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.

September 23, 2022

    Top Stories

  1. "NALP Names Nikia L. Gray New Executive Director," 09.19.22.
    The NALP Board of Directors announced today that it has appointed Nikia L. Gray as the organization's next Executive Director. Ms. Gray will join NALP from the Washington, D.C. office of Quarles & Brady, where she has served as Managing Partner since 2018 and also as Director of Legal Recruiting. Ms. Gray will succeed longtime NALP Executive Director James G. Leipold when he retires in October. (Read the NALP press release.)

    1. "NALP Taps Quarles & Brady's DC Office Chief As New Leader," 09.19.22.
      Law360 reports that the National Association for Law Placement has tapped Nikia Gray, the managing partner of Quarles & Brady's Washington, DC, office as its next executive director.

  2. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  3. "Why Faculty of Color Are Leaving Academe," 09.20.22.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that many faculty of color on college and university campuses find themselves disenfranchised, exhausted, and isolated. (Subscription required.)

  4. "It's Getting Worse: The Gender Pay Gap Among Senior Marketing Professionals Is Widening," 09.20.22."
    The American Lawyer reports that "the pay gap between female C-suite and first-chair directors has widened significantly over the past four years."

  5. Mental Health/Wellness/Remote Work/Back to Work

  6. "Health Panel Recommends Anxiety Screening for All Adults Under 65," 09.20.22.
    The New York Times reports that "a panel of medical experts on Tuesday recommended for the first time that doctors screen all adult patients under 65 for anxiety, guidance that highlights the extraordinary stress levels that have plagued the United States since the start of the pandemic."

    1. "In a first, health panel calls for routine anxiety screening in adults," 09.20.22.
      More on this from The Washington Post.

  7. "U.S. Return-to-Office Rates Hit Pandemic High as More Employers Get Tougher," 09.19.22.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "workers are returning to U.S. offices at the highest rate since the pandemic forced most workplaces to temporarily close in 2020, as infection rates continue to fall and more companies intensify efforts to bring employees back." (Subscription required.)

  8. Bar Exam/Lawyer Licensing

  9. "Which Florida Law Schools Had Highest Bar Passage Rates in July?," 09.19.22.
    The Daily Business Review reports that "the Supreme Court of Florida on Monday released the July general bar examination results of first-time applicants from nearly one dozen law schools in the Sunshine State."

  10. Law Schools and Law Students

  11. "Fired Texas law dean sues school for gender bias, retaliation," 09.22.22.
    Reuters reports that "a former dean of the Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law sued the Houston university's board of regents and other top administrators on Wednesday, alleging she was treated unfairly because she is a woman and ousted in June without cause."

    1. "Former law school dean sues Texas university over loss of tenure," 09.22.22.
      More on this from the ABA Journal: "Alleging that she was stripped of tenure without cause and denied due process, the former law school dean of Texas Southern University's Thurgood Marshall School of Law has brought a federal lawsuit against the historically Black college."

  12. "Law schools debut new campuses, facilities after pandemic pause," 09.21.22.
    Karen Sloan, writing for Reuters, reports that new law school buildings have opened for students at the University of Houston and the University of Cincinnati this fall, and Washburn University is slated to complete its new law school campus in December.

  13. "'Confused, Conflated, Miscommunicated': Why Do So Many Law Schools Have Such Similar Names?," 09.21.22.
    Law.com writes that it is surprising how many law schools share similar names.

  14. "Case Western Reserve University Law School Launches DEI Education Program," 09.20.22.
    Diverse Issues in Higher Education reports that Case Western Reserve University School of Law has launched a diversity, equity, and inclusion-centric education program: "The Academy for Inclusive Leadership Development - open to local business leaders, practicing lawyers, non-attorney legal professionals, and Case law students - will offer a free curriculum that will go from October through April and will be a mix of in-person Saturday sessions and online components. Lawyers who complete the program will earn continuing legal education credit."

  15. "Arizona Law's LAWtina Program Is Helping Latina BA Students Find Path to Law School," 09.19.22.
    Law.com writes about "LAWtina, the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law's mentoring program that aims to build confidence in Latina undergraduate students in hopes of creating a pipeline to ultimately improve diversity in the legal profession."

  16. "Cardozo Law fights fallout from Yeshiva University LGBT club case," 09.19.22.
    Reuters reports that "the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law is taking steps to distance itself from the policies of its parent institution Yeshiva University, after Yeshiva's legal efforts to block an undergraduate LGBT student group reached the U.S. Supreme Court."

    1. "Cardozo Law Students Protest Against Yeshiva University, Show Support for YU Pride Alliance," 09.21.22.
      The New York Law Journal reports that "on Wednesday afternoon, approximately 200 students from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law gathered to protest against its parent school, Yeshiva University, over the university's ongoing fight against the formation of an undergraduate LGBTQ+ club and to show support for the YU Pride Alliance students."

    2. "The Supreme Court Ordered Yeshiva U. to Recognize an LGBTQ Group. Then Things Took a Turn.," 09.21.22.
      The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "the LGBTQ student group embroiled in a legal battle with Yeshiva University said on Wednesday that it would temporarily step back from seeking official recognition after the campus suspended all undergraduate club activity last week." (Subscription required.)

  17. "52% Of Law Schools Now Accept GRE Scores For Admission To JD Programs," 09.16.22
    The TaxProf Blog reports that "the number of law schools accepting Graduate Record Exam (GRE) test scores for admission to their J.D. programs has grown significantly over the last several weeks, from 89 law schools on Aug. 25 to 102 law schools today."

  18. "Ex-justice's slaveholding past prompts move to change Ohio law school's name," 09.16.22.
    Reuters reports that "an ad-hoc committee formed by Cleveland State University on Thursday unanimously recommended changing the name of its law school to remove a reference to Marshall, who was chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1801 to 1835." ("The school is currently named the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.")

    1. "Cleveland State Committee Votes Unanimously To Remove John Marshall From The Name Of Its Law School," 09.17.22.
      More on this from the TaxProf Blog.

  19. Law Firms and Lawyers

  20. "For Now, Midsize Firms Are in an Enviable Position," 09.22.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that "relative to their larger competitors, firms outside of the Am Law 200 have increased demand, stemmed productivity declines, and fared well in the face of lawyer attrition, according to the 2022 Report on the State of the Midsize Legal Market from Thomson Reuters."

    1. "Midsize U.S. law firms see demand advantage in challenging year," 09.22.22.
      More on this from Reuters: "Midsize U.S. law firms enjoyed a greater increase in client demand and suffered a smaller dip in productivity in the first half of 2022 compared with their largest counterparts, according to a new report released Thursday." ("It marked the first time since 2015 that midsize firms on average outperformed the top 100-grossing U.S. law firms in terms of demand growth, according to the report by the Thomson Reuters Institute.")

  21. "Big Law's About to Demonstrate Why It Will Never Solve Its Retention Problem," 09.22.22.
    Zack Needles, writing for Law.com, writes that "for all the recent hand-wringing about professional development and culture, this industry's retention methods have always relied less on job satisfaction and wellbeing than on fear and uncertainty."

  22. "The Real Danger Behind EY Entering Legal Services Will Be Its Impact on Young Legal Talent," 09.21.22.
    The American Lawyer writes that as EY spins out it consulting services from its audit business, including legal services, a move expected to make it more competitive in the legal services sector, "the real threat to law firms may be the drain such a move may have on the talent pool."

    1. "What Happens to Law Firms When EY Ditches Its Troubled Audit Business," 09.21.22.
      The American Lawyer writes that "with news that EY is making good on its promise to ditch its audit business, the likelihood has dramatically increased that it will deepen its legal services offerings and compete toe-to-toe with law firms."

  23. "Key Adaptations For Law Firms Amid Quiet Quitting Movement," 09.21.22.
    NALP member Meredith Kahan, the chief legal talent officer at Whiteford Taylor & Preston, writing here for Law360, has suggestions for law firms for meeting the quiet quitting challenge, urging flexibility, engagement, communication, and continuing support for wellness and mental health.

  24. "Ropes & Gray sets 'anchor days' for in-office work as many BigLaw firms skirt issue," 09.20.22.
    The ABA Journal reports that "Ropes & Gray is telling its lawyers that they have to work in the office on 'anchor days' of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday." ("The policy takes effect Oct. 3.")

  25. "Lagging Demand and Layoff Fears Give Firms Leverage Over Talent-Will They Use It?," 09.20.22.
    The American Lawyer writes that "declining billable hours and reports of stealth layoffs are making some associates, counsel and non-equity partners anxious about their jobs [and notes that] law firms could use the uncertainty to push for office attendance and better attitudes from associates, but firm leaders are also likely to respond to uncertain times with caution."

  26. "The 2022 Global 100 Ranked by Profits Per Equity Partner," 09.20.22.
    Law.com International publishes their annual ranking of the top 100 firms based on their profitability, reporting that "on revenue growth of 15.3% and an equity-partner tier increase of 2.2%, the 100 largest firms in the world saw their profits per equity partner (PEP) increase 16.8% in the last fiscal year."

    1. "The World's Largest Law Firms Go From Historic Highs to High Uncertainty," 09.20.22.
      Law.com International provides analysis of its Global 100 rankings data: "Revenue for the largest 200 firms in the world increased to more than $185.6 billion, as a confluence of high demand and high-dollar deal work drove the industry to dizzying heights. In general, but particularly in the United States, firms were also able to increase rates, increase utilization and increase their collections."

    2. "The 2022 Global 200 Ranked by Revenue," 09.20.22.
      ALM has also published its ranking of the 200 largest law firms in the world by revenue, noting that the Global 100 outperformed the second hundred, and noting that the 200 largest law firms in the world have collectively grown their revenue 14.7% in the 2021 fiscal year.

    3. "The 2022 Global 100 Ranked by Profits Per Equity Partner," 09.20.22.
      (Law.com International)

    4. "The 2022 Global 200 Ranked by Head Count," 09.20.22.
      (Law.com International)

  27. "Federal judiciary to survey employees nationally on harassment, misconduct," 09.20.22.
    Reuters reports that "the federal judiciary's policymaking body on Tuesday agreed to administer regular workplace surveys to its 30,000 employees to help identify the extent that sexual harassment, discrimination and other misconduct occurs in courthouses nationally."

  28. "Staff Layoffs at Fish & Richardson as Secretary Roles 'Transition'," 09.19.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that "leaders at Fish & Richardson have confirmed the elimination of its litigation secretary role, leading the firm to let go of support team members across its 14-office footprint."

  29. "Law Firms Are Shifting Their Sights to 2023, but the Outlook Remains Murky," 09.16.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that "law firm leaders and analysts who've begun charting a path for 2023 say next year is a big question mark, with uncertainty about whether the deal market will rebound and unknowns such as the U.S. midterm elections and the war in Ukraine, along with stubbornly-persistent inflation that could shape the road ahead."

  30. Corporate Counsel

  31. "70% of In-House Lawyers Inclined to Leave Post, Survey Finds," 09.20.22.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "according to the Future Ready Lawyer Survey 2022 released last week by legal software maker Wolters Kluwer, 70% of corporate lawyers surveyed say that they're at least somewhat likely to leave their current position in the coming year."

  32. "Legal Departments Face Growing Pressure for More Operational and Cost Efficiencies," 09.19.22.
    Legaltech News reports that "while law departments have historically not been held to the same standard of accountability for their spending by executive leadership teams as sales or marketing teams, recent economic headwinds are putting a growing pressure on legal teams to be more operational and cost efficient." (The article notes that "a recent report found that many [law departments] still aren't fully leveraging technology into their day-to-day workflows.")

  33. Higher Education

  34. "Just 5 Universities Produce One-Eighth of the Nation's Tenure-Track Professors," 09.22.22.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that according to new research, "just five universities have produced one-eighth of the tenure-track professors at American doctoral institutions, and 80 percent of such professors earned their Ph.D.s at just 20 percent of the nation's universities." (Subscription required.)

  35. "The Labor Market Is Hot, but Not for New College Grads," 09.19.22.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York show that new college graduates are facing tougher employment prospects than are all job seekers in the larger labor market." (Subscription required.)

September 16, 2022

    Top Stories

  1. "'People Aren't Leaving': Law Firms Are Seeing 'Stickier' Lawyers," 09.14.22.
    This American Lawyer editorial argues that "the red-hot flow of talent between large law firms has cooled off in 2022, not only because law firms have slowed down their rapid hiring from last year [but also because] individual lawyers are also choosing to stick at their present firms during a period of relative uncertainty."

  2. The Feel Goods

  3. "The Next Walk You Take Could Change Your Life," 09.15.22.
    This New York Times essay extols the virtues of mindful walking: "When I walk, I say, 'Now I'm walking.' I ring a bell in my mind to get prepared. It doesn't matter if I'm going to the store or for a lunchtime stroll to catch a glimpse of a sexy tree — I know I'm walking. I breathe. I swipe left on everything that tries to lodge itself between me and the world. Pebbles crunch underfoot. Leaves smile in my eyes. Sounds emanate from bottomless wells. The world gets younger, exalted. I see, smell, hear and feel things I didn't before. It's not profound, not magic, but it is impossible to tie a ribbon around."

  4. NALP News

  5. "The Reshuffling of the Legal Profession, Part 1," September 2022.
    Read the first part of Marcia Pennington Shannon's two-part article on the great reshuffle in the legal profession that appears in the September issue of the NALP Bulletin+ as one of two PDQ features.

  6. "Looking at Leadership: Perspectives from American Law School Deans," September 2022.
    Read Jeff Allum and Katie Kempner's article about the new American Law School Dean Study, led by the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), which sheds light on the changing face of the American law school dean, a group that is far more diverse than it used to be.

  7. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  8. "Supreme Court requires Yeshiva University to recognize LGBTQ student club as state court review continues," 09.15.22.
    The ABA Journal reports that "the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to block a trial judge's order requiring Yeshiva University to recognize an LGBTQ student club at its undergraduate campus while litigation continues."

  9. "As Harvard Makes Amends for Its Ties to Slavery, Descendants Ask, What Is Owed?," 09.12.22.
    The New York Times reports on the fascinating story of a woman who lived in the shadows of Harvard University and then discovered, at 80, that her enslaved ancestors had links to the university.

  10. Mental Health/Wellness/Remote Work/Back to Work

  11. "There's a Better Way to Reclaim Your Time Than 'Quiet Quitting'," 09.13.22.
    The author Laura Vanderkam, writing for The New York Times, argues that quiet quitting is not the answer to burnout: "As a writer focused on time management, I've come to realize that the opposite of burnout isn't doing nothing, or even scaling back. It's engagement. As counterintuitive as that seems, adding energizing activities to your schedule just might make life feel more doable."

  12. "So You Wanted to Get Work Done at the Office?," 09.11.22.
    The New York Times writes that "some are nostalgic for the silence they had at home, especially since in-office perks, aimed at luring people back, can make it harder to concentrate."

  13. Bar Exam/Lawyer Licensing

  14. "Multistate Bar Exam Mean Score on Par With Recent July Administrations," 09.13.22.
    Law.com reports that "the national Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) mean scaled score for July was 140.3, consistent with results from recent years' July administrations."

  15. Law Schools and Law Students

  16. "Stanford Law to offer 'income share' financing as law school costs soar," 09.15.22.
    Reuters reports that "Stanford Law School has teamed with a new non-profit to offer what are known as 'income share agreements' to law students, a move officials said will lower the cost of a J.D. for many and make it easier for law graduates to purse lower-paying public interest positions."

  17. "Now, why exactly do we need the LSAT?," 09.13.22.
    Reuters columnist Jenna Greene, covers the pros and cons of requiring the LSAT for law school admission.

  18. Law Firms and Lawyers

  19. "Big Law's Nightmare: Ethics Issues Scare Away New Recruits," 09.15.22.
    Roy Strom, writing for Bloomberg, looks at how mounting criticisms of Big Law are impacting recruiting: "It's hard to know how many students will be willing to forego Big Law paychecks to take a moral stance."

  20. "Payroll Cuts or Normalization? Law Firms Scale Back Recruiting as Recession Fears Loom," 09.12.22.
    More from The American Lawyer on the current law firm hiring slowdown: "Law firms are pumping the breaks on lateral hiring from the unprecedented heights of last year, but there's an open question as to how far this slowdown will go: Is the legal industry careening toward the layoffs and hiring freezes of 2008 or 2020, or is it normalizing to a point of pre-pandemic stasis?"

  21. "The Risks In Lateral Hiring, And How To Avoid Them," 09.12.22.
    Law360 provides advice about how to succeed in the current lateral marketplace.

  22. "Hunton Andrews Kurth 'Hackathon' Ups Value of Summer Program, Spawns Fresh Ideas," 09.09.12.
    The American Lawyer reports that "a Shark Tank-style Hackathon at Hunton Andrews Kurth, which tasks summer associates with pressing legal industry challenges, does more than bring fresh ideas to the firm…it makes the summer program more valuable and can provide another metric for evaluating potential first-year hires."

  23. International News

  24. "UK Top 50 Ranked By Revenue: Fee Income Surges Despite Headwinds," 09.12.22.
    Law.com International reports that "the U.K.'s largest law firms managed their strongest average revenue rise since before the financial crisis, according to this year's Top 50 rankings, despite growing economic and geopolitical headwinds." ("The firms grew their fee income by 10.9% on average in the last financial year, a noticeable improvement on the previous year, when the average rise was 5.9%. It was the largest average rise in revenue since the 2007-08 financial year, when turnover rose 12.5%.")

