Weekly News Digest for Legal Career Professionals

Each week NALP's Executive Director 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.



July 30, 2021


    Top Stories

  1. "There Are More Women Lawyers Than Ever, and They're Not Pleased With Legal Industry Norms," 07.29.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "women lawyers aren't nearly as satisfied with their career experiences at law firms as men are, according to the annual Profile of the Legal Profession released Thursday by the American Bar Association." ("Pay gaps and perceptions of gender bias are driving factors, as well as day-to-day challenges women face that men typically don't.")

  2. "Remote Bar Examinees Report Blank Screens, Lost Time, Panic and Looking 'Death in the Eye'," 07.28.21.
    Law.com reports that "law school graduates taking the remote bar exam Tuesday and Wednesday are reporting technical failures, blank screens, tears and overwhelming stress." ("Both the National Conference of Bar Examiners—the group that designed the test—and ExamSoft—the online test platform—acknowledged the problems Tuesday.")


  3. The Unrelated Feel-Goods

  4. "She's nearly 100. He's 2 and lives next door. Here's how they became best friends.," 07.28.21.
    The Washington Post reports on the friendship between Mary O'Neill, who is nearly 100, and Benjamin Olson, who is 2: "The two have become the best of friends, a lifeline of sorts for each other during the pandemic." (Hat tip to Mary Beal.)

  5. "Lydia Jacoby, 17-year-old bluegrass musician, delivers the most stirring upset of the Olympics," 07.27.21.
    The Washington Post writes about all the feel-goods in the aftermath of Lydia Jacoby's Olympic gold medal swim in the 100-meter breaststroke Tuesday morning — the 17-year old from Seward, Alaska, they report, "more accustomed to performing in front of audiences at bluegrass festivals around Alaska than as an athlete on international television." (And if for some strange reason you have not yet seen the video of her high school classmates watching her win that race, do yourself a favor and watch it.)

  6. "This 'Shazam' for Birds Could Help Save Them," 07.26.21.
    This New York Times guest essay reports that last month, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology released an updated version of its Merlin Bird ID app, which allows users to identify birds by song: "Watching those birds appear on my phone screen in response to the sound of their voices in the air was a kind of wizardry — like watching the notes of a song become visible, like having fairies or angels suddenly embodied before me. Merlin made me see what before I could only imagine."

  7. "Her child is transgender. So she went back to school and became a lawyer to help fight for trans rights.," 07.26.21.
    Our feel-good reads don't have to be entirely unrelated to the legal profession — here The Washington Post reports that at the age of 45 Katie Jenifer went to law school so she could help fight for her transgender daughter's rights.


  8. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  9. "New lawyer demographics show modest growth in minority attorneys," 07.29.21.
    Karen Sloan, writing for Reuters, reports on the findings of the ABA's latest annual Profile of the Legal Profession, that has updated data on lawyer demographics broken down by gender, race, geography and age: "The percentage of women attorneys increased to 37% from 33% in 2011, according to the report, and racial diversity in the profession has also made slow but steady progress. Lawyers of color made up 11.2% of all attorneys in 2011, and now comprise 14.6%. But those gains were not seen across all minority groups. The percentage of Black attorneys decreased slightly from 4.8% in 2011 to 4.7% this year—far lower than the more than 13% of Americans who are Black. The percentage of Native Americans also declined, from 1% in 2011 to less than half a percent this year. But the percentage of both Asian and Hispanic attorneys increased. Hispanics now account for nearly 5% of attorneys, up from 3.9% in 2011, while the percentage of Asian lawyers grew from 1.7% to 2.5% during the last 10 years."

  10. "New Mansfield Program Targets Law Firm Work Assignments and Their Inherent Biases," 07.27.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Diversity Lab is piloting another new program, the Mansfield Rule for Workflow, which aims to take some of the inequity and implicit bias out of the work assignment process at law firms."

  11. "Missed Targets: How the UK's Top Law Firms Fail to Hit Their Diversity Goals," 07.26.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "many of the UK's largest law firms have quietly fallen short of their own stated diversity targets according to an in-depth analysis."

  12. "'We've Made Strides, but Not Enough of Them': The ADA Turns 31 Today and the Legal Industry Has Work to Do," 07.26.21.
    Haley Moss, an autistic attorney and neurodiversity advocate who frequently provides consulting services to companies and law firms on neurodiversity programming, writing here for The American Lawyer, writes that "it feels like the legal industry has a real opportunity to keep making progress when it comes to disability and neurodiversity, if only we challenge our preexisting beliefs and continue to have open minds and hearts."

    1. "Haley Moss on Disability as a Diversity Issue and Why Remote Work Makes Her 'Incredibly Hopeful for the Future'," 07.23.21.
      Law.com speaks with Haley Moss "about how attorneys with disabilities are viewed by the legal industry, why remote work must continue and the benefits of tapping into the talent pool of neurodivergent attorneys." (Podcast — if you have trouble accessing this on Law.com you can also listen to it here on Spotify.)


  13. Mental Health/Wellness/Remote Work/Remote Learning

  14. "When Work Weighs You Down, Take a 'Sad Day'," 07.29.21.
    This New York Times piece advocates for the use of sick leave to take time off from work to look after your mental health. ("Given the extraordinary stressors of the last year and a half, regardless of your specific symptoms, 'if you feel like you might benefit from a mental health day, you have earned one,' said Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton business school, whose recent podcast explored the benefits of the 'sad day' and the importance of building a culture of compassion within the workplace.")

    1. "We should allow sad days, not just sick days," 07.27.21.
      You can find Adam Grant's podcast (transcript and recording) on Ted.com.

  15. "Is Remote Work a Thing Now?," 07.27.21.
    This Slaw post explores the future of remote work at Canadian law firms.


  16. Law Schools and Law Students

  17. "Returning to law school this fall? Better get vaccinated," 07.29.21.
    Karen Sloan, writing for Reuters, reports that "students at nearly half of the law schools in the nation will need to provide proof that they've been vaccinated against COVID-19 if they want to set foot on campus this fall, including at all the so-called T-14 elite schools…and with the Delta variant spreading fast, a growing number of schools are reversing course and announcing that mask use will again be mandatory while indoors — dashing hopes of a mask-free fall semester."

  18. "Law School Students Are Increasingly Eyeing In-House Innovation Opportunities. Are There Enough Jobs?," 07.28.21.
    Law.com reports that "more law school students with legal innovation ambitions are considering corporate legal departments as their preferred employer post-graduation, but while a relatively limited job market keeps most graduates from being too picky, legal departments are beginning to develop programs and entry-level roles to target new attorneys."

  19. "Even as Remote Learning Recedes, Legal Tech Education Moves to the Forefront," 07.27.21.
    This week's Law.com Ahead of the Curve feature that looks at innovation and notable developments in legal education "examines how the pandemic may accelerate the existing trend of law schools seeking to equip their future graduates with legal tech know-how that can be applied in the real world."

  20. "Law Schools As Gatekeepers Of The Profession," 07.27.21.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a law review article by Christopher Williams that "critically examines the structure of U.S. legal education and reveals how the structure of U.S. legal education serves as a racial gatekeeper that prevents black students from entering the legal profession in the United States."

  21. "Normalizing Law Students' Academic Struggles To Build Resilient Lawyers," 07.26.21.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a law review article by Catherine Martin Christopher that "examines and criticizes the ways legal academia treats law students' academic struggle as a problem, and suggests that legal educators reorient their attitudes toward struggle, forgiving and embracing student struggle, even building opportunities for struggle into the curriculum…by normalizing the fact of struggle, law schools will not only improve the wellness of their students, but also create lawyers who are better prepared to cope with the constant problem-solving required of successful lawyers."

  22. "The Median Length Of Service Of The 203 Law School Deans: 3.15 Years," 07.26.21.
    The TaxProf Blog reports on Jim Rosenblatt's analysis of the length of service of law school deans: "Eleven law deans have served for more than 10 years…the median point for dean's current service is 3.15 years [the average is 4.0 years]…72 deans have served more than five years, the typical first contract length for deans, and thus presumably have been re-appointed for another term. The remaining 131 deans presumably are serving under their initial contract." (Rosenblatt also provides the breakdowns of the 203 deans by gender and ethnicity.)

  23. "Desire For Social Justice Fuels Young Attys' Career Paths," 07.25.21.
    Law360 reports that "public interest jobs remain well under 10% of the jobs secured by law graduates, but the number has been edging upwards over the last four years, according to data from the National Association of Law Placement."


  24. Law Firms and Lawyers

  25. "Frustrations Over Office Requirements Prompt Staff Flight in Some Ranks," 07.30.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "some law firm staff professionals are concerned about being forced to sit in open spaces while the Delta variant spreads and lawyer offices are vacant."

  26. "More Law Firms Get Aggressive on Vaccine Mandates While Reevaluating Office Returns," 07.29.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "several big law firms, including Hogan Lovells, Lowenstein Sandler and Dickinson Wright, said Thursday they were instituting vaccine requirements for lawyer and staff attendance in the office. And more firms are considering pushing back their office return dates."

    1. "Safety Concerns Flare in Big Law as Delta Variant Spreads," 07.29.21.
      The American Lawyer reports that "Big Law attorneys are more fearful of a COVID-19 infection than attorneys at small firms, as Big Law firms grapple with returning their attorneys to the office full time, the COVID-19 Delta variant and the profound popularity of remote work," according to data drawn from the ABA Practice Forward Survey.

    2. "So Close to Returning to Offices, Companies Upend Plans Again," 07.29.21.
      The New York Times reports that "large businesses are revising their rules about employee vaccinations and wearing masks as the Delta variant drives up infections."

    3. "California Firms Reassess Return to Work, Many With Vaccine, Mask Requirements," 07.28.21.
      The Recorder reports that "as law firms weigh flexible working arrangements with the health and safety of their staff and attorneys, several based in California are updating their policies in light of renewed health guidelines amid rising disease transmission and circulation of the Delta variant."

    4. "Weil, Dickinson and Sanford Heisler Update Office Policies Amid Shifting CDC Guidance," 07.28.21.
      The American Lawyer reports that "several law firms are reinstating COVID-19 safety efforts in light of rising infection rates and the CDC's announcement this week that fully vaccinated individuals should wear masks indoors in certain parts of the country."

    5. "Delta Variant, Vaccine Slowdown Become Central Talking Points in Law Firm Office Return Plans," 07.27.21.
      The American Lawyer reports that "the Delta variant and a slowdown in COVID-19 vaccinations have taken some of the steam out of the push to return to the office, at least for some [law firms]."

  27. "2021 state of the profession report shows how COVID-19 affected older lawyers' retirement plans," 07.29.21.
    The ABA Journal reports that "the COVID-19 pandemic prompted one-third of older lawyers to change their retirement plans, according to the 2021 ABA Profile of the Legal Profession released Thursday." ("Of those attorneys, 53% said the public health crisis caused them to delay their retirement and the other 47% said the pandemic spurred them to hasten their retirement.")

  28. "At These Remote-Flexible Firms, Associate Development Takes a Front Seat," 07.29.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "for law firms forging ahead with a remote-work element, associate development, mentorship and culture upkeep is a top priority." ("Engaging each learner as an active stakeholder in their own development is crucial to continued success, according to Kristen Uhl Hulse, who was named senior director of attorney development and recruiting at Phoenix-born Snell & Wilmer last month.")

  29. "Law Firm's Summer Associate Competition Leads to Fresh Ideas for Its Corporate Clients," 07.29.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that Ropes & Gray designed a summer associate hackathon competition that has led to a new compliance training product Ropes' Insights Lab is rolling out later this year.

  30. "Navigating the Early Years of Practice," 07.29.21.
    In this Slaw post, the leader of the Associate Mentoring Plus program has developed a list of questions and five caveats to help junior associates navigate their careers in the initial years of practice.

  31. "As Big Law Goes Back to the Office, Akerman Commits to Hybrid Working Policy," 07.27.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Akerman lawyers and consultants will be allowed to work remotely indefinitely, according to a recent statement from firm chairman and CEO Scott Meyers…the Am Law 100 firm's associates will occasionally be required to work at their assigned offices."

  32. "Latham Leads in Associate Laterals Hires Amid 2021 Deal Boom," 07.27.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Latham & Watkins has hired more associate laterals than any other firm in the first half of 2021…the second largest Am Law 100 firm hired 274 lateral associates between Jan. 1 and June 30 this year."

  33. "Litigation Practices 'Desperate' for Talent as New Cases Compound a Backlog of Work," 07.26.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "litigation practices are finding themselves in a candidate's market for recruitment, driven by the new volume of cases compounding a backlog that has only recently begun to be relieved by courts reopening in the second quarter of 2021."

  34. "NJ Summer Associate Programs, Many Hybridized, Forge Ahead in Second Year of Upheaval," 07.26.21.
    The New Jersey Law Journal reports that "in a second straight hiring cycle that could conservatively be characterized as unusual, summer associate programs in New Jersey have mostly persevered amid difficulties, logistical and otherwise."


  35. Corporate Counsel/Legal Operations/Legal Technology/ALSPs

  36. "'Frustrated' Legal Department Leaders Want Law Firms to Improve Data Reporting," 07.28.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "general counsel are increasingly looking for law firms that can collect and deliver data so corporations can improve their decision-making about risks and spending, but they are often frustrated when outside counsel can't meet these expectations."

  37. "Open Letter Urges General Counsel, Compliance Chiefs to Get Serious About Disability Inclusion," 07.23.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "in-house leaders for The Coca-Cola Co., Unilever, Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) and other major corporations in the U.S. and U.K. are asking their fellow general counsel and chief compliance officers to do something about the "shockingly low" number of disabled people in the legal industry." (GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare general counsel Bjarne Tellmann and Elevate Services Inc. vice president of contracts solutions and disability inclusion Prashant Dubey co-authored an open letter that calls on GCs and CCOs to "make a simple commitment in 2021—take one concrete action toward improving the inclusion of people with disabilities in their departments.")


  38. Higher Education/Secondary Education

  39. "Study: LGBTQ Adults More Likely to Have Federal Student Loans," 07.28.21.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "LGBTQ adults are more likely to have federal student loans than non-LGBTQ adults, according to a new study by the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law…thirty-five percent of LGBTQ adults have federal student loans, compared to 23 percent of non-LGBTQ adults."

  40. "Colleges Envisioned a Near-Normal Fall Semester. Then Came the Delta Variant.," 07.28.21.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "a month out from the new term, some colleges are responding to a Covid surge by changing strategy." (Subscription required.)

  41. "Post-COVID Optimism on College Finances," 07.28.21.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "with COVID-19 loosening its grip on campuses, the economy and American psyches, and many institutions' budgets boosted by a major infusion of federal funds…three-quarters of respondents to Inside Higher Ed's 2021 Survey of College and University Business Officers express confidence in their institution's financial stability over the next decade…the same proportion says their college or university is in better financial shape than it was a year ago, and two-thirds say it is stronger than it was in 2019."

