University's president Monday saying they won't hire law clerks from the university in response to what they called the school's failure to deal with pro-Palestinian protests over the war in Gaza," according to The National Law Journal.

    1. "Columbia Law voices confidence in grads in face of conservative judges' boycott," 05.07.24.
      Reuters reports, "The head of Columbia Law School backed its graduates on Tuesday, saying they were 'consistently sought out' as it responded to an announcement by 13 conservative federal judges that they would not hire students from the Ivy League university."

    2. "Conservative Judges Plan to Blackball Columbia University Graduates," 05.08.24.
      The Wall Street Journal has more, including a quote from NALP Executive Director Nikia Gray.

  7. "Massive pro-Palestinian college protests bring rare surge in discipline," 05.06.24.
    Colleges and universities are responding to campus protests with harsh punishments that haven't been used in decades, including suspension, expulsions, and arrests, reports The Washington Post, noting, "For students and school leaders alike, the stakes are high. School leaders face intense scrutiny over their handling of a deeply political issue. Students face the prospect of losing a semester's worth of credit and tuition money and, for some, the possibility of not graduating on time. Some students might find their financial aid jeopardized."

  8. "Managing the Workload in a Summer Law Job," 04.30.24.
    JD Supra's Law School Toolbox podcast offers tips on "managing your schedule as a summer associate, intern, or extern."


  9. Law Firms

  10. "Lateral Partner Recruiting Must Focus on Honesty and Clear Data," 05.10.24.
    This op-ed at Bloomberg Law argues, "To gain the best talent, firms will need to adopt a data-driven, deliberate approach to lateral partner hiring while emphasizing transparency throughout the recruiting and hiring process."

  11. "Big Law Recruiting Confronts Rising Student Activism," 05.09.24.
    The American Lawyer analyzes some of the issues related to student activism and protests, noting, "Large law firms, each hiring dozens of first-year associates a year, are now confronting a young generation that feels more obligated to stand up to authority than its predecessors. Could that become an issue for an industry looking to hire professionals who can put their personal beliefs aside for the good of a firm and its clients?"

  12. "Elite New York Firms Finally Join Big Law's Free Agent Era," 05.09.24.
    Bloomberg Law's Big Law Business column examines changes in New York's legal employment market.

  13. "Sullivan & Cromwell Plans Vigilant Hiring Checks After Protests," 05.08.24.
    "Sullivan & Cromwell will be 'extremely vigilant' about vetting future hires following reports of harassment at pro-Palestinian protests on college campuses," according to Bloomberg Law.

    1. "Sullivan & Cromwell Details Ramped-Up Vetting of New Hires Amid Wave of University Protests," 05.08.24.
      The American Lawyer reports that, while other firms have quietly been reviewing statements and social media posts related to protests, "Sullivan & Cromwell is now one of the first to publicly detail its vetting process."

  14. "Why BigLaw Is Gutting Midsize Firms' Transaction Practices," 05.07.24.
    Law360 reports, "Midsize law firms have been getting pummeled lately as large law firms position themselves to take on transactional work in a warming mergers and acquisitions market, in some cases hiring away groups that make up 10% or more of the lawyers at their previous firms." (Subscription required.)

  15. "Davis Polk Leaps Into Lateral Hiring Seen as Re-Shaping Industry," 05.06.24.
    Bloomberg Law reports, "Davis Polk & Wardwell plans to increase lateral partner hiring and boost pay for top lawyers, seizing on an 18-month period that firm leader Neil Barr said will shape the law firm market for years to come."

  16. "Law firms kicked off 2024 with strong demand and profits, report finds," 05.06.24.
    Reuters reports on the new Thomson Reuters Institute's Law Firm Financial Index, which shows, "Law firms are off to a strong start in 2024 after a lackluster 2023 that saw weak client demand and declining collections on billed work."

    1. "Billing Rate Growth and Litigation Demand Drive Big Law Gains in Q1," 05.06.24. (The American Lawyer)

  17. "Freshfields Ups NQ Pay To £150K Signalling Potential New Pay War," 05.03.24.
    Law.com International reports that Freshfields has increased their starting salary for newly qualified lawyers in the U.K., "signaling a potential new start to the pay war."


  18. Employment Market/Return to Office

  19. "High Billing Rates May Hasten New Era of Productivity," 05.10.24.
    The American Lawyer looks at data showing that lawyer productivity has plateaued but that higher billing rates "are allowing firms to carry on with a lower level of productivity."

  20. "Outside Counsel Selection, Long Driven by Intuition, Being Reshaped by Data," 05.07.24.
    Corporate Counsel reports, "Legal departments are starting to use metrics to determine whom to hire for outside legal work, instead of making those decisions based primarily on such criteria as trust, familiarity and a law firm's reputation."

  21. "'The Biggest Fallacy of the Industry': How Flexible Working Policies are Failing Both Men and Women," 05.07.24.
    Law.com International reports that "A majority of law firms in the U.K. have adopted some form of flexible working policy," but that in many cases "a lack of clarity" and communication about these policies has created some gender disparity in how flexible work is requested and granted.

  22. "'Not Your Father's Law Firm': Big Law Continues to Hone Office Space," 05.07.24.
    The American Lawyer explores some of the law firm office designs that have launched this year, many of which have "an emphasis on gathering and event space, replete with amenities such as pool tables, coffee bars, and music rooms. Indeed, the aesthetic is arguably more social club than a law firm."

  23. "How To Make The Leap From BigLaw To Legal Recruiter," 05.06.24.
    Law360 says, "The legal recruiting industry is made up of many former practicing lawyers, but not every BigLaw associate or partner is poised to make it in the world of recruiting." (Subscription required.)


  24. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

  25. "Bosses mandated them back to the office. They took legal action instead," 05.07.24.
    ABA Journal reports, "As companies across the United States increasingly take a hard-line stance on office mandates, an increasing number of workers are elevating their complaints to court and federal labor agencies like the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission." (Subscription required.)

  26. "Why first-generation lawyers need a business plan," 05.06.24.
    This op-ed at Reuters details the importance of a business plan for a lawyer's success, especially for first-generation lawyers and lawyers of color, and offers tips for what to include and how to use it, noting, "A business plan can help to spell out how you want to grow your practice and identify the resources that you may already have on hand."