  25. Corporate Counsel

  26. "More Legal Departments Want Lawyers Back at Office, But 'Nuance' Is Key," 09.13.22.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "more legal departments are pushing for their lawyers to return to the office, but most are offering hybrid schedules and allowing far-flung employees to stay 100% remote…despite the shift, some in-house lawyers say they won't give up remote work, even for a few days a week."

September 9, 2022

    Top Stories

  1. "Hiring Pauses, Stealth Layoffs at Top 50 Law Firms Signal Industry Austerity," 09.08.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that "top law firms are beginning to show signs of austerity following the frenzied lateral hiring market in corporate practices in 2021 [and] multiple firms in the Am Law 50 have reportedly begun to take measures aimed at managing their attorney ranks."

  2. The Feel Goods

  3. "Yo-Yo Ma performs a work for cello in the woods, accompanied by a birdsong chorus," 07.19.22.
    "In this music video from the album For the Birds: The Birdsong Project, Vol II (2022), the celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma is seen and heard performing 'In the Gale', which he created in collaboration with the composer Anna Clyne. Perhaps the only piece of music written 'for cello and birdsong', the performance sees Ma alone with his instrument in a wooded landscape, performing the poignant work alongside a chorus of some of nature's most gifted singers." (Aeon) (Hat tip to Jessica Buchsbaum)

  4. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  5. "What Would the End of Race-Conscious Admissions Mean for Minority Enrollment?," 09.02.22.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education "takes a look at how underrepresented-minority enrollment has shifted in the 10 states that have outlawed affirmative action." ("Six states saw the gap between their underrepresented-minority population and their in-state underrepresented-minority enrollment at selective institutions grow.") (Subscription required.)

  6. Mental Health/Wellness/Remote Work/Back to Work

  7. "Quiet Quitters Make Up Half the U.S. Workforce, Gallup Says," 09.07.22.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "the number of workers who say they are actively disengaged from their jobs—defined as workers who are unhappy about their work and resentful their needs aren't being met—is rising, according to new research by Gallup, which has tracked workers' investment in their jobs since 2000." (Subscription required.)

  8. "Out of office: The pandemic and the new meaning of work," 09.04.22.
    The Washington Post's Editorial Board has this Labor Day reflection on some of the many ways that the nature of work has been forever changed: "More than two years of pandemic have jolted the meaning of work and the way employees think about it. The consequences are just unfolding…. Workers across the spectrum are looking for more — many are seeking more fulfilling lives and no longer assume they will spend a career in a traditional office, putting in long hours and pursuing ever-higher ambitions."

  9. Bar Exam/Lawyer Licensing

  10. "New York Is Pushed to Stop Asking Aspiring Lawyers About Long-Ago Crimes," 09.06.22.
    The New York Times reports that New York is considering changing how the state's bar admission application asks about past criminal histories. (The current question asks prospective lawyers to divulge their complete criminal records, including mandating that juvenile cases and sealed or expunged convictions be revealed.)

  11. Law Schools and Law Students

  12. "With Record $50M Donation, Duquesne Law Changes Name to Thomas R. Kline School of Law," 09.07.22.
    The Legal Intelligencer reports that "Duquesne University School of Law will now be known as the Thomas R. Kline School of Law of Duquesne University after Kline, of Philadelphia's Kline & Specter, committed $50 million to the school, the single largest commitment to the university in its 144-year history."

    1. "Personal injury lawyer gets another namesake law school with $50 million gift," 09.08.22.
      Reuters also has this story: "Philadelphia personal injury lawyer Thomas Kline on Wednesday became the only living attorney to have two law schools named for him."

  13. "Top 50 Law Schools: Percentage Of Students Receiving At Least 50% Tuition Scholarships," 09.07.22.
    The TaxProf Blog reports on the percentages of students receiving full, half, and more than full tuition scholarships at the top 50 law schools. (Arizona ranks first with 83.8% of its students receiving at least half tuition.)

  14. "Fostering Law Student Professional Identity In A Time Of Instability And Strife," 09.07.22.
    The TaxProf Blog features a new post from Neil Hamilton that "focuses on recent accreditation changes in legal education that, we hope, will help new generations of law students internalize the profession's special roles and responsibilities and thus more effectively address our pressing social and political challenges."

  15. "Vermont's Lone Law School Branches Out," 09.06.22.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "after years of declining enrollment and wobbly finances, Vermont Law School is rebranding and expanding its graduate degree offerings."

  16. "As ABA Deadline Ends, More Than 100 Public Comments Highlight Split Over Law School Admissions Test Requirement," 09.06.22.
    Law.com reports that "the comment period for a proposal to do away with the American Bar Association's standardized admissions test requirement for law schools closed Sept. 1 with more than 100 comments posted, laying bare the divisiveness of the issue." ("The topic appears to have garnered the most feedback of any issue posted to the ABA website's Notice and Comment section since at least 2011, which is the farthest back the online archives go.")

  17. "'A Moral Imperative': Georgia Law Dean Explains How School's 'Investment Model' Helps Keep Student Debt Low," 09.02.22.
    The Daily Report speaks with Peter "Bo" Rutledge, the dean of the University of Georgia School of Law, about the school's "investment model" that helps keep students' debt low.

  18. Law Firms and Lawyers

  19. "How Will Law Firms Enforce Their Office Returns in the Fall? Very Carefully," 09.09.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that "leaders at big law firms are aiming to increase the number of lawyers and staff in the office during the upcoming fall and winter months, seeking to maximize all the training and collaboration benefits that come with it."

  20. "How to avoid the most common mistakes that new associates make," 09.07.22.
    Precedent in Canada has advice for new associates and provides "a simple guide on how rookie associates can start thinking like veteran lawyers."

  21. "Reimagining the OCI Process: What we learned from the pandemic," 09.06.22.
    This piece in the ABA Journal makes the case that the pandemic changes OCI recruiting forever, or at least it should if it hasn't already: "So as OCI slowly returns to schools nationwide, it may be time to assess what the last two years have taught us about recruitment and see if a new model might provide deeper and wider engagement for students and firms alike. This model would incorporate the online tools, such as strengths-based assessments and job simulations,that became indispensable during the pandemic (67% of students reported using them) to bolster the best parts of OCI going forward."

  22. "'A Whole Different Ballgame'—What Associates Are Learning by Standing Before Juries," 09.06.22.
    Law.com interviewed five associates who went to trial in the last year in high-stakes IP showdowns: "All described it as a singular development opportunity—plus hard work and even some fun."

  23. "Taft law firm strengthens hold on Midwest with Detroit area merger," 09.06.22.
    Reuters reports that Taft Stettinius & Hollister said it will merge with 120-lawyer Michigan law firm Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, creating a firm with 800 lawyers throughout eight Midwest markets and Washington, D.C.

  24. "A Long-Term Approach to Associate Development," 09.02.22.
    A California law firm partner and law firm associate, writing together for The Recorder, write that "studying a firm's approach to associate development provides a more concrete approach to firm selection."

  25. "Major trends impacting Canadian law firm recruitment," 09.01.22.
    The Canadian Lawyer reports that competition for Canadian legal talent has been fierce in 2022" and identifies some of the trends driving that competition: "With higher pay, lawyers sought additional benefits, perks, and work-life balance in the relentlessly competitive candidate-driven market."

  26. Higher Education/Secondary Ed/Primary Ed

  27. "Princeton to cover all college bills for families making up to $100,000," 09.08.22.
    The Washington Post reports that Princeton University has changed its financial aid policies to cover the full expenses of students whose families earn less than $100,000, which means that "next year, a quarter of its students will pay nothing to attend the Ivy League university."

September 2, 2022

    Top Stories

  1. "The Toll of Student Debt in the U.S.," 08.26.22.
    The New York Times reports that "the amount of student debt held in America is roughly equal to the size of the economy of Brazil or Australia…more than 45 million people collectively owe $1.6 trillion, according to U.S. government data." ("Black people are increasingly carrying a larger student debt load…as are millennials, who owe far more than older and younger generations.")

    1. "Ballooning student loans become an albatross; ex-NYU law student, 91, owes $329K on initial $29K loan," 08.31.22.
      The ABA Journal reports that "some older Americans who took out relatively modest student loans are finding themselves saddled with ballooning loan balances that can result in garnishment of tax refunds, wages and Social Security payments."

  2. "Gen Z Wants to Ditch Corporate Jobs for Social Media Dreams," 08.26.22.
    The Daily Business Review reports that "the drive to turn social media posts into sustainable income is highest among the youngest generation of workers, according to new research by Adobe Inc." ("About 45% of Gen Z creators surveyed said they aspire to own a business and make money from content shared online, according to the company's survey in May of more than 9,000 influencers and creators across nine countries.")

  3. The Feel Goods

  4. "Grandmother and grandson visit 62 national parks on adventure of a lifetime," 08.30.22.
    The Washington Post has this lovely story (and lovely pictures) of this grandmother and grandson who "are on a shared mission to visit 63 U.S. National Parks together." ("Since they started the effort in 2015, they've made it to 62.")

  5. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  6. "Proposal to axe LSAT requirement spurs debate over test's effects on diversity," 08.31.22.
    Reuters reports that the current proposal to drop the ABA's admission test requirement reveals deep divisions within legal academy, with two camps arguing that "the Law School Admissions Test is either a major roadblock to building a diverse legal profession, or an equalizer that helps underprivileged aspiring lawyers."

    1. "Lower Black and Latino Pass Rates Don't Make a Test Racist," 08.27.22.
      This New York Times opinion piece by John McWhorter, an associate professor of linguistics at Columbia University who writes about how race and language shape our politics and culture, argues that standardized test gaps by race and ethnicity do not occur because the tests themselves are racist, but rather is the result of poverty: "To the extent that we still have a wealth gap and an education gap, and that the poverty rate is disproportionately high for Black, Latino and Indigenous people, we might expect these groups, in the aggregate, to be affected by this aspect of language and its legacies."

  7. "The Case for Gender-Diverse Research Teams," 08.30.22.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "a new study finds that male-female research teams produce more innovative, impactful research than all-male or all-female teams, and the more gender-balanced the diverse teams are, the better."

  8. "What Serena Williams means to Black women," 08.29.22.
    The Washington Post has a lovely piece on the tremendous impact that Serena has had on others: "Williams is a talisman for many Black women because the only lines she ever stayed within were on a tennis court….She endured racism, reached the mountaintop anyway, then planted herself there, breathing easy in the thin air."

    1. "Billie Jean King: What Makes Serena Williams So Watchable," 08.29.22.
      And if you need more on Serena, The New York Times published this lovely essay from Billie Jean King on what Serena has meant to the game of tennis: "Serena has brought the idea of gender equity, inclusion and diversity forward. She has inspired people to live their dreams."

  9. "Affirmative Action Was Banned at Two Top Universities. They Say They Need It.," 08.26.22.
    The New York Times reports that "as a Supreme Court case on college admissions nears, the California and Michigan university systems say their efforts to build diverse classes have hardly worked." (Both universities have filed amicus briefs this month at the Supreme Court, which is set to consider the future of affirmative action in college admissions this fall.)

  10. "Convocation must decide whether to release internal EDI documents requested by bencher: LSO," 08.26.22.
    The Canadian Lawyer's Law Times reports on litigation involving the Law Society of Ontario over the release of survey data which helped inform major equality, diversity, and inclusion policies.

  11. Mental Health/Wellness/Remote Work/Back to Work

  12. "4 techniques for lawyers to find instant relief from stress," 09.01.22.
    A longtime attorney who has developed innovative training to help others facing burnout and personal crises to heal, writing here for the ABA Journal, offers "some techniques for reprogramming negative patterns in your brain."

  13. "After 'quiet quitting,' here comes 'quiet firing'," 09.01.22.
    The Washington Post has an "other shoe" take on the quiet quitting trope: "If we're going to accuse workers of quiet quitting, we should also acknowledge the phenomenon of 'quiet firing,' in which employers avoid providing all but the bare legal minimum, possibly with the aim of getting unwanted employees to quit." (Hat tip to Andrew Parker)

  14. "As More Stressed-Out Students Consider Dropping Out, Surgeon General Pushes College Leaders to Ramp Up Support," 08.30.22.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "mental health is now one of the top reasons many college students are considering dropping out of college…on Tuesday, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy urged college administrators to hire more counselors and establish programs where students can help each other cope with mental-health struggles." ("He also stressed the importance of collecting data to see which students on campus are using mental-health resources.") (Subscription required.)

  15. "The Workers Who Relish Going to the Office on Friday—When No One Else Is There," 08.26.22.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that hybrid work schedules have some employees purposely choosing the days most of their colleagues stay home: "As hybrid work models have taken root in the corporate world and many employees have been given some choice in when they go into the office, Tuesdays, Thursdays and especially Wednesdays have emerged as the most popular days, according to data from Kastle Systems, which tracks security badge swipes in most major U.S. cities. But a subset of workers is purposely going in on the days most of their colleagues prefer to stay home—Mondays and Fridays. It's a small club but members cite benefits like being spared distracting small talk and weird-smelling food wafting from the microwave. They'd be delighted if you didn't join." (Subscription required.)

  16. Law Schools and Law Students

  17. "Notre Dame Law is ditching binding early admissions. Will others follow?," 09.01.22.
    Reuters reports that "the University of Notre Dame Law School has ended its early decision admissions program, in a move experts say other law schools may follow amid ongoing uncertainty about the national applicant pool and concerns about access and equity."

  18. "I Just Took the Bar Exam but I Don't Have a Job Yet!," 08.31.22.
    NALP member Jill Backer, writing for the Daily Business Review in Florida, writes that "more than 35% of law students nationally get their job after the bar exam" and provides recent grads with "some steps to take to ensure getting that job as soon as possible."

  19. "An American J.D. in Australia? One U.S law school wants to go international," 08.29.22.
    Reuters reports that "the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law is seeking to become the first U.S. law school to open a branch campus internationally, offering students a dual degree with an Australian university that will allow them to be licensed in both countries." ("The Tucson school has asked the American Bar Association for permission to partner with the University of Technology Sydney for the three-year joint degree.")

  20. Law Firms and Lawyers

  21. "'No Consequences': Sexual Harassment Persists in Law Firm Culture," 09.01.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that "law firm efforts to create an equitable and safe environment for female attorneys have made progress over the last 30 years, especially since the #MeToo movement took root. But interviews with female attorneys and a wide-ranging survey on the subject show that sexual harassment is still a daily struggle for many."

  22. "Big Law Increasingly Turns to Alumni Networks for Business and Talent Opportunities," 09.01.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that "law firm alumni networks are an increasingly important tool for Big Law business development and talent acquisition efforts."

  23. "In-Demand Midlevels Can't Escape Big Law's Bad Partner Problem," 08.31.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that "a recent survey of 4,000 midlevel associates included hundreds of accounts of bullying, abuse, unrealistic demands and neglect from Big Law partners."

  24. "Knowing Why Associates Became Lawyers May Help Retain Them," 08.31.22.
    "Why did you become a lawyer?" In this column for The American Lawyer, David Gialanella writes "how your talent answers this question may give insight into how to keep them."

  25. "The Next Generation of Attorneys Are Studying Environmental Law," 08.29.22.
    The Daily Business Review reports that as students see the effects of climate change play out around the world, they are flocking to environment law in ever greater numbers.

  26. "Big Law Will Likely 'Rightsize' Attorney Ranks Through Attrition, Performance Reviews," 08.26.22.
    The American Lawyer posits that "law firms learned from downturns in 2008 and early 2020 that early layoffs can lead to problems later…now law firms are likely to lean on more deliberate performance reviews, repurposing associates and natural attrition."

  27. International Law Firms and Lawyers

  28. "Partners Are Concerned Junior Lawyers Are 'Losing Out On a Lot' Thanks to Remote Work," 08.25.22.
    Law.com International reports that because of hybrid working across the legal industry, some partners in London "fear lawyers on the more junior end of the scale are not getting the necessary exposure needed to prepare them for their careers ahead."

  29. Higher Education/Secondary Ed/Primary Ed

  30. "The Pandemic Erased Two Decades of Progress in Math and Reading," 09.01.22.
    The New York Times reports that "national test results released on Thursday showed in stark terms the pandemic's devastating effects on American schoolchildren, with the performance of 9-year-olds in math and reading dropping to the levels from two decades ago." ("The declines spanned almost all races and income levels and were markedly worse for the lowest-performing students. While top performers in the 90th percentile showed a modest drop — three points in math — students in the bottom 10th percentile dropped by 12 points in math, four times the impact.")

August 26, 2022

    Top Stories

  1. "Biden Cancels Student Loan Debt for Millions," 08.24.22.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "President Biden announced today that he will cancel up to $10,000 in student debt for Americans earning less than $125,000 per year (or $250,000 for couples filing taxes jointly) with additional relief for borrowers from low-income backgrounds who received Pell Grants. He will also extend the current pause on student loan payments, slated to end Sept. 1, for an additional four months, through Dec. 31."

    1. "After Months of Speculation, Biden Announces Plan to Cancel Debt for Millions of Borrowers," 08.24.22.
      The Chronicle of Higher Education also has this story: "President Biden on Wednesday announced the outlines of a plan to forgive federal student-loan debt for people who earn less than $125,000 a year, ending months of speculation about the nature of this long-awaited policy. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the plan would cancel debt of up to $20,000 for borrowers who received Pell Grants in college and up to $10,000 for those who did not." (Subscription required.)

    2. "Biden's Student Loan Forgiveness Plan to Cancel Up to $20,000 in Debt for Millions," 08.24.22.
      (The Wall Street Journal) (Subscription required.)