  42. "New CDC Mask-Wearing Guidance Could Alter Colleges' Return-to-Campus Plans," 07.27.21.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance on Tuesday, recommending that vaccinated Americans wear masks indoors in certain circumstances due to the highly transmissible Delta variant of Covid-19…this may throw a wrench in return-to-campus plans for colleges that aimed to resume pre-pandemic operations." (Subscription required.)

  43. "'A Renewed U.S. Commitment to International Education'," 07.27.21.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "the U.S. Departments of Education and State issued a joint statement of principles Monday articulating a renewed U.S. commitment to international education."

    1. "Biden Administration Calls for 'Renewed U.S. Commitment' to International Education," 07.26.21.
      More on this from The Chronicle of Higher Education. (Subscription required.)

    2. "New Student-Visa Data Paint an Optimistic Picture for Fall Enrollments," 07.23.21.
      The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "as U.S. consulates around the world reopen, student-visa issuance is returning to pre-pandemic levels, bringing relief to American colleges that had feared yet another semester with many international students stranded overseas." ("American consulates approved almost 117,000 F-1 student visas in May and June, or 93 percent of the number of student visas issued in the same two months in 2019, according to a Chronicle analysis of U.S. Department of State data. More than 143,000 F-1 visas were authorized from January to June of this year, 83 percent of the number issued during the same period two years ago.") (Subscription required.)

  44. "The GC at University of South Florida on How COVID-19, the Financial Collapse and the BLM Movement Impacted Higher Institutions," 07.26.21.
    The latest episode of Corporate Counsel's Legal Innovators Interview Series features Gerard Solis, General Counsel at University of South Florida, who discusses how COVID-19, the financial collapse and the Black Lives Matter movement impacted higher institutions like USF, and talks about the differences between working in the legal field at a public institution and working in private practice as well as working in house at a private company or even a publicly traded company. (Video interview, about 17.5 minutes)



July 23, 2021


    Top Stories

  1. "Summer Recruiting Dropped Amid Pandemic Uncertainty: NALP Report," 07.21.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "despite record profits among the country's largest firms, summer recruiting and hiring at law schools saw a dip amid uncertainty in the pandemic, according to the National Association for Law Placement."

    1. "After a soft recruiting season for 2021 summer associates, new cycle appears 'off to a rollicking start'," 07.21.21.
      The ABA Journal also reports on the latest NALP research on recruiting volume during the pandemic.

    2. "Wake Up Call: Firms' Summer Recruiting Shrank Amidst Covid," 07.22.21.
      More on this from Bloomberg Law: "Law firms' summer recruiting offers and average class sizes all shrank because of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 as many large firms made 'conservative' recruiting decisions despite hefty revenue and profit gains, according to a new report from the National Association for Law Placement."

    3. "Drop In Summer Associates To Reverberate In Firm Talent War," 07.22.21.
      Law360 also reports on the new NALP recruiting data report, writing that "even as law firms raise pay in a scramble to attract and retain associates, recruiting for summer associates has fallen off in recent years."

  2. "U.S. Coronavirus Recession Lasted Two Months, Ended in April 2020, Official Arbiter Says," 07.19.21.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "the U.S. officially climbed out of a recession in April 2020, concluding a pandemic-driven economic contraction that lasted two months, making it the shortest on record." (Subscription required.)


  3. The Unrelated Feel-Goods

  4. "A teacher was pregnant. Students built a device so her spouse, who uses a wheelchair, can stroll with the baby.," 07.22.21.
    Hat tip to Kara Sutherland for this piece from The Washington Postif this story doesn't make you feel good this morning, nothing will.

  5. "They are Olympians. They are mothers. And they no longer have to choose.," 07.20.21.
    The Washington Post reports that "this summer, at least a dozen moms will compete for Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics, among them some of the most accomplished and famous female athletes of their era…countless other Olympian moms will compete in Tokyo for other nations…none, it is safe to assume, will have to hide their motherhood from the world."


  6. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  7. "Want to Make DEI Part of Your Firm Fabric? Hire a DEI Pro as COO.," 07.22.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Fish & Richardson recently promoted its chief legal talent and inclusion officer, who previously led diversity efforts at Kirkland & Ellis and Faegre Baker Daniels, to COO." (Woot Woot!)

  8. "Discover GC Wanji Walcott Named Chair of Minority Corporate Counsel Association," 07.22.21
    Corporate Counsel reports that "Wanji Walcott, general counsel at Discover Financial Services, has been named chair of the board of directors at the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA), [and noting that] she is the first Black woman to chair the board."

  9. "Law Schools, Law Firms Must Share Responsibility for Diversity," 07.21.21.
    Benjamin Spencer, the dean of William & Mary Law School, writing here for Bloomberg Law, writes that "law schools and law firms must partner to ensure that a pipeline of underrepresented students apply to law school and receive the professional development support they need to remain and advance at firms."

  10. "Pipeline for building diversity in leadership both a moral and business imperative: Gowling lawyer," 07.20.21.
    The Canadian Lawyer speaks with Rebecca Jaremko Bromwich, Gowling WLG's national manager of equity, diversity, and inclusion, who says that "it not only is a moral imperative to build a pipeline for putting more women and lawyers of diverse backgrounds into leadership, but it is also becoming a business imperative."

  11. "Why Higher Salaries Alone Don't Equal Happier—or More Diverse—Associates," 07.16.21.
    This Law.com Legal Speak podcast "features a conversation with Caren Ulrich Stacy, founder and CEO of Diversity Lab, about the associate salary war's impact on law firm diversity and young lawyer retention in general."


  12. New York Employment Law Alert

  13. "New York City Issues Guidance on Fair Chance Act Amendments Effective July 29, 2021," 07.22.21.
    The National Law Review reports that "The New York City Council amended New York City's Fair Chance Act (FCA) to significantly expand the scope of protections for applicants and employees with criminal charges or arrests." (The amendments are effective on July 29, 2021.)

    1. "Amendments to New York City's Fair Chance Act Require Most NYC Employers to Revamp Hiring Protocols," 07.22.21.
      Epstein Becker Green has issued a public advisory on the amended Fair Chance Act, providing a summary of the changes, an analysis of the new bifurcated screening process that is now required, and a checklist of things New York City employers should do now.

    2. "New Enforcement Guidance Issued for New York City Fair Chance Act as Key Amendments Take Effect," 07.20.21.
      JD Supra reviews the guidance issued by the New York City Commission on Human Rights on the updated Fair Chance Act and Employment Discrimination, which takes effect at the end of the month: "All employers considering the criminal history of employment applicants and current employees should be aware of certain key points clarified in the Guidance."

    3. "New York City "Ban the Box" Law Amendments Take Effect July 29, 2021," 07.07.21.
      Employment Screening Resources has this background piece on the amendments enacted by the New York City Council to the City's "Ban the Box" law known as the Fair Chance Act (FCA), which expand protections already provided to job applicants to include employees and prohibit discrimination based on arrest records, pending criminal accusations, or criminal convictions.


  14. Mental Health/Wellness/Remote Work/Remote Learning

  15. "Shorter Hours, No Promotions: How the Pandemic Stalled Some Parents' Careers," 07.21.21.
    The New York Times reports that "the [pandemic] disruption to child care could have long-term career costs, and the ones likeliest to pay are mothers."

  16. "The Battles to Come Over the Benefits of Working From Home," 07.20.21.
    This New York Times piece explores the various economic forces in play in the battle over the future of remote work, noting that almost two-thirds of U.S. workers in a McKinsey survey at the start of the year said they wanted to work from home at least three days a week when the pandemic was over.

  17. "8 Hours a Day, 5 Days a Week Is Not Working for Us," 07.20.21. "
    This guest essay in The New York Times explores the "tense push and pull over when and how much people should start commuting and how much power over the question employees can exert" and concludes that "the way to make work work is to cut it back.

  18. "High Percentage of In-House Counsel Experienced Increased Stress and Anxiety Levels in the Last Year," 07.20.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "71% of respondents to a recent survey of Canadian in-house counsel reported an increase in work-related stress and anxiety over the past year."

  19. "4L Academy's Mental Health Play — a Conversation With Founder Aaron Baer," 07.16.21.
    Slaw speaks with Aaron Baer, a corporate commercial lawyer who started his legal training company 4L Academy this year that provides modern legal training for Canadian lawyers and law students: "His reason for launching 4L comes from his own experience as a newly called lawyer suffering from high degrees of anxiety."

  20. "How to deal with alcohol abuse in the legal profession."
    The Canadian Lawyer writes about how lawyers can cope with alcohol addiction.


  21. Law Schools and Law Students

  22. "After being denied Title IV funds, Florida Coastal sues Education Department," 07.21.21.
    The ABA Journal reports that "Florida Coastal School of Law, which lost its federal financial aid in April, and by June had an approved teach-out plan with the ABA, sued the U.S. Department of Education on Tuesday, alleging the agency acted arbitrarily and capriciously, without due process, when it terminated the for-profit school's participation in the loan program."

    1. "Florida Coastal School of Law Sues Department," 07.22.21.
      More on this from Inside Higher Ed.

  23. "Post-Pandemic, Law Schools See Legal Tech Education Playing an Even Bigger Role," 07.20.21.
    Legaltech News reports that "as law school students return back to the classroom, legal technology professors said the yearlong experience of remote learning and emerging career opportunities will intensify law schools' focus on legal tech."

  24. "Law Student Debt And Career Choices," 07.19.21.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a new law review article that reveals novel findings about law students' expected debt loads, career choices, and intentions to participate in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

  25. "98% Of The Way Through The Fall 2021 Law School Admissions Cycle: Applicants Are Up 14%, With Biggest Increase (66%) Among The 170+ LSAT Band," 07.19.21.
    The TaxProf Blog provides this update on the current law school application cycle, which is going gangbusters: "187 of the 200 law schools are experiencing an increase in applications. Applications are up 50% or more at 8 law schools, and 30% or more at 65 law schools."


  26. Law Firms and Lawyers (North America)

  27. "The Way Back: How Law Firms Are Planning for Post-COVID Office Life," 07.21.21.
    The American Lawyer updates its firm-by-firm reporting on office returns, vaccination policies and long-term effects of the pandemic on the law firm workplace.

  28. "Cooley Says No Office Requirement for 2021, but Those Who Do Go In Must Be Vaccinated," 07.20.21.
    The Recorder reports that "Cooley Says No Office Requirement for 2021, but Those Who Do Go In Must Be Vaccinated."

  29. "Faegre Drinker to Roll Out Hybrid Work Schedule After Labor Day, With Flexibility in Focus," 07.20.21.
    The Legal Intelligencer reports that "Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath is aiming to bring personnel back into the office after Labor Day, at which point the firm will sort employees into different groups that will determine their work schedule flexibility."

  30. "Hosting Summer Associates In a Virtual World," 07.20.21.
    A law firm partner and a law firm associate, writing for the Daily Report, review the ethical considerations present when hosting a summer program in a virtual setting.

  31. "'A Very Pro-Attorney Market': The Pandemic Has Given Individual Attorneys More Leverage," 07.19.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "analysts say lawyers have gained leverage over law firm management since the pandemic…[but also note that] increased autonomy for lawyers could also be a result of generational shift."

  32. "'Everyone Is Not in the Same Boat': Firm Leaders Discuss Getting Back on the Road," 07.19.21.
    The American Lawyer speaks with leaders of Mintz and Akin Gump about how they are trying to get back in front of clients and their people.

  33. "Crowell's Return Plan Includes No Minimum Number of Days in Office," 07.16.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Crowell & Moring is setting no requirement for the number of days its attorneys must be in the office, just as the firm had no requirement pre-pandemic."

  34. "'Our Profession Cannot Long Endure a Remote Work Model,' Morgan Stanley CLO Tells Law Firms," 07.16.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Morgan Stanley's CLO, Eric Grossman, told lawyers Thursday of the need to be back in the office in order to develop young lawyers' skills, deliver excellent legal services to the bank and see a performance advantage." ("As a general rule, we will not be accommodating Zoom participation in critical meetings," Grossman said.)

    1. "Will More Legal Chiefs Follow Morgan Stanley in Eschewing Remote Work?," 07.19.21.
      The American Lawyer speaks with several other in-house leaders about the Morgan Stanley call for lawyers to return to the office, noting that they said they don't intend to adopt a similar stance.

    2. "'Arrogant' and 'Tone Deaf': Morgan Stanley CLO Stance Draws Ire From UK, European Finance Partners," 07.19.21.
      Corporate Counsel reports that "many partners across the U.K. and Europe are somewhat taken aback by Grossman's stance and have cast doubt over the likelihood of it having a material impact."

    3. "Morgan Stanley Letter Pits Client Preference Against Talent Market Demands," 07.20.21.
      The American Lawyer writes that Eric Grossman's letter to outside counsel "has raised a tricky question for law firms: How heavily do we weight clients' requests for a in-office interaction against the popularity of hybrid work among attorneys—especially working parents?"

    4. "In Office Return Planning, Drawing 'Lines in the Sand' Becomes Tricky for Law Firms," 07.21.21.
      The American Lawyer reports that "law firms seem to be encountering pushback from every direction when it comes to communicating what their office return policies will look like."

    5. "Most of Morgan Stanley's Outside Counsel Had Already Pushed For Remote Work," 07.21.21.
      The American Lawyer reports that "while Morgan Stanley's chief legal officer wants lawyers to return offices, many law firms representing the investment bank have already planned for increased remote-working flexibility in some shape going forward."

    6. "These Law Firm Leaders Are Pushing Back Against the 'Back to Office' Message," 07.22.21.
      The American Lawyer reports that "some law firms—including those that have built their business models around remote work—are pushing back" against Eric Grossman's letter to outside counsel insisting that lawyers return to the office.


  35. Corporate Counsel/Legal Operations/Legal Technology/ALSPs

  36. "Everlaw GC Says COVID Created Opportunities for Junior Lawyers, Helped Reduce Legal Costs," 07.16.21.
    Corporate Counsel speaks with Shana Simmons, the first-ever general counsel for Oakland, California-based legal tech startup Everlaw, "about how certain aspects of the pandemic, such as remote court hearings, have benefited in-house lawyers, how she leveraged those benefits to reduce legal spend, and her company's plan to return to the office."


  37. Higher Education/Secondary Education

  38. "U of California Gets More Diverse Without SATs," 07.20.21.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups comprise 43 percent of admitted California freshmen at University of California campuses this year, the highest proportion of an incoming undergraduate class and the greatest number in UC history." ("This was the first class admitted without required SAT or ACT scores, which the university's Board of Regents voted to abandon last year.")