  27. "DEI is getting a new name. Can it dump the political baggage?" 05.05.24.
    The Washington Post reports, "Amid growing legal, social and political backlash, American businesses, industry groups and employment professionals are quietly scrubbing DEI from public view — though not necessarily abandoning its practice."

  28. "Overcome the 4 barriers to building a 'for all' culture," 05.03.24.
    Fast Company explores how employers can overcome barriers to creating an inclusive corporate culture.

  29. "Supporting the Mental Health of Employees of Color," 05.03.24.
    This piece at Harvard Business Review examines disparities in mental health between people of color and their white colleagues, providing tips for helping both individuals and organizations to improve their overall well-being.

  30. "EEOC finalizes harassment guidance, addressing remote work and gender identity," 04.29.24.
    The HR Dive website outlines recent guidance from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) which updates enforcement guidance on harassment in the workplace, including harassment based on sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy and childbirth, and genetic information.


  31. Mental Health/Well-Being

  32. "A letter to young women lawyers about 'SADNESS' in the law," 05.08.24.
    This op-ed at ABA Journal, written by a female lawyer, advises women on navigating "our profession of stress, anxiety, depression, negativity, endangerment, sickness and suicide (also known as "SADNESS")." (Subscription required.)

  33. "More Workers Seek Mental Health Accommodations, Creating Vexing Legal, HR Decisions for Firms," 05.08.24.
    Corporate Counsel reports on this year's 12th Annual Employer Survey by Littler Mendelson, which shows that 75% of respondents "reported an increase in requests for leaves of absence or other accommodations for mental health" but that "only 22% had modified their policies in response to these rising accommodation requests."

  34. "Big Law firm introduces coaching and support for lawyers who have ADHD," 05.06.24.
    ABA Journal reports that Goodwin Procter has "launched a series of programs to better understand and provide services for its attorneys who have ADHD, along with promoting an environment in which neurodiverse employees feel comfortable discussing their needs and perspectives." (Subscription required.)


  35. Technology

  36. "In AI Talent Battle, Big Law May Be the Underdog," 05.03.24.
    Legaltech News reports, "the proliferation of AI and generative AI promises to ramp up the competition for work and talent even higher" and that law firms may be at a disadvantage in that competition.



May 3, 2024


    Top Stories

  1. "Law school failed to prepare 45% of junior associates for practice, survey finds," 04.29.24.
    Reuters reports on a recent survey of law firm associates by Major, Lindsey & Africa and Leopard Solutions that shows, "45% said law school did not sufficiently prepare them for their current role. And 31% said their law firm experience didn't meet their expectations coming out of law school."

    1. "Survey Reveals Law School and Firm Dissatisfaction Among Junior Associates," 04.29.24. (JD Journal)

    2. "Less litigation, more practical skills in law school needed, junior associates say," 04.30.24. (ABA Journal)


  2. Law Schools/Higher Education

  3. "Campus protests upend Columbia Law's final exams," 05.01.24.
    Reuters reports, "Columbia Law School postponed all final exams scheduled for Wednesday amid ongoing turmoil over pro-Palestinian protesters encamped at the Manhattan university's campus."

    1. "Columbia Law resumes finals with pass-fail option amid war protests," 05.02.24.
      "All the law school's final exams are proceeding remotely instead of in-person, according to a Wednesday message to students from law dean Gillian Lester. Students may opt to have any or all of their exams graded on a pass or fail basis," according to Reuters.

  4. "Bar exam pass rates rebound after COVID slump," 04.30.24.
    Reuters reports, "Among the 42 jurisdictions that have reported February results thus far, 31 have a higher overall pass rate than in February of 2023 according to data compiled by the National Conference of Bar Examiners."

    1. "March MPRE Score Up More Than 2 Points YOY," 04.30.24.
      Law.com reports, "The National Conference of Bar Examiners released the national mean scaled score for the March 2024 Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination on Tuesday showing a greater than two-point year-over-year increase."

  5. "Protests Disrupt Some Law School Finals and University Commencement Ceremonies," 04.29.24.
    Law.com summarizes changes some law schools are making to exams and graduation ceremonies in response to protests on campuses.

    1. "How Protests Against Israel Engulfed Elite US Colleges," 05.01.24.
      Bloomberg News explores the conflict faced by colleges and universities between protecting free speech and protecting the safety of everyone on campus. (Subscription required.)

    2. "Universities Face Balancing Act in Weighing Response to Campus Protests," 05.02.24.
      Law.com reports, "legal experts have raised a variety of issues surrounding demonstrations, ranging from First Amendment rights to Title VI concerns."

  6. "90% Through Fall 2024 Law School Admissions Season: Applicants Are Up +5%," 04.29.24.
    TaxProf Blog reports on LSAC admissions data.

  7. "Increased interest in LSAT forces additional test date," 04.26.24.
    ABA Journal reports that as of April 26, "more than 36,000 students had registered for the June LSAT," a dramatic increase over the typical number. (Subscription required.)


  8. Law Firms

  9. "Geographic Expansion, Increased Competitiveness Underscore String of Law Firm Mergers," 05.02.24.
    There have been a number of law firm mergers so far in 2024 and The American Lawyer reports, "Larger firms' desire to expand into new markets and smaller firms' need to become more competitive underscored a merger flurry that stretched from Boulder to Boca Raton, according to interviews and press releases from the moves."

  10. "Big Law Firms Shrink Equity Partner Ranks at Their Own Peril," 05.02.24.
    Roy Strom's Big Law Business column at Bloomberg Law discusses "how law firms perform when they add equity partners, even as non-equity rolls grow."

  11. "Billing Rate Increases, Demand Gains Help Law Firms Double Their Revenue Growth in Q1," 05.01.24.
    The American Lawyer reports, "A Wells Fargo survey of law firm performance in the first quarter showed demand and billing rate growth, particularly among the largest firms, led to revenue gains that were more than double the size of growth in the same period last year, the bank said Wednesday."

  12. "A&O Shearman joins ranks of major transatlantic law firm mergers," 05.01.24.
    Reuters reports, "Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling said on Wednesday that they have completed their long-planned merger, officially launching the largest transatlantic law firm combination in years."

    1. "A&O Shearman Merger Shock Waves Ripple Through UK's Magic Circle," 05.01.24.
      Bloomberg Law examines the impact of the merger on other UK firms, noting, "How the other four firms — Clifford Chance, Freshfields, Linklaters, and Slaughter & May will pursue the US, the world's largest legal market, is a question that can't be ignored."