    3. "Biden to cancel up to $10,000 in student debt for most borrowers," 08.24.22.
      (The Washington Post)

    4. "Biden to Cancel $10,000 in Student Loan Debt; Low-Income Students Are Eligible for More," 08.24.22.
      (The New York Times)

  2. The Feel Goods

  3. "These identical twins married identical twins. Now they have sons.," 08.24.22.
    The Washington Post has a fun profile of identical twins who married identical twins. ("These unusual marriages are known as a quaternary marriage, and their sons are known as quaternary twins.")

  4. "'Incredible' Jupiter images revealed by NASA's James Webb telescope," 08.23.22.
    The Washington Post has the latest images from the James Webb Space Telescope — the pics of Jupiter are truly incredible.

    1. "Jupiter is glowing in new pictures from NASA's James Webb Space Telescope," 08.23.22.
      And more from The Verge.

  5. "His Medium, Salted Butter. His Craft, Sublime.," 08.23.22.
    The New York Times has a super fun piece on butter sculptures and the competition among butter sculptors at the Minnesota State Fair.

  6. "This farmer supplies his town with fresh produce. He's 12.," 08.19.22.
    The Washington Post has a lovely story about a 12-year-old boy in Minot, Maine, whose passion is running his family's farm.

  7. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  8. "New Study Provides Unique Snapshot of Legal Department Diversity," 08.24.22.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "a first-of-its-kind survey of legal department diversity found that the departments are making more headway than law firms but still have substantial room for improvement." ("The newly released survey, conducted by ALM Intelligence in conjunction with Corporate Counsel, found 36% of general counsel/chief legal officers were women, while just 14% of Am Law 200 managing or co-managing partners were women.")

  9. "Biden administration moves to formalize DACA and shield it from legal challenges," 08.24.22.
    CBS News reports that "the Biden administration on Wednesday finalized a rule to transform the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration policy for more than 600,000 so-called Dreamers into a federal regulation, a move aimed at protecting the program from legal challenges that imperil its existence." ("Approximately 80% of DACA recipients were born in Mexico, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) statistics show. Immigrants from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, South Korea, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia and Argentina make up the other top 10 nationalities enrolled in the program. Nearly 70% of the 611,270 immigrants enrolled in DACA as of March 31 were 30 or younger, including 17,070 recipients under the age of 21, the USCIS data show.")

  10. "New Mexico won't deny law licenses over immigration status," 08.23.22.
    The Valdosta Daily Times reports that "New Mexico will no longer deny licenses to practice law solely because of an applicant's citizenship or immigration status, including some aspiring law students who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children." (Several other states already have provisions that disregard residency or immigration status in licensure decisions.) (Hat tip to Sam Halpert)

    1. "New Mexico allows immigrants here illegally to obtain law licenses," 08.24.22.
      More on this from the ABA Journal: "Immigrants who are in the country illegally won't be barred from law practice in New Mexico, according to a rule change approved by the New Mexico Supreme Court." ("The amended rule opens up law practice to anyone who meets other bar-admission requirements, including a character and fitness screening.")

  11. "Michelle O'Bonsawin nominated to Supreme Court, making her first Indigenous justice," 08.21.22.
    The Canadian Lawyer reports that "Prime Minister Justin Trudeau nominated Ontario judge Michelle O'Bonsawin to the Supreme Court of Canada on Friday, making her the first Indigenous person poised to sit on the country's highest bench."

    1. "First Indigenous Judge Nominated to Canada's Top Court," 08.19.22.
      More on this from Law.com International: "The prime minister of Canada has nominated the first ever Indigenous person to the country's top court—a move being lauded as a historic moment for Canada. Justice Michelle O'Bonsawin is bilingual—fluent in English and French—and is an Abenaki member of the Odanak First Nation. Since 2017, she has been a judge in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Ottawa, Canada's capital—also the first Indigenous woman to sit on that court's bench."

  12. "Does Gibson Dunn's Diversity Chief Partner Splash Nudge Big Law?," 08.19.22.
    Vivia Chen, writing for Bloomberg Law, reports that "Gibson Dunn & Crutcher has elected an administrator to partnership….Zakiyyah Salim-Williams [has served as] Gibson Dunn's chief diversity officer since 2011."

  13. Mental Health/Wellness/Remote Work/Back to Work

  14. "'Quiet quitting' isn't really about quitting. Here are the signs.," 08.21.22.
    The Washington Post (and everyone else, see below) reports on the term quiet quitting, which is taking social media by storm: "quiet quitting is a new term for an old concept: employee disengagement." ("…it's arriving in a moment of unprecedented burnout…and it's also gaining steam at a moment of peak tension between managers and employees, as many companies prepare for another push to bring workers back to offices.")

    1. "The Truth Behind 'Quiet Quitting'," 08.25.22.
      (New York Magazine's Intelligencer)

    2. "Who Is Quiet Quitting For?," 08.23.22.
      (The New York Times)

    3. "Employees Say 'Quiet Quitting' Is Just Setting Boundaries. Companies Fear Long-Term Effects," 08.23.22.

    4. "How Both Managers And Workers Can Combat 'Quiet Quitting," 08.22.22.

    5. "Everyone Is Talking About 'Quiet Quitting,' But Is It a Good Idea?," 08.19.22.

    6. "If Your Co-Workers Are 'Quiet Quitting,' Here's What That Means," 08.12.22.
      (The Wall Street Journal) (Subscription required.)

    7. "Quiet quitting: why doing the bare minimum at work has gone global," 08.06.22.
      (The Guardian)

  15. "The remote work revolution is already reshaping America," 08.19.22.
    The Washington Post reports that "the coronavirus pandemic set in motion a shift to remote and hybrid work that is quietly reshaping American economics and demographics." ("Around a third of work was done remotely in the United States in 2021 and 2022.")

  16. The Bar Exam and Lawyer Licensing

  17. "ABA's legal education council signals support for bar exam alternatives," 08.19.22.
    Reuters reports that "the American Bar Association will consider revising its accreditation standards to ensure those rules aren't a roadblock for states considering attorney licensing programs that bypass the bar exam."

    1. "As some jurisdictions consider bar exam alternatives, ABA Legal Ed section again looks at bar pass standard," 08.19.22.
      More on this from the ABA Journal: "Language for a controversial law school standard, which states that at least 75% of a law school's graduates pass a bar within a two-year period, is being examined by the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar—in light of some jurisdictions considering alternative paths to law licensure."

  18. Law Schools and Law Students

  19. "Changes are proposed to Public Service Loan Forgiveness program as part of student-loan debt relief," 08.25.22.
    The ABA Journal reports that the new student loan package includes additional PSLF relief: "The administration is proposing long-term changes to the PSLF program, which offers loan forgiveness for those who make monthly loan payments for 10 years while working full time in qualifying public service jobs. The proposal would allow more payments to qualify for the program, including partial, lump sum and late payments, and it would allow certain kinds of deferments and forbearances to count toward the program, including those for Peace Corps and AmeriCorps service, National Guard duty and military service."

  20. "'$10K doesn't make a big difference.' Law grads lukewarm on debt forgiveness plan," 08.25.22.
    Reuters reports that ""forgiving $10,000 or $20,000 of federal student loan debt may not be a game-changer for most debt-strapped lawyers, but experts say other provisions in the White House's new debt-relief plan could save attorney borrowers far more over time."

    •  "Biden did not restrict forgiveness to undergraduate borrowers as some had feared, meaning loans taken out to fund law school are eligible."
    •  "The income cap means that lawyers working in large, corporate law firms — where even first-year salaries can surpass $200,000 — won't qualify for forgiveness. But many working in public service or small to midsized law firms will qualify."
    •  "The Education Department aims to create a simpler income-based repayment option that would cap monthly payments at a lower rate than the current 10% of borrowers' discretionary income, and potentially lower what it considers discretionary income."
    •  "In perhaps the biggest change, the Education Department said it wants to eliminate so-called "negative amortization," which is when loan balances grow from accrued interest despite regular monthly payments. That could significantly reduce lawyer debt loads and the taxes they may have to pay on any balances forgiven after 20 or 25 years."

  21. "'Pink Ghettos': New Study Find Female Law Deans, Faculty Often Relegated to 'Lower Status Positions'," 08.25.22.
    Law.com reports that "there are more female law deans and faculty than ever before in the U.S., but many of those roles still tend to be lower status positions compared to the ones held by men, according to a new study."

    1. "Women In U.S. Law Schools, 1948-2021," 08.23.22.
      The TaxProf Blog highlights a new journal article that provides "the first comprehensive empirical analysis of women's representation and achievement in law schools from 1948 to the present."

    2. "Law school achievement gap by gender for faculty and deans examined in new paper," 08.22.22.
      The ABA Journal has this story as well: "Women are more than two times more likely than men to have perceived lower status positions at law schools and work as interim deans, according to a recent working paper by three legal academics."

  22. "Osgoode Hall Law School expands list of law and technology courses," 08.24.22.
    The Canadian Lawyer's Law Times reports that "Osgoode Hall Law School has expanded the list of law and technology courses in its Juris Doctor program to help students keep up with current technological changes revolutionizing legal practice." ("Osgoode associate dean Craig Scott said the law school would offer 16 law and technology courses for the 2022-23 academic year, six of which are new.")

  23. "As Public Comment Period Winds Down, Debate Heats Up Over ABA Proposal to Make LSAT Optional," 08.22.22.
    Law.com reports that "with less than 10 days left in the 90-day Notice and Comment period, the public appears split over whether the American Bar Association should make it optional for law schools to use admissions testing."

  24. "The Number Of Aspiring Law Professors Falls -17% From 2021, -59% From 2020; The Lowest Since At Least 1992," 08.19.22.
    The Tax Prof Blog reports that the number of people applying to be law professors has fallen to a historic low.

    1. "Law professor applications plummet as law schools raise their sights," 08.22.22.
      More on this from Reuters: "The number of people vying for entry-level, tenure track U.S. law professor positions has plummeted 59% since 2010, according to data compiled by Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law Vice Dean Sarah Lawsky."

  25. Law Firms and Lawyers

  26. "Growing Associate Ranks, Lingering Demand Put Big Law in Holding Pattern," 08.25.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that rising compensation expenses and falling demand along with excess capacity are creating challenges for law firms: "Huge summer associate classes and incoming first-years mean law firm compensation expenses are going up—they already increased by 17.5% in the first half of the year…[but] well-capitalized law firms are prioritizing long-term growth and basing their staffing projections on years ahead rather than the current downturn, although the influx of junior associates will hurt profitability in the interim."

  27. "Where Is Big Law Still Looking to Grow?," 08.25.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that "even with deal demand slowing down, law firms are still planning on growing this year in New York, California and Washington, D.C., and the surge of firms in Miami may not be over."

  28. "How to Win the War for Talent," 08.24.22.
    This piece in Corporate Counsel provides strategies for retaining talent in this volatile job market: "Whatever recruitment and retention strategies you have used in the past need to be reviewed and adapted, and the sooner the better."

  29. "Average Law Firm COO Compensation Hits Mid-Six Digits," 08.24.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that "law firm chief operating officers and comparable administrative professionals are seeing their pay rival those of equity partners in the post-pandemic era, as their duties have shifted from overseeing day-to-day administrative functions of their law firm to high-level strategic decisions."

  30. "Median lawyer income is dropping, when adjusted for inflation, study finds," 08.24.22.
    More on this from the ABA Journal: "Lawyer income appears to be increasing, but that's not the case if you take inflation into account, according to a new study."

    1. "Median U.S. lawyer income dropped over past two decades, economists find," 08.23.22.
      Reuters reports that "lawyers are making less money today than they were in 2001 when accounting for inflation, a new study has found." ("The median real income of U.S. lawyers fell nearly 2% from $129,389 in 2001 to $126,930 in 2020, according to a paper slated to appear in an upcoming edition of the Journal of Economics and Finance. By contrast, the real income of all U.S. workers — which refers to an individual's purchasing power — increased nearly 4% during that period. Median real income among family physicians grew 20%, while economists saw their median income grow nearly 11%, the study found.")

  31. "Is Law Firm 'Free Agency' Pushing Clients and Firms Apart?," 08.23.22.
    The American Lawyer posits that law firm-client relationships are becoming more transitory: "As law firms mix and match partners and associates on a client's matters, client relationships can diminish."

  32. "Lawmakers Approve Bill Blocking State Bar's Paraprofessional, Regulatory Sandbox Programs," 08.22.22.
    The Recorder reports that "California lawmakers on Monday approved the state bar's annual fee-licensing bill, which, if signed by the governor, will immediately halt the agency's work on proposals to allow nonlawyers to practice law."

  33. Higher Education

  34. More on student loan forgiveness:

    1. "Student Loan Forgiveness: Who Qualifies for Biden's Plan, and What It Means for Borrowers," 08.25.22.
      (The Wall Street Journal) (Subscription required.)

    2. "Calculate how much of your student loan debt can be forgiven," 08.25.22.
      (The Washington Post)

    3. "Inside Biden's Debt Relief Plan," 08.25.22.
      (Inside Higher Ed)

    4. "Student loan sites crash after Biden's debt relief announcement," 08.25.22
      (The Washington Post)

    5. "What You Need to Know About Biden's Student Loan Forgiveness Plan," 08.24.22.
      (The New York Times)

    6. "Who has student loan debt in America?," 08.24.22.
      (The Washington Post)

    7. "10 other ways to get your student loans forgiven," 08.25.22.
      (The Washington Post)

  35. "HBCU Leaders Want More Federal Action After Threats," 08.23.22.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "some leaders of historically Black colleges and universities say they're frustrated by a lack of communication and insufficient support from federal agencies after bomb threats swept their campuses six months ago." ("More than a third of the nation's HBCUs received bomb threats this year, starting in January. A wave of threats continued throughout February, Black History Month, causing particular alarm among students, faculty and staff. Though no bombs were ultimately found, repeated false alarms, police sweeps, campus lockdowns and evacuations disrupted classes and took a toll on the mental health of HBCU students and parents. Campuses also incurred costs as they ramped up security measures.")

August 19, 2022

    Top Stories

  1. "What Happened to Black Enrollment?," 08.18.22.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "after more than a century of Black activists' fight for college access, Black enrollment this past decade tumbled at an alarming rate." ("For nearly half a century, the story of Black students in the United States was a story of success. Black enrollment grew from 282,000 in 1966 to more than 2.5 million in 2010, the result of, among other things, civil-rights activists' efforts to dismantle Jim Crow laws, colleges' adoption of affirmative-action policies, and the federal government's subsidizing of low-income students' tuition. But from 2010 to 2020, as overall college enrollments fell, the number of Black students on campuses fell even more sharply, to 1.9 million. The pressures affecting students in general — the escalating cost of college and skepticism about a degree's payoff, for example — have been acute for Black students. And a confluence of entrenched factors, like the economic hardship in many Black communities, colleges' admissions practices, and Black students' not feeling welcome or represented on campuses, has further depressed Black enrollment. The pandemic has made conditions significantly worse, with a disproportionate number of Black people in the last two years disengaging from college to pursue jobs, even as some historically Black colleges have seen record enrollments.") (Subscription required.)

  2. "As Big Law Profits Plunge, Financial Uncertainty Looms Over Associate Classes, Lateral Hiring," 08.18.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that "profits per partner plunged by double digits through the first half of the year, and most firm leaders, in a recent survey, are now uncertain whether revenue can increase for the rest of the year."

    1. The Pressure Is On: Demand Dip, Rising Expenses Squeezed Profits in First Half of 2022," 08.15.22.
      Gloria Gomez-O'Rourke and Gretta Rusanow from Citibank, writing for The American Lawyer, sound a caution as they report on law firm financial results for the first two quarters of 2022: "Expenses are rising faster than revenue growth, particularly at the largest firms." ("An ongoing pandemic, the war in Ukraine, rolling lockdowns in China, inflation and equity and bond market volatility have all contributed to declining demand.")

    2. "Law firm profits sag amid rising costs and slowing demand, Wells Fargo finds," 08.16.22.
      Reuters reports that law firm financial data from Wells Fargo also shows a law firm slowdown underway: "As deal work has slowed, lawyer productivity — which refers to hours worked — declined nearly 5% compared to a year ago." (Wells Fargo reports that "lawyer compensation costs increased nearly 17% over the past year, while general expenses grew more than 14%…[but] firms saw revenue increase by about 6%…[which] was not enough to offset increased expenses.")

  3. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  4. "Preparing for Racial Equity Audits," 08.18.22.
    Corporate Counsel writes that "from financial institutions to industrial companies to multinational tech conglomerates, organizations are increasingly considering equity audits to paint an accurate picture of their progress in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I), civil rights, human rights and social justice, and to assess their gaps and deficiencies."

  5. "Teaching To Neurodiverse Law Students," 08.17.22.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a new journal article that "is meant to increase awareness of the neurodiversity movement and suggest ways to assist neurodiverse law students develop their legal writing and research skills."

  6. "Newest Mansfield Rule Broadens Leadership Hiring Considerations, Pushes for Transparent Advancement and Compensation Policies," 08.16.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that "the sixth edition of the Diversity Lab's Mansfield Rule arrived on Tuesday with another challenge for its 250 member law firms: Consider at least 30% historically underrepresented lawyers from four historically underrepresented groups when promoting attorneys into the equity partnership and leadership roles." ("The new rule expands on the original rule's requirement that at least 30% of attorneys considered for leadership roles come from underrepresented groups in the profession…it also includes measures to increase transparency for internal compensation and advancement processes at law firms.")