  39. "Eleven Organizations Call On U.S. News To Drop SATs|ACTs From College Rankings Methodology," 07.19.21.
    The TaxProf Blog reports on a renewed call on US News to drop the standardized test score data points from its rankings of colleges and universities.



July 16, 2021


    Top Stories

  1. "Inflexible Law Firms Should Brace for an Associate Exodus This Fall, Recruiters Say, 07.16.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "law firms should brace for a wave of associate departures this fall, especially at firms that have taken a more hardline approach on office attendance."

  2. "As Law Firms Plan Office Returns, Whole 'Remote Weeks' May Become Newest Benefit," 07.15.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "the new normal at law firms could include a new benefit for lawyers in 2022 and beyond: whole weeks or consecutive days of remote work, [noting that] some firms are proposing an allotment of consecutive remote-working days beyond this year as a type of employee perk."

  3. "Gibson Dunn's Flexible Work Policy Hands Autonomy to Attorneys," 07.14.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Gibson Dunn & Crutcher is letting its attorneys make their own choices about when it's necessary to be in the office." (The firm is adopting one simple rule for attorneys: "You are free to work remotely whenever it is appropriate, taking into account the needs of our clients and your teams, and you should feel comfortable doing so.")

  4. "Paul Hastings, After Internal Pushback, Clarifies Office Return Stance in Second Memo," 07.14.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that Paul Hastings has clarified its return to office policy after some attorney and staff confusion and pushback, and "stressed in a second, clarifying memo that it intends to continue to be a leader in flexible and remote work."

  5. "Davis Polk Plans 'Trial Period' for Office Return, Requiring In-Office Work 7 Out of Every 10 Business Days," 07.12.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Davis Polk & Wardwell will require lawyers to return to the office at least seven out of every 10 business days beginning in September, as part of a trial period of in-office guidelines this year."

  6. "Law Firms Monitor Delta Variant Spread, as Leaders Plan Office Return Policies," 07.09.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "many law firm leaders are eagerly directing their workforces to return to offices this summer or they are crafting return-to-office guideline plans for this fall, but the spread of the Delta coronavirus variant is giving some firm leaders pause as they actively monitor the spread of the variant."


  7. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  8. "'We Need to Lose Our Addiction to Yale and Harvard.' Judge Urges Congress to Diversify Federal Courts," 07.12.21.
    The National Law Journal reports that "judges, lawmakers and legal experts on Monday called for diversifying the federal courts through outreach to potential candidates who didn't attend elite law schools, and by diversifying the committees responsible for advancing potential nominees to the White House."

  9. "Office Returns May Harm Women Lawyers. Here's Five Ways Firms Can Help," 07.12.21.
    This piece from Law.com International reports that "as workers trickle back to the office, numerous women lawyers have raised the fear that…flexible working will once again be viewed as a detriment to both their careers and work-life balance," and offers advice about how to make sure that does not happen.

  10. "How to best support lawyers who are mothers," 07.12.21.
    This piece in the Canadian Lawyer offers advice about "how best to support lawyers who are also mothers."

  11. "Leadership Succession Planning Increasingly Pushes Women to the Top," 07.12.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "leadership at U.S. firms is transforming with women and diverse attorneys moving into leadership roles at all levels, prompted by leadership succession planning."

  12. "Culturally Intelligent, Diverse Leadership Keys to Recruiting, Retaining Diverse Employees" 07.12.21.
    This piece from NACE makes the case that "cultural intelligence may be the most important individual area of change for organizations that want to bolster their recruitment and retention of culturally diverse individuals."

  13. "Five Common Mistakes in Diversity and Inclusion Strategy," 07.08.21.
    This piece from a law firm partner and a law firm associate, writing for Corporate Counsel, make the case that "when it comes to diversity and inclusion strategy, these are five common mistakes that are made and that continue to be obstacles to achieving true diversity and inclusion in the legal profession."


  14. Mental Health/Wellness/Remote Work/Remote Learning

  15. "How to Achieve Sustainable Remote Work," 07.09.21.
    This piece in The New Yorker takes a thoughtful deep dive into our pandemic experiment with remote work and the stubborn persistence of in-person work.


  16. The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

  17. "Studying, Sleeping, Commuting-What Helps and Hurts Bar Preparation," 07.14.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that a new study by AccessLex has found that, among other things, "the more one studies for the bar, the greater likelihood of passage…however, studying for more than 10 hours a day reduces one's chance of passing."

    1. "The Keys To Passing The Bar Exam: Study 10 Hours (But No More) Before Midnight, Take Two Breaks, Do Not Work," 07.14.21.
      More on this from the TaxProf Blog.

  18. "A Law Professor's Proposal for a Better Bar Exam," 07.07.21.
    A law professor from the University of California, Hastings College of Law, writing for The Recorder, shares her thoughts for improving the bar exam.


  19. Law Schools and Law Students

  20. "Attys Remain Satisfied With Careers 3 Years After Graduation," 07.15.21.
    Law360 reports that according to the Law School Alumni Employment and Satisfaction for the Class of 2017, released jointly yesterday by NALP and the NALP Founding, "despite changes to the legal industry caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and college debt, 85% of attorneys reported that they are satisfied with their overall legal careers three years after they graduated from law school."

  21. "Privately Issued Student Loans May Be Discharged in Bankruptcy, 2nd Circuit Rules," 07.15.21.
    The New York Law Journal reports that "the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled Thursday that privately issued student loans can be discharged in bankruptcy, a major win for borrowers facing financial hardship in paying off their loans." (The ruling only applied to student loans issued by private entities, and did not extend to government-backed loans.)

  22. "Pandemic Shines Spotlight On Harvard Law School's Clawback Of Need-Based Financial Aid From Summer Earnings Of Rising 2Ls And 3Ls," 07.13.21.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a WBUR story about the controversy brewing around Harvard's "summer contribution" that requires students with financial aid to contribute about 90% of their summer salary back to the law school.

  23. "Arizona And ETS Launch 2021 JD-Next Program," 07.12.21.
    The TaxProf Blog reports that "ETS announced its sponsorship of the 2021 JD-Next Program (FAQ), an online, eight-week course designed by the University of Arizona to help aspiring lawyers preview and prepare for the rigor of law school as well as to provide law programs with an additional window on participants' potential to succeed."


  24. Law Firms and Lawyers (North America)

  25. "Associates in These Practices Are Most Likely to Make a Move in 2021," 07.15.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "according to data provided by legal data company Decipher, first half lateral hiring for associates in the U.S. was up across the board, and in some practices remarkably so… particularly in data privacy, corporate and insurance practices." ("Associates in data privacy are moving at a rate of 118% above the four-year first half average—the biggest jump in activity of any practice area.")

  26. "Spread of Partner Pay Widens in Parts of Big Law," 07.15.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "amid increasing competition for the best talent, the pay gap between the highest-paid and lowest-paid equity partners is climbing in some segments of Big Law."

  27. "Signing Bonuses for Supreme Court Clerks Are Set for Another Jump," 07.14.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "law firms' lucrative signing bonuses for U.S. Supreme Court clerks may rise again this year, with some anticipating a jump to $450,000."

  28. "'Glass Half-Full': Industry Leaders Talk New Normal for Firm Culture," 07.13.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that during a panel on how legal organizations plan to integrate employees in a post-pandemic paradigm after a year and a half of remote work, panelists suggested that "the advent of virtual work across the industry has leveled the playing field for women lawyers."

  29. "NYLJ 100: Large New York Law Firms Tightly Controlled Head Count Growth," 07.12.21.
    The New York Law Journal publishes its annual ranking of the 100 largest law firms in New York, by headcount, noting that "the rapid expansion of New York's largest law firms finally halted last year, amid the rocky times of the pandemic, and several big firms in the New York Law Journal 100 saw their head count in the state plummet by double-digits."

  30. "As Associate Pay Rises, Ignoring Counsel and Nonequity Partners Can Lead to Resentment," 07.12.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "experts and observers say that amid the flurry of raises and bonuses [for associates], firms need to pay close attention to those in the middle of their hierarchies—nonequity partners and counsel—who risk being lost in the shuffle, [and noting that] it is very possible that the windfall coming to associates will result in some senior associates making even more than their more experienced counsel and nonequity partner colleagues."

  31. "The Current Status and Future of the Law Firm Workplace," 07.12.21.
    Law.com reports on the findings of a new Cushman & Wakefield study of the pandemic's effect on law firm real estate needs — the report finds that "the goal coming into focus is reducing the overall real estate costs per attorney and a reduction in real estate footprint between 10% to 30% and an increase in technology spending overall."

  32. "How Innovative Firms Are Harnessing Young Lawyers' Ideas to Gain a Competitive Edge," 07.12.21.
    The American Lawyer takes a look at "three firms encouraging young lawyers' creative thinking and developing fertile ground for innovation in the process."


  33. Corporate Counsel/Legal Operations/Legal Technology/ALSPs

  34. "Associate Pay Raises Prompt More In-House Concerns Over Attracting Talent," 07.14.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that some legal department heads are worried that recent associate salary hikes will make it more difficult for them to attract to head in-house.


  35. Higher Education /Secondary Education

  36. "The Elite Master's Degrees That Don't Pay Off," 07.08.21.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "elite universities in recent years have awarded thousands of master's degrees that don't provide graduates enough early career earnings to begin paying down their federal student loans." (Subscription required.)


  37. Primer on Critical Race Theory

  38. "Why Is the Country Panicking About Critical Race Theory?," 07.13.21.
    This New York Times opinion piece provides a good overview of the current critical race theory furor.

    1. "The Predictable Backlash to Critical Race Theory: A Q&A With Kimberlé Crenshaw," 07.05.21.
      (The Nation)

    2. "The panic over critical race theory is an attempt to whitewash U.S. history," 07.02.21.
      (The Washington Post)

    3. "What the hysteria over critical race theory is really all about," 06.24.21.
      (Vox)

    4. "Critical race theory has been around for decades — why's it a powder keg now?," 06.22.21.
      (NPR's Marketplace)

    5. "Explaining the controversy behind critical race theory," 06.11.21.
      (NBC News video)

    6. "The Academic Concept Conservative Lawmakers Love to Hate: How critical race theory became Enemy No. 1 in the battle against higher ed," 05.21.21.
      (Chronicle of Higher Education) (Subscription required.)



July 9, 2021


    Top Stories

  1. "Clerkships remain largely white. Can law students of color shake up the status quo?," 07.04.21.
    Erik Ortiz, writing for NBC News, takes a fairly deep dive into the relative lack of diversity among judicial clerks: "The problem we have is privilege replicates privilege replicates privilege."


  2. The Feel-Goods

  3. "A Young Naturalist Inspires With Joy, Not Doom," 07.07.21.
    The New York Times writes that "at 17, Dara McAnulty is becoming one of Britain's most acclaimed nature writers, with work that touches on his autism as much as the world around his home." ("His debut book, Diary of a Young Naturalist, published last year by Little Toller in Britain and released last month by Milkweed in the United States, won the Wainwright Prize, Britain's biggest award for nature writing.")


  4. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  5. "Law firm diversity chiefs gain numbers — and influence," 07.07.21.
    Reuters reports on the rise of the prevalence and power of the chief diversity officer role at law firms: "As protests against racism swept across the United States last summer, big law firms were forced to reckon with inequality and diversity in their own ranks. In the year since, many of them revamped their management to increase focus on diversity, including by adding a once-rare role in the industry: chief diversity officer."

  6. "Women's success in legal careers: Lack of advancement is not a 'woman' problem, it's a 'profession' problem," 07.06.21.
    ABA President Patricia Lee Refo, writing for the ABA Journal, asserts that "the lack of upward mobility by women in the profession is not because women are not putting in the time and effort, nor is it because they are distracted by other concerns in their lives…this is not a 'woman' problem…it is a legal profession problem rooted in outdated workplace structures."

  7. "Female Firm Leaders Can Accelerate Diversity and Inclusion Efforts—But They Need to Get There First," 07.06.21.
    The National Law Journal takes a look at the firms that did well on its Women in Law Scorecard this year, and concludes that "a big part of improving gender diversity is helping female attorneys rise to the upper echelons of their law firms."

  8. "The Law School As A White Space," 07.05.21.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a new law review article by I. Bennett Capers, who writes that "in this moment when the country is undergoing a racial reckoning, when law schools have pledged to look inward and become anti-racist and truly inclusive, it is past time to acknowledge how law schools function as 'white spaces.'" (He goes on to write "what would it mean to create a law school that is cosmopolitan and then some, a place where intellectual curiosity thrives, where change and challenge are celebrated, where education itself is a practice of freedom, and perhaps most importantly, where there is no need to tout inclusivity, because everyone already belongs?")

  9. "How the gender wage gap is reflected in the legal profession," 07.02.21.
    The Canadian Lawyer tackles the gender wage gap in the legal profession, and reports that according to industry experts, the wage gap perpetuated by work assignments and client perception.


  10. Mental Health/Wellness/Remote Work/Remote Learning

  11. "Iceland tested a 4-day workweek. Employees were productive — and happier, researchers say.," 07.06.21.
    The Washington Post reports that "Several large-scale trials of a four-day workweek in Iceland were an overwhelming success, with many workers shifting to shorter hours without affecting their productivity, and in some cases improving it, in what researchers called 'groundbreaking evidence for the efficacy of working time reduction.' Some of the trials' key findings showed that a shorter week translated into increased well-being of employees among a range of indicators, from stress and burnout to health and work-life balance. These issues have become more pressing as reports of burnout among employees around the world have risen following more than a year of pandemic-related stress and deteriorated mental health."

    1. "We're making the wrong argument for a four-day work week," 07.07.21.
      And this column in The Washington Post makes the case: "The push for a shorter workweek was already gaining traction before the pandemic. But covid-19's upending of office life has made it seem more plausible than ever — perhaps even necessary. Companies have realized that their hastily adopted flexible work policies can help attract and retain employees, and workers have proved they can adjust to radical shifts in their working lives."


  12. The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

  13. "Oregon High Court Wants More Time to Mull 'Huge Change' of Bar Exam Alternatives," 07.08.21.
    Karen Sloan, writing for Law.com, reports that "the Oregon Supreme Court on Wednesday formally accepted a report recommending two new pathways for attorney licensure that bypass the bar exam, but said the proposals need fine-tuning before they are considered for adoption." (With a special shoutout to Karen who finishes up her time at ALM/Law.com today — for many years she has been a trusted source of news and information about the profession and the industry, and a faithful reporter of NALP research. I have particularly benefited from her in-depth coverage of the legal education beat, and I expect to continue reading Karen's fine reporting from her new perch — stay tuned for more on that.)