  13. "Fancy Offices Are a Big Gamble," 04.29.24.
    "Law firms are attempting to subvert the remote working narrative by taking on uber-modern real estate — but it does little to address the culture question," reports Law.com International.

  14. "Some Clients Are Pushing for Transparency Surrounding Origination Credits," 04.29.24.
    The American Lawyer reports, "Origination systems and policies largely remain under wraps at most law firms, making it difficult to navigate these issues within firms. But some clients are vying for more transparency and input over who gets credit for the work."


  15. Employment Market/Return to Office

  16. "Big Law, Defined Most by Talent, Is Driven to Early Recruitment," 05.03.24.
    In this Bloomberg Law op-ed by a consultant, the author examines the pressures on law firms to recruit talent earlier in their law school careers.

  17. "Law Students May Regret Snap Career Decisions Made First Year," 05.03.24.
    Ru Bhatt, from Major, Lindsey & Africa, writing for Bloomberg Law, examines some of the pressures placed on law students by early recruiting.

  18. "Senators Urge ABA To Look Into Rape Questions On Bar Apps," 04.26.24.
    "Several members of the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote to the American Bar Association on Friday urging it to study how state bar applications require would-be attorneys to disclose sexual violence," reports Law360. (Subscription required.)


  19. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

  20. "With Momentum For Diversity Trial Advocacy Program, ACTL Plans 4th and 5th Installments," 05.02.24.
    The Am Law Litigation Daily checks in with the founder of a diversity program at the American College of Trial Lawyers, which, "seemingly undaunted, has pushed forward with its own efforts on the diversity front."

  21. "Most Gen Z Lawyers Would Take A Pay Cut For Fewer Hours," 04.29.24.
    Law360 reports, "Money is no longer the top factor in many Generation Z lawyers' list of priorities, with three-fourths naming culture as the No. 1 factor they used in choosing a law firm, according to a new report released Monday by recruiting firm Major Lindsey & Africa and legal intelligence provider Leopard Solutions." (Subscription required.)

  22. "Forging Forward: How Wellbeing Anchors the Heart of DEI Strategy," 04.29.24.
    A law firm diversity professional, writing for Law.com, argues that well-being is an important component of diversity programs and provides tips on incorporating mental health into DEI initiatives.


  23. Mental Health/Well-Being

  24. "Mid-Law Not Immune To Structural Mental Health Challenges," 04.30.24.
    "Despite the common narrative that lawyers can trade higher pay for better well-being and work-life balance by moving to smaller firms, experts say that Mid-Law firms are generally facing the same industry pressures that contribute to long hours, stress and poor attorney mental health," according to Law360. (Subscription required.)

  25. "Return To Office Poses Pitfalls For Atty Mental Health," 04.30.24.
    Law360 reports, "As a therapist specialized in treating lawyers, Stacey Dougan hears a lot about law firm politics, addiction and the career's overwhelming demands. But lately, her clients have been bringing up a new source of anxiety: returning to the office." (Subscription required.)

  26. "Atty Alcohol Misuse: What's Worked, What Hasn't, What's Next," 04.29.24.
    Law360 has an in-depth piece on alcohol use among lawyers and outlines "what's working, what isn't, and how legal employers can effectively address law's problem drinking crisis going forward."

  27. "Canadian lawyers need to replace resilience with real change," 04.29.24.
    This op-ed by an outgoing law school dean calls for the legal industry to focus less on "resilience" and instead to strive for meaningful change, noting, "To be fair, changes are happening in how our profession is governed, but the pace is so glacial that it is almost unnoticeable. And that's not good."

  28. "The Best Therapy For Lawyers, According To Ex-Lawyers," 04.29.24.
    Law360 reports, "Attorneys-turned-therapists say no one understands the stresses of being a lawyer like another lawyer. They also say their clients sometimes struggle at first with treatment that prioritizes feelings, mindfulness and even body awareness over the intellectualizing and rationalizing that make them successful at their jobs." (Subscription required.)


  29. Technology

  30. "The Law Firm Disrupted: A Brewing Talent Fight, on a Broader Battlefield," 05.02.24.
    Law.com's Law Firm Disrupted column predicts that "firms are going to be fighting not just with peers, but the entire business world, for professionals who are on the cutting-edge of AI."

  31. "Why the Future of Talent Management Could Look Very Different," 05.01.24.
    This piece at The American Lawyer offers in-depth analysis of how generative AI will change recruiting, lawyer professional development, and law firm retention efforts.

  32. "What Law Students Should Know About Generative AI Before Their Summer Jobs," 04.30.24.
    The head of Legal Technology Education at BYU Law, writing for Legaltech News, provides tips for law students to get familiar with generative AI before they start their summer internships.

  33. "AI Will Ramp Up Intense Big Law Battle for Talent, Client Share," 04.30.24.
    The American Lawyer reports, "Law firms are still trying to grasp the implications that artificial intelligence will have on their business. But a new report this week helps paint a picture: decreasing revenue per engagement and declining profit margins, leading to even more intense competition for work and talent."

  34. "Latest employment law reform includes new disclosure rules for AI used for job applicant screening," 04.29.24.
    Law Times reports on recent legislation in Ontario that says "employers must disclose salary ranges and whether AI is used during the hiring process."



April 26, 2024


    Top Stories

  1. "ABA legal education section releases employment data for graduating law class of 2023," 04.22.24.
    The American Bar Association announces, "Employment data for the graduating law class of 2023, as reported to the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar by ABA-approved law schools accepting new J.D. students, is now publicly available."

    1. "More 2023 law school grads found full-time jobs than any class in past 10 years, new ABA data shows," 04.22.24.
      ABA Journal has more.

    2. "Percentage of Recent Law School Grads Who Have Landed a Job Reaches Highest Level in a Decade," 04.22.24.
      "The American Bar Association released employment data Monday for the graduating law class of 2023, which shows an uptick in growth of 1% for the second consecutive year — and the highest level in the past decade — with a full-time, long-term employment rate of 85.6%," reports Law.com.

    3. "Unemployment Rate For Recent Law Grads Improves, ABA Finds," 04.22.24.
      Law360 reports, "Fewer recent law school graduates were unemployed in March than in the previous year, as the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic further recede into memory, according to data released Monday by the American Bar Association." (Subscription required.)