  7. "Fourth Circuit Becomes First Appeals Court to Find Gender Dysphoria Protected by ADA," 08.16.22.
    The National Law Journal reports that "in what's being called a huge win for the transgender community, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has found gender dysphoria is protected by federal antidiscrimination laws."

    1. "Disability law protects people with gender dysphoria, 4th Circuit rules," 08.17.22.
      More on this from the ABA Journal: "A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Americans with Disabilities Act protects people with gender dysphoria, which describes the condition in which a person experiences distress because of a conflict between their biological sex and their gender identity."

  8. "Chief judge highlights proposal to weed out 'unconscious racism' on juries," 08.16.22.
    The Times Union reports that retiring New York Chief Judge Janet DiFiore has "recommended streamlining the peremptory challenge process to ensure that a diverse pool of jurors sits on cases and protects against implicit biases." ("The proposal would task judges with evaluating whether in the view of a reasonable person the would-be juror's race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, gender identity or expression, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation was factor in the attorney's exercise of a peremptory challenge.") (Hat tip to Sam Halpert)

  9. Mental Health/Wellness/Remote Work/Back to Work

  10. "This Year, the Boss Is in the Office While Employees Hit the Beach," 08.18.22.
    The Wall Street Journal writes that employers of all sorts, including law firms, have had a hard time getting workers back into the office this summer: "Practically everyone who proved their remote productivity in the throes of the pandemic — and, let's face it, also those who didn't — feels entitled to work where they please, especially in warm weather. And many managers believe they can't tell subordinates to come back to the office for in-person collaboration without practicing what they preach." (Subscription required.)

  11. "Pizza? Bagels? Nope. You Need Banh Mi to Get Employees Back to the Office.," 08.17.22.
    The Wall Street Journal writes that workers are scheduling their in-person days around the food being offered in the office: "As of February, more than half of U.S. businesses surveyed by the Society for Human Resource Management said they provided free snacks and beverages to employees. That compared with fewer than a third that offered treats in 2019. Few doubt that the pandemic's work-from-home era laid the table for the new high-rise chow lines." (Subscription required.)

  12. "The Rise of the One-Day Workweek for Office Commuters," 08.16.22.
    According to the Daily Business Review, "the number of people coming into the office once a week has soared in recent months…[and] a full 50% of office visits globally were just once a week in the second quarter, up from 44% in the first quarter, according to a workplace-occupancy analytics company."

  13. "The Office is Dying. It's Time to Rethink How We Work.," 08.16.22.
    In this Ezra Klein Show/New York Times podcast, Anne Helen Petersen and Charlie Warzel, authors of the book, Out of Office: The Big Problem and Bigger Promise of Working From Home, discuss how the great retreat from office life could make work better for everyone. (Hat tip to Swati Parikh.) (Publisher Penguin Random House says, "Out of Office is a book for every office worker — from employees to managers — currently facing the decision about whether, and how, to return to the office.")

  14. "Putting parents first could be the secret to a successful return-to-office," 08.15.22.
    The New York Times writes that private investment in childcare would benefit workers of all kinds: "Telling workers it’s essential to be in the office isn't enough to make it feel that way — especially when employees are juggling child drop-offs and pickups or trying to find time to pump breast milk for someone else to feed their babies. Providing on-site care upends that equation: Suddenly, being at the office sounds much more appealing than working around a nanny or fitting trips to day care into the workday."

  15. "If the Job Market Is So Good, Why Is Gig Work Thriving?," 08.15.22.
    The New York Times writes that despite the fact that American workers are experiencing one of the best job markets ever, gig work is thriving because of "the ability to work when and as much as you want, demand permitting, which is often essential to balance life obligations like school or child care."

  16. "Gen X Is Kind of, Sort of, Not Really the Boss," 08.14.22.
    In this New York Times opinion piece, Pamela Paul writes that "born between the years 1965 and 1980, Gen Xers are now between the ages of 42 and 57, prime time for being the boss, whether of country, corporation or just a small sales team — [yet] if Gen Xers are the bosses now, they are the bosses only in a very Gen X way: ambivalently, fleetingly and with dubious authority."

  17. "Don't Feel Guilty About Working on Vacation — or About Vacationing at Work," 08.13.22.
    In this New York Times opinion piece, Laura Vanderkam, author and co-host of the "Best of Both Worlds" podcast, writes about how bad Americans are at vacationing "especially in the past few years, as the rise in remote work during the pandemic has further blurred the separation between work and personal life," and offers some suggestions for unplugging from work.

  18. "Microaggressions in remote work: HR's legal responsibilities," 08.12.22.
    The Canadian Lawyer writes that employers have a responsibility to address and eradicate online harassment and abuse in our new hybrid/remote work environment.

  19. "Law Firms Don't Need to Spend A Lot of Money to Prevent Burnout, Says Perkins Coie's Jennifer Bluestein," 08.12.22.
    In this Law.com podcast, Jennifer Bluestein, the chief talent officer for Perkins Coie, explains that some of the best burnout measures don't cost a thing.

  20. The Bar Exam and Lawyer Licensing

  21. "Del. Supreme Court Says Scoring on Remote Bar Exam Is Fair and Final," 08.18.22.
    The National Law Journal reports that "the Delaware Supreme Court ruled Wednesday there's only one way for people who experienced technical difficulties during the remote 2021 bar exam to be admitted to the bar if they didn't pass: take the exam again." ("With the 2020 exam cancelled in response to the pandemic, more than twice as many people sat for the Delaware bar exam in 2021 as in 2019.")

  22. Law Schools and Law Students

  23. "New Building Named for Late Trial Lawyer O'Quinn Opens at University of Houston Law Center," 08.18.22.
    The Texas Lawyer shines a spotlight on the new O'Quinn Law Building at the University of Houston Law Center.

  24. "It's Time to Repeal the ABA's Law School Testing Mandate," 08.16.22.
    Two law school deans, a chancellor, and a law professor, writing for Bloomberg Law, call on the ABA to repeal the requirement that applicants for J.D. programs submit standardized test scores for admission.

  25. Law Firms and Lawyers

  26. "Mid-Size Law Firms Push The Envelope on How Work Gets Done," 08.18.22.
    Law.com documents "how much more open mid-sized firms can be when it comes to dramatically shifting how they operate…it's firms between 100 and 250 lawyers that are stepping forward with putting hoteling and hybrid structures on the map."

  27. "Miami Newcomers Launch 2023 Summer Programs, Compete for Top Law Students and Lateral Associates," 08.18.22.
    The Daily Business Review reports that "Florida law students have more Big Law options than ever now that four of Miami's latest entrants — Kirkland & Ellis, Sidley Austin, Winston & Strawn, and Quinn, Emanuel, Urquhart & Sullivan — are launching summer associate programs in 2023."

  28. "Help wanted: Positions still unfilled as legal aid struggles to find attorneys," 08.17.22.
    The Indiana Lawyer reports that "legal aid agencies across the state are struggling to find and hire attorneys to fill full-time staff position…providers speculate that lower bar passage rates and high demand for lawyers across the legal profession have created a supply issue."

  29. "Lawyer Attrition in Law Firms Could Shift as Profits and Demand Dip in 2022," 08.17.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that while "associate turnover hit near-record levels last year amid an explosive amount of corporate demand and lawyer burnout…this year, both partner and associate retention could hold or even increase…as both demand and profits dip and uncertainty reigns in the economy."

  30. "What Impact Will the Downturn Have on Legal Hiring, and What Can You Do To Prepare?," 08.12.22.
    This piece in Law.com provides advice to lawyers about preparing themselves for a slowdown in the market.

  31. "New Law Firm Leases Trade Square Footage for Prime Locations, Views and Amenities," 08.12.22.
    The Daily Business Review reports that "two years after the pandemic sent lawyers home from expensive, spacious, often partner-centric law firm offices, law firms are rethinking their space needs and appealing to younger lawyers as well as partners in their new leases."

  32. Higher Education

  33. "U.S. colleges lose early bid to toss financial aid antitrust claims," 08.15.22.
    Reuters reports that "a Chicago federal judge on Monday declined to dismiss a lawsuit alleging 17 prominent U.S. universities conspired for years to restrict financial aid to as many as 170,000 students who overpaid tens of millions of dollars in tuition."

August 12, 2022

    Top Stories

  1. "'Early Warning' Over Law Firm Profits Comes as Demand Drops," 08.08.22. 
    The American Lawyer reports that "with demand falling and expenses still surging by double digits, profits-per-lawyer dropped 3.6% last quarter…the Law Firm Financial Index found that inflation, the competition for talent, office returns, as well as a continuing slowdown in corporate and M&A work, contributed to a second straight quarter of profit decline."

    1. "New law firm financial data signals trouble may be on the horizon," 08.08.22.
      More on this from Reuters: "The combination of falling demand for legal services and rising pay and overhead costs has created financial headwinds for law firms in 2022, according to a second quarter analysis of industry data released Monday." ("The Thomson Reuters Law Firm Financial Index, a quarterly composite score of demand, expenses, rates, productivity and other economic indicators at large and midsize law firms, fell to its lowest point this past quarter since its 2006 founding.")

    2. "Law firm profitability continues to decline as M&A work slows, Thomson Reuters report says," 08.11.22.
      And the ABA Journal has this story as well: "Waning demand for legal services and a rebound in expenses are contributing to a continued decline in law firm profitability in 2022, according to the Thomson Reuters Law Firm Financial Index."

  2. The Feel Goods

  3. "Serena Williams Says Farewell to Tennis On Her Own Terms — And In Her Own Words," 08.09.22.
    Serena Williams, writing for the September issue of Vogue, announces her retirement in a deeply personal essay with a spectacular cover photo by Luis Alberto Rodriguez.

    1. "Serena Williams Leaves Tennis Just as She Played: On Her Own Terms," 08.09.22.
      The New York Times reports on Serena's retirement announcement: "Williams brought her own distinctive flair to tennis, challenging norms that governed fashion, power, decorum, race and gender. By being herself, Williams's reach far exceeded the game."

    2. "For Serena Williams, retirement could be just the latest reinvention," 08.09.22.
      The Washington Post also has a lovely piece on Serena Williams' announcement this week that she will retire from tennis after this month's US Open tournament: "Retirement is the one opponent Serena Williams can't overpower. All great athletes, no matter how masterful they are, no matter how in charge of their field or court, have to reckon with this moment, when they realize with a sense of rank injustice that their sports immortality has run bang into their human mortality. There is no victory over retirement, other than to accept it gracefully — and it's hard to do that more gracefully than to bow out on the cover of Vogue, in blue Balenciaga and dripping Bulgari."

  4. "Inside the viral Little League moment when hit batter comforted shaken pitcher," 08.09.22.
    The Athletic reports on a particularly touching moment that went down in the little league playoffs this week: "When a batter who'd been hit in the head comforted the devastated pitcher, the Kleenexes were out, and a viral moment was born."

    1. "Little League World Series player comforts pitcher who hit him in head with pitch in heartwarming moment," 08.10.22.
      You can also see this touching, viral video here. (Sporting News)

  5. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  6. "Women and minority lawyers gain ground in Calif., but white men still predominate," 08.09.22.
    Reuters reports that "California admitted its most diverse cohort of new lawyers on record last year, with women and non-white attorneys comprising 53% and 51% of the class respectively, according to new figures from the State Bar of California." ("Women of color are driving much of those gains. But overall, the Golden State's lawyer base is far more white and male than its population — a dynamic bar leaders say they are working to change.")

    1. "Diversity in California's Legal Profession Growing, but Still Lags State," 08.08.22.
      The Recorder reports that "while the legal profession in California continues to grow more diverse, the demographics of active, licensed attorneys still fail to mirror those of the Golden State's overall population, according to a report released Monday by the state bar." ("Two out of three active attorneys in the state are white, even as California's population of white residents has dropped to under 40%, the report said. Residents who describe themselves as Latino or Hispanic comprise 36% of the state population but just 6% of bar members.")

  7. "Data Show Gender Pay Gap Opens Early," 08.08.22.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "broad new data on wages earned by college graduates who received federal student aid showed a pay gap emerging between men and women soon after they joined the workforce, even among those receiving the same degree from the same school." (Subscription required.)

  8. "Black, Native American and Latino families face serious problems from inflation," 08.08.22.
    NPR reports that "inflation has caused serious financial problems for the majority of Native American, Black and Latino households."

  9. Mental Health/Wellness/Remote Work/Back to Work/HR Developments

  10. "Destroying the Myth of the 'Gladiator' Lawyer," 08.11.22.
    Law.com International writes that "George Strathy, the chief justice of Canada's largest court system, is urging law firm leaders to help combat stress and anxiety in the legal profession." ("Spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic and the many changes it has wrought, Judge George Strathy has taken it upon himself to urge the profession to help take the stigma out of mental illness.")

  11. "Kids' Mental Health Is a 'National Emergency.' Therapists Are in Short Supply.," 08.10.22.
    The New York Times reports on the shortage of mental health providers for child and adolescents: "Less than half of the 7.7 million children in the United States with an identifiable mental health condition are receiving services from any mental health provider, much less a psychiatrist."

  12. "Americans Are Vacationing More, but Staying in Work Mode," 08.08.22.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "U.S. workers are going on much-delayed summer getaways [but] they aren't necessarily signing off from office email." ("In a June survey of senior executives by executive search firm Korn Ferry, 60% said they would be more in touch with work while vacationing this year than on previous vacations. More than a third said they planned to check in with the office multiple times a day, compared with 19% who expected to do so in 2021.") (Subscription required.)

  13. "Don't Return to the Office for Your Boss. Go Back for Yourself," 08.06.22.
    The former head of Goldman Sachs' human resources team, writing for The New York Times, makes a thoughtful case for returning to the office, at least a few days a week, but offers important cautionary advice for employers about intentionality and inclusion in the new hybrid world: "In survey after survey, women and Black workers say they prefer hybrid or remote working at higher rates than white men…. Inclusivity needs to be intentional. Hybrid models should not create new hierarchies that place a premium on in-person face time, and companies must create working experiences that give people real reasons to commute."

  14. The Bar Exam and Lawyer Licensing

  15. "High Cut Score, Remote Learning Portend Bad News for July Bar Exam-Takers," 08.05.22.
    The Legal Intelligencer reports that Pennsylvania adopted the Uniform bar Examination for the first time in its July testing cycle; critics are concerned that "Pennsylvania's higher cut score of 272 may place Pennsylvania's law schools at a competitive disadvantage in their quest to maintain and increase enrollment, as well as to fulfill their commitment to graduate law students who can pass the bar and pursue their profession."

  16. Law Schools and Law Students

  17. "Price of law school hits new high at Columbia, with others close behind," 08.11.22.
    Reuters reports that "Columbia now pegs its cost of attendance at $110,450 for the current academic year, appearing to beat the estimate of any other law school…the figure includes the Manhattan law school's $75,572 tuition, plus living expenses and various university fees." ("That means a Columbia law student could spend more than $330,000 to complete their three-year degree. New York University School of Law's estimated annual cost is $109,290; both Harvard and Stanford come in at $107,000; the University of Chicago's estimate is roughly $106,000; and Georgetown Law's is $103,400 per year.")

  18. "Newest U.S. law school has big plans, few students so far, 08.10.22.
    Reuters reports that "the Jacksonville University College of Law became the first new U.S. law school to open in nearly a decade when its inaugural cohort of 14 students arrived on campus Monday." ("Days after Jacksonville University announced in February that it would open the law school, High Point University — a private, Christian university in North Carolina — said it too would start a new law school that could open as early as 2024.")

  19. "Penn State Dickinson Law Receives $500K Grant for Its Antiracist Institute," 08.10.22.
    Law.com reports that Penn State Dickinson Law recently received a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to support a book series and development workshops as part of its Antiracist Development Institute program.

  20. "ABA House of Delegates Votes to Loosen Restrictions on Distance Education for Law Students," 08.08.22.
    Law.com reports that "the American Bar Association House of Delegates voted Monday to further expand options for law schools to offer students distance education opportunities."

  21. "After Multiple Revisions, ABA House of Delegates Withdraws Diversity and Inclusion Resolution," 08.08.22.
    Law.com reports that "the Council of the American Bar Associatio's Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar voted Monday to withdraw Standard 206, a proposed diversity and inclusion measure that previously underwent several revisions based on concerns raised in public comments." ("…multiple comments expressed concern that the proposal creates a two-tiered DEI system that gives priority to racial and ethnic diversity at the expense of LGBTQ+ and disability diversity.")

    1. "Legal Ed pulls back HOD diversity resolution, saying more discussion is needed," 08.08.22.
      The ABA Journal reports that "a resolution involving changes to law school standards focused on diversity and academic freedom has been withdrawn by the council of the ABA's Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar."

  22. "Arizona Summit, Charlotte, And Florida Coastal Law Grads Have Their Student Loans Forgiven As Part Of $6 Billion Class-Action Settlement," 08.05.22.
    The TaxProf Blog reports that a federal judge on Thursday granted preliminary approval of a $6 billion settlement between the Biden administration and student loan borrowers who say they were defrauded by their schools, including borrowers who attended three for-profit law schools. (See also this Washington Post story: "$6 billion student loan settlement gets preliminary approval." 08.04.22.)

  23. "Stanford Law Collaborates With Six States to Scale Access-to-Justice Tools," 08.05.22.
    Legaltech News reports that "Stanford Law School's Rhode Center and Legal Design Lab have announced a collaboration with six states to standardize legal processes and allow for technologists to scale e-filing and case management tools for pro se litigants."