  14. Law Schools and Law Students

  15. "Law School Application Surge Means 'Nightmare' Contest for Slots," 07.07.21.
    Bloomberg reports that "the number of applications to U.S. law schools for admission this year has surged 28% from last year…applications this year were at their highest level since 2011, and that's creating heartache for students facing more competition and higher scores…it's also complicating admissions at law schools, which in some cases have resorted to asking accepted students to defer."

  16. "Want Happy Law Students? Ditch the Curve and the Cold Calls," 07.07.21.
    Law.com reports that "a new study based on in-depth interviews with first-year law students concludes that the very structure and processes of legal education—namely, the rigid grading curve, the gender and racial classroom dynamics brought to the fore by the Socratic Method, and the seeming disconnect between real-world events and case law—are major contributors to the unhappiness that plagues many law students."

  17. "Miami Law Dean Departs, But Turmoil Over His Firing Remains," 07.06.21.
    Law.com reports that "July 1 was Anthony Varona's last day at the helm of the University of Miami School of Law, but faculty at the South Florida law school still want answers as to why the popular dean was sent packing by university president Julio Frenks."


  18. Law Firms and Lawyers (North America)

  19. "Kirkland & Ellis Sets Global Office Return Date," 07.09.21.
    Law.com International reports that "Kirkland & Ellis has set an early September office return date for its firmwide workforce, though the firm is 'reluctant' to set specific expectations on how often lawyers should be coming in, according to partners at the firm."

  20. "As War for Talent Rages, Law Firms Consider How to Disengage," 07.09.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "instead of the 'burn-and-churn' associate model, alternatives such as more non-partner-track lawyers and breaking the associate lockstep pay model could be on the horizon…[suggesting that] to offset the cost of and disengage from the war for talent…firms can look for more nuanced pay scales that are based on practice area demand, rather than lockstep methods based purely on years out of law school."

  21. "Lateral Hiring Climate Last Year Was Worst Since Great Recession," 07.07.21.
    The American Lawyer reports on NALP's release of its latest law firm lateral hiring data: "New data released Wednesday by the National Association for Law Placement reveals that 2020 saw the largest plunge in lateral hiring since the Great Recession, with associates taking the biggest hit."

    1. "New data published about lateral hiring during COVID-19 pandemic," 07.07.21.
      The ABA Journal reports on NALP's new data on 2020 lateral hiring volume.

    2. "Lateral Hiring Plunged In 2020, But Strong Rebound Underway," 07.07.21.
      More on this from Law360.

    3. "Lateral Hiring Plummets in 2020," 07.07.21.
      You can read the NALP update on lateral lawyer hiring here.

  22. "The summer associate experience: Law firms looking for future partners when they hire students," 07.07.21.
    The Indiana Lawyer takes a look at summer 2021 summer programs and how law firms are planning for their talent needs for the future.

  23. "The Art of the Big Law Counteroffer: How Firms Are Fighting Rainmaker Attrition," 07.07.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "the constant churn that has characterized the blistering talent market this year has pushed many firms to open up their wallets more often and offer generous counteroffers to rainmaking partners who are planning to jump across the street to another firm."

  24. "U.S. 'poaching' of Canadian associates on the upswing," 07.06.21.
    The Canadian Lawyer reports that "although foreign firms have long been on the lookout for Canadian talent, that has increased recently, as U.S. law firms are busier than ever and can pay more than twice what Toronto firms pay…young Canadian lawyers are doubling their pay by joining crazy-busy U.S. law firms — about 31 lawyers, mostly with transactional law backgrounds, have moved from Canada to the 200 top U.S. law firms since Jan. 1."

  25. "Fewer Positions, Younger Workers: How Law Firm Staff Changes Are Shaping Up," 07.06.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "post-pandemic law firm staff realignment is accelerating, and firms aren't just reducing the number of staff…they're also looking to reduce the cost of each individual staff position, with less intention of bringing on assistants and secretaries who will stay for the long term…in filling roles now, they're looking for younger talent who command lower salaries and aren't set on staying."

  26. "McDermott Updates Mask Guidelines For US Offices," 07.06.21.
    Law.com International reports that "McDermott Will & Emery's U.S. workforce will no longer need to wear masks in the office if they are fully vaccinated, in accordance with local and state guidelines, the firm has confirmed."

  27. "As Ropes & Gray Returns to the Office, Julie Jones Emphasizes Patience and Adaptability," 07.02.21.
    The American Lawyer speaks with Julie Jones, the chair of Ropes & Gray, about office returns, the talent war and the challenge of improving diversity.

  28. "Legal Industry Employment Ticks Upward Again," 07.02.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "according to the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 5,700 jobs in legal services were created in the last month." ("The industry now sits at a total of 1,137,900 jobs, well up from the 20-year low of 1,092,100 jobs set in April 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.")


  29. Corporate Counsel/Legal Operations/Legal Technology/ALSPs

  30. "The Pandemic's Effect on Outside Counsel Rosters Is Yet to Be Seen," 07.08.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "legal departments appear to have paused their consolidation of outside counsel rosters in 2020, but experts expect them to continue paring down post-pandemic."


  31. Higher Education /Secondary Education

  32. "Student Persistence Fell During Pandemic," 07.08.21.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "the rate at which students stayed enrolled at a postsecondary institution dropped by two percentage points last fall, yet more evidence of the impact of the pandemic and recession."



July 2, 2021


    Top Stories

  1. "America's workers are exhausted and burned out — and some employers are taking notice," 06.28.21.
    The Washington Post reports that "employers across the country, from Fortune 500 companies such as PepsiCo and Verizon to boutique advertising firms and nonprofit organizations, are continuing pandemic benefits such as increased paid time off and child- or elder-care benefits as well as embracing flexible work schedules and remote work in recognition that a returning workforce is at high risk of burnout."


  2. The Feel-Goods

  3. "'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory' at 50: The tender yet terrifying movie that never lost its flavor," 06.29.21.
    Hard to believe, but The Washington Post tells us this movie turned 50 in June. (I saw it on the big screen in a movie theater in 1971 and remember it vividly.)


  4. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  5. "New Big Law Program Seeks to Support Retention and Promotion of Black Associates," 07.01.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "more than a dozen large law firms are participating in an initiative starting in July that is designed to help Black associates advance their careers."

  6. "State Courts' Stark Lack Of Diversity Demands Action," 06.30.21.
    Law360 writes about the lack of diversity nationally among state court judges, urging change.

  7. "Milbank Appoints First Diversity Officer to C-Suite," 06.29.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Milbank has announced that the firm…has hired Mikeisha Anderson Jones as the firm's first-ever global chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer."

  8. "Nothing not to like: diversity and law firm profitability," 06.27.21.
    Yvonne Nath & Evan Parker, writing for Bill Henderson's Legal Evolution Blog, make the case that "diversity is indeed associated with higher law firm profits," and they explain why that is so.

  9. "How Intel's In-House Diversity Advocate Drives Change, Gets Buy-In From Stakeholders," 06.25.21.
    Corporate Counsel speaks with Intel's associate general counsel and vice president Eva Almirantearena about being a champion for diversity, equity and inclusion.

  10. "'It's a Real Business Issue': How Clients Are Making Firms Embrace Diversity Goals," 06.25.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "legal department leaders said during a panel discussion held by the New York State Bar Association that the pressure for change they're asking of firms and firm leaders is making a difference."


  11. Mental Health/Wellness/Remote Work/Remote Learning

  12. "Your Own Physical Trainer: How Some Law Firms Are Offering Office Perks Amid Return Plans," 07.02.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "with firm leaders eyeing in-person returns, some law firms are adding perks to ease the transition…[noting that a] New York-based boutique is paying six figures to have a trainer on-call at a nearby gym."

  13. "Survey finds decline in lawyer well-being, particularly for early-career respondents," 06.30.21.
    The ABA Journal reports that "nearly half of lawyers responding to a Bloomberg Law survey said their well-being declined over the first quarter of this year—and the problem was even worse for junior lawyers." (You can find the results of Bloomberg Law's Attorney Workload and Hours Survey, including the mental health findings, here.)

  14. "Return to Work: Psychological Barriers to Reorganization," 06.30.21.
    The post on Slaw identifies psychological barriers that will likely impede plans for making meaningful improvement to the workplace as companies ask their employees to return to the office in person.

  15. "As COVID Fears Ease, Remote Work Is Slowly Losing Popularity," 06.29.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "as the pandemic's immediate danger wanes in the United States, the popularity of remote work seems to be fading with it, raising questions about what the so-called new normal will really look like and where the legal industry will ultimately land on the in-person vs. remote debate."

  16. "Lawyers Across Canada Surveyed for National Mental Health Study of Canada's Legal Profession," 06.28.21.
    Law.com International reports that "lawyers in Canada are currently taking part in the most comprehensive study on the mental health of the legal profession ever done in the country." ("The National Well-Being Study aims to help regulators better understand the psychological health and well-being risk factors specific to the practice of law in Canada, and help guide the analysis and development of support programs and practices in the profession. The study, which is being conducted by a team of researchers at the Université de Sherbrooke in Quebec and supported by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada and the Canadian Bar Association, is being sent to every lawyer and articling student in the country, as well as licensed paralegals in Ontario and notaries in Quebec.")

  17. "Is the Push to Return to the Office a Macho Thing?," 06.18.21.
    Vivia Chen, writing for Bloomberg Law asks whether gender and age determine how we feel about returning to the office: "On one side are the partners—usually male and older—who want the troops back in the office. Then, there's everyone else—women (both partners and associates) and associates overall—who are much more ambivalent about returning to the fold."


  18. The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

  19. "State supreme court asked to consider new licensure paths for lawyers," 07.01.21.
    The ABA Journal reports that "the Oregon State Bar Board of Bar Examiners has adopted a task force report suggesting supervised practice or law school experiential-learning programs as bar exam alternatives for attorney licensure."


  20. Law Schools and Law Students

  21. "ABA Gets an Earful Over Proposed Diversity Training Mandate for Law Students," 07.01.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "a proposed new requirement that law schools train students in bias, racism and cross-cultural competency" has received an icy reception from the public."

  22. "Law Students Learn Corporate Legal Department Perspective Through ACC Internship," 07.01.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that in its 14th year the Association of Corporate Counsel Greater Philadelphia's annual diversity internship has 19 law students working as summer interns for 18 companies this year: "An opportunity like this gives young law students a unique understanding of what clients are looking for in their counsel."

  23. "How One Law School's Closure Presents an Expansion Opportunity for Another," 06.29.21.
    Law.com reports that "the University of Idaho College of Law absorbed an influx of more than 100 students in 2020 when their campus, the Concordia University School of Law, closed abruptly…Idaho Law also took on a number of former Concordia Law faculty, and now, the state's only remaining law school will occupy the facility that formerly housed Concordia Law."

    1. "University Of Idaho Law School Buys Campus Of Defunct Concordia Law School," 06.29.21.
      More on this from the TaxProf Blog: "The University of Idaho College of Law is buying the defunct downtown campus of Concordia Law School and will relocate its Boise law school programs there, consolidating them in one place."

  24. "Law Schools Must Implement Meaningful Adjustments," 06.29.21.
    The dean and an associate dean from Fordham Law School, writing for the New York Law Journal, write about the inevitable changes that are facing law schools as a result of a rapidly evolving legal industry.

  25. "Ahead of the Curve: Maybe Online Classes Aren't So Bad," 06.29.21.
    In her Ahead of the Curve newsletter, Law.com's Karen Sloan delves into new research by Texas Tech Law associate dean Vickie Sutton on student perceptions of online learning: "In May of 2020, just 5% of respondents said that online classes were their preferred format. By the following year, that was up to 9%. The percentage of students who reported they were 'more inclined to take online courses' also increased from just under 12% to 16% over the past year. On the flip side, the percentage of students who reported that 'online courses were a bad experience that I would not want to repeat' increased from 20% in May of 2020 to 23% in May of 2021. Taken as a whole, student perceptions about online learning became more favorable over time. That could reflect improvements in how faculty taught online during the past year, shifting student expectations once the pandemic was well underway, or a combination of both."

  26. "Saying yes has been part of this law school dean's strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic," 07.28.21.
    The ABA Journal speaks with Hari Osofsky, current dean of Pennsylvania State University's law school and soon to be dean of Northwestern University's Pritzker School of Law: "Leadership involves taking in a variety of viewpoints, she explains, and recognizing what students, professors and administration want is a good way to guarantee people that they are being heard." (Podcast)


  27. Associate Salary Hikes

  28. "The Associate Pay Wars: A Question of Market Forces vs Morality," 07.02.21.
    Former Clifford Chance managing partner Tony Williams, writing for Law.com International, argues that hikes in junior lawyer salaries is exacerbating mental health issues within law firms.

  29. "Milbank Adjusts Associate Salary Increases, Matches Top of Market," 06.29.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "after initiating the associate salary domino earlier in June and seeing that Davis Polk & Wardwell upped the ante, Milbank is moving to the higher market scale…[matching] the $205,000 base for the class of 2020."

  30. "Reed Smith to Drop Regional Pay Differences for US Associates," 06.28.21.
    The Legal Intelligencer reports that "Reed Smith announced Monday it will eliminate regional pay differences for all of its U.S. associates as part of a broader effort to restructure compensation to compete for associate-level talent…the global law firm's restructuring will come with a change to the salaries of current first-year associates to $205,000."


  31. Law Firms and Lawyers (North America)

  32. "More Law Firm Consolidation Expected in 2021," 07.01.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "total completed law firm mergers are down by historical standards in 2021, but an uptick in combination activity is still anticipated in the second half of the year."

  33. "Reed Smith Hires Winston's David Cunningham, Creates Innovation Officer Role," 07.01.21.
    Legaltech News reports that "Reed Smith has joined the growing number of law firms expanding their C-suites with new chief innovation officers."

  34. "Outside Ownership of Law Firms Gains More Momentum," 06.30.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Florida is poised to become the next state to open the doors to nonlawyer ownership of law firms, after a state bar committee made a recommendation earlier this week for a 'laboratory' based on the 'regulatory sandbox' model already established in Utah."

  35. "Sanford Heisler Uses Attorney Tenure in Setting Office Return Policy," 06.30.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "a 50-lawyer firm with six offices, announced this week that more experienced lawyers will be expected to spend two or three days in the office each week while those with less experience will be asked to spend four days in person."

  36. "'We Get Back a Commitment From Them': Why Katten Decided to Raise Business Pro Salaries Across the Board," 06.29.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Katten Muchin Rosenman decided to up its business professionals' salaries by 2.5% across the board, in addition to the annual end-of-year increase it gave its business professionals late last year and independent of merit-based compensation and annual increase that will come at the end of 2021."