  2. Law Schools/Higher Education

  3. "They Entered College in Isolation and Leave Among Protests: The Class That Missed Out on Fun," 04.25.24.
    The Wall Street Journal focuses on the experiences of the Class of 2024, which started college during a pandemic and is graduating in the midst of political polarization, reporting that college students are lonelier, more anxious, and less resilient than previous generations, and "In response, schools are beefing up their mental-health offerings and urging students to engage in clubs and activities. But administrators say they can coax them only so far, and are starting to wonder whether college life as previous generations knew it — including packed classrooms, keg parties and evening meetups — may be permanently changed."

  4. "Law Schools and Universities Grapple With Protests Across Country," 04.24.24.
    Law.com summarizes some of the protest/response situations at law schools and universities including Columbia, Berkeley, Yale, and others.

    1. "Colleges change graduation plans as protests spread to more campuses," 04.25.24.
      The Washington Post discusses some of the ongoing protests and their impact on graduation plans.

  5. "'This Is a New Demand on Universities': Title IX Regulations Add Protections for LGBTQ Students, Sexual Assault Victims," 04.22.24.
    Law.com reports on some of the updates to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 which were released on Friday.

  6. "Nearly 14% of ABA-Accredited US Law Schools Haven't Had a Woman Dean," 04.19.24.
    "A total of 27 (nearly 14%) U.S. American Bar Association-accredited law schools have yet to have a woman dean," according to Law.com.


  7. Law Firms

  8. "Switching Practice Areas: A Challenge or a Treasure?" 04.25.24.
    The Young Lawyer Editorial Board at The Legal Intelligencer explores the risks and rewards of changing practice areas for junior lawyers.

  9. "The Law Firm Disrupted: Making Strategy in Big Law, and Making It Work," 04.25.24.
    The Law Firm Disrupted column at Law.com examines the role of partners in strategic planning, noting, "they can gum it up if they're allowed to focus on minor, internal concerns. Instead, the real prize is identifying big picture opportunities."

  10. "The Top Tips Senior Staff Want Junior Associates To Know," 04.24.24.
    Law360 reports, "Even as junior associates gain sophisticated legal skills, it's important for them to also gain practical knowledge related to the inner workings of their law firm. Here, six longtime staff offer their tips to new associates for navigating life in a large law firm like a pro." (Subscription required.)

  11. "Largest Firms Continue Growing Market Share, as Hourly Rates Break Records," 04.23.24.
    The American Lawyer examines data from a recent report by LexisNexis CounselLink that shows the largest firms are billing record-setting hourly rates and are increasing their share of the legal market.

    1. "Law Firm Billing Rates Rose At 'Record Setting Pace'," 04.23.24.
      Law360 reports, "Average law firm partner billing rates rose 5.4% in 2023, higher than any other year in the last decade, with the largest law firms hiking prices the most, according to a report released Tuesday by LexisNexis' CounselLink." (Subscription required.)

  12. "As Equity Tiers Shrink, Big Law Grows Leverage," 04.22.24.
    "As many law firms sharpened their profitability in 2023, they often extended their leverage last year," according to Daily Report.

  13. "A&O and Shearman Continue Lateral Hiring as Merger Date Approaches," 04.22.24.
    The American Lawyer reports, "While Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling continue to see lateral exits in the lead-up to their merger next month, both firms are still adding lateral partners in the U.S."

  14. "Husch Blackwell to Train Lawyers for Possible Jobs With Clients," 04.22.24.
    Bloomberg Law reports, "Husch Blackwell is encouraging associates to consider in-house roles with clients rather than only assume an uncertain path to partner," by developing a four-month training program "to give attorneys an inside view of clients and tools they need to transition to jobs in companies."

  15. "A Safe Bet? Lateral Hiring and Gambling on a Firm's Future," 04.21.24.
    "Lateral hiring is risky business. Promoting partners from within is a more successful route. But law firms are betting that the high risks associated with lateral hiring will produce high rewards. The Global Lawyer asks, is the gamble worth it?" at Law.com International.

  16. "Shrinking Partner Rounds Mirror Shifting Associate Priorities," 04.19.24.
    "The economic downturn's impact on law firm profits has hit partner promotions in 2024. But it's not all doom and gloom, as the rise in salaries has lessened the desire among associates to own firm equity," according to Law360. (Subscription required.)

  17. "Law Firms Seek Out 'Money-Generating' Partner Moves Amid Big Law's Arms Race," 04.19.24.
    The American Lawyer reports, "Even though partner moves were down year-over-year, Decipher noted that law firms last year figured out one of the fastest ways to grow: buying partners with books of business."

    1. "Law Firm Lateral Movement Expected To Fall Again In 2024," 04.17.24.
      Law360 reports, "After a 31% decline in 2023, lateral law firm movement is expected to dip further in 2024, both at the partner and associate levels, to return closer to prepandemic norms following a period of atypically high movement, according to a new report by Decipher Investigative Intelligence." (Subscription required.)


  18. Employment Market/Return to Office

  19. "Divided FTC Finalizes Rule to Ban Noncompete Agreements," 04.23.24.
    Law.com reports on a controversial new rule that prohibits employers from "entering, maintaining or attempting to enter a noncompete agreement with an employee, or conveying — absent a good-faith basis — that a worker is subject to a noncompete clause."

    1. "Groups sue to block FTC's new rule barring noncompete agreements," 04.24.24.
      The Washington Post reports, "The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups on Wednesday sued the Federal Trade Commission over a new rule that would make most noncompete agreements illegal, setting up a potential showdown over the scope of the agency's authority."

    2. "States Are Charting Their Own Course on Employment Noncompetes," 04.24.24.
      Bloomberg Law reports that states are not yet following the FTC's call but that "some states have continued to enact new state laws that restrict (but don't ban) the enforcement of non-competes. Others continue to allow their courts to decide the enforcement on noncompetes on a case-by-case basis. A few other states enacted their own state-specific bans of noncompetes."

    3. "Employers Shouldn't Rush to Comply With FTC's Noncompete Ban," 04.25.24.
      "The Federal Trade Commission's final rule banning most non-competition agreements is anything but final. It's just the beginning of what likely will be a lengthy court battle over the rule's validity, leaving its future uncertain," according to Bloomberg Law.

    4. "FTC's Noncompete Ban Could Encourage Mobility Among Legal Recruiters," 04.26.24.
      "Headhunting firms have used covenants to prevent their employees from leaving. Now these firms could become more vulnerable to poaching," reports The American Lawyer.