  24. Law Firms and Lawyers

  25. "Associates Say Silence on Partnership Criteria Breeds Anxiety and Resentment," 08.12.22.
    The American Lawyer has more findings from its Midlevel Associate Survey, reporting that "associates want more transparency on the path to partner and more options than equity-or-out." ("Midlevels said withholding promotion criteria is bad for firm culture and the catalyst for some associate departures.")

  26. "Baker Botts Inks the Biggest Lease of Q2 as Law Office Lease Activity Rises," 08.11.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that "after a two-year lull related to the COVID-19 pandemic, law firms are starting to sign new leases again…ease activity for law firm space of at least 20,000 square feet improved by 43% during the second quarter of the year, compared with the first quarter."

  27. "Colorado could be next to let non-lawyers provide limited legal services," 08.10.22.
    Reuters reports that "Colorado could soon join other U.S. states that have set up programs to license some trained professionals who aren't lawyers to deliver limited legal services." ("The Colorado Supreme Court has released for public comment until Sept. 14 an implementation plan that would allow licensed legal paraprofessionals, like paralegals, to provide services confined to some types of family law matters.")

  28. "'Change Is Coming': Despite ABA Vote, Law Firms Will Face More Rivals Outside the Legal Industry," 08.10.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that the ABA's House of Delegates reaffirmed its opposition to allowing nonlawyers to own law firms this week, but "the issue is far from settled, say some observers, who note the legal industry is increasingly facing rivals from other industries and must transform to keep up."

    1. "ABA Sides Against Opening Law Firms Up to New Competition," 08.09.22.
      Bloomberg has more on this story: "The American Bar Association is pouring cold water on efforts to loosen restrictions on who can own law firms, including moves that could open firms up to new competition from corporations." ("The resolution, passed at the ABA's annual conference in Chicago, comes as states like Arizona and Utah have already loosened law firm ownership restrictions. Others, such as California, Michigan and North Carolina, are considering similar tinkering.")

    2. "Sharing fees with nonlawyers is inconsistent with profession's 'core values,' ABA House says," 08.09.22.
      The ABA Journal reports that "on Tuesday, the ABA House of Delegates reaffirmed its position on the sharing of legal fees with nonlawyers, passing a resolution stating the practice is ‘inconsistent with the core values of the legal profession."

  29. "New York is first state to require CLE course in cybersecurity," 08.08.22.
    The ABA Journal reports that "lawyers in New York will have to take at least a one-hour cybersecurity course as part of their continuing legal education requirements beginning in July 2023."

  30. "Law firms opt for office relocations as attorneys return to in-person work," 08.05.22.
    Reuters reports that "law firms leasing office space chose relocations rather than renewals in the first half of the year at a level not seen since before the COVID-19 pandemic."

  31. Corporate Counsel/In-House Counsel

  32. "As Hourly Fees Become 'Painful,' Focus Grows on Alternative Fee Arrangements," 08.05.22.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "economic pressures are driving corporate legal departments to ditch hourly outside counsel rates."

  33. Higher Education

  34. "Gen Z's Distrust in Higher Ed a 'Red Flag'," 08.12.22.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "trust in U.S. colleges and universities by young adults needs to be earned and not taken for granted, according to a recent survey that measured public trust in higher education." ("About 35 percent of adult members of Generation Z surveyed said they tended not to trust higher education while 41 percent said they tended to trust colleges and universities. Among the four generation groups surveyed by Morning Consult, a research technology company, those ages 18-25 who are among the Generation Z cohort were the least likely to trust higher education.")

  35. "Chinese Student Visas to U.S. Tumble From Prepandemic Levels," 08.11.22.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "the number of U.S. student visas issued to Chinese nationals plunged by more than 50% in the first half of 2022 compared with pre-Covid levels, with the U.S. losing ground as the most-coveted place for Chinese students to pursue higher education abroad." (Subscription required.)

August 5, 2022

    Top Stories

  1. "Legal industry groups ask U.S. Supreme Court to protect affirmative action," 08.02.22.
    Reuters reports that "legal educators, law student organizations, bar associations and law firms this week flooded the U.S. Supreme Court with amicus briefs asking it to uphold the use of affirmative action in college admissions, arguing it is key to diversifying the legal profession and addressing bias in the justice system."

    1. "College Affirmative Action Policies Backed by Major Companies," 08.02.22.
      The Wall Street Journal reports that "dozens of major companies have asked the Supreme Court to affirm the use of racial preferences in college admissions, arguing that more diversity on campuses contributes both to commercial innovation and business success." (Subscription required.)

    2. "ABA, Backed by Loretta Lynch, Asks Justices to Leave Affirmative Action in Place," 08.01.22.
      The National Law Journal reports that "the American Bar Association is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to allow race to be a factor in college admissions in a new brief filed Monday."

  2. NALP News

  3. "82% of young attorneys happy with career," 08.02.22.
    The National Jurist reports on the findings of "a recent joint survey done by the NALP Foundation and NALP called the Law School Alumni Employment and Satisfaction, for the Class of 2018, [that] found that 82% of those surveyed were satisfied with their legal careers."

  4. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  5. "UCLA Law project catalogs hundreds of anti-critical race theory measures," 08.03.22.
    Reuters reports that "efforts to ban the teaching of critical race theory in public schools and universities have been proposed or adopted in 49 U.S. states, according to a new analysis by the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law."

  6. "Putting Competition Aside, Denver's 5 Largest Law Firms Join Forces to Improve Racial Diversity," 08.02.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that "the five-largest homegrown firms in Denver are partnering on a coalition to advance racial diversity." ("Brownstein, Davis Graham & Stubbs, Holland & Hart, Sherman & Howard and Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell are leading the coalition. The firms are expanding recruitment efforts out of town, in an effort to bring more diverse lawyers into the state.")

  7. "Breaking Through the 'Bamboo Ceiling': Asian American Attorneys Press to Address Dearth of AAPI Judges on Northern District of California," 08.02.22.
    The Recorder reports that "some members of the Asian American legal community are concerned about a lack of representation as the court loses two Asian American active district judges."

  8. "Listen!: Amplifying The Experiences Of Black Law School Graduates In 2020," 07.30.22.
    The TaxProf highlights a journal article by Sara Schendel who writes "perhaps no students faced more emotional, psychological, logistical, and financial challenges than Black law school graduates in 2020… we must listen to the challenges they faced, work to help them recover from these wounds, and pledge to invest in the safety, success, and futures of Black law students and lawyers."

  9. "Harvard & Yale Still Dominate as Biden Focuses on Diversifying the Judiciary," 07.29.22.
    The National Law Journal reports that "an American Bar Association report released Thursday found that, as of March, there were 111 federal judges with law degrees from Harvard and 72 from Yale…altogether, 232 judges have Ivy League law degrees, representing 18% of the U.S. judiciary."

  10. Mental Health/Wellness/Remote Work/Back to Work/HR Developments

  11. "CEOs Ditch Kinder Approach as Economy Shows Signs of Chilling," 08.03.22.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "corporate chiefs who spent much of the pandemic patiently answering questions in town halls, sending reassuring notes to staff members and projecting a softer image are shifting their tone as signs emerge that the economy is worsening." (Subscription required.)

  12. "Listening To Our Students: Fostering Resilience And Engagement To Promote Culture Change In Legal Education," 08.02.22.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a new journal article that "describes a dynamic program of research at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law that uses mindset to promote resilience and engagement in law students." ("For the last three years, we have used tailored, well-timed, psychological interventions to help students bring adaptive mindsets to the challenges they face in law school. The act of listening to our students has been the first step in designing interventions to improve their experience, and it has become a kind of intervention in itself. Through this work, we have learned that simply asking our law students about their experiences and listening carefully to their answers helps create an environment that supports academic and professional growth.")

  13. The Bar Exam and Lawyer Licensing

  14. "The bar exam. Who needs it?," 08.04.22.
    This piece from Reuters advocates for the elimination of the bar exam and argues that "Wisconsin offers a model for leaving the exam behind."

  15. Law Schools and Law Students

  16. "ABA Gaining Public Support In Proposal To Make Law School Admission Tests Optional," 08.03.22.
    The TaxProf Blog reports that "support for doing away with the standardized testing requirement for American Bar Association-accredited law schools is outweighing those who want to see the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) remain as a requirement."

  17. "The Top 100 Law Schools, Based On 5-, 10-, And 15-Year Rolling Average U.S. News Rankings," 08.03.22.
    The TaxProf blog publishes a law school ranking based on rolling average US News rankings.

  18. "Law school applicant pool shrinks after blockbuster 2021," 08.01.22.
    Reuters reports that "the number of people applying to law school this fall declined 12% from the previous year, suggesting a surge of applicants in 2021 was an anomaly and not a new normal."

    1. "Number of 2022 Law School Applicants Trails 2020, While Applications Filed Jumps Double Digits," 08.01.22.
      Law.com has more on this.

    2. "The Fall 2022 Law School Admissions Season: Applicants Are Down 12%, The Most Among Whites (-14%) And The Highest LSAT Bands (-14%)," 08.01.22.
      And the TaxProf Blog has some graphs and charts illustrating the latest law school applicant and application numbers.

  19. "Why Yale Law's dean says eliminating tuition for students in need benefits the legal profession," 07.29.22.
    ABC News reports on Yale's new need-based scholarship that fully pays tuition for students: "Yale Law School's Hurst Horizon Scholarship will erase tuition and pay for college fees and health care costs for law students with the greatest financial need. It's a first-of-its-kind scholarship that is creating new conversations about what law schools can do to diversify the legal profession."

  20. Law Firms and Lawyers

  21. "Less Money for Remote Work? Perhaps," 08.04.22.
    The editor-in-chief of The American Lawyer writes about the tightening economy and the need to get lawyers back to the office, and suggests that there might be a new way forward where compensation would be negotiated and "those who want to work remotely can agree to a lower salary, as can those who want to work fewer hours."

  22. "The 2022 Midlevel Associates Survey: The Rankings," 08.03.22.
    The American Lawyer publishes its annual ranking of firms based on survey responses from third-, fourth- and fifth-year associates. ("[The] survey examines 12 aspects of job satisfaction, including: compensation and benefits; training and guidance; relations with partners and other associates; interest in and satisfaction level with the work; the firm's policy on billable hours; and management's openness about firm strategies and partnership chances.")

    1. "Midlevels Dish on What Law Firms Are Getting Right—And Wrong," 08.03.22.
      The American Lawyer provides some analysis of its annual Midlevel Associates Survey findings, noting that, among other things, "partners make or break the associate experience, most associates want more hybrid work, and high billable hour requirements ruin mental and physical health."

    2. "Associates Expect Their Tech To Work, And Partners Had Better Use It Too," 08.04.22.
      The American Lawyer takes a look at what associates had to say about the state of law firm technology.

  23. "As Attorneys Return to Offices, Law Firms Balance Financial and Mentorship Challenges," 08.03.22.
    The Daily Report writes that "with Labor Day quickly approaching, some Southeast law firms are prioritizing attorneys' return to the office, moving away from the 'sit anywhere you want' approach."

  24. "Law Firm Automation Will Survive the Pandemic," 08.03.22.
    Legaltech News reports that "the future of automation within the law firm market is secured by an industry changed by technology, and hesitant to ever look back."

  25. "Law Firms Are Struggling to Implement Succession Plans as They Look to Fill Gap Between Generations," 08.02.22.
    The Daily Report writes that "while succession planning in law firms is a constant struggle, it will be even more critical in the next few years, as law firm leaders finish their terms and as baby boomer lawyers continue to plan retirements, said several legal industry observers."

  26. "The Next Iteration of Hybrid Work?: Immigration Boutique Launches in the Metaverse," 07.29.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that a DC-based boutique law firm has "opened an office in the metaverse…[that] firm leaders say will provide a more immersive experience to connect with clients."

  27. Corporate Counsel/In-House Counsel

  28. "Amid Corporate Layoffs, Concerns Grow Over In-Housel Legal Jobs," 08.04.22.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "with a bevy of tech companies this year laying off employees or announcing hiring freezes, pressure is building on the careers of in-house lawyers for these companies, some industry sources say, and these attorneys should brace themselves for impact, whether it's a layoff or belt-tightening in legal department staff budgets."

  29. "As Law Firms Reach for Big Client Relationships, GCs Consolidate Panel," 08.02.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that "corporate legal departments are continuing to consolidate their panel of law firms, and some factors could accelerate that trend, including law firms' desire to get stickier client relationships and ascendant practices such as litigation and bankruptcy." ("A report this week from Wolters Kluwer's ELM Solutions found law departments reduced their median number of outside firms and legal service providers by 16% at the height of the pandemic in 2020, before dropping another 8.6% in 2021.")

    1. "Have Corporate Legal Departments Whittled Themselves Into a Corner?," 08.02.22.
      Corporate Counsel reports that according to a new report, "paring down outside counsel lists could ultimately hamstring legal departments' ability to negotiate for lower rates." ("Overall, about 71% of corporate legal departments shrunk their outside counsel lists in 2021. But their spending didn't follow suit. Instead, the departments' median outside legal spend increased 21%, from $35 million to $42 million, while mean outside spend spiked 36%, from $73 million to $93 million.")

  30. "Companies Still Aren't Sending Enough Work to Diverse Outside Lawyers, Report Says," 07.29.22.
    Corporate Counsel reports that according to a forthcoming report from the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession corporate "legal departments aren't sending much business to diverse lawyers…despite all the diversity initiatives and talk about the importance of hiring and promoting diverse lawyers."

  31. International News

  32. "Law Firms Face 'Ticking Timebomb' In Talent Struggle, Recruiter Warns," 08.02.22.
    Law.com International reports that according to a new report, legal job vacancies in London for 2022 so far have already eclipsed what was posted for the entirety of 2020.

  33. Higher Education

  34. "Colleges Scale Back Covid Precautions for Fall, Saying Pandemic Phase Over," 08.03.22.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "colleges this fall are no longer treating Covid-19 as an emergency upending their operations, shifting to eliminate mask requirements and mandatory coronavirus testing and letting students who contract the virus isolate in their dorms with their roommates." ("With easy access to vaccinations and low hospitalization rates among college-aged adults—even during the latest surge in BA.5 subvariant cases—administrators said it is time to lift or at least rethink restrictions and redefine the virus as endemic, not a pandemic. That means scaling back mass testing, removing bans on large indoor gatherings and preparing for a fall term that more closely resembles life before Covid.") (Subscription required.)

July 29, 2022

    Top Stories

  1. "Last Year Was Miserable. Can Colleges Make This One Better?," 07.27.22.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "faculty members, staff, and administrators across higher education agree that this past academic year was among the most difficult they've experienced." ("Class absenteeism was rampant. When students did show up, they were painfully silent. Many failed to turn in work or disappeared entirely weeks into the semester. And no amount of effort seemed to change things. By the time summer rolled around, many limped, zombielike, across the finish line…As they process what happened, faculty members and administrators are taking a deeper look at the connections among mental health, feelings of belonging, and the ability to learn.") (Subscription required.)

  2. NALP News

  3. "Job Market for 2021 Law School Grads the 'Strongest Ever,' NALP Reports," 07.28.22.
    Law.com reports that "the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) has released its latest data and the news is good: the 'strongest ever' job market for law grads." ("This is as strong a set of employment and salary outcomes as I have seen in my more than 18 years here at NALP," James G. Leipold, executive director of NALP, who will be retiring in October, said in the report. "The Class of 2021 benefited from the economic rebound and the pent-up demand for legal services that followed the widespread shutdown of 2020.")

    1. "Law school graduate employment hit 15-year high for class of 2021," 07.28.22.
      Reuters reports that "demand for legal talent at large law firms drove employment and salary figures for the law school class of 2021 to historic peaks, according to new [NALP] data released Thursday."

    2. "Pay for 2021 law grads is at all-time high as percentage of BigLaw jobs increases, NALP says," 07.28.22.
      (ABA Journal)

    3. "The Job Market Is Really, Really Good For Recent Law School Grads," 07.28.22.
      (Above the Law)

    4. "Class Of 2021 Law Grads See Record High Employment," 07.28.22.

  4. "Job Market for Class of 2021 Law Graduates Was One of the Strongest on Record," 07.28.22.
    You can visit the Class of 2021 page on to NALP website to find complete information on these findings.

  5. The Feel Goods

  6. "Joni Mitchell Reclaims Her Voice at Newport," 07.26.22.
    The New York Times reports that "on Sunday night, Joni Mitchell, 78, stunned attendees of the Newport Folk Festival (and the countless people who have since watched viral cellphone videos of the event) when she performed in public for the first time since her 2015 brain aneurysm, playing her first full-length live set since 2000." (Watch the imbedded YouTube videos and have yourself an ugly cry — I did.)

  7. "How a 23-Year-Old Phenom Named Kingfish Became the Future of the Blues," 07.20.22.
    The Washington Post Magazine has a feature on Blues phenom Christone 'Kingfish' Ingram: "Humane emotion suffuses his playing even at its most musically acrobatic, and he's almost always telling you a story derived from the song's lyrics, his own love affair with music, the trials and joys of his young life." (Includes links to a ten-song play list that is worth your time.)

  8. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  9. "'ABA Profile of the Legal Profession' report shines a light on judicial diversity," 07.28.22.
    The ABA Journal reports that the ABA Profile of the Legal Profession 2022 report released Thursday highlights concerns about judicial diversity, noting that "of the 1,400 judges serving in federal courts, most are overwhelmingly male and overwhelmingly white." ("According to the profile, in 16 states—Alaska, Idaho, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Delaware—there were no federal judges of color. There are also three states—Nebraska, North Dakota and Idaho—where no women are serving as federal trial judges, the report said.")

