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.

April 23, 2021

    Top Stories

  1. "The Super (Conflicted) Rich: For the Industry's Elite, a Wildly Successful Year Came at a Cost," 04.20.21.
    As part of its Am Law 100 reporting (covered in full below), Ben Seal, the managing editor of The American Lawyer, writes that "[while] law firms have never been more profitable than they were over the past year…they've never been so conflicted about it." ("But as the U.S. death toll from the pandemic steamrolls toward 600,000, with tens of millions of jobs lost and life disrupted even for those unscathed by the virus, firms have been unusually reluctant to tout their great 2020 successes. There is a sense that even in the ultra-competitive legal industry, those successes are accompanied by a heavy weight this year-and concern about how they look to the outside observer.")

  2. "Pandemic Ends Six Years of Gains in Entry Level Law Jobs," 04.20.21.
    Law.com reports that the ABA has released the employment data for the Class of 2020, noting slight declines in bar passage required and JD Advantage jobs secured, but a rise in private practice jobs, and noting that schools will be required to post the following disclosure when they post their own employment data: "Information on employment outcomes for the Class of 2020 may not reflect a particular law school's typical results in this area. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, bar admission exams were canceled or delayed in many jurisdictions, thus making it more challenging for graduates to secure employment by the annual Graduate Employment Status Date of March 15." (Stand by on the required disclosure — an email late yesterday suggests it may not be required after all.)

    1. "Data shows decrease in long-term, full-time jobs for 2020 law school grads," 04.20.21.
      The ABA Journal also reports on the release of the new employment data: "For 2020 graduates of ABA-accredited law schools, 77.4% had long-term, full-time jobs that required or preferred bar passage, compared to 80.6% for the class of 2019."

    2. "ABA Releases Class Of 2020 Jobs Data: Pandemic, Delayed Bar Exams Push Full-Credit Jobs Rate Down 3.2 Percentage Points," 04.21.21.
      More on this from the TaxProf Blog.

    3. "ABA legal education section releases employment data for graduating law class of 2020," 04.20.21.
      You can find the ABA press release about the new employment figures here.

  3. The Feel-Goods

  4. "Grammar-Nerd Heaven," 04.21.21.
    The New Yorker reviews a new exhibit that showcases the surprisingly contentious history of English grammar books: "To enter the exhibit, titled "Taming the Tongue: In the Heyday of English Grammar (1713-1851)," via a discreet door on the second-floor landing of a stairwell at the Grolier, is to climb aboard the Grammarama ride at Disneyland for Nerds."

  5. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  6. "The Discounted Labor Of BIPOC Law Students And Faculty," 04.21.21.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a new law review article that argues BIPOC students and faculty faced increased service obligations during the pandemic, a year that also saw widely reported public mistreatment of Black persons at the hands of law enforcement, and that most of this labor was discounted, if acknowledged at all. The authors offer recommendations for how law schools can help shift some of these burdens.

  7. "Aspiring Minority Lawyers Face Challenges Along 'Pipeline' to Law School, Legal Career, Researcher Finds," 04.19.21.
    The New York Law Journal reports on the proceedings at a panel discussion about "barriers to diversity in the legal field, from the issues that prevent students from ever applying to law school to challenges in law school and after."

  8. "How This Am Law 200 Firm Committed to Diversity in Partner and Associate Hiring," 04.16.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Thompson Hine has succeeded in making three of its first four partner hires in 2021 diverse women…the Cleveland-based firm has also committed to purging bias from its associate hiring process, implementing a three-stage interviewing process for hiring summer associates and associate laterals."

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

  10. "'Sitting Alone in Their Houses': Isolated Lawyers Wrestle With Impostor Phenomenon," 04.21.21.
    The Daily Report writes that "the pandemic has left many lawyers feeling displaced—both physically, as virtual proceedings dominate the industry, and psychologically, as pandemic-imposed isolation leaves some vulnerable to second-guessing themselves."

  11. "With Millions in Real Estate Savings on the Table, the Am Law 100 Are Ready to Slim Down," 04.20.21.
    As part of its Am Law 100 reporting, The American Lawyer reports that "almost 40% of the Am Law 100 are planning to reduce their office footprints."

  12. "There's a Name for the Blah You're Feeling: It's Called Languishing," 04.19.21.
    Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist at Wharton, writes for The New York Times on WorkLife: "Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you're muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield. And it might be the dominant emotion of 2021."