  20. "Big Law Skips Ahead of On-Campus Recruiting in Race for Talent," 04.22.24.
    Bloomberg Law reports on the compressed timelines of pre-OCI recruiting and notes, "For law students, the changes have made an already fraught process even more difficult."

  21. "Where will tomorrow's lawyers come from?" 04.22.24.
    Jordan Furlong examines data on lawyer hiring trends and warns, "The lawyer development system is slowing down; the future talent pipeline is narrowing and clogging up. It's not just that law firms could run out of future partners; at this rate, the legal profession risks running out of future lawyers."

  22. "The multi-disciplinary lawyer: Why legal expertise isn't enough," 04.18.24.
    Law360 Canada reports, "The conventional notion of what makes a successful, valuable lawyer has and continues to undergo a transformation. While it is still important to have legal expertise, this has become just the starting point for the profession as a whole and is in no way guaranteed a successful representation of clients and the community." (Subscription required.)

  23. "My Nonpracticing Law Job: Librarian," 04.18.24.
    "Lisa A. Goodman at Texas A&M University shares how she went from a BigLaw associate who liked to hang out in the firm's law library to director of a law library herself in just over a decade, and provides considerations for anyone interested in pursuing a law librarian career," at Law360. (Subscription required.)

  24. "ANALYSIS: Legal Employment Continued to Tumble From Q4 to Q1," 04.15.24.
    Bloomberg Law analyzes data showing that "[t]he US legal workforce contracted for a second consecutive quarter in Q1, starting off the year with falling employment totals and climbing unemployment rates — reflecting a cooling field in an otherwise hot job market."


  25. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

  26. "A 1st Generation Attorney In BigLaw: 'Go The Extra Mile'," 04.24.24.
    "A hastily done assignment as a summer associate and some subsequent stern and honest words from a mentor led Reed Smith partner Rizwan 'Rizzy' Qureshi to change how he looked at and approached his job, not only for that summer but for the rest of his career," writes Law360. (Subscription required.)

  27. "Canadian Human Rights Commission releases 2023 Annual Report highlighting challenges and progress," 04.23.24.
    Canadian Lawyer reports on a recent report from the Canadian Human Rights Commission that "highlighted various pressing human rights issues that have impacted Canadians throughout the year, such as the safety of two-spirit, trans, non-binary, and gender-diverse youth and the increase in antisemitism, Islamophobia, and racism-fueled hate. The report also addressed the need for greater attention to the barriers faced by people with disabilities and the impacts of environmental racism on Indigenous, Black, and other racialized communities."

  28. "Gap in the legal field diversity pipeline," 04.18.24.
    This op-ed at Law360 Canada examines data on diversity in the Canadian legal market and explores some of the barriers preventing marginalized populations from joining the pipeline to legal careers.

  29. "Supreme Court makes it easier to file workplace discrimination claims," 04.17.24.
    The Washington Post reports, "The Supreme Court on Wednesday made it easier for workers to pursue employment discrimination claims over job transfers, unanimously siding with a female police sergeant in St. Louis who said she was reassigned to a less prestigious role because she is a woman."


  30. Mental Health/Well-Being

  31. "Women & Alcohol in the Legal Industry: Denial, Stereotypes, and Stigma," 04.24.24.
    A female lawyer, writing for Law.com International, shares her experience and discusses the stigma around mental health and alcohol abuse, especially among women.

  32. "How I Deal With Stress: A McDermott Partner on Setting Boundaries and the Difficulty of Taking Time Out," 04.22.24.
    Another profile in this Law.com International series on lawyer mental health interviews a woman partner who "has succeeded in the high-pressure environment of private equity, juggled motherhood and honed her stress management skills."


  33. Technology

  34. "TikTok Layoff Videos Pose Quandary for Bosses on How to Respond," 04.26.24.
    Bloomberg Law takes a deep dive into the recent trend of employees recording and posting interactions with their employers on social media, including implications for both the employee and the employer.

  35. "How Long Before People Trust AI More Than They Trust You?" 04.22.24.
    This Legaltech News op-ed by a law firm IT expert asks, "How long will it be before the output of AI is trusted more than a legal professional in their respective field? How long will it be before AI is the preferred source for tax advice, financial guidance, educational insights, or legal counsel? The implications are profound, not just for how we practice law, but for how we perceive the value of human expertise in an AI-driven world."



April 19, 2024


    Law Schools/Higher Education

  1. "Law deans balk at course uniformity proposed by American Bar Association," 04.18.24.
    Reuters reports, "More than a third [of] U.S. law school deans say they oppose an American Bar Association proposal that would require greater uniformity across courses, arguing that the ABA is unnecessarily tightening its grip on law schools and constraining legal educators' freedom in the classroom."

  2. "Law schools examine pedagogy as NextGen bar exam looms," 04.16.24.
    "With the dawn of the NextGen bar exam approaching, some law schools are adjusting curricula to better prepare students for the test's specific demands," reports ABA Journal.


  3. Law Firms

  4. "Troutman Pepper, Locke Lord Discuss a New $1.5 Billion Firm," 04.18.24.
    Bloomberg Law reports, "Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders and Locke Lord are discussing a merger that would place the combined firm among the 30 largest by revenue, boosting the operation's ability to compete with large rivals."

  5. "What It Means to be a Law Firm Partner Now," 04.18.24.
    Law.com's The Barometer newsletter discusses the "growing shift inside Big Law partnership ranks to make more lawyers salaried partners — instead of moving lawyers to the equity ranks, or keeping them as associates or counsel."

  6. "Weil Revises Partner Pay Criteria, as Firm Plots Leadership Succession," 04.17.24.
    The American Lawyer reports on Weil Gotshal's new compensation and succession plan.

  7. "Showcasing Resilience of the Industry, Am Law 100 Firms Turn in Strong 2023," 04.16.24.
    Law.com reports, "Overall, the [legal] industry rebounded from a difficult 2022 to post gains in virtually every measurable financial and operational metric."

    1. "The 2024 Am Law 100 ," 04.16.24.
      Law.com's Am Law 100 rankings are available here.

    2. "Ballooning Nonequity Partnerships Are Boosting Leverage, But Will They Raise Profits?" 04.16.24.
      "For the first time, law firms added nearly as many nonequity partners as they did associates," reports The American Lawyer.

    3. "Big Law's Big Realization?" 04.16.24.
      The American Lawyer reports, "in 2023, Am Law 100 firms saw their lowest realization rates in five years."