  10. "The Pipeline: Is South Florida's Legal Community Doing Enough on Diversity for the Next Generation?," 07.25.22.
    The Daily Business Review reports that "while South Florida's legal community is vibrantly diverse…firms lack diversity in leadership."

  11. "The LSAT and Other Standardized Tests Are Good for Diversity," 07.24.22.
    In this Wall Street Journal op-ed, a professor of politics and international relations and director of a prelaw program argues that objective measures of ability give my working-class students a shot at going to a top law school: "Bias can come in many forms, and the most effective way to counteract it—and to promote diversity—is through objective measures such as the LSAT."

  12. Mental Health/Wellness/Remote Work/Back to Work/HR Developments

  13. "Leading with Heart Might Just Be the Cure for the Great Resignation," 07.28.22.
    This piece from Legaltech News makes the case that "the more that legal organizations can embrace a compassionate form of leadership that utilizes a combination of empathy and action and provides their employees the tools and technology they need, the better that legal organizations will be able to weather the Great Resignation."

  14. "A Key to Improved Wellbeing Lies in Our Values," 07.27.22.
    Patrick Krill, writing for Law.com, makes the case that "by reorienting themselves to focus more on talent, skill, and professionalism, more so than productivity, revenue generation, and responsiveness, employers may be able to both mitigate unwanted turnover and lower numerous costs, including but not limited to healthcare."

  15. "What are your legal rights when your job is harming your mental health?," 07.27.22.
    The Canadian Lawyer speaks with an employment law expert who discusses an employee's options when dealing with a toxic workplace.

  16. "Lawyers Expect Growing Litigation From AI Hiring Tools Violating Discrimination Laws," 07.25.22.
    Legaltech News reports that "as legislators and policymakers across the U.S. consider how to regulate the use of AI hiring tools, law firms and companies who don't take appropriate precautions face a growing risk of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other anti-discrimination statutes."

  17. "Is Hybrid Work Killing Remote Summer? Yes, but It Doesn't Have To.," 07.24.22.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that with many companies pivoting to hybrid work models that require an in-office component, many top corporations are carving out time for people to work from anywhere, with American Express, Amazon, and Apple, among others, reserving four weeks of remote work for almost all corporate employees.

  18. Law Schools and Law Students

  19. "UC Hastings is history as law school drops controversial namesake," 07.28.22.
    Reuters reports that "the University of California Hastings College of the Law is on track to become the University of California College of the Law, San Francisco, early next year."

    1. "UC Hastings Board of Directors Votes to Rename School," 07.27.22.
      The Recorder reports that "the Board of Directors for University of California, Hastings College of the Law voted to decouple the founder of the school from its name, in recognition of his reported role in financing and ordering the removal of native people that resulted in the genocide of several hundred Yuki Indians in Northeast Mendocino County."

    2. "UC Hastings Committee Unveils Proposal for Renaming Law School," 07.26.22.
      The Recorder reports that "UC Hastings College of the Law, the historic California school grappling with the legacy of its namesake, should be renamed College of the Law, San Francisco, a school committee charged with considering new monikers has recommended."

  20. "Jane Aiken Steps Down As Dean After Three Years; Wake Forest Names Notre Dame's Nell Newton Interim Dean," 07.23.22.
    The TaxProf blog reports that "after three years of dedicated service to Wake Forest University, Jane Aiken will step away from her role as Dean of the School of Law on July 31…Nell Jessup Newton, Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame Law School, has been named interim dean and will begin August 1."

  21. "Inside one of the nation's few hybrid J.D. programs," 07.22.22.
    Higher Ed Dive reports that "in May, Syracuse University's law school graduated its first class of students earning a Juris Doctor degree through a hybrid program," and speaks with the law school's associate dean for online education, who talks about the program's inaugural graduates and how it has evolved.

  22. "Online class options gaining popularity among law students, ABA says," 07.22.22.
    Reuters reports that "a new survey from the American Bar Association indicates that law students don't find online class to be so bad after all, and may even at times prefer this approach." ("Slightly more than half of law students who participated in the survey—52%—said they would choose a Zoom class where everyone is remote over one that is held in-person. And nearly 69% said they want the ability to earn more credits through distance education than is currently allowed.")

    1. "ABA Survey: Law Students Prefer Online Classes Over In-Person Classes," 07.23.22.
      More from the TaxProf Blog on these findings, which were first reported by the ABA Journal last week.

  23. "Temple Laws Appoints Interim Dean to Full Deanship," 07.22.22.
    Law.com reports that "Rachel Rebouché, interim dean of Temple University Beasley School of Law, has been appointed the role in full by her predecessor, Gregory Mandel."

  24. Law Firms and Lawyers

  25. "Has Big Law Hit Peak Empathy?," 07.29.22.
    The American Lawyer questions whether the current level of empathy law firms have exhibited for their employees — including being more attuned to the needs of parents who had child care issues, being open to flexible working schedules, remote work and mental health days, encouraging vacations, and investing in DEI and affinity groups — is sustainable.

  26. "Law firms shift focus toward litigation hires as deal work cools," 07.28.22.
    Reuters reports that "the hiring market for attorneys moving from firm to firm remained robust in the first half of 2022, but the greatest action has shifted from corporate to litigation practices, new data shows." ("Lateral hires of partners and associates by the 200 highest-grossing U.S. law firms both increased 16% in the first six months of 2022 from the same period last year, legal industry analytics company Leopard Solutions said Thursday.")

  27. "'We Don't Really Have a Strategy': Law Firms Still Grappling With Rising Pay," 07.28.22.
    Law.com reports that "the Big Law arms race for top attorneys has been a defining feature of the legal industry lately, but many law firm leaders still aren't totally sure how to reconcile the rising cost of talent with the need to stay profitable."

  28. "The 2022 A-List: Top 20 Firms," 07.27.22.
    The American Lawyer publishes its annual "A-List ranking of the most well-rounded members of the Am Law 200." ("The A-List score ranks firms based on their average score across five key metrics, calculated throughout the year in various other surveys by ALM. These metrics are revenue per lawyer, associate satisfaction, diversity, pro bono and the percentage of female equity partners. Revenue and diversity data are double weighted.")

  29. "Facing 'Changing of the Guard,' Midsize Law Is Readying the Next Generation of Talent," 07.26.22.
    The Recorder reports that leaders of midsize and regional law firms believe that "client-based growth and a sharpened focus on the next generation of talent are giving them an edge over the competition."

  30. "In Retrospect, the Falloff in Big Law Pro Bono Last Year Seems Inevitable. Is a Comeback This Year Equally Inevitable?," 07.25.22.
    This piece in ALM's Litigation Daily ruminates on the meaning behind the 2021 drop off in pro bono hours worked, and prognosticates about what the future may hold.

  31. "Licensed paralegals program in Oregon gets final approval," 07.25.22.
    The ABA Journal reports that "the Oregon Supreme Court has given final approval to a program that allows licensed paralegals to provide limited legal services in family law and landlord-tenant cases."

  32. "Don't blame baby: Survey finds most women quit big firms over culture, not family," 07.21.22.
    Reuters reports on the results from "a new survey by Leopard Solutions of 200 women lawyers who quit their jobs in the last two years…[that found] 70% reported that staying home with their children had little or nothing to do with their decision to leave their legal jobs." ("The vast majority of women surveyed — 90% — cited their workplace culture as the main reason for quitting, with 82% blaming lack of flexibility and work/life balance and 74% pointing to lack of career trajectory.")

  33. Corporate Counsel/In-House Counsel

  34. "Pay Rises for Nearly Every In-House Legal Position as Companies Focus on Retention," 07.27.22.
    Corporate Counsel reports that based on "the latest annual global in-house compensation survey from Major, Lindsey & Africa…compensation, which is salary plus bonus comp, for U.S.-based legal chiefs has increased 15% since 2020, hitting an average of $578,446."

    1. "Bonus growth boosts pay for top U.S. company lawyers, survey says," 07.27.22.
      More on this from Reuters: "Total cash compensation for top lawyers at U.S. companies has jumped by an average of 15% since 2020, driven partly by higher bonuses as companies fight to retain in-house legal talent in a competitive market, according to a survey released Wednesday." ("Bonuses may be 40% to 50% of a chief legal officer's total compensation.")

  35. Secondary and Higher Education

  36. "The Aging Student Debtors of America," 07.27.22.
    The New Yorker takes a deep dive into the impact of lingering student debt on aging Americans: "Americans aged sixty-two and older are the fastest-growing demographic of student borrowers. Of the forty-five million Americans who hold student debt, one in five are over fifty years old. Between 2004 and 2018, student-loan balances for borrowers over fifty increased by five hundred and twelve per cent. Perhaps because policymakers have considered student debt as the burden of upwardly mobile young people, inaction has seemed a reasonable response, as if time itself will solve the problem. But, in an era of declining wages and rising debt, Americans are not aging out of their student loans—they are aging into them."

  37. "Americans' Confidence in Higher Ed Drops Sharply," 07.26.22.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that according to new survey findings, "public confidence in higher education's ability to lead America in a positive direction has sunk steeply in recent years, falling 14 percentage points just since 2020." (Subscription required.)

  38. "More Than Half of Campus Staff Members Are Thinking About Quitting, Survey Finds," 07.22.22.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "results of a new survey paint a grim picture for higher ed's hopes of retaining staff members: More than half of them are considering leaving their job in the next year." ("Campus staff members' reasons for considering an exit are fairly clear-cut — and familiar. Two-thirds said they sought a salary increase, and remote-work opportunities and flexible schedules were also high on their wish lists.") (Subscription required.)

July 22, 2022

    Top Stories

  1. "The Legal Industry is Squarely in the Crosshairs of Politics," 07.20.22.
    Law.com reports that "the legal industry is increasingly being drawn into polarizing political debates with potentially significant consequences." ("Law firms and legal departments have faced increasing pressure from internal and external stakeholders over the past two years when it comes to taking positions on hot-button issues. Talent, clients and the public have come to expect statements on everything including hate crimes, voting rights, wars and human rights. But for corporations and law firms alike, the past few months have brought that conversation directly to the legal industry, implicating the rule of law, politics, jurisdictional differences and the perils of operating a business in a polarized society."

    1. "Health Issue or Political Statement? Abortion Benefits Test Law Firms' Values," 07.18.22.
      The American Lawyer reports that "firms can no longer sit on the sidelines of polarizing political and human rights issues." ("Most law firms have stopped short of taking a public stance on the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling to overturn abortion protections, and Texas lawmakers' recent threatening letter to Sidley Austin over its policy to cover employees' abortion costs is serving to further mute the legal industry. Analysts say law firms are seeking to walk a fine line of supporting women who have openly condemned the ruling while also trying to avoid courting legal action and deepening divisions within the partnership.")

  2. The Feel Goods

  3. "We asked Emmanuel the TikTok-interrupting emu about his sudden fame," 07.19.22.
    The Washington Post visits with Emmanuel, arguably the world's most famous emu. (Hat tip to Jessica Buchsbaum)

    1. "Lesbian Farmer's Emu Emmanuel Becomes Internet Sensation," 07.19.22.
      And the Advocate brings its own coverage of the sudden viral fame of Emmanuel and his caretaker, Taylor Blake. ("A hobby farmer from South Florida has captured millions' hearts by documenting life with her emu, Emmanuel, and took the web by storm.")

  4. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  5. "Black Law Student Attrition In The Age Of Affirmative Action: Why America's Current Diversity Framework Is Failing," 07.21.22.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a new journal article that argues "Black law students encounter unique obstacles that leave them with some of the highest non-transfer attrition rates among all groups."

  6. "Despite Renewed Commitment to Diversity, Colleges Make Little Progress, Report Says," 07.18.22.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on a new analysis by McKinsey & Company of student and faculty racial diversity in US higher education: "At the current rate, it would take colleges another 70 years to recruit enough Asian, Black, Latina/o, and Native American students for their enrollment to somewhat reflect America's demographics. And that figure would be dominated by and Latina/o students. For Native American and Black students, it would take more than 300 years to form a representative student body." (Subscription required.)

    1. "Lots of Talk About Diversity, but the Numbers Don't Budge," 07.20.22.
      More on the new McKinsey report from Inside Higher Ed: "For all the talk in higher ed about increasing diversity, historically marginalized racial and ethnic populations are still underrepresented among college students, faculty and administrators, according to a new report from McKinsey & Company."

    2. The McKinsey analysis, "Racial and Ethnic Equity in U.S. Higher Education," can be found here.

  7. Mental Health/Wellness/Remote Work/Back to Work/HR Developments

  8. "6 Ways to Ensure Your Legal Organization Isn't Leaving Remote Workers Behind," 07.20.22.
    Legaltech News writes that "organizations need to be intentional about…making sure that policies and procedures are in place that treat both remote workers and in-person workers equitably and fairly…[and suggests] six tips that organizations should adopt now."

  9. "Nobody wants to be in the office on Fridays," 07.15.22.
    The Washington Post reports that "just 30 percent of office workers swiped into work on Fridays in June, the least of any weekday…that's compared to 41 percent on Mondays, the day with the second-lowest turnout, and 50 percent on Tuesdays, when the biggest share of workers are in the office."

  10. The Bar Exam and Lawyer Licensing

  11. "This Year Is Still Different: An Outdated Bar Exam In Troubled Times," 07.18.20.
    The TaxLaw Prof highlights a post from the Law School Café blog that makes the case that "law school graduates must prepare for a difficult exam that they know bears little relationship to their practice as fledgling lawyers."

  12. "LSO reaches important milestone in ongoing investigation into leaked bar examination questions," 07.15.22.
    The Law Times of Canada reports that "the Law Society of Ontario has notified several candidates that they breached the LSO rules and regulations as part of its ongoing investigation into cheating on the November 2021 barrister and solicitor licensing examinations." ("Candidates were informed based on information and evidence obtained through the investigative process and the results and recommendations of a forensic analysis of the November 2021 licensing examinations conducted by testing security experts.")

  13. Law Schools and Law Students

  14. "Hybrid JD Programs Gaining More Traction at Law Schools," 07.21.22.
    Law.com reports that "Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University and University of Hawaii's William S. Richardson School of Law submitted applications for substantive change to the American Bar Association this month for variances to establish part-time hybrid distance education J.D. programs." (There are already 11 other law schools with hybrid J.D. programs.)

  15. "Law students want more distance education classes, according to ABA findings," 07.21.22.
    The ABA Journal reports that "a recent [ABA] survey of 1,394 students in their third year of law school found that 68.65% wanted the ability to earn more distance education credits than what their schools offered."

  16. "California Western Law Receives Largest Gift in School's History," 07.19.22.
    Law.com reports that "California Western School of Law received a $3 million gift, the largest philanthropic gift in the law school's history, which is to be used for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives."

  17. "Number of 2022 Law School Applicants Still Outpacing 2020 Applicants—But Just Barely," 07.18.22.
    Law.com reports that "the gap between the number of law school applicants for the 2022 enrollment year and applicants for the 2020 enrollment year has been steadily narrowing throughout the latest admission cycle, with 2022 now maintaining a lead of less than 1%."

  18. "Penn Law dean wants 'major sanctions' against lightning rod professor," 07.18.22.
    Reuters reports that "an investigation by law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has uncovered nearly a dozen previously undisclosed instances in which students said University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax made racist, sexist or homophobic comments in class, according to a letter from law dean Theodore Ruger."

  19. Law Firms and Lawyers

  20. "Non-lawyer licensing movement gains steam with Oregon approval," 07.20.22.
    Reuters reports that "Oregon is the latest state to embrace regulatory changes allowing so-called legal paraprofessionals — non-lawyers who are specially trained to provide legal services in limited areas of the law." ("Oregon joins Washington, Utah, Arizona and Minnesota in allowing non-lawyers to provide some legal services, though Washington's high court decided last year to stop offering new paraprofessional licenses.")

  21. "U.S. Supreme Court welcomes new crop of clerks in fraught year," 07.20.22.
    Reuters reports that "the high court on Wednesday confirmed its list of the new law clerks who will serve in its upcoming October term…[noting that] graduates of the law schools at Yale, Harvard and Stanford universities dominate the incoming class of U.S. Supreme Court clerks."

  22. "Scramble for Associates, Laterals Leads to Bigger New York Offices," 07.18.22.
    The New York Law Journal reports that "large law firms in New York urgently sought last year to staff up, as demand skyrocketed in corporate matters and after conservative hiring in 2020…even amid high attrition last year, most firms bulked up their New York ranks, resulting in big headcount increases at many firms." ("About 24,208 attorneys worked in the New York offices of the state's 100 largest law firms last year, up 2%, and 54 firms saw headcount growth, including 18 that grew their New York ranks by more than 10%.")

  23. "Distracted Justice: Talent Churn, Client Demand Pulled Attention Away From Pro Bono," 07.18.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that "by all key measures, Big Law firms did significantly less pro bono work in 2021 than in 2020, a development likely related to the dramatic spike in client demand that led to record industry revenue for the year as lawyers concentrated on billable hours."

    1. "The 2022 Pro Bono Scorecard: National Rankings," 07.18.22.
      The American Lawyer publishes its annual ranking of the Am Law 200 by their pro bono score for work performed by U.S.-based lawyers. ("Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe led the way on this year's Pro Bono Scorecard in a year when many firms saw declines in pro bono hours performed.")