  37. "Dentons to Push 'Three-ish' Days in Office This Fall, but Long-Term Policy Not Yet Set," 06.29.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "starting Sept. 13, all U.S. personnel [at Dentons] will be asked to appear in person 'three-ish' days a week."

  38. "Mintz Says No COVID Vaccination, No Office," 06.29.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Mintz will require its personnel to get COVID-19 vaccinations in order to enter the office…[and] attorneys will be asked to spend roughly 60% of their time in the office, staff presence will be dependent upon role."

  39. "Boom Times for Lawyers as Washington Pursues Big Tech," 06.29.21.
    The New York Times reports that not since the government sued to break up Microsoft in the late 1990s has there been greater demand for people who know the ins and outs of corporate competition law: "The mounting legal and regulatory scrutiny facing Big Tech has led to a wave of lawsuits, investigations and proposed legislation aimed at ending the dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. Whether those efforts succeed may take years to sort out, but there is already one clear winner: the nation's legal industry."

  40. "The future of legal sector reform is now," 06.29.21.
    Jordan Furlong, writing for his Law21 Blog, writes that "the process of reforming legal regulation and lawyer licensing has begun in earnest," and surveys some "extraordinary developments in lawyer licensing and legal regulation" happening in the UK, Canada, and the United States.

  41. "Akin Gump Reports 95% Vaccination Rate in Outlining Office Return Policy," 06.28.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, noting it has seen phenomenal vaccination rates, is asking lawyers to return to offices for "a majority" of their time-at least three days each week-starting in September, but certain firm workers will need to return full time as the firm examines office flexibility for professional staff in the long run."

  42. "Crowell Taps Legal Tech Founder, Big Law Vet for New Client-Facing Innovation Role," 06.28.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that Crowell & Moring has hired Alma Asay as its senior director of practice innovation and client value, a new position at the firm.

  43. "The 2021 Pro Bono Scorecard: National Rankings," 06.28.21.
    The American Lawyer publishes its annual ranking of law firms based on their pro bono score for work performed by U.S.-based lawyers, noting that "Covington & Burling led the way on this year's Pro Bono Scorecard."

    1. "With 'Pro Bono on Steroids,' Law Firms Met Immense Need by Rising to the Occasion," 06.28.21.
      The American Lawyer writes that "the pandemic, the death of George Floyd and a contentious election created an unprecedented amount of need for pro bono assistance in 2020 [and] Big Law responded with an unprecedented effort."

    2. "Pro Bono in a Pandemic: Big Law's COVID Response Gave Security to Those in Need," 06.28.21.
      More on this from The American Lawyer: "Dozens of law firms contributed pro bono time to protecting those vulnerable to the virus, whether that meant ensuring testing inside prisons, securing compassionate release for prisoners living in dangerous conditions or enhancing protections for individuals in immigrant detention centers."

    3. "Big Law Allied Against Racism With Pro Bono Efforts in 2020," 06.28.21.
      The American Lawyer reports that "as protests against police brutality and racial injustice swept the nation following the murder of George Floyd last spring, law firms devoted their resources—pro bono, financial and otherwise—to the cause."

    4. "The 2021 Pro Bono Scorecard: International Rankings," 06.28.21.
      The American Lawyer also ranks firms by their score for pro bono work performed by lawyers based outside the United States, reporting that "Dechert had the highest pro bono score among its non-U.S. lawyers."

  44. "Holland & Knight, Thompson & Knight Finalize Merger Plans," 06.28.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Holland & Knight and Thompson & Knight, which said in April they were in merger negotiations, announced Monday that they have agreed to combine on or around Aug. 1."

  45. "Latest Big Law Mergers May Portend Stream of Upcoming Combos," 06.25.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "two law firm combinations [last] week, each involving an Am Law 200 firm merging and entering a new market, are just a taste of what's expected to come this year, [noting that] Big Law may be witnessing its merger bounce-back."

  46. "A new appreciation for the office: Legal profession is now fully open to changing the use of space," 06.25.21.
    The Canadian Lawyer asks "as lawyers begin to return to their offices, firms across Canada are asking themselves the same question: How should we use our space differently?"


  47. International Law Firms

  48. "UK Firms to Participate in Diversity Lab's Latest Mansfield Certification Round," 06.29.21.
    Law.com International reports that Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer are among a dozen UK firms that will participate in Diversity Lab's Mansfield certification process, which is designed to boost the representation of historically underrepresented groups in law firm leadership roles.

  49. "Pandemic Prompts Law Firms in Latin America to Rethink Office Needs," 06.29.21.
    Law.com International reports that "law firms in Latin America are reevaluating their office space needs as they contemplate an eventual return to in-person work after the pandemic."

  50. "Sydney Lawyers Working from Home Again as City Enters Lockdown," 06.28.21.
    Law.com International reports that "lawyers in Sydney are working from home once again after the city began a two-week lockdown to contain a COVID-19 outbreak, with firms saying they are now well-drilled in remote working."


  51. Corporate Counsel/Legal Operations/Legal Technology/ALSPs

  52. "Outside Counsel Increased Rates More Than Expected in 2020, but AFA Use Ticked Up Too," 06.30.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "in 2020, hourly rates for outside counsel not only increased, but increased more than they had in previous years."


  53. Higher Education/Secondary Education

  54. "The Missing Men," 07.01.21.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "the gender gap among college students only worsened during the pandemic…[the] exodus of men away from college that has been taking place for decades, but that accelerated during the pandemic." (Subscription required.)



June 25, 2021


    Top Stories

  1. "New ABA Data Shows Stark Contrast in Bar Pass Rates Among Racial Groups," 06.22.21.
    Law.com reports that for the first time, the ABA has released national bar pass rates broken down by racial group, and the data show that "white law graduates who took the bar for the first time in 2020 had a pass rate that was 22% higher than Black first-time takers, and 12% higher than Hispanic first-time takers."

    1. "New ABA data parses out bar exam pass rates by race and ethnicity," 06.22.21.
      The ABA Journal also has this story: "According to data released Tuesday by the American Bar Association's Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, 87.65% of the white candidates who took a bar exam for the first time in 2020 passed. For people of other races or ethnicities, the first-time pass rate ranged from 66.28% to 79.92%."

    2. "Racial Disparities Persist In Bar Exam Pass Rates: White: 88%, Asian: 80%, Hispanic: 76%, Black: 66%," 06.22.21.
      More on this from the TaxProf Blog.

    3. "Racial Disparities on the Bar Exam Have Persisted for Decades. Does the Legal Profession Care?," 06.24.21.
      In the aftermath of the widely reported disparities in bar pass rates by race and ethnicity shown in data released by the ABA, this piece in Law.com asks "will legal educators and the regulators of the profession take meaningful steps to help close that gap?"


  2. The Feel-Goods

  3. "When an Eel Climbs a Ramp to Eat Squid From a Clamp, That's a Moray," 06.22.21.
    Headline of the week goes to this piece in The New York Times exploring new research about the ability of moray eels to hunt on land. (Hat Tip to Frank Bruni for calling out this gem in his weekly newsletter.)


  4. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  5. "In the New Normal, There Are No Excuses for Not Building a Diverse Talent Pipeline," 06.24.21.
    This piece in The American Lawyer makes the case that the new virtual recruiting reality makes it easy for firms "to set up interviews with students at schools outside the top of the rankings, and outside their own regional markets…[opening] them up to a bigger talent pool, naturally providing more opportunities to connect with students of different backgrounds."

  6. "Law Firms Risk Losing Ground If They Don't Keep Pushing For Equity," 06.24.21.
    This piece in Law.com argues that "law firms can't afford to lose momentum" when it comes to making meaningful progress in diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  7. "Where in the World Are All the Trans Children? Everywhere.," 06.23.21.
    A thoughtful New York Times essay from a parent raising a transgender daughter — she writes about the parents from all over the world who have reached out to make contract with her as they look for support and understanding as they raise their own transgender children.

  8. "Many General Counsel Still Aren't Tracking Diversity, Survey Says," 06.23.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "while some legal department leaders have been among the most vocal advocates for diversity in the legal profession, on the whole, less than a third of legal departments are tracking diversity within their own teams and even fewer are tracking diversity in their outside counsel, a new survey found."

  9. "Need a More Diverse Talent Pipeline? Try Recruiting Before Law School," 06.23.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "legal employers are looking to build out their talent pipelines by recruiting students even before law school."

  10. "Hispanic National Bar Association Forms First-Ever Latino GC Advisory Council," 06.23.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "the Hispanic National Bar Association has put together a first-of-its-kind advisory council of current and former Latino in-house leaders to boost the group's effort to diversify the upper echelons of legal departments for the largest corporations in the U.S."

  11. "More than 1 million nonbinary adults live in the U.S., pioneering study finds," 06.22.21.
    The Washington Post reports that "there are about 1.2 million nonbinary LGBTQ adults in the United States, according to the first broad-based population estimate of this kind, which was released Tuesday" by the Williams Institute.

  12. "Diversity Fatigue Is Setting In, and Law Firms Must Fight It," 06.22.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "diversity fatigue…threatens the progress law firms are making around eliminating systemic racism and creating a more inclusive environment."

  13. "Canadian Bar Pushes Law Firms to Increase Recruitment and Retention of Indigenous Lawyers," 06.21.21.
    Law.com International reports that "at a time when Canada has been grappling with the way in which it has treated Indigenous peoples—especially children—the Canadian Bar Association today released a Truth and Reconciliation Toolkit aimed particularly at big law firms to help them attract and retain more Indigenous lawyers, articling students and administrative staff."

  14. "Global General Counsel Share Impactful Diversity and Inclusion Strategies," 06.21.21.
    General counsel from Uber, Liberis, Cognizant and the World Bank Group share with Corporate Counsel practical strategies that will have a substantial impact on diversity and inclusion within an organization.

  15. "Ontario judge Mahmud Jamal nominated to Supreme Court of Canada," 06.17.21.
    The Canadian Lawyer reports that "Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has nominated Ontario judge Mahmud Jamal to the Supreme Court of Canada…[noting that] Jamal would be the first person of colour to sit on the top court."

    1. "Legal community lauds nomination of Mahmud Jamal to Supreme Court of Canada," 06.18.21.
      More on this from the Canadian Lawyer: "Justice Jamal's nomination is a significant stride…Justice Jamal — a native of Kenya from an Indian Muslim family of Ismailis, who settled in Edmonton in 1981 — brings a perspective on racism and discrimination to the Supreme Court bench."

  16. "Corporate Legal Departments Seek Increasingly Rigorous D&I Goals, Expectations for Outside Counsel," 06.17.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "traditionally, gender and race have been the primary D&I factors companies have tracked, but increasingly, companies have been including LGBTQ lawyers, as well as disability status and veteran status, when measuring diversity…[and some] include questions about socioeconomic status, asking whether individuals are the first generation in their family to graduate from college or the first generation in their family to be an American citizen."


  17. Mental Health/Wellness/Remote Work/Remote Learning

  18. "As In-House Counsel See Skyrocketing Stress, Demand Grows for Mental Health Resources," 06.22.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "mental health concerns have shot up for in-house counsel, who were suddenly expected to pick up more responsibilities during the pandemic and who experienced higher levels of stress in the last year."

  19. "Emotional Well-Being During and After COVID-19," 06.21.21.
    Morgan Lewis Director of Employee Well-Being Krista Larson and Eric Webber, certified alcohol and drug counselor and senior clinical advisor for the Legal/Executive Professionals programs at Caron Treatment Centers, "explore the effects we've seen so far, including an increase in behavioral health issues and substance misuse, and strategies for legal professionals navigating the transition to post-pandemic life." (New York Law Journal)


  20. Law Schools and Law Students

  21. "#Fortheculture: Generation Z And The Future Of Legal Education," 06.23.21.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a new law review article that focuses on the social and cultural needs of Gen Z, and the mismatch between their needs and law school culture: "To provide Gen Z students with a legal education that will enable them to make a difference for others—a need deeply connected to their motivators and beliefs—law school culture must shift."

  22. "Virtual Judicial Clerk Interviews Seem Likely to Stick Around as Federal Judges' Hiring Plan Gains Momentum," 06.22.21.
    Law.com reports that "some federal judges have said they prefer the convenience of interviewing clerkship candidates online and have indicated they will continue that practice after the pandemic subsides."

  23. "Founders of new UBC bursary for Black law students hope it sets challenge for others to do the same," 06.18.21.
    The Canadian Lawyer reports that a new award at the University of British Columbia's Peter A. Allard School of Law will support Black Canadian students wanting to pursue a career in law. (The fund will support 15 incoming law students with their tuition and fees.)


  24. Associate Salary Hikes

  25. "Is It Time for the Legal Industry to Stop Following New York?," 06.25.21.
    This piece in The American Lawyer argues that it no longer makes sense for law firms across the country to follow New York, particularly when it comes to associate salaries.

  26. "Associate Comp Wars Pose Hard Choices for Firms Below Market Elites," 06.24.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "associate special bonuses and raised salaries this year are expected to have an uneven impact on law firm profitability across the Am Law 200, depending on a firm's financial structure."

  27. "Even After a Down Year, Some Big Law Firms Are Raising Associate Salaries," 06.23.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Shearman & Sterling has jumped into the salary wars, the latest in a string of firms that have committed to raising associate salaries despite a rocky financial performance last year—and yet another indication of the immense pressure firms are under as they seek to retain their associate talent."

  28. "DC Firms Are Beginning to Hike Up Associate Pay," 06.22.21.
    The National Law Journal reports that "more Washington, D.C., heavyweights are raising associate pay to match the newest market scale, with Steptoe & Johnson and Covington & Burling as the latest firms to make a move."

  29. "Several Elite Firms Raise Associate Pay, but Question Looms Over Counsel Wages," 06.21.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "eleven days after Milbank set the dominoes in action and 10 days after Davis Polk established itself as the new market leader, firms are continuing to [raise associate salaries]…but the outlook for counsel is less uniform."

  30. "Clifford Chance, Other Elite Firms Raise Associate Pay in the US," 06.21.21.
    Law.com International reports that Clifford Chance has "said it would raise wages for U.S. associates, mostly along the Davis Polk scale."

  31. "Like Big Law Firms, Trial Boutiques Raising Associate Salaries," 06.18.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "the U.S. firms announcing they will raise associate salaries July 1 are mostly Am Law 100 firms, but some boutiques and trial firms have been quick to match the higher salary scale."

  32. "Kirkland Steps Up in Salary Battle, Raising Pay for Associates and Nonequity Partners," 06.18.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Kirkland & Ellis, weighing in a week after Davis Polk & Wardwell set a new salary scale, said both associates and nonequity partners will see salary raises…meanwhile, a spate of firms continued to announce salary raises Thursday and Friday, including White & Case and Baker Botts."