    4. "'Sign of Overall Health': The Am Law 100 Metric That Deserves More Attention," 04.16.24.
      "[As] a barometer of firm performance, profits per lawyer — a firm's net income divided by its attorney headcount in full-time-equivalents — also doesn't get the most attention. But should that change?" asks The American Lawyer.

  8. "Big Law Better, Explained," 04.15.24.
    In this episode of Law.com's Legal Speak podcast, "McDermott Will & Emery Chair Ira Coleman explains "Big Law Better," his idea on where the legal sector is moving and what elements of previous iterations the industry should be looking to maintain and which it should perhaps relegate to times gone by."

  9. "The Journey From Associate To Partner: Navigating New Waters," 04.12.24.
    This piece at Above the Law, written by a consultant, provides tips for new partners on making the transition from associate to partner.

  10. "UK survey highlights law firm associates' concern over work-life balance," 04.11.24.
    Canadian Lawyer reports on a recent U.K. survey that showed that only 25 percent of associates aspired to become partners, noting, "For many associates, the pursuit of a better work-life balance trumps the traditional trajectory towards partnership."

  11. "Law Firms Slowed Pace Of Hiring In First Quarter Of 2024," 04.11.24.
    Law360 reports, "Despite a modest recovery in the latter half of last year, law firm lateral recruitment tapered off once again in the first quarter of 2024, with the hiring of associate candidates dropping the most during that period, according to Firm Prospects LLC." (Subscription required.)

  12. "An Attorney's Path From Associate To Partner In 4 Years," 04.05.24.
    "At Canadian law firms, it generally takes an associate at least eight years to make partner," says Law360 in this profile of a lawyer who made it in four years. (Subscription required.)


  13. Employment Market/Return to Office

  14. "You Should Invest In Your Future, Now," 04.18.24.
    A lawyer writing for Daily Business Review advises new lawyers, "If you work at perfecting your craft, are involved in the community, and build meaningful relationships, you will see returns without ever looking for them."

  15. "To Improve Law Firm Culture, Let Authenticity Fly," 04.17.24.
    This op-ed at The Legal Intelligencer argues, "when surveying the landscape of a multigenerational workforce operating in a mixture of hybrid and remote work, authenticity is essential to workplace satisfaction and loyalty," and provides tips for law firms to create an authentic culture.

  16. "Phila. Associate Talent Market Cools, as Local Firms Refine Retention Strategies," 04.17.24.
    "Local firms are improving on associate retention strategies, creating a tight recruitment market in Philadelphia," reports The Legal Intelligencer.

  17. "B.C. introduces legislation on legal profession reform; law society, bar association opposed," 04.11.24.
    Law360 Canada reports, "The B.C. government has unveiled long-promised legislation to bring lawyers, paralegals and notaries under the umbrella of one regulator. But the provincial law society and bar association have both come out swinging against the proposals, saying they would erode the independence of the legal profession."

    1. "BC undermining lawyer independence with Legal Professions Act: LSBC, CBA BC Branch," 04.18.24.
      Canadian Lawyer has more.


  18. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

  19. "Treated as an 'Idiot' at First Deanship, Nell Jessup Newton Reflects on Industry Progress for Women in Leadership," 04.17.24.
    In the last interview of their series about female leaders, Law.com profiles the first woman dean of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

  20. "Dozens of Campuses Shed or Alter DEI Efforts as Political Pressure Mounts," 04.15.24.
    "Since January 2023, at least 116 college campuses have altered or eliminated offices, jobs, hiring practices, and programs that explicitly recruit and retain students and staff from marginalized communities in response to state legislation and political pressure," reports The Chronicle of Higher Education. (Subscription required.)

  21. "Can You Be a Diligent Parent And an Equity Partner?," 04.14.24
    This editorial at Law.com International addresses last week's piece that described the experience of a successful woman lawyer who changed firms when she had children (Lawyer, Mother, and the Dark Night of the Soul), examines data on gender equality and the pay gap in the U.K., and concludes, "firms say one thing about retaining women, but do another."

  22. "Study reveals decline in student diversity at US law schools following affirmative action bans," 04.11.24.
    Canadian Lawyer reports on the recent study that showed declining diversity, especially at elite U.S. law schools, in the aftermath of affirmative action bans.


  23. Mental Health/Well-Being

  24. "Use Bite-Sized Portions to Embed Well-Being in Law Firm Culture," 04.19.24.
    A law firm Director of Well-Being, writing for Bloomberg Law, outlines her firm's approach to incorporating well-being education into the firm's culture.

  25. "When Drinking to Escape Has You Trapped: A Look at Alcohol Use in the Legal Profession," 04.15.24.
    Patrick Krill, writing for Law.com, examines data on alcohol consumption among lawyers ("approximately 80% of lawyers drink, compared to only about 62% of the general adult population"), considers some of the reasons behind that data, and notes, "drinking to cope with stress has the paradoxical effect of eventually reducing one's stress tolerance: long-term heavy drinkers experience higher levels of anxiety when faced with a stressful situation than nondrinkers or moderate drinkers."


  26. Technology

  27. "ChatGPT Will Come for Partners' Work in Contract Law, Says Prof," 04.18.24.
    Bloomberg Law's Big Law Business column interviews a law professor who predicts that generative artificial intelligence will dramatically change the practice of contract law because "'generative interpretation' can replace the messy and expensive way lawyers currently hash out the meaning of words in legal agreements, using dictionaries and Latin canons."

  28. "Law Firm Leaders Say Gen AI Can Level Playing Field Between Large and Smaller Firms," 04.15.24.
    "[S]ome firms in the Second Hundred say AI presents an opportunity to level the playing field in the legal industry, by allowing firms to take on larger and more matters that would have required more resources and staff," according to Daily Report.

  29. "Empathy, human connection, and creativity separate lawyers from AI systems, says Tara Vasdani," 04.10.24.
    Canadian Lawyer interviews Tara Vasdani, the principal lawyer and founder of Remote Law Canada, who believes that "empathy, human connection, and creativity" are the qualities that lawyers should cultivate in order to differentiate themselves from technology tools such as generative artififial intelligence.



April 12, 2024


    Top Stories

  1. "At 18%, Law Firm Associate Attrition Rate Continues 2-Year Decline," 04.10.24.
    The NALP Foundation's Update on Associate Attrition was released this week, and The American Lawyer reports on the data, which shows that overall associate attrition rates fell but the attrition rate for associates of color remained significantly higher.