  13. "'The Stigma of Working From Home Has Lifted.' How the Pandemic Is Bolstering Associate Development," 04.16.21.
    Law.com reporter Patrick Smith speaks with Keith Wetmore, the former managing partner of Morrison & Foerster who now heads the San Francisco office of legal recruiting giant Major, Lindsey & Africa, about associate development in this new remote work world. (Podcast)

  14. "Gearing Up for the 'New Normal'," 04.16.21.
    The New York Times speaks with Dr. Jennifer Ashton, chief medical correspondent for ABC News, "to discuss her thoughts on how the pandemic is affecting our mental health, why it's essential that we practice self-care during these stressful times, and one of the best hacks she found to improve her diet."

  15. The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

  16. "New York's February 2021 Bar Exam Pass Rate Is the Highest Since 2013," 04.21.21.
    The New York Law Journal reports that "the overall pass rate on the New York February bar exam—which was administered online for the second time due to the COVID-19 pandemic—was 49%…up from 40% a year ago, when the exam was administered in person, and marks the highest February pass rate since 2013."

  17. "AccessLex/LSSSE: Predicting Law School And Bar Success," 04.19.21.
    The TaxProf Blog reports on the National Report of Findings for the AccessLex/LSSSE Bar Exam Success Initiative: "Our results suggest that academic and bar exam success are driven by what happens in law school, not just early on, but throughout the experience—and the greatest opportunities for impact exist among those who struggle the most early on."

  18. Law Schools and Law Students

  19. "Getting a JD While in Prison? This Law School Wants to Establish a Program on the Inside," 04.22.21.
    Law.com speaks with Mitchell Hamline School of Law Dean Anthony Niedwiecki about the school's prison-to-law school pipeline and his plans for delivering an American Bar Association-accredited J.D. program to incarcerated individuals.

  20. "2021 Law School Applicant Pool Shaping Up to Be the Largest in a Decade," 04.19.21.
    Law.com reports that "the number of applicants to American Bar Association-accredited law schools is up 20% compared to a year ago."

  21. Law Firms and Lawyers (North America)

  22. "Special Bonuses Can Help to Retain Associates, But Not for the Long Run," 04.23.21.
    The American Lawyer publishes the third part of a series about how the pandemic has changed lawyers' work schedules and billable hours, writing that "while bonuses have kept some associates from moving to midsize firm competitors or outside Big Law entirely, large firms must also be more creative and holistic in the long run to retain top associates when the barriers between home and work life are eroding, law firm leaders and others said."

  23. "Dechert Hands Global Business Services Staff Extra Paid Day Off and COVID Bonus," 04.23.21.
    Law.com International reports that "Dechert is offering an extra paid day off and a one-off COVID-19 bonus to its global business services staff."

  24. "COVID Case Spikes Cause Shutdowns at Canada's Busiest Courts," 04.22.21.
    Law.com International reports that "Canada's busiest court is essentially shutting down for new cases until May 7 due to a spike in COVID-19 cases and glitches in the vaccine rollout in the province of Ontario."

  25. "The associate job market took a wild ride in 2020. Is it over yet?," 04.21.21.
    Thomson Reuters reports on the NALP Foundation's annual Update on Associate Attrition, which found that "overall associate hiring declined nearly 50% from 2019 to 2020, [but] more than half of the hires that firms did make were for lateral positions not entry-level roles."

    1. "Associate Atty Hiring Down 'Dramatically' In 2020," 04.21.21.
      More on the NALP Foundation's latest associate hiring and associate attrition numbers from Law360.

  26. "With 'Extreme Version of Millennial Views,' Gen Z Future Lawyers Picking Up Where Their Predecessors Left Off," 04.20.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Gen Z law students appear to be picking up the torch of their millennial predecessors in advocating for flexibility and purpose in their work, a new survey by Major, Lindsey & Africa found, signaling the permanent place remote and flexible work arrangements will have in the legal industry long after the pandemic is over…the survey found that Gen Z law students, more than any other generation, want more flexibility in how they work while also deriving purpose and meaning from their jobs."

  27. "The 2021 Am Law 100 Report," 04.20.21.
    The American Lawyer publishes its "annual report on the state of the industry, featuring in-depth reporting and analysis, financial metrics for each of the country's 100 largest law firms, and rankings by gross revenue, profits per equity partner and more."

    1. "Against All Odds, The Am Law 100 Were Stunningly Successful in 2020," 04.20.21.
      The American Lawyer writes that "against a backdrop of economic anxiety and uncertainty, the country's largest firms set records for the post-Great Recession era…revenue for the Am Law 100 grew a hefty 6.6% over the course of a year in which offices were nearly deserted for over nine months, job cuts thinned the ranks of administrative staff and courtrooms across the country went dark…the average equity partner in the Am Law 100 took in $2.23 million in profits, up 13.4% from the prior year."