  33. "As More Law Firms Match Salary Scale, Signing Bonuses Become Key Differentiator," 06.18.21.
    Law.com reports that in the current red hot lateral associate market, "signing bonuses are one way to aggressively target talent when many firms have matched on salaries."

  34. "'Associates Are Loving This.' How The Salary Race Is Shaking Up Big Law," 06.17.21.
    In this Law.com podcast, a recruiter and consultant "discusses why the latest associate salary wars remind her of the 2008 Dot.com boom, the recruiting and public relations benefits to early salary movers like Davis Polk, and why some firms that traditionally haven't been aggressive on the associate salary front are getting on board early this time around."

  35. "Throng of Law Firms Pile Onto New Associate Pay Scale After Cravath, Paul Weiss Move," 06.17.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that as of last Thursday, "more than two dozen Am Law 200 firms have now raised associate pay since Milbank, and then Davis Polk & Wardwell, set a new market salary scale."


  36. Law Firms and Lawyers (North America)

  37. "Crowell to Merge With Chicago Law Firm, Boosting Tech and IP Practice," 06.24.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Crowell & Moring is merging with 61-attorney IP boutique Brinks Gilson & Lione in Chicago, the firms said, allowing the Washington, D.C.-based firm to enter the Midwest and the opportunity to significantly boost its tech practices."

  38. "The NLJ 500: Our 2021 Survey of the Nation's Largest Law Firms," 06.23.21.
    The National Law Journal publishes its annual survey of law firm headcounts across the country, noting that "for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis, law firm head count declined nationally in 2020."

    1. "The NLJ 500: Ranked by Head Count," 06.23.21.
      (National Law Journal)

    2. "The NLJ 500: Which Firms Grew and Shrunk the Most?," 06.23.21.
      (National Law Journal)

    3. "The 2021 Women in Law Scorecard," 06.23.21.
      (National Law Journal: The Women's Scorecard is produced as part of the annual NLJ 500 firm head count report.)

      1. "More Firms Are Measuring Gender Diversity, and Some Have a Great Story to Tell," 06.23.21.
        The National Law Journal report that "more than ever, law firms are measuring representation of women in their lawyer ranks in concrete terms…[noting that] this year's Women in Law Scorecard rankings includes 28 law firms that did not participate in last year's ranking, and three firms new to the survey entered straight into the top 10."

  39. "Remote Work Forced Many Partners to Become Better Managers,"06.23.21.
    Law.com reports that "both senior and junior lawyers believe the pandemic lockdown may have inadvertently helped to improve the quality of [law firm] management."

  40. "New York Firm and Thompson Coburn to Merge, Eyeing Benefits of Scale," 06.23.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Thompson Coburn is merging with 44-lawyer financial boutique Hahn & Hessen, the firms announced Wednesday, allowing the Missouri-founded firm to launch in New York as it seeks to broaden its work for major banking and corporate clients."

  41. "The reimagined office: Pandemic causes dramatic shift in how law firms use their space," 06.22.21.
    The Canadian Lawyer reports that "with hybrid work models now in vogue, firms across Canada are envisioning a new workplace."

  42. "Cozen O'Connor Will Test a Hybrid Work Model This Fall, Keeping Future Options Open," 06.22.21.
    The Legal Intelligencer reports that "Philadelphia-based Am Law 100 firm Cozen O'Connor announced Tuesday the firm will transition from its current fully remote model of work to a test-run of a hybrid arrangement from Sept. 8 through the end of 2021, with different expectations set up for various positions based on office needs."

  43. "Outlining Office Return, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner Plans for 'Team-Up' Day," 06.22.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner has announced plans for its personnel return to their workplaces starting Sept. 6: "The firm said it will encourage them to spend the majority of their time at the office."

  44. "Centralized and Specialized: Fox Rothschild's Realignment Follows Growing Trend for Big Law Support Staff," 06.22.21.
    The Legal Intelligencer reports that "Fox Rothschild's move to reduce support staff and reorganize those remaining into firmwide support hubs [are part of a larger] industrywide effort to reduce the quantity of personnel handling support functions and organize them into teams handling firmwide administrative duties."

    1. "Fox Rothschild Offers Separation Package to 300 Support Staff Amid Firmwide Realignment," 06.17.21.
      The American Lawyer reports that "around 300 Fox Rothschild legal assistants were offered voluntary separation packages last month as part of a firmwide staffing realignment that is slated to go into effect June 21."

  45. "Talent War Leads to More 'Boomerang' Associates and Hiring Mismatches," 06.21.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "firms are rushing to attract associates, casting a wider net for associates they wouldn't normally consider…[and] some law firms are seeking to re-recruit their prior associates who have moved to new firms."

  46. "US Law Firms Use Huge Salaries to Lure Australian Associates to the States," 06.21.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "U.S. law firms, struggling to keep up with surging demand for legal services, are hiring associates from Australia and doubling or tripling their salaries, recruiters say."

  47. "More Law Firms Are Moving to Hybrid Offices, but They Must Boost Appeal of Sharing," 06.18.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that result from "a new survey of 30 Am Law 200 firms found that 90% had settled on a hybrid policy and 58% had set return dates…but of those with set dates, 83% did not have documented plans to address key details in the return to office, such as meeting room management, visitor screening and workstation moves."

  48. "Compensation Is King for Millennial Attorneys, New Survey Says," 06.18.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that new survey research from Major, Lindsey & Africa and Above the Law has found "millennial attorneys appear to now be putting money over everything—a reversal from years past when work-life balance reigned as the top consideration for younger attorneys."


  49. International Law Firms

  50. "Winds of Change: The Slow But Sure Emergence of Female Law Firm Leaders In the Middle East," 06.23.21.
    Law.com International speaks with four women law leaders in Dubai, noting that "although Arab or Middle Eastern women have yet to attain [widespread law firm leadership] positions, there are signs that the region is changing for the better, and proving a springboard for their number and more and more Arab women train with international law firms and make partner."

  51. "Ashurst Raises London NQ Associate Pay," 06.18.21.
    Law.com International reports that "Ashurst has become the latest U.K. law firm to increase its salary rates for newly-qualified solicitors…[raising] its base salary rate to £90,000."

  52. "Which Firms Have the Most LGBTQ+ Lawyers in the UK?," 06.17.21.
    Law.com International reports that "Boies Schiller Flexner, Morrison & Foerster and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton are the firms with the highest proportion of LGBTQ+ lawyers and partners across their U.K. offices."



June 17, 2021


    Top Stories

  1. "Law Schools Scramble for Deferrals," 06.16.21.
    The New York Times reports that in what has turned out to be the most competitive year in recent memory, some law schools are offering scholarships and other financial incentives to motivate admitted students to defer their enrollment in order to ease their over-enrolled classes.

  2. "Congress votes overwhelmingly to make Juneteenth a federal holiday. The day commemorates the end of slavery in Texas in 1865.," 06.16.21.
    The Washington Post reports that "Congress on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to establish Juneteenth as a federal holiday, elevating the day marking the end of slavery in Texas to a national commemoration of emancipation amid a larger reckoning about America's turbulent history with racism."

    1. "House Passes Bill to Make Juneteenth a Federal Holiday, Sending It to Biden," 06.16.21.
      More on this from The New York Times.


  3. The Feel-Goods

  4. "Lightning struck the Washington Monument during intense storms Monday evening," 06.15.21.
    I don't know if this counts as a feel-good story or not, but it includes a wicked cool photo; we had a strong line of violent storms roll through DC Monday night and The Washington Post weather guy captured a lightning bolt hitting the Washington Monument in a series of amazing pics.


  5. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  6. "Will Salary Wars Impact the Legal Industry's Diversity Efforts?," 06.17.21.
    The American Lawyer asks and answers this rhetorical question, speculating about whether the latest round of associate salary bumps may have a negative impact on the legal industry's diversity efforts.

  7. "Diversity and Inclusion Speaks For Itself: Candid Feedback from Global General Counsel," 06.16.21.
    This piece in Corporate Counsel reports on interviews with General Counsel on the importance of diversity and inclusion when selecting law firms.

  8. "Rainbow Cupcakes at the Office for Pride: That's So Sweet — and Sort of Strange?," 06.14.21.
    The Law Library Manager at WeirFoulds, a member of the firm's EDI (equality, diversity, inclusion) committee, offers this candid and personal piece in Slaw in support of legal history and Pride month in Ontario.

  9. "A Guide To Gender Identity Terms," 06.02.21.
    NPR has put together this very helpful glossary of terms relating to gender identity. (Hat tip to Jessica Buchsbaum)


  10. Mental Health/Wellness/Remote Work/Remote Learning

  11. "Supporting Mental Well-Being for Students of Color," 06.17.21.
    Inside Higher Ed reports on the results of a pilot program that involved 18 colleges and universities across the country that was designed to implement recommendations to improve equity in mental health; one of the major recommendations of the framework is to establish the mental health of students of color as a campuswide priority.

  12. "Employers Must Heed Rising Attorney Stress And Alcohol Use," 06.15.21.
    Patrick Krill, writing for Law360, issues a call to action in light of new research that finds "alarming levels of mental health problems and hazardous drinking among practicing attorneys, findings that may not have come as a surprise to anyone who has been tracking the profession's great mental health awakening in recent years."

  13. "How Addressing Mental Health Can Enhance Your Firm's Performance," 06.15.21.
    This piece in The American Lawyer offers a list of concrete action steps that law firms can take to normalize help-seeking behavior and create a culture of emotional well-being and resiliency, all of which can mitigate risk and optimize the bottom line.

  14. "New national study will evaluate well-being in legal profession," 06.14.21.
    The Canadian Lawyer's Law Times reports that the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, the Canadian Bar Association and the Université de Sherbrooke will conduct a national study on personal well-being in the legal profession: "The study will result in Canada-wide data that will provide a rigorous measurement of the health problems among legal professionals, such as anxiety, burnout and alcohol and drug use, as well as measurement of the stressors that cause these health challenges."

  15. "Done Working From Home? Prepare for More Hot Desks," 06.13.21.
    This piece in The Wall Street Journal takes a look at some of the challenges and strategies for managing the new reality that millions of workers will be heading back to the office this summer without a desk of their own. (Subscription required.)


  16. The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

  17. "Task Force: New York Should Develop Its Own Bar Exam," 06.14.21.
    The New York Law Journal reports that a New York State Bar Association task force has called for the creation of a new bar exam, a move that would have a major impact on legal education. (New York is the single-largest bar exam jurisdiction in the nation, with about 14,000 people sitting for its July and February tests annually.)

    1. "With criticisms of the NCBE, New York bar group suggests state create its own bar exam," 06.15.21.
      More on this from the ABA Journal: "A task force of the New York State Bar Association has recommended that the jurisdiction adopt its own bar exam and stop using the uniform bar exam, which is developed by the National Conference of Bar Examiners."


  18. Law Schools and Law Students

  19. "What do law students think of remote learning during the pandemic? A new survey sheds lights," 06.16.21.
    The ABA Journal reports on new survey research released Wednesday by the AccessLex Institute and Gallup that shows "first-year law students are more satisfied with online learning than those who started law school before the COVID-19 pandemic."

    1. "Law Students Weighed in on Pandemic Learning, Offering a Road Map for Legal Education's Future," 07.16.21.
      More on this new survey research from Law.com: "Students generally are less satisfied and are feeling less confident about the education they have received during the pandemic."

  20. "U.S. News: The Ten Most Expensive Law Schools," 06.15.21.
    The TaxProf Blog publishes the US News list of the ten most expensive law schools: "Among the 191 ranked law schools that provided this data, the average tuition and fees for out-of-state students during the 2020-2021 school year was around $47,300. Costs were even higher among the 10 most expensive law schools, with an average cost of about $69,600."

  21. "Critical Race Theory in Legal Education," 06.15.21.
    In this column in Slaw from the Council of Canadian Law Deans, Jula Hughes writes that "there are few if any, areas of law that are untouched by race and racialization," and urges a détente in the heat surrounding the current debate surrounding Critical Race Theory in legal education. (And this piece is a good reminder to those of us in the United States that the overheated rhetoric around CRT in this moment extends beyond our border — see e.g., the collection of stories at the bottom of the hour in the Higher Ed section of the digest.)


  22. Associate Salary Hikes

  23. "Cravath Matches Starting Associate Pay, Offering $205K For First-Years," 06.17.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that on Wednesday, "Cravath Swaine & Moore became the latest elite law firm to jump to $205,000 for first-year associates, helping to solidify the top market for associate pay."

  24. "More Top Firms Match Davis Polk, and Skadden Offers More Than Money," 06.16.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom became the first Am Law 10 firm to match the associate salary increase by Davis Polk & Wardwell, potentially opening a new vein of salary war dominoes to fall in the upper ranks of the legal community."

    1. "7 More Firms Raise Associate Salaries," 06.16.21.
      More on this from Law360.

  25. "'Slap in the Face': How Law Firm Staff Feel About Associate Raises," 06.15.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "as firms debate whether to match the associate pay raises pushed by Milbank and Davis Polk & Wardwell last week, and lavish praise on their young associates who put in yeoman work over the past year, professional staff are wondering when the pandemic bonuses, retention bonuses and salary increases are coming their way."

  26. "Latest Salary Increases Will Cost Firms. But Not as Much as 'Special' Bonuses," 06.15.21.
    The American Lawyer analyzes the costs to law firms of the current associate salary hike coupled with the special bonuses that were awarded this year.

  27. "While Holdouts Remain in Associate Salary Battle, O'Melveny and Pillsbury Match," 06.15.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "a trickle of large and prominent firms continued to sign on to associate salary increases this week…[including] O'Melveny & Myers and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman."

  28. "'Justifying the Stress': As Associate Pay Tops $200K, UK and European Lawyers Are Unconvinced," 06.15.21.
    This Law.com International feature reports that "many U.K. and European partners have played down the significance of potential pay wars, pointing out that salary is no longer the key consideration for a lot of associates."

  29. "More Salary Dominoes Fall at Am Law 200 Firms While Others Wait and See," 06.14.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "several more Am Law 200 firms confirmed on Monday that they were raising associate pay based on a new scale set last week by the elite firms…[while noting that] most of the top 20 most profitable law firms had yet to confirm any pay raises as of mid-Monday afternoon."

  30. "Matching Davis Polk Is a Short-Term Win in a Hot Market. But What Happens Next?," 06.14.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "the associate salary war that kicked off Thursday is yet another indicator of the highly competitive market for young lawyer talent, and another way in which the stratified Big Law landscape will become even more so."

  31. "Entry-level corporate lawyers now can make $200K or more," 06.14.21.
    The New York Post has the story as well.

  32. "Entry-Level Lawyers Are Now Making $200,000 a Year," 06.12.21.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "salaries for junior lawyers are rising above $200,000 at many top law firms for the first time, following a year of record-breaking profits in the legal industry and competition to retain a workforce that has billed long hours at home during the pandemic." (Subscription required.)