    1. "Overall hiring has now returned to pre-pandemic levels, with firms also increasing their rehiring of former associates," 04.10.24.
      Read the NALP Foundation's press release here.

    2. "Associate Hiring And Attrition Fell In '23 For 2nd Straight Year," 04.10.24.
      Law360 also reports on this story. (Subscription required.)

    3. "It's a quick goodbye for many departing associates, new NALP Foundation report finds," 04.11.24.
      ABA Journal has more. (Subscription required.)

  2. "AI Discrimination Will Be Enforcement Target, Agencies Say," 04.05.24.
    "Companies increasingly rely on artificial intelligence to make decisions about individuals, from choosing job applicants to setting mortgage rates," reports Bloomberg Law, and now federal agencies "are doubling down on enforcement commitments" related to those decisions.

    1. "AI Revolution in Employment Tools Surfaces Risks for Businesses," 04.12.24.
      Bloomberg Law takes a deep dive into some of the ways artificial intelligence tools can display bias and how employers should work to mitigate the related risks.


  3. Law Schools/Higher Education

  4. "Biden makes another pitch for student loan relief, but challenges loom," 04.09.24.
    "President Biden on Monday laid out plans to forgive some or all student loans for more than 30 million Americans, trying to expand on his administration's work to reduce debt burdens but offering a narrower path for forgiveness than a plan struck down by the Supreme Court last year," reports The Washington Post.

    1. "Biden administration cancels another $7.4 billion in student loans," 04.12.24.
      And a follow-up story from the Post says, "the Biden administration is announcing another round of loan cancellation through existing debt relief programs."

  5. "Saskatchewan government boosts practical learning at University of Saskatchewan College of Law," 04.09.24.
    Canadian Lawyer reports, "Saskatchewan has announced a $100,000 funding initiative to enhance practical learning opportunities for University of Saskatchewan College of Law students."

    1. "Saskatchewan expanding law student placements in name of access to justice," 04.10.24.
      Law360 Canada also picks up this story.

  6. "U.S. News' law school rankings are out, with fewer big moves," 04.09.24.
    Reuters reports on this year's release of law school rankings.

    1. "The 2024-2025 USNWR law school rankings: methodology tweaks may help entrench elite schools, but elite schools see reputation decline among lawyers and judges," 04.08.24.
      The Excess of Democracy blog examines some of the changes to the U.S. News methodology and opines, "Tougher times are coming to graduating law classes in the very near future. And you don't want to be preparing for the storm in the middle of it. Law schools should be in the process of adding to their career development offices — in fact, I'd say, as a rule of thumb, doubling the size."

    2. "Commentary On The 2024-25 U.S. News Law School Rankings," 04.10.24.
      For those who want to read more, TaxProf Blog has a roundup of opinion pieces on this topic.

    3. "After setbacks, U.S. News law school rankings show signs of waning influence," 04.12.24.
      Reuters reports that web traffic to the leaked U.S. News law school rankings fell this year, "the latest hint that the influence of U.S. News' law school rankings is waning following a widespread boycott by schools that began in 2022 and a series of data errors that plagued the rollout of the 2023 list."

    4. "A 'Bad Look'?: Legal Ed Professionals Weigh In on US News Rankings Methodology," 04.12.24.
      Law.com's Christine Charnosky shares thoughts from some people in the industry.


  7. Law Firms

  8. "As Partners Retire, Shifting Clients and Compensation Is Delicate," 04.12.24.
    A consultant from Major, Lindsey & Africa, writing for Bloomberg Law, outlines considerations for law firm succession planning, including planning for client transitions and the "delicate dance" of compensation for the junior and senior lawyers.

  9. "Identify Future Leaders, Open Lines of Communication and Do It With Time to Spare: A Succession Planning Primer," 04.09.24.
    The American Lawyer explores issues surrounding succession planning for law firms, noting that generational differences are a contributing factor, and advises, "One of the solutions [is] developing and screening for leadership skills early on during an attorney's tenure with the firm, as well as at different milestones, such as when an attorney first makes partner."

  10. "Elite New York Law Firms Outperformed Market, as Firms Invested in Both Equity, Nonequity Tiers," 04.08.24.
    The American Lawyer reports, "Leaning on more mid-market M&A deals, as well as big-ticket litigation and restructuring fees, elite New York law firms recovered from a slow 2022 and, as a whole, bested the legal market in 2023. The New York group outperformed on demand, productivity and revenue percentage growth, according to Citi figures and American Lawyer's own internal data."

    1. "An Early Look: The 2024 Am Law 200 Financials," 04.09.24.
      Check this feed at The American Lawyer for all of their law firm financial coverage.


  11. Employment Market/Return to Office

  12. "Law Firms Slowed Pace Of Hiring In First Quarter of 2024," 04.11.24.
    Law360 reports, "Despite a modest recovery in the latter half of last year, law firm lateral recruitment tapered off once again in the first quarter of 2024, with the hiring of associate candidates dropping the most during the period, according to Firm Prospects LLC." (Subscription required.)

  13. "Time to Move Past the Term 'Nonlawyer' as Legal Industry Evolves," 04.11.24.
    Bloomberg Law columnist David Lat interviews Olga Mack and Damien Riehl about their recent petition to stop using the term "non-lawyer."

    1. "The Law Firm Disrupted: A Fight Over Names That Just Won't Seem To End," 04.11.24.
      Dan Packel, author of Law.com's The Law Firm Disrupted column, weighs in on the debate around "non-lawyers," arguing "with pride, not profits at stake, I expect scores of licensed lawyers to dig in against any sort of regulatory change focused on labels and terminology for workers in the legal industry who lack law degrees."

  14. "7 Pieces of Advice for Mid-Level Associates," 04.09.24.
    An associate writing for Daily Report shares advice for junior and mid-level associates.

  15. "In Partner Hiring, Business Plans Become 'Litmus Test' For Government Hires," 04.09.24.
    "When searching for lateral partners to hire, law firms are putting much more weight on candidates' business plans, particularly government attorneys who are transitioning to private practice, according to recruiters for firms," reports The National Law Journal.

  16. "We need more lawyers!" 04.09.24.
    Jordan Furlong contemplates paraprofessionals, legal reform, and access to justice and concludes, "We need more lawyers. We need more from lawyers."