    2. "The 2022 Pro Bono Scorecard: Average Hours and Breadth of Commitment," 07.18.22.
      The American Lawyer also provides charts that "rank the am law 200 by the average bono hours performed by their U.S.-based lawyers in 2021…[and] rank am law 200 firms by the percentage of their U.S.-based lawyers who performed more than 20 hours of pro bono work in 2021."

  24. "Will remote work adversely affect the training, productivity, and retention of lawyers?," 07.17.22.
    Tom Sharbaugh, writing for the Legal Evolution blog, argues that "unless legal employers find better ways to recreate the in-office experience for their WFH lawyers, there will be negative impacts on, among other things, the training of junior lawyers, the collaboration among members of lawyer working groups, and the personal relationships among lawyers in the workplace."

  25. Corporate Counsel/In-House Counsel

  26. "The 2022 GC Compensation Survey: Legal Chief Pay Spikes After Pandemic Pause," 07.19.22.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "pay for the nation's most powerful legal chiefs has rocketed back into the stratosphere following a slump amid corporate austerity measures during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic."

  27. International News

  28. "Eversheds Sutherland International PEP Breaks Through £1M Barrier After 26% Leap," 07.21.22.
    Law.com International reports that "profit per equity partner (PEP) at Eversheds Sutherland's non-U.S. business' now stands at £1.29 million, after rocketing by 26% during the previous financial year."

  29. "Clifford Chance PEP Tops £2M as Growth Rebounds," 07.19.22.
    Law.com International reports that "Clifford Chance's profit per equity partner (PEP) has for the first time topped £2 million, as the firm's top line growth returned to normal levels following a pandemic-fuelled slowdown."

  30. Secondary and Higher Education

  31. "Hey, Is Anybody Watching the Interns?," 07.19.22.
    The New York Times reports on the reality many interns are facing this summer amidst empty offices and hybrid work environments where many senior staff continue to work remotely: "Working a summer job can mean commuting to an empty office, sitting unsupervised with other interns and trying desperately to impress managers over video calls."

  32. "Students Are Learning Well Again. But Full Recovery? That's a Long Way Off.," 07.19.22.
    The New York Times reports on the findings of a new report on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the American education system: "A new report estimates that it may take students at least three to five years to recover from the pandemic."

  33. "Higher Ed Is Looking to Refill Jobs. But It's Finding a 'Shallow and Weak' Candidate Pool.," 07.18.22.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "while higher education has largely recovered nearly all of its pandemic-associated job losses, the task of recruiting and hiring administrators and staff members has become a daunting one, according to a Chronicle survey of college leaders, hiring managers, and administrators that was conducted with support from the Huron Consulting Group." ("Nearly 80 percent of the 720 respondents said their campus has more open positions this year than last, and 84 percent said that hiring for administrative and staff jobs has been more difficult in the last year. Those positions are harder than ever to fill, too: 78 percent of leaders said their campus had received fewer applications for open jobs in the last year, and 82 percent agreed that they'd fielded fewer applications from qualified candidates…There's a clear reason for that: 77 percent of respondents — among them presidents, deans, human-resources leaders, and other senior officials — said that higher education is a less appealing place to work than it was a year ago." (Subscription required.)

July 15, 2022

    Top Stories

  1. "Should Law Firm Staff Be Worried About Job Cuts and the End of Hybrid Work?," 07.14.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that "with Big Law corporate departments slowing down and some predictions of an upcoming economic downturn, fears are growing in some corners of large law firms that large-scale staff layoffs, pay cuts, hiring freezes and strict in-office work requirements are coming too, just like previous recessions…[but notes that] firms will be hard-pressed to roll back salary increases and hybrid work."

    1. "'Help Wanted' Ads No Longer Cut It: Attracting and Retaining Staff in Today's Market," 07.13.22.
      The Daily Business Review writes that "thanks to the pandemic, flexibility is more important than it's ever been to employees, especially the younger generation." ("About 43% of U.S. workers said they're seeking flexible hours, which they ranked close to job security in importance. Likewise, a third of the global workforce ranked it as more important than training and development, enjoyment of a day's work and career progression.")

  2. NALP News

  3. "Career satisfaction levels of junior lawyers have dipped, survey finds," 07.13.22.
    The Canadian Lawyer reports on the findings of the Canadian Law School Alumni Employment and Satisfaction Survey for the Class of 2018, conducted from September through December by the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) and the NALP Foundation, noting that "the employment rate and mobility levels of junior lawyers are high, but professional satisfaction levels have dropped." (NALP's executive director James Leipold said, "the higher satisfaction levels measured for lawyers working from home surprised me and stands in contrast to the findings of a parallel U.S. survey that found similarly situated lawyers working solely from home reported lower overall job satisfaction than those working either full-time in the office or in a hybrid schedule. None of us knows what the future of work will look like, but remote work seems not to be a barrier to satisfaction for many of the respondents to this survey.")

  4. The Feel Goods

  5. "The Webb Telescope Restored (Some of) My Faith in Humanity," 07.14.22.
    Farhad Manjoo, writing for The New York Times, reacts to this week's first-published pictures of the universe from the James Webb Space Telescope, writing that: "These first images are so much more than a win for science. The Webb's success feels like a testament to the cheesy best of us — perseverance, ingenuity, rigor, openness, global cooperation, institutions, a commitment to excellence, exploration and dreamy ambition. In an otherwise dreary time, the telescope is one of those milestones that should bolster your estimation of what our species is capable of." (He quotes Jane Rigby, the project's scientist for operations, who said that when she realized the telescope was outperforming specifications earlier this year, "I went and had an ugly cry." Its performance, she said, is an example of "people in a broken world managing to do something right to see some of the majesty that's out there.")

  6. "NASA unveils first images from James Webb Space Telescope," 07.12.22.
    The Washington Post reports that "NASA on Tuesday released the first set of full-color images and data obtained by the revolutionary $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope."

    1. "Webb Telescope Reveals a New Vision of an Ancient Universe," 07.12.22.
      The New York Times reports that "on Tuesday the James Webb Space Telescope, the most powerful space observatory yet built, offered a spectacular slide show of our previously invisible nascent cosmos."

    2. "First Images from the James Webb Space Telescope," 07.12.22.
      You can see all of the images directly on NASA's website.

  7. "Meryl Streep's One Weird Trick," 07.14.22.
    In this dynamic essay and photo montage about Meryls Streep's purposeful use of eyeglasses throughout her astonishing acting career, Amanda Hess writes that "I've come to see a pair of glasses on Streep's face as a Chekhov's gun: At some point you know they're coming off, and it's going to be fabulous."

  8. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  9. "Clifford Chance wins gold in Stonewall Global Workplace Equality Index," 07.14.22.
    The Canadian Lawyer reports that "Clifford Chance has won the gold rating in the Stonewall Global Workplace Equality Index." ("The index is a benchmarking tool for designed to identify how global firms are progressing towards LGBTQ+ equality in the workplace.")

  10. "Antiracist Lawyering Begins With Teaching Antiracism In Law School," 07.08.22.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a new journal article by Danielle Conway, the Dean at Penn State-Dickinson: "This Essay is a call to action for legal education, the legal academy, and the legal profession in America to address the complicity of law and legal systems in scaffolding systemic racial inequality and intersectional injustice."

  11. Mental Health/Wellness/Remote Work/Back to Work/HR Developments

  12. "The Magic of Your First Work Friends," 07.14.22.
    Emma Goldberg, writing for The New York Times, writes that "early-career connections can be life-defining, but for young people entering the work force today, the connections over Zoom are shaky." ("There's an electricity to forming that first close friend at work. It's the thrill of staying too late at drinks to keep giggling. It's the delight of darting to someone's desk and dragging her to the bathroom to gossip. It's the tenderness of showing up to work on a rough morning and realizing a co-worker will know instantly that something is wrong. Those early-career friendships have become something of an endangered species. For some young people, including those who work in industries like tech and law that have yet to fully return to the office, work life now means taking video calls from bed. They have yet to meet their co-workers in person — let alone form the relationships that feel most consequential at the start of a career.")

  13. "Study: Law Schools That Ignore Students' Mental Health 'Shirk' Their Responsibilities," 07.13.22.
    Law.com reports that "a new study suggests that looking after students' mental health and well-being is part of a law school's duty to aid in their development." ("While some law school administrators may maintain they are not responsible for the personal well-being of their students, this student development is very much a part of the professional formation now expected at every law school," the survey's authors wrote.)

    1. "'Our law students need help.' Study finds higher rates of mental health problems," 07.13.22.
      Reuters also reports on the findings of the newest study on law student mental health: "Today's law students are dealing with mental health challenges including anxiety and depression at a higher rate than their predecessors in 2014, a new study has found. Nearly 69% of respondents from 39 law schools surveyed in 2021 reported that they needed help for emotional or mental health problems in the past year. That's up from 42% from the 2014 version of the same survey, according to a trio of academics whose findings are slated to appear in an upcoming edition of the University of Louisville Law Review."

    2. "11% of law students had suicidal thoughts in the past year, survey finds; what can law schools do?," 07.14.22.
      More on this from the ABA Journal. (David Jaffe, associate dean of student affairs at American University Washington College of Law; Katherine Bender, assistant professor of counselor education at Bridgewater University; and Jerome Organ, the Bakken Professor of Law and co-director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, coauthored the study.)

  14. The Bar Exam and Lawyer Licensing

  15. "Latest bar exam software glitch puts some test takers in a bind," 07.14.22.
    Reuters reports that "some law graduates slated to take the bar exam on July 26 and 27 were left scrambling to secure older laptops after learning this week that the exam software will not work on certain newer machines." ("ExamSoft, the company that supplies the software used on the mandatory attorney licensing exam, told examinees in an email that laptops running Windows and using Intel's newest chips are not compatible with the bar exam.")

  16. "Are Questions About Mental Health on Bar Applications Harming Law Students?," 07.12.22.
    Christine Charnosky, writing for Law.com, writes that "at a time when the legal profession claims to be more invested than ever in mental health and wellness, bar applications' 'character and fitness' questions continue to deter some law students from seeking the help they need."

  17. "RIP to the LSAT? Let's Kill the Bar Exam, Too," 07.10.22.
    This opinion piece in Bloomberg, written by a law professor at Yale University, calls for the abolition of the bar exam, writing that "if the LSAT is…bad, the bar examination is worse."

  18. Law Schools and Law Students

  19. "University of Washington School of Law Names New Dean," 07.14.22.
    Law.com reports that "Tamara F. Lawson has been named the next dean of the University of Washington School of Law, effective Aug. 16."

  20. "Law School Admissions Shouldn't Hinge On Test Scores," 07.13.22.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a Law360 op-ed by Aaron Taylor, executive director at AccessLex, who writes that racial and ethnic disparities in law school admissions rates "can be attributed in large part to how racial and ethnic LSAT score disparities interact with the outsized weight that law schools place on the test…[and noting that] Black applicants have the lowest average LSAT score and the lowest law school admission rate. Latino applicants have the second-lowest average score and the second-lowest admission rate." (Taylor notes that "the ABA is the only professional school accreditor that imposes an admissions test requirement.")

  21. "New Dean Set to Take the Reins at Maryland Carey Law on Aug. 1," 07.11.22.
    Law.com reports that "Renée McDonald Hutchins is set to take over as the next dean of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, effective Aug. 1, returning to the school she left in 2019."

  22. Law Firms and Lawyers

  23. "Womble Bond Dickinson to Merge With San Francisco's Cooper, White & Cooper," 07.13.22.
    The Recorder reports that "Womble Bond Dickinson's newly announced merger with Cooper, White & Cooper, one of San Francisco's oldest law firms, will give the trans-Atlantic Am Law 100 firm a new presence in the city and will push it over the 50-lawyer threshold in the state."

  24. "Labour market for legal talent in Greater Vancouver getting tighter," 07.12.22.
    The Canadian Lawyer reports that "the market in Vancouver for legal talent is tight and getting tighter, with starting salaries for law professionals increasing by an average of more than 20 percent than what was expected."

  25. "'A Lot of People Are Not Busy': When M&A Slows, The Whole Firm Feels It," 07.11.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that "as M&A practices in Big Law take a breather this year, other law firm groups are slowing down too…areas such as tax, employee benefits and executive compensation, antitrust and other ancillary practices are all feeling the effects."

    1. "Big Law Sees 'End of Cycle' for IPO Work, Lawyer Recruiting War," 07.07.22.
      More on this from Bloomberg Law: "Companies have hit the brakes on going public this year, ending a lucrative stretch for law firms handling those deals and halting a talent war for attorneys with IPO expertise."

  26. "Number of U.S. legal jobs now exceeds pre-Great Recession record high," 07.08.22.
    Reuters reports that "the U.S. legal services sector now has more total jobs than it had when the count hit its previous high point in 2007 shortly before the Great Recession, according to U.S. Labor Department data released Friday." ("The legal sector added 3,000 jobs in June, reaching a total of 1,185,600, the preliminary seasonally adjusted Bureau of Labor Statistics data showed. This exceeds the historic high of 1,179,500 jobs the sector reached in May 2007, according to BLS data.")

    1. "Legal jobs continued upward climb in June; sector adds 92,300 jobs since pandemic low," 07.08.22.
      More on this from the ABA Journal.

  27. "After Period of Remote Work, Firms Find Ways to Bring Young Associates Into the Fold," 07.08.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that "firms are trying to find ways to integrate associates who started their careers working remotely, so they can benefit from interacting with the partner down the hall."

  28. "Sidley and Law Firms Get Warning From Texas Lawmakers on Abortion Pay Policy," 07.08.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Republican state legislators in Texas have warned Sidley Austin the firm is breaking the law for reimbursing employees for out-of-state abortion costs. They also said they will introduce legislation to impose sanctions on law firms that pay for abortion travel costs."

  29. Higher Education

  30. "After a Professor's Scrutiny, 'U.S. News' Pulls Columbia University's No. 2 Ranking," 07.08.22.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "U.S. News & World Report has removed Columbia University's National Universities ranking after the institution failed to respond to multiple requests from the magazine's rankers 'that the university substantiate certain data it previously submitted.'" (Subscription required.)

    1. "U.S. News Kicks Columbia Out Of The 2022 College Rankings After Math Professor Questioned Its #2 Ranking," 07.09.22.
      More on this from the TaxProf Blog.

July 8, 2022

    Top Stories

  1. "U.S. Job Growth Remains Solid in June," 07.08.22.
    The New York Times reports that according to the latest Labor Department job figures released this morning, "the economy added 372,000 jobs in June, a hotter-than-expected boost to the labor market that may ease worries of an impending recession." ("The private sector has now regained its prepandemic number of jobs, while the public sector remains 664,000 jobs below February 2020.")

    1. "Jobs Aplenty, but a Shortage of Care Keeps Many Women From Benefiting," 07.07.22.
      The New York Times reports that "a dearth of child care and elder care choices is causing many women to reorganize their working lives and prompting some to forgo jobs altogether, hurting the economy at a moment when companies are desperate to hire, and forcing trade-offs that could impair careers." ("Care workers have left the industry in large numbers amid the pandemic, shrinking the number of nursery and nursing home employees by hundreds of thousands. At the same time, coronavirus outbreaks have led to intermittent school shutdowns, which, in turn, have made care demands less predictable and increased the need for reliable backup options.")

  2. NALP News

  3. "NALP: 82% Of Attorneys Are Satisfied With Their Legal Careers Three Years After Graduating From Law School," 07.05.22.
    The TaxProf Blog has a recap of the findings from the most recent NALP/NALP Foundation joint Law School Alumni Employment and Satisfaction study, the ninth such study of law school graduates.

  4. "NALP: Entry-Level Public Service Attorney Salaries Soar In Four Years By 20% (Civil Legal Services) And 25% (Public Interest Organizations), But Stagnate For Public Defenders (2.4%)," 07.04.22.
    The TaxProf Blog also has a recap of the findings from NALP's most recent Public Service Attorney Salary Survey.

  5. The Feel Goods

  6. "Decoding the Defiance of Henry VIII's First Wife," 07.07.22.
    For those of you who are fans of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall trilogy, or Tudor history in general, this is super fun: "Using a process she called 'early modern Wordle,' a scholar claims to have uncovered a hidden message from Catherine of Aragon in a book of jewelry designs." (The New York Times)

  7. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  8. "An Empirical Analysis Of Racial Bias In The UBE: A Law School's First-Time Bar Pass Rate Decreases As Its Percentage Of Students Of Color Increases," 07.06.22.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a forthcoming journal article that examines racial bias and the bar exam: "The legal profession is one of the least diverse in the United States. Given continuing issues of racism in our society, the central position the justice system occupies in our society, and the vital role lawyers play in that system, it is incumbent upon those in the profession to identify and remedy the causes of this lack of diversity. This Article seeks to understand how the bar examination, the final hurdle to entry into the profession, contributes to this lack of diversity. Using publicly available data, we analyze whether the ethnic makeup of a law school's entering class correlates to the school's first-time bar pass rates on the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE). We find that the higher the proportion of Black and Hispanic students in a law school's entering class, the lower the first-time bar passage rate for that school, in its UBE jurisdictions, three years later."

  9. "Killing the LSAT in the Name of Diversity Won't Cure the Problem," 06.24.22.
    Vivia Chen, writing for Bloomberg, rails against the ABA proposal to eliminate the standardized testing requirement for law school admission: "What concerns me about eliminating the LSAT is that it suggests that minority students might lack the chops for entry into the profession. Though anti-testers will likely argue that the LSAT and other standardized tests are freighted with social/economic baggage—and that's undoubtedly true—isn't it also possible to read it as throwing in the towel that students of color can master the art of the test?"