  33. "After Davis Polk Jumped Ahead, Other Firms Take Diverging Paths On Associate Raises," 06.11.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "while some firms are matching Davis Polk's scale, others who announced raises Friday are sticking with Milbank's scale, starting at $200,000 for first-years."

  34. "Davis Polk Raises Associate Salaries Above Milbank's Scale," 06.11.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Davis Polk & Wardwell announced pay raises Friday for associates that go beyond the Milbank associate pay scale announced a day earlier." ("Starting associates at Davis Polk in the 2021 class will receive $202,500 and last year's class will receive $205,000—just beating Milbank's $200,000 starting salary for 2020 and 2021 class associates.")


  35. Law Firms and Lawyers (North America)

  36. "Elite N.Y. firms are in a battle for talent. Could they all be losing?," 06.15.21.
    Reuters reports that "the dynamics of associate turnover are shifting for highly profitable New York firms," noting that more than 270 associates have left the 10 most profitable New York firms in 2021.

  37. "Reed Smith, Offering Severance to Legal Secretaries, Introduces Executive Assistant Role," 06.15.21.
    The Legal Intelligencer reports that "Reed Smith is offering all its U.S. and U.K. legal secretaries the option to leave the business as it introduces a new administrative role to its ranks."

  38. "Skepticism Remains Over Big Law's Remote Work Flexibility," 06.14.21.
    The American Lawyer speaks with law professor Gregory Shill about his research exploring why Big Law firms are concentrated in the costliest commercial districts of superstar cities, and his skepticism about whether the shift to pandemic-driven remote work is enough to interrupt that pattern.

  39. "As work from home becomes more widespread, the risk to a cohesive law firm culture grows," 06.11.21.
    Ian Holloway, Dean of Law at the University of Calgary and a member of the NALP Foundation Board of Trustees, writing here for the Canadian Lawyer, writes that "the question that we all need to be asking ourselves is whether the work from home movement will only increase the erosion of whatever remnants we have of the idea of a firm being something more than a collection of its constituent parts."


  40. International Law Firms

  41. "As Profits Stagnate, the UK's Elite Can't Keep Up With US Peers," 06.14.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "the top firms in the U.K. are watching profit margins slide backwards."

  42. "The Global Lawyer: Are Lawyers Still Driven by the Dollar (or Pound or Euro)?," 06.14.21.
    This piece of commentary in Law.com International makes the case that "in some parts of the world, young lawyers aren't as driven by the mighty dollar (or pound or euro) as in the States."


  43. Corporate Counsel/Legal Operations/Legal Technology/ALSPs

  44. "A Hiring War: Companies and Firms Duke it Out for Top Talent," 06.15.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "corporate legal departments and law firms are waging a battle for legal talent…[and] so far, the in-house side is losing the recruitment tug-of-war as Big Law leverages eye-popping bonuses and the ability to work remotely to lure and retain top-notch lawyers."


  45. Higher Education/Secondary Education

  46. "Title IX Protections Extend to Transgender Students, Education Dept. Says," 06.16.21.
    The New York Times reports that "a year after the Supreme Court ruled that protections in the Civil Rights Act against discrimination in the workplace extended to gay and transgender people, the Education Department said on Wednesday that it has interpreted the court's decision to mean that those protections also extend to students."

    1. "Title IX Protects LGBTQ Students, Education Department Says," 06.16.21.
      More on this from The Chronicle of Higher Education: "In an expected move, the U.S. Education Department announced on Wednesday that LGBTQ students are protected by Title IX — making clear how the federal government plans to enforce the gender-equity law during the Biden administration." (Subscription required.)

  47. "'Cynical and Illegitimate': Higher-Ed Groups Assail Legislative Efforts to Restrict Teaching of Racism," 06.16.21.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "a raft of higher-education organizations voiced their 'firm opposition' on Wednesday to legislation that they say aims to bar or impede instructors from educating students about racism in American history." ("The bills, versions of which have been introduced in at least 20 states, risk infringing "on the right of faculty to teach and of students to learn," says the joint statement, written by the American Association of University Professors, the American Historical Association, the Association of American Colleges and Universities, and PEN America, and signed by them and more than 85 other groups.") (Subscription required.)

    1. "Scholarly Groups Condemn Laws Limiting Teaching on Race," 06.16.21.
      More on this from The New York Times: "A coalition of more than six dozen scholarly and educational groups have signed onto a statement decrying the spread of proposed legislation limiting classroom discussion of race, racism and other so-called 'divisive concepts,' calling such laws an infringement on 'the right of faculty to teach and of students to learn' and a broader threat to civic life."



June 11, 2021


    Top Stories

  1. "Milbank Raises Associate Salaries Globally, Bumping Up Starting Pay to $200K," 06.10.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "amid one of the most competitive associate markets in recent memory, Milbank is raising associate salaries in all of its offices, bumping up associate pay by $10,000 or $15,000." ("First-year associates will receive $10,000 pay increases, bumping up starting salary to $200,000, while fourth-year associates and above will receive $15,000 pay increases, with senior associates going up to $355,000.")

    1. "Matching Begins After Milbank Boosted Associate Salaries," 06.10.21.
      And The American Lawyer reports that "the race to match a market leader on associate pay has begun…McDermott Will & Emery confirmed that it will be matching the associate pay raises initiated by Milbank earlier today…[and] Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft also announced that it would be matching Milbank's scale."

    2. "'Seems a Bit Tone-Deaf': Clients React to Big Law Associate Pay Bump," 06.10.21.
      And Corporate Counsel reports on the inevitable reactions from in-house counsel to the associate pay hike.

    3. "The Milbank Salary Raise Is a Gut Check for Big Law," 06.11.21.
      Reporting that both Cadwalader and Mintz, Levin have announced matching salary scales, and with less than 24 hours to absorb the news about the associate salary hike, the pundits at The American Lawyer conclude that "the stakes for many firms are incredibly high given the blistering associate talent market…[and] ore raises at other firms are sure to follow."

  2. "Attorneys of Color Reveal Alarmingly Higher Instances of Mental Health Struggles," 06.08.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "ALM's 2021 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Survey [found]…Minority attorneys reported higher rates of suicidal thoughts, depression and isolation than their white colleagues, aligning with a previous study by the ABA, which also tied race to mental health outcomes."


  3. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  4. "Morrison & Foerster's Latin America Co-Chair Advocates for LGBTI Lawyers Around the World," 06.10.21.
    To help mark Pride Month in the legal community, Law.com International speaks with Randy Bullard, co-chair of the Latin America desk at Morrison & Foerster and co-chair of the International Bar Association's LGBTI Law Committee about how firm-wide efforts such as affinity networks can create welcoming spaces for lawyers, effect external change and deepen client relationships—in Latin America and beyond.

  5. "My name is hard for Americans to pronounce. Don't tell me to change it.," 06.08.21.
    Xiaoyan Huang, a cardiologist in Portland, Oregon, writing for The Washington Post, offers a thoughtful essay on her Chinese name and its difficulty for many Americans. (Hat tip to Janet Smith.)

  6. "How to mitigate systemic discrimination in law firms," 06.07.21.
    The Canadian Lawyer writes that "in the movement to root-out and dismantle the structural biases preventing the legal profession from proportionately resembling the community it serves, there is a wide-ranging discussion on the most effective methods in achieving equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), as well as the nature and prevalence of systemic discrimination in the industry."


  7. Mental Health/Wellness/Remote Work/Remote Learning

  8. "How Can Clients Help The Industry's Mental Health Problem?," 06.11.21.
    This piece from Law.com International considers what role general counsel can play in helping to mitigate the declining mental health of the industry.

  9. "The Global Lawyer: Is Mental Health the New Law Firm Metric?," 06.07.21.
    This piece in Law.com International notes that the legal profession is once again examining how its culture impacts the mental health of lawyers around the globe, and asks, this time, will things change?


  10. The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

  11. "In New Bar Exam Data, Racial and Ethnic Disparities Persist," 06.09.21.
    The Recorder reports that "Black and Hispanic law school graduates saw marked year-over-year improvements in pass rates on California's February 2021 bar exam, according to statistics released Wednesday by the state bar…[but] espite the improved pass rates, a significant disparity still persists between white test-takers and applicants of color."

  12. "July 2021 Bar Exams Will Be Online in 29 Jurisdictions; NCBE To Remove Online Option Beginning With February 2022 Exam," 06.07.21.
    More updates on the Bar Exam from the TaxProf Blog.


  13. Law Schools and Law Students

  14. "'A Perfect Fit'? More Law Schools Embrace Legal Ops to Match Student Interests, Employer Needs," 06.09.21.
    Legaltech News reports that "a fast-changing legal jobs market and the evolving prerequisites of a 21st century lawyer has pushed legal ops into more law school classroom, but some say even more legal-ops education is needed for tomorrow's legal professionals."

  15. "Teach-out plan for Florida Coastal approved; classes will end after summer term," 06.09.21.
    The ABA Journal reports that "following the U.S. Department of Education recently pulling federal financial aid at the Florida Coastal School of Law, a teach-out plan has been approved, with current students finishing courses at other ABA-approved law schools." ("The law school is the last of three for-profit schools owned by InfiLaw, an entity of the private equity firm Sterling Capital Partners.")

    1. "It Looks Like End of the Line for the Embattled Florida Coastal School of Law," 06.10.21.
      More on this from the Daily Business Review: "The Jacksonville law school…will not enroll any new students and will stop offering classes by the end of the summer…the remaining students will finish out their degrees at other law schools and, by July 2023, Florida Coastal will cease to exist."

  16. "The Fall 2021 Admissions Cycle: The Best Of Times (For Law Schools), The Worst Of Times (For Applicants)," 06.08.21.
    The TaxProf Blog provides this update on the law school application numbers for the current cycle.

    1. "Anger. Anxiety. Depression. Unprecedented Law School Admissions Cycle Is Taking a Mental Toll on Applicants," 06.09.21.
      Karen Sloan at Law.com catches up with admissions consultant Mike Spivey about the current rollercoaster law school admissions cycle.

  17. "'Powerful, Collective Voice': Independent Law Schools, Standalone Graduate Schools Team Up to Build Lobbying Muscle," 06.08.21.
    Law.com reports on the formation of the National Association of Standalone Graduate Schools, a new coalition of independent graduate schools spearheaded by New York Law School Dean Anthony Crowell that counts eight law schools among the inaugural 11 members. (The other law school members are the University of California Hastings College of the Law, Brooklyn Law School, South Texas College of Law Houston, California Western School of Law, Appalachian School of Law, New England Law Boston and Vermont Law School.)

  18. "5 Things to Consider When Launching a Hybrid JD Program," 06.07.21.
    A former law professor, writing here for Legaltech News, writes that "by taking the proper steps to incorporate online and hybrid education into your JD and other degree programs, your institution can help usher in a new era of legal education—one that supports a more diverse student body and more accessible legal education for all."

  19. "Australian Law Schools Start Teaching Students How to Respond to Sexual Harassment," 06.07.21.
    Law.com International reports that "Australian universities are starting to respond to the endemic problems of sexual harassment and bullying in the legal profession by teaching students how to respond when confronted with these issues in the workplace…Melbourne Law School is developing a program in conjunction with the Victorian Bar Association focused on training students to deal with sexual harassment and bullying in the workplace."

  20. "Gripped by 'Dinner Party-gate,' Yale Law Confronts a Venomous Divide," 06.07.21.
    The New York Times reports on a dispute at Yale Law School that has divided the campus, "pitting student against student, professor against professor."

    1. "Anatomy of an elite law school quasi-scandal," 06.09.21.
      And The Washington Post has a slightly different analysis of what is really going on at Yale Law School.

  21. "Stanford Law Seeks to Distance Itself From Stanford University in Federalist Society Free-Speech Debacle," 06.07.21.
    Law.com reports that "Stanford Law faculty and administrators have moved to distance the school from the free-speech [controversy that] has made national headlines."

    1. "A Law Student Mocked the Federalist Society. It Jeopardized His Graduation.," 06.03.21.
      The New York Times reports that after a Stanford student published a satirical flier that drew a complaint from the conservative group, the university placed a hold on his diploma.


  22. Law Firms and Lawyers (North America)

  23. "As Law Firms Set Post-Pandemic Work Policies, It Looks a Lot Like the Old Normal," 06.10.21.
    The American Lawyer writes that as Big Law remote work announcements continue to pile up, two things have become clear: "One: hybrid work, in a way, will continue to be a part of the legal industry for the years to come. Two: the new normal everybody has been talking about since the pandemic began may not actually be so new when the dust settles."

  24. "At Pa. Firms, Many Summer Associates Are Eagerly Reporting to the Office," 06.08.21.
    The Legal Intelligencer reports that "summer programs are in full swing at Philadelphia-area law firms, where leaders are using hybrid working models to balance the preference of many participants who want to attend events in-person with the needs of some who opt to continue on a remote basis."

  25. "Radical Solutions to Lawyer Overwork," 06.08.21.
    Jordan Furlong, writing for Slaw, writes that "we need to deal in an honest and upfront manner about the root causes of widespread overwork, stress, burnout, and unhappiness in the legal profession, and especially among younger lawyers in law firms," and suggests root causes and some potential solutions.

  26. "Who's Counting? Law Firms Split on Specifying Days for Return to Office," 06.07.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "now that Big Law is scheduling office returns, large law firms are increasingly diverging on flexible work arrangements-particularly on whether to require a specific number of days in the office for lawyers and staff, and if so, how many."

    1. "Arent Fox and Baker McKenzie Emphasize Individual Responsibility in Return to Office Policies," 06.07.21.
      The National Law Journal reports that "Arent Fox and Baker McKenzie are early movers in revealing their return to the office policies, and while the two firms are taking slightly different approaches, both seem to be emphasizing flexibility coupled with individual responsibility."

  27. "More Law Firms Reveal Office Return Timelines and Flexible Working Policies," 06.04.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "the pace of large law firms announcing return-to-office schedules in September, along with hybrid remote working options, is picking up," with additional firms announcing policies on an almost daily basis.

  28. "It's Year Two of Pandemic Law Firm Summer Associate Programs. Here's How Things Are Shaping Up," 06.04.21.
    In this Law.com podcast, Karen Sloan speaks with Yih-Hsien Shen, Associate Director of J.D. Advising at Harvard Law School, about how law firms are adapting their summer associate programs during the pandemic and what lessons they learned from last summer. ("Shen discusses the benefits and drawbacks of virtual programs, which allow summer associates to live where they want and can actually increase their ability to get involved in multiple projects. But the change comes with a big downside in that it can be significantly harder to get a real sense of a firm's culture from across a computer screen.")