  17. "Sexual harassment persists in the legal profession," 04.05.24.
    This op-ed at Canadian Lawyer asserts, "A multi-level approach is needed to move the needle on workplace sexual harassment in the legal profession," and outlines the roles of regulators, law firm leadership, and individual lawyers.

  18. "Rethinking Mandatory Retirement Age: A Win-Win for Lawyers and Law Firms?" 04.04.24.
    This op-ed at Law.com argues that it's time for law firms to rethink mandatory retirement and provides a list of "starting points for a deeper conversation about creating a more adaptable, inclusive, and forward-thinking environment within law firms."


  19. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

  20. "Gen Z workers can take criticism. You're just phrasing it wrong," 04.10.24.
    "Your youngest colleagues may be the newest to the workplace, but they have clear expectations about how they would like to receive feedback: It should be timely, collaborative, empathetic and balanced. But if you wait weeks or months to address an issue, fix their mistakes without a conversation or focus only on what went wrong, they just might leave to find a workplace that connects with them better," according to The Washington Post.

  21. "Lawyer, Mother and the Dark Night of the Soul: What We Are Doing to Women at Law Firms," 04.10.24.
    The author of this op-ed at Law.com International reflects on her experience as a lawyer and new mother: "Though this is my story, all the other data points of women who disproportionately leave law firms have their own. The common thread we share is believing our firms when they said they were committed to keeping us. Why do we keep doing this to women at law firms?"

  22. "Gender Pay Gap: Elite UK Firms Show Little to No Improvement," 04.09.24.
    "The gender pay gaps at several of the U.K.'s elite law firms have widened across key metrics, with reports for 2023 revealing little to no improvement over the last 12 months," according to Law.com International.

  23. "Federal Race Data Revamp Gives EEOC More Precise Worker Insights," 04.09.24.
    Bloomberg Law takes a closer look at the implications of the EEOC's recently finalized new race and ethnicity categories.

  24. "Why Lawsuits Against Campus Antisemitism May Succeed," 04.05.24.
    Bloomberg Law's On the Merits podcast discusses "civil rights lawsuits from students who say the schools allow, or at least don't counter, a culture on campus of pervasive antisemitism."

  25. "Discrimination lawsuit prompts Wisconsin Bar to modify diversity program," 04.05.24.
    Reuters reports, "The State Bar of Wisconsin has modified the parameters of a diversity program for law students after a conservative legal advocacy group sued in December, claiming the program discriminates based on race."

  26. "10 Ways Employers Can Mitigate Risk When Disciplining Employees With Protected Status," 04.05.24.
    A lawyer writing for Daily Report outlines "several steps companies can take proactively…to ensure the business keeps running smoothly while effectively determining how best to discipline a protected employee."

  27. "'Tough year' for gender equality, says LEAF ahead of annual Evening for Equality event," 04.03.24.
    Law Times reports that the Women's Legal Education & Action Fund (LEAF) will be celebrating Equality Day on April 17 but notes, "it has been a 'tough year, overall' for the gender equality movement."


  28. Mental Health/Well-Being

  29. "A Lawyer Dies. Is Big Law To Blame?" 04.09.24.
    A recent blog post by Vivia Chen shares her thoughts on the intersection of mental health, heavy workload, motherhood, and depression in the wake of Vanessa Ford's death.

  30. "Empowering lawyers returning to practice," 04.08.24.
    CBA/ABC National reports on "Returnity YYC, a Calgary program designed for lawyers in Calgary on parental leave (maternity, paternity or adoption)."

  31. "Law firms told to introduce 'trigger warnings' amid growing fears for the mental health of lawyers working from 9am to 11pm in the City," 04.08.24.
    The U.K.'s Daily Mail reports, "Some lawyers in the City work more than 3,000 hours a year, which is equivalent to an 11.5-hour day for five days a week or an eight-hour day every day," and notes that the chairman of the City of London Law Society suggested such extreme hours should cause alarm among law firm leaders.

  32. "How I Deal With Stress: A Clifford Chance Partner on Feeling Overwhelmed and Accepting Help," 04.08.24.
    The next interview in the series on mental health and coping with stress from Law.com International.

    1. "How I Deal With Stress: A Sidley Partner on Personal Tragedy and Preparing for Fatherhood," 04.11.24.
      In this installment, "Sidley's Max Savoie talks about the value of to-do lists, getting counselling and switching off."


  33. Technology

  34. "Technology makes it easy for lawyers to work across borders: regulations should too," 04.11.24.
    This post on The Conversation argues that technology is making borders and transnational legal practice regulations obsolete.

  35. "Could Gen AI Be a 'Pivotal Moment' for the Legal Aid Market?" 04.10.24.
    Legaltech News reports, "The legal aid community is actively exploring the use cases for generative AI, and these could differ from what Big Law has been experimenting with over the last year or so."

  36. "Lawyers Say Technology Improves Employee Satisfaction. So Why Are Firms Slow to Modernize?" 04.09.24.
    A new study reported in Legaltech News shows, "more law firm respondents at high-tech firms said they were highly satisfied overall (74%) than those at mid- or low-tech firms (51%). The same held true when considering whether employees were highly likely to stay at their jobs at high-tech vs. mid- or low-tech firms (73% vs. 61%) and highly likely to recommend their organization (75% vs. 53%)."

  37. "AI in Employment Law: Balancing Innovation, Bias, and Legal Compliance," 04.08.24.
    "The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in employment decisions is rapidly advancing, offering employers a wealth of tools for recruitment and hiring. However, beneath the surface of its promising streamlined processes and enhanced decision-making lies a potential minefield of discrimination claims," reports The Recorder.

  38. "The AI Revolution Is Here. Who Will Be the Winners and Losers in Legal Services?" 04.08.24.
    Corporate Counsel reports, "Legal tech vendors, alternative service providers and law firms are all vying for in-house counsel's attention, and the winners in the legal field will be those who figure out how to put [AI technology] to the best use for those clients."

  39. "Is AI racially biased? Study finds chatbots treat Black-sounding names differently," 04.05.24.
    USA Today reports, "A recent paper from researchers at Stanford Law School found 'significant disparities across names associated with race and gender' from chatbots like OpenAI's ChatGPT 4 and Google AI's PaLM-2. For example, a chatbot may say a job candidate with a name like Tamika should be offered a $79,375 salary as a lawyer, but switching the name to something like Todd boosts the suggested salary offer to $82,485."


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