  10. Mental Health/Wellness/Remote Work/Back to Work/HR Developments

  11. "Netherlands Poised to Make Work-From-Home a Legal Right," 07.07.22.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "as U.S. companies struggle to entice workers back to offices, the Dutch parliament approved legislation to establish home working as a legal right, setting the Netherlands up to be one of the first countries to enshrine such flexibility in law." (Subscription required.)

  12. "Big Cities Can't Get Workers Back to the Office," 07.07.22.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "more than two years into the Covid-19 pandemic, exasperation is growing among business, city and community leaders across the U.S. who have seen offices left behind while life returns to normal at restaurants, airlines, sporting events and other places where people gather…even after many employers have adopted hybrid schedules, less than half the number of prepandemic office workers are returning to business districts consistently." ("The problem is most pronounced in America's biggest cities. Nationally, office use hit a pandemic-era high of 44% in early June, while cities like Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco and New York have lagged behind.") (Subscription required.)

  13. "A Neurologist's Tips to Protect Your Memory," 07.06.22.
    The New York Times reviews a new book by a renowned brain expert who says there are a few simple things we can do to prevent memory decline as we age.

  14. "Give Them Credit: Attorneys, Mental Health, and the Billable Hour," 07.01.22.
    A psychotherapist and Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, writing for Law.com, makes the case that the billable hours business model exacerbates mental health challenges for lawyers and advocates for a system that allows "a modest number of hours (say, up to 50 hours annually) spent on mental health treatment [to be] creditable towards billable-hours requirements."

  15. The Bar Exam and Lawyer Licensing

  16. "Ohio Bar May Drop Question About Mental Disorder From Character and Fitness Application," 07.01.22.
    Law.com reports that "the Ohio bar may drop the question about mental health status from its character and fitness application, in part due to a law student petitioning the state Supreme Court to do so."

  17. Law Schools and Law Students

  18. "'It Is Okay To Not Be Okay': The 2021 Survey Of Law Student Well-Being," 07.07.22.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a new journal article in which David Jaffe, Katherine Bender, and Jerry Organ report the findings of the 2021 Survey of Law Student Well-Being, a follow-up to the seminal 2014 Survey of Law Student Well-Being

    1. You can download the paper from SSRN here. The authors include the following concluding paragraph: "Ninety percent of study participants reported that helping people solve their problems was important in their motivation to attend law school, while 87% reported that feeling called to serve was important in their motivation to attend law school. Almost 50% reported that having experienced a trauma or injustice was important in their motivation for attending law school. We want our law students to succeed so that they can meet these goals and act on these motivations. However, if we continue to ask our law students to suffer in silence by not advocating for and supporting their advocacy for positive change, we shirk our own responsibilities in aiding the development of their best selves. While some law school administrators may maintain they are not responsible for the personal well-being of their students, this student development is very much a part of the professional formation now expected at every law school. Accordingly, we need to continue to consider, implement, and model best practices of law student well-being, and provide the financial support to accomplish these goals and initiatives."

  19. "Five Key Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Clerkship,: 07.06.22.
    A law firm partner, writing for Law.com, shares five tips for having a successful clerkship for law students who will intern or clerk in law firms or pro bono organizations.

  20. "NCCU Appoints Interim Dean Following Browne Lewis' Death," 07.05.22.
    Law.com reports that "North Carolina Central University (NCCU) has appointed Malik Edwards as the interim dean of the School of Law, effective July 5, reporting to David H. Jackson Jr., provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs."

  21. "Cynthia Nance Set to Take Over as Dean of University of Arkansas Law—Again," 06.30.22.
    Law.com reports that "the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) School of Law will soon be getting a new dean who is very familiar with the position…Cynthia Nance starts as the interim dean of the law school on Friday, a position she held when she served as dean from July 1, 2006, to June 30, 2011."

  22. Law Firms and Lawyers

  23. "Despite Record Profits, Am Law 100 Valuations Take a Hit," 07.08.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that a financial analysis found the valuations of Am Law 100 firms had dropped by 8.3%: "Just as the S&P 500 Index has taken a punishing hit since hitting an all-time peak on Jan. 3, the collective valuation of the firms in the Am Law 100…has plunged over the last seven months."

  24. "Talent Competition Remains the Top Challenge for Most in Big Law," 07.06.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that "the war for talent for both attorneys and staff has never been fiercer, with 60% of respondents in a legal industry survey indicating that recruitment and retention is the single greatest issue related to business competition." ("And recruitment and retention was also the top survey response when law firm respondents were asked about the areas that will impact the future of the legal sector, according to this year's Bright Insight report, Cushman & Wakefield's benchmark survey of the national legal sector.")

  25. "Facing a Potential Recession, Big Law is More Adept at Weathering a Crisis," 07.06.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that "after two years of record-setting financial results, Big Law is facing headwinds as the economy teeters toward a potential downturn, but law firms may be better prepared this time around." ("Analysts say firms overall are better equipped financially to handle a recession now than they were going into the Financial Crisis of 2008 due to a number of factors, including maintaining lower levels of bank debt and raising more capital from partners. They've also become more agile-and confident-after the last two years of the pandemic.")

  26. "Boutiques Dominate 2022 Law Firm Mergers as Big Law Looks to New Markets," 07.05.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that "law firm mergers picked up in Q2 compared to the same interval last year, according to a new report by Fairfax Associates, which also showed that the merger market this year has been dominated by boutique law firms."

  27. "Hogan Lovells Refreshes Appraisal System and Secondee Opportunities to Appeal to Next Generation," 07.05.22.
    Law.com International reports that "the law firm has evaluated its approach to career progression for its lawyers and staff as a new generation of talent seeks more from employers." (The new system includes real time continuous feedback as a year-round process.)

  28. "New communication tools have helped collaboration in the legal workplace, webinar attendees told," 07.05.22.
    The Canadian Lawyer recaps the proceedings at a recent webinar during which lawyers and consultants agreed that the pandemic has led to improved communication and helped enhance collaboration in the legal workplace in many unexpected ways.

July 1, 2022

    Top Stories

  1. We're going to take a moment of silence here on the top story this week to recognize that the top story was not one of our industry news stories, per se, but was indeed a story or series of stories that touch the lives of all Americans. To our friends and colleagues in Canada I say, don't give up on us, not yet.

  2. NALP News

  3. "Recent law grads in hybrid work have highest job satisfaction — survey," 06.28.22.
    Reuters reports that "a new survey by the National Association for Law Placement and the NALP Foundation has found that…2018 law grads working in the office had higher job satisfaction than those working remotely," one of the top take aways from our latest joint Law School Alumni Employment and Satisfaction Survey. ("Lawyers with hybrid work arrangements were most likely to report high levels of job satisfaction both years — 88% of 2017 law grads and 83% of 2018 did so.")

    1. "Only half of class of 2018 law grads practice in law firms, NALP report finds," 06.28.22.
      The ABA Journal also reports on the findings of the most recent joint alumni satisfaction study conducted by the National Association for Law Placement and the NALP Foundation: "Ninety-seven percent of surveyed law graduates from the class of 2018 were employed, but only 51% were working in law firms…fourteen percent of surveyed graduates were working in business or corporations, and 13% were working in government, according to the findings. Sixty-seven percent of the graduates had had two or more sequential jobs since graduation. Forty-two percent of surveyed graduates were extremely satisfied with their current job, while 40% were somewhat satisfied."

    2. "Attorney Satisfaction Remains High 3 Years After Graduation," 06.28.22.
      And more on this from Law360: "About 82% of attorneys reported that they are satisfied with their overall legal careers three years after they graduated from law school."

    3. "Only half of 2018 US law grads are employed at law firms," 06.29.22.
      The Australian Lawyer also reports on The Class of 2018 Study of Law School Employment & Satisfaction report.

    4. "Working At A Law Firm Really Isn't Where It's At," 06.29.22.
      And Above the Law has its own spin on the latest NALP/NALP Foundation alumni satisfaction findings.

  4. The Feel Goods

  5. "Queer Animals Are Everywhere. Science Is Finally Catching On.," 06.30.22.
    The Washington Post reports that "over the past 20 years, a burst of research — driven in part by a new generation of scientists more accepting of queerness — has shown significant amounts of previously unreported homosexual behavior throughout the animal kingdom, from flour beetles to gorillas."

  6. "In Pictures: Slaughter and May's 'Bring Your Dog To Work' Day," 06.29.22.
    Law.com International reports that "on June 24, Slaughter and May opened its doors to its workforce's furry friends, as part of its pilot trial of 'bring your dog to work day', spearheaded by managing partner Deborah Finkler — swipe to see the dogs enjoying the office." ("A partner at the firm said they believed the scheme would help 'humanise' the firm and dispel its image of being uber conservative.")

  7. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  8. "Ketanji Brown Jackson Becomes First Black Woman Supreme Court Justice," 06.30.22.
    The New York Times reports that "Ketanji Brown Jackson took the judicial oath just after noon on Thursday, becoming the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court."

    1. "Ketanji Brown Jackson sworn in as first Black woman on Supreme Court," 06.30.22.
      More on this historic event from The Washington Post: "Jackson's accession means that four women will simultaneously serve on the Supreme Court for the first time in its history."

    2. "Ketanji Brown Jackson sworn in as first Black woman on U.S. Supreme Court," 06.30.22.
      Reuters also covers this story: "With a full heart, I accept the solemn responsibility of supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States and administering justice without fear or favor," Jackson said in a statement.

  9. "Workers Are Coming Back, and Coming Out, at the Office," 06.30.22.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "more LGBT employees who used to maintain separate personas at home and work say they won't do it anymore, after the pandemic blurred the line between what's personal and professional." (Subscription required.)

  10. "LSO will not publish index on equity, diversity, and inclusion in the legal profession," 06.29.22.
    Law Times out of Canada reports that "on Tuesday's Convocation, the Law Society of Ontario benchers voted not to release the 2019 inclusion index that collected data regarding the progress towards equity, diversity, and inclusion in the legal profession." (Hat tip to Kara Sutherland)

  11. "Pride Month: Law Needs More Vocal Allies," 06.29.22.
    A law firm associate, writing for Law.com International, writes that "Despite progress, it's true that there remain deep-seated and insidious prejudices within society that threatens the wellbeing of the LGBTQ+ community. I am personally particularly concerned with the anti-trans rhetoric circulating around the media right now. Allyship is therefore more important than ever in the fight to eradicate the biases (conscious or otherwise) faced by all members of the LGBTQ+ community, in the workplace and wider social setting."

  12. "Still a boys' club? Survey offers clues into law firm gender inequality gap," 06.28.22.
    Reuters reports that according to the results of a survey by Major, Lindsey & Africa and Law360 Pulse, "male lawyers appear to care less than their female counterparts about diversity."

  13. Mental Health/Wellness/Remote Work/Back to Work/HR Developments

  14. "Why Now Is a Good Time to Ask for Raise," 06.29.22.
    The Wall Street Journal writes that "the combination of high inflation and continued strong job growth makes now an ideal moment to ask for a raise." ("Job growth is holding strong and worker turnover remains elevated, although some economists are warning of the risks of a recession. And wages, while going up 5.2% in May compared with the year before, aren't keeping pace with inflation, which rose 8.6% during the same time.") (Subscription required.)

  15. "Here's How to Cry the Right Way to Relieve Stress and Anxiety," 06.28.22.
    The Wall Street Journal writes about the virtues of crying: "Crying may help us reduce stress, express tough emotions and better connect with others." (Subscription required.)

  16. The Bar Exam and Lawyer Licensing

  17. "Bar examinees have little success with accommodation requests and say the process is stressful," 06.30.22.
    The ABA Journal reports on the difficulties that some bar candidates have had when applying for accommodations on the exam.

  18. Law Schools and Law Students

  19. "Gender Pay Disparities In The Legal Academy," 06.30.22.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a new journal article that tracks how gender and race are tied to legal academy salary outcomes and probes the mechanisms that undergird gendered pay inequities.

  20. "Michèle Alexandre Set to Take Over as Dean of Loyola Chicago Law Next Month," 06.29.22.
    Law.com reports that "Michèle Alexandre is set to take over as dean of the Loyola University Chicago School of Law on July 15…a recipient of Fulbright and Watson fellowships, Alexandre ended her deanship at Stetson Law on June 24, after having served as dean for three years."

  21. "2021-22 LSAT Registrants Down 21%; 33% Drop In June 2022 LSAT-Takers," 06.28.22.
    The TaxProf Blog provides this update on LSAT test-taker volume: "The 2021-22 cycle of Law School Admission Test administrations concluded with the June test, and shows that the number of people who registered to take the LSAT is down more than 21% compared with the previous cycle… [LSAC's] most recent figures show an 11.2% year-over-year decline in applicants and a 10.3% decline in applications."

  22. "Penn Law to remove name of controversial Supreme Court justice from building," 06.28.22.
    Reuters reports that "the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School has said it will remove the name of a former U.S. Supreme Court chief justice who wrote a 1857 majority opinion upholding slavery from the exterior of a campus building."

  23. "This Week Will See Influx of New Law Deans Across the Country," 06.27.22.
    Law.com reports that "nine law schools have announced the hiring of either interim or new deans who begin on June 30 or July 1, with five having no previous experience in the role."

  24. Law Firms and Lawyers

  25. "Steptoe's Move to Cut Pay of 10 Associates Based on 'Fairness and Flexibility' Policy," 06.30.22.
    The American Lawyer has more on Steptoe's associate salary pay scale adjustments: "Steptoe & Johnson in recent months has revamped its associate compensation system, clawing back some associate salaries while paying more to others. The move has attracted criticism and notice by some observers, but Steptoe's leadership insists the changes are based on equity and "fairness" across the associate ranks."

  26. "As New York Law Firms Turn to 'Remote August,' Questions Linger on Industry's Long-Term Office Flexibility," 06.29.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that "several big law firms have instituted remote-working policies for August, allowing lawyers to work wherever they want during this month."

  27. "Gibson Dunn Raises Partner Pay Ceiling But Doubts Simmer," 06.29.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that "after revamping its compensation system to allow high performers to earn more money, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher has seen a number of significant partner exits in recent months, with several former partners raising concerns about how the changes were communicated, but leaders assert the revamped model has already allowed it to attract "stellar" lateral talent."

  28. "Finnegan Elects Former Summer Associate as Managing Partner," 06.29.22.
    The National Law Journal reports that "Erika Harmon Arner will serve as Finnegan's managing partner from July 1…Arner joined the firm as a summer associate in 1999 and has spent her entire career there."

  29. "In Law Firm Mergers, Growth Isn't Guaranteed," 06.28.22.
    The American Lawyer reports that "while competition and talent pressures are forcing more law firms to consider mergers, the experience in one Midwestern market suggests combining forces doesn't always yield growth and deeper attorney benches." ("Several firms native to Minneapolis that recently completed mergers saw lawyer numbers in the city shrink."

  30. "'The People We Want as Our Partners': Regional Firms Unite as Big Law Acquisitions Press On," 06.28.22.
    The Recorder reports that "as Big Law invades secondary markets that have long insulated midsize firms from the competition, regional firms are increasingly joining forces…[noting that] law firms in the West are finding economic and cultural coherency in regional tie-ups."

  31. "New tech business unit at Cleary rare among Wall Street law firms," 06.27.22.
    Reuters reports that "New York-founded Cleary on Thursday said it formally launched ClearyX, which it said will use technology and creative staffing and pricing arrangements to develop new ways of delivering legal services for clients, focused on transactional work."

  32. Corporate Counsel/In-House Counsel

  33. "Legal Departments' Spending Soared Last Year, Fueled by Merger Frenzy, Outside Counsel Rate Hikes," 06.30.22.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "corporate legal department spending shot up 22.5% in 2021, pushed up by hourly rate increased by outside law firms and a record year for M&A, a new report shows."

  34. "Fewer US In-House Counsel Doing Pro Bono Work, Survey Finds," 06.27.22.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "participation in pro bono work by in-house lawyers has fallen, according to a new survey of legal departments in the U.S. and a handful based in England, Ireland and the Netherlands."

  35. Higher Education

  36. "Columbia U. Won't Submit Data to 'U.S. News' Rankings After Professor Alleged False Information," 06.30.22.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "Columbia University will not submit data to U.S. News & World Report for the next edition of its college rankings, the provost announced on Thursday, citing an active institutional review prompted by allegations that the university had provided false data to the magazine." ("Columbia isn't the only university that's recently faced scrutiny related to the U.S. News rankings. Rutgers University's business school was accused in an April lawsuit of falsifying job-placement numbers for its graduates. The University of Southern California's Rossier School of Education pulled out of the rankings in March after admitting to a "history of inaccuracies" in its data submissions. And a former Temple University business-school dean was found guilty of fraud last fall after submitting inaccurate U.S. News data; the institution had ranked first in the magazine's business-school rankings for several years.") (Subscription required.)

    1. "Columbia Won't Participate in the Next U.S. News Rankings," 06.30.22.
      More on this from The New York Times: "The university, which had climbed to No. 2 in the influential rankings, said it needed more time to address questions about its data, which were raised by a Columbia math professor." ("For an Ivy League school like Columbia to withdraw from the rankings, even temporarily, is a blow to their reputation and could spur other universities to reconsider their participation as well. Many college presidents complain that the rankings force them to emphasize statistics that oversimplify what it takes to find a good match between a student and a school.")

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