  29. "Legal Industry Hiring Continues as Nation Returns to the Office," 06.04.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that the Bureau of Labor Statistics most recent jobs report "showed the legal industry growing alongside the overall economy, steadily adding jobs and bringing employees back to the office." ("By the latest BLS stats, the legal services industry gained just 1,700 jobs in May, a decrease from its recent average growth. The industry has added an average of nearly 4,000 jobs per month since the pandemic sent employment plummeting in April 2020.")

  30. "SJC committee urges law firms to reopen with flexible work hours," 06.03.21.
    The Boston Globe reports that "in a move that could signal a radical shift in workplace ethos, a committee of the state's highest court is urging Massachusetts law firms to offer all lawyers flexible schedules as they return to the office after more than a year of remote work." (Hat tip to Fiona Trevelyan Hornblower)


  31. International Law Firms

  32. "85 Staff, Lawyers Leave Dentons After Redundancy Round," 06.10.21.
    Law.com International reports that "a total of 85 lawyers and staff have left Dentons' U.K., Ireland and Middle East arm after two redundancy rounds."


  33. Higher Education /Secondary Education

  34. "Spring Enrollment's Final Count Is In. Colleges Lost 600,000 Students.," 06.10.21.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on the pandemic-related decline in undergraduate enrollment: "New data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center provides a final tally of the enrollment decline higher education saw during the spring term of 2021: Total college enrollment fell 3.5 percent from a year earlier, a shortfall of 603,000 students. That is seven times worse than the decline a year earlier." (Subscription required.)

  35. "After Deep Drops, International Applications Rebound, Survey Finds," 06.10.21.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "after steep declines in international-student numbers during the Covid-19 pandemic, a new survey from the Institute of International Education paints a more optimistic international-enrollment picture for the coming fall…forty-three percent of colleges said international applications were above 2020 levels." (Subscription required.)



June 4, 2021


    Top Stories

  1. "Associate Burn-Out is Real. Firms Can and Must Do More," 06.03.21.
    Ann Offomata, managing director at Major, Lindsey & Africa, writing for Law.com International, makes the case that as workloads ramp up, junior lawyers need more support: "With firms beginning to look at a return to the office, it is time to take stock and develop a better understanding of the underlying factors contributing to poor mental health in the post-pandemic legal profession. Increased assignments, billing pressures, client demands and shrinking staffs are translating into more work hours for lawyers than ever before. These factors exacerbate mental health and addiction issues as well as overall lawyer unhappiness and dissatisfaction."


  2. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  3. "'None of This Happened by Accident:' How O'Melveny Built a Self-Sustaining Pipeline for Women Litigators," 06.02.21.
    The American Lawyer reports on how O'Melveny & Myers manages to consistently have women litigators in positions where they are representing top clients: "What does allow for the firm to have a strong stable of women litigators, and the momentum to recruit and retain future ones, is a standing priority for diversity, deliberate platforming of their female attorneys and buy-in from a partnership that seems to realize that the actions taken by the firm aren't just good from a moral standpoint, but from a financial one as well."

  4. "In 17 Years, I Will Still Know My Own Heart," 06.01.21.
    As June kicks off, the month we commemorate the Stonewall riots, New York Times columnist Jennifer Finney Boylan reflects on Pride and Cicadas and the cycles of queer progress: "What will the world be like in 2038, the next time Brood X returns? Will I still be having the same conversations in my twilight years, hearing the same remorseless falsehoods, engaging in humiliating debates about whether, after all this time, I know my own heart? Once, I was a 12-year-old boy listening to cicadas through an open window on a hot summer night. In 17 years, I'll be an 80-year-old woman. Change is frightening — but even more frightening is the prospect of always remaining the same. Year after year, every last one of us morphs into something new and strange, transfigured by time from flesh to soul."

  5. "The Beautiful, Flawed Fiction of 'Asian American,'" 05.31.21.
    Viet Thanh Nguyen writes thoughtfully and powerfully on Asian American identity in this guest essay for The New York Times: "No claim to American belonging will end the vulnerability of Asian Americans to racism and cyclical convulsions of violence. And what does it even mean to claim belonging in the United States? If we belong to this country, then this country belongs to us, every part of it, including its systemic anti-Black racism and its colonization of Indigenous peoples and land. Like wave after wave of newcomers to this country before, Asian immigrants and refugees learned that absorbing and repeating anti-Black racism helps in the assimilation process. And like the European settlers, Asian immigrants and refugees aspire to the American dream, whose narrative of self-reliance, success and property accumulation is built on the theft of land from Indigenous peoples."

  6. "As Harvard Case Looms at Supreme Court, Study Tests Value of Diversity," 05.31.21.
    With the Supreme Court set to consider next week whether to hear a challenge to Harvard's race-conscious admissions program, The New York Times reports on new research that arguably measures the educational benefits of diversity: "The study, to be published in The Columbia Law Review, examined diversity policies over 58 years at the main law reviews of the 20 most prestigious law schools. It found that the articles the editors chose were cited markedly more often in the five years after the race-conscious policies were adopted than those published in their peer law reviews." ("The study considered about 13,000 research articles and found that median citations to volumes published in the five years after the adoptions of diversity programs grew by about 23 percent, which was statistically significant.")

    1. "Law professors aim to show value of diversity in new study," 06.02.21.
      More on this from the ABA Journal: "The study found that law reviews with race-conscious policies—such as setting aside a number of spots for minority editors or requiring the minority composition of the law review to be proportional to the minority composition of the student body—saw the median citations to their volumes increase by about 23% in the five years after they adopted the policies."

  7. "Kelly Tullier, Chief Legal Officer of Visa, on Embracing Continuous Change and Driving Diversity and Inclusion," 05.31.21.
    Corporate Counsel speaks with Kelly Mahon Tullier, the Executive Vice President and Chief Legal and Administrative Officer of Visa, about "the key lessons that have guided her through her career to overcome diversity barriers, the importance of creating a succession plan, and the future of the workplace."

  8. "Promoting Inclusion, With or Without Golf: A Conversation With Neal Gerber's Olivia Luk Bedi," 05.28.21.
    The Recorder speaks with Olivia Luk Bedi, an IP litigator at Chicago's Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg, and one of three women of color practicing in the 127-lawyer firm's IP group, "about the challenges she's faced practicing in a predominantly white male field and the inclusiveness efforts underway at her firm and in the Northern District of Illinois."


  9. Mental Health/Wellness/Remote Work/Remote Learning

  10. "High-Performing Partners Equally Plagued With Mental Health Struggles," 06.01.21.
    Dan Binstock, writing for The American Lawyer, writes that "the increased focus on attorney stress/mental health over the past few years has been a welcome and much needed evolution…[and while] a lot of discussion has focused on associates…in law firms, which is understandable given the pressures they face, as a legal recruiter…I bear witness to another category of attorneys that suffer more silently: partners."

  11. "For Disabled Attorneys, Remote Work Brought Much-Needed Flexibility. Will It Last?," 06.01.21.
    Legaltech News reports that "disabled attorneys say the pandemic finally proved what they've long tried to explain to law firms: Remote work isn't inferior." ("Over a year after legal's sudden exodus from the office, disabled attorneys said they've largely benefited from the remote work environment. But while burnout and accommodations are still pressing concerns, disabled attorneys want law firms' flexibility to continue well after COVID-19 measures are eased.")

  12. "With Her Candor, Osaka Adds to Conversation About Mental Health," 06.01.21.
    The New York Times writes that Naomi Osaka's decision to withdraw this week from the French Open was "a potent example of a movement among elite athletes to challenge the age-old notion that they are, and must be, as peerless in mind as they are in body, untroubled by the scourge of mental illness." (""There's more acceptance of the fact — and more understanding of the fact — that mental health is a real thing, and in the athletics realm, it takes serious bravery for these high-profile athletes to come out and use the word 'depression' or use the word 'anxiety.'")

    1. "Naomi Osaka and the Power of 'Nope'," 06.01.21.
      More on this in a New York Times opinion piece from Lindsay Crouse: "When Naomi Osaka dropped out of the French Open on Monday, after declining to attend media interviews that she said could trigger her anxiety, she wasn't just protecting her mental health. She was sending a message to the establishment of one of the world's most elite sports: I will not be controlled. This was a power move — and it packed more punch coming from a young woman of color. When the system hasn't historically stood for you, why sacrifice yourself to uphold it? Especially when you have the power to change it instead."

    2. "Naomi Osaka, Reluctant Stars, and the Sports World's Mental Health Challenge," 06.01.21.
      And more from The Wall Street Journal: "Naomi Osaka spent all of one match and 72 hours at this year's French Open, but her short stay in Paris was enough to ignite a conversation about mental health and sports that may reshape the lives of professional athletes for years to come." (Subscription required.)

  13. "E.E.O.C. Says Companies Can Mandate Vaccines, but Few Push Ahead," 06.01.21.
    The New York Times reports that while the EEOC has made it clear that "companies can make their employees who are returning to the job get vaccinated against Covid-19…few companies have decided to move forward, as many are still engaging in internal debates about how to safely restore their offices to operations that resemble what they were before the pandemic."


  14. The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

  15. "Remote Bar Exams Are Out. In-Person Testing to Return in February," 06.01.21.
    Law.com reports that "the National Conference of Bar Examiners announced Tuesday that it is not planning to make a remote bar exam available to jurisdictions for the February 2022 exam, and will instead only offer materials for an in-person exam."


  16. Law Schools and Law Students

  17. "90% Of The Way Through The Fall 2021 Law School Admissions Cycle: Applications Are Up At 96% Of Law Schools, With Biggest Increases Among The Highest LSAT Bands," 06.01.21.
    The TaxProf Blog provides this update on law school application volume for fall.

  18. "Was This Law Dean Fired Because He's Gay? His Supporters Want Answers," 06.01.21.
    The Daily Business Review reports that "legal educators in South Florida and across the country have risen to the defense of ousted University of Miami law dean Anthony Varona, calling on campus leaders to reconsider their decision to push him out of the job and questioning whether his firing was motivated by bias." ("Both the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) and the Association of American Law Schools' Section on Minority Groups have issued letters in recent days condemning Varona's firing and raising questions about the real reason he was dismissed. Meanwhile, the law school's tenured faculty and the university's faculty senate adopted resolutions saying that University President Julio Frenk's unilateral decision to fire Varona without consulting the law professors ran afoul of shared governance principles.")

  19. "To Boost Productivity, Lawyers and Law Students Should 'Socially Distance' From Their Phones," 05.28.21.
    Law.com's Karen Sloan speaks with Suffolk University law professor Shailini George about her new book about distraction and how law students can increase their focus in a world dominated by smartphones. ("Her new book, The Law Student's Guide To Doing Well and Being Well, relies on neuroscience research to map out how lawyers and law students can curb the many distractions of modern life and increase their focus and productivity.")

  20. "University of Calgary provides a roadmap for foreign-trained lawyers to become certified in Canada," 05.28.21.
    The Canadian Lawyer reports that the University of Calgary Law School has launched a new program that will help foreign-trained lawyers complete the education requirements to enable them to practice law in Canada.


  21. Law Firms and Lawyers (North America)

  22. "Law Firms Remain Cautious on Office Rules and Masks, as Chicago Prepares to Reopen," 06.03.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "while the Chicago mayor said Thursday the city was on track to remove many restrictions by June 11, firms are remaining cautious before changing course on their operations."

  23. "'Staff Are People Too': All Stroock Employees Can Work Hybrid, Including Secretaries," 06.03.21.
    Amidst rapidly evolving policies about return to work, The American Lawyer reports that unlike some Big Law firms, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan has "extended the hybrid working option to everyone, including its administrative staff that had previously been in the office all the time."

  24. "As Firms Aim to Improve Benefits, Reed Smith Is Boosting Child Care Coverage," 06.03.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Reed Smith is expanding its emergency child care coverage as part of a new global network to support working parents, amid an industrywide turn toward greater benefits in a tight talent market."

  25. "Lateral Moves at Canadian Law Firms the Highest in Decades—and US Firms Aren't Helping," 06.03.21.
    Law.com International reports that "Canada's legal market has been hit by the largest lateral hiring frenzy it has seen in decades, with not only Canadian but also U.S. firms vying for limited associate talent in Canada."

  26. "Am Law 50 Firms Are Outpacing the Rest. Is Joining That Group a Worthy Goal?," 06.03.21.
    The American Lawyer writes that "Am Law 50 firms outpace those just below them in terms of market share, profitability and even prestige in the market" in ways that make it difficult for other firms to break into that top tranche.

  27. "Small and Midsized Law Firms Slammed by Ransomware," 06.03.21.
    Slaw provides a primer on the rapid rise of ransomware and cyber extortion threats and warns that "small and midsize law firms…are hobbled by the modesty of their budgets for cybersecurity."

  28. "Law Firms Show Increased Willingness to Band Together for Social Causes," 06.03.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "in the last year, law firms have taken a more public approach to dealing with social issues than in previous years."

  29. "The Pandemic Tech Hangover: How Law Firms' Tech Bill Is Coming Due," 06.02.21.
    Legaltech News reports that "over a year after the pandemic began, law firms have realized that their tech transformation has created as many problems as it has solved."

  30. "'Remote Forever': Lawyers Look to Move Firms So They Don't Have to Leave Their House," 06.01.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "as firms begin the process of reuniting their attorneys in the office, some lawyers are rebelling—threatening to move to another firm so that they don't have to move from their home office."

  31. "Canadian Corporate Lawyer Launches Practical Training Program for Young Lawyers," 06.01.21.
    Law.com International reports that "seeing a massive gap in the training of young lawyers, a Toronto corporate lawyer and some colleagues have created an innovative new training program that's free for the 100 law students who clamored to sign up for the first cohort." ("Launching June 7, the 4L Academy will not only teach the nitty-gritty of corporate law and litigation but also aims to combat the stress and anxiety many young lawyers feel.")

  32. "Paul Hastings Asks All Employees to Be Back in the Office Full-Time by Sept. 7," 05.28.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Paul Hastings on Friday became the latest Big Law firm to offer some clarity over returning to the office, when it issued a memo to all employees stating that the firm expects those that can to work from the office as much as possible."


  33. Corporate Counsel/Legal Operations/Legal Technology/ALSPs

  34. "In-House Counsel Pay Barely Dipped During COVID-19 Pandemic," 06.03.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "corporate counsel in a variety of positions across a wide swath of industries saw their salaries increase by an average of 3.5% last year, a relatively small decrease from the 4.4% average rise in 2019."

  35. "In-House Counsel Are Returning to Offices Soon. It's Only One Factor in Their Career Decisions," 06.03.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "while corporations have been generally more aggressive and rigid in the move back to in-person work compared with law firms, it's not a core factor for in-house lawyers considering career moves."


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