    2. "The 2021 Am Law 100: Ranked by Gross Revenue," 04.20.21.
      (The American Lawyer, Chart)

    3. "The 2021 Am Law 100: Ranked by Profits Per Equity Partner," 04.20.21.
      (The American Lawyer, Chart)

    4. "The 2021 Am Law 100: By the Numbers," 04.20.21.
      (The American Lawyer, Infographics)

    5. "The Am Law 100's Top Performers Have Been Driving Demand for Years," 04.20.21.
      The American Lawyer's editor-in-chief, Gina Passarella, shares her insights from her analysis of what drove growth for the most successful firms in the Am Law 100.

  28. "Managing Profits By Cutting Partners and Practices Is No Longer Viable," 04.19.21.
    Hugh Simons, writing for The American Lawyer, writes that "in the decade ahead, the mechanism for offsetting the effects of external market forces on profitability will shift from changing partnership composition to transforming a partnership's behavioral norms, centering on how partners behave toward each other and help each other become the best possible version of their professional selves."

  29. "Law Firms Are Weak When It Comes to Developing Leaders. Here's How They Can Fix It.," 04.19.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "there are factors that work against law firms consistently developing strong business leadership skills in their lawyers, but those factors can be mitigated and a true pipeline of leadership developed."

  30. Higher Education /Secondary Education

  31. "Students Seek Tangible Changes in Face of Anti-Asian Hate," 04.20.21.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "in the month since the March 16 shootings at three Atlanta-area spas that left eight people dead, including six women of Asian descent, Asian and Asian American student groups at campuses across the country have renewed their activism and advocacy efforts and are demanding changes on their campuses…calling for the establishment of Asian American studies programs, expansion of mental health services for Asian American and Pacific Islander students, increased resources for cultural centers, improved processes for reporting hate and bias incidents, and more."

  32. "Here's Who Was Hit Hardest by Higher Ed's Pandemic-Driven Job Losses," 04.19.21.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "for every nine workers employed in academe in February 2020, at least one had lost or left that job a year later—employees of color, who saw outsized losses relative to their share of the overall work force." (Subscription required.)

  33. "Flagship universities say diversity is a priority. But Black enrollment in many states continues to lag.," 04.18.21.
    The Washington Post reports that "fifteen state flagships had at least a 10-point gap between the percentage of Black public high school graduates in their states in 2019 and the Black share of freshmen they enrolled that fall, according to federal data."

  34. "After a Year of Turmoil, Elite Universities Welcome More Diverse Freshman Classes," 04.17.21.
    The New York Times reports that "whether college admissions have changed for the long haul remains unclear, but early data suggests that many elite universities have admitted a higher proportion of traditionally underrepresented students this year — Black, Hispanic and those who were from lower-income communities or were the first generation in their families to go to college, or some combination — than ever before."

April 16, 2021

    Top Stories

  1. "As First-Year Pay Bumps Trickled Down, Biggest Salary Leaps Weren't in Big Law," 04.14.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "the National Association for Law Placement's latest first-year associate salary survey showed little to no impact of pandemic austerity measures on young lawyer pay."

    1. "Associate base pay jumps as firms fight for junior talent," 04.14.21.
      Reuters Legal reports on the findings of NALP's newly released Associate Salary Survey that found "the median base salary for first-year associates at law firms of all sizes was $165,000 as of January 1, 2021."

    2. "First-year associate pay continues to rise, despite pandemic, NALP survey says," 04.14.21.
      The ABA Journal reports that "the median base salary for first-year associates was up $10,000 from 2019, according to NALP."

    3. "'Hot' Market For Associates Helping Drive Base Salary Bump," 04.14.21.
      And Law360 also has the story on NALP's new associate salary findings.

    4. "First-Year Associate Salaries Show Modest Growth at Large Firms; 2020 Salary Reductions Put in Place Due to the Pandemic Don't Have Lasting Impact," 04.14.21.
      You can find the NALP press release with links for ordering the full report here.

  2. The Feel-Goods

  3. "Reanimating 'Cabaret,' One Frame at a Time," 04.14.21.
    The New York Times provides "a first look at extraordinary images from the groundbreaking 1966 musical [that] turns Broadway history into something that's (literally) moving," in a series of animations created from still photographs taken during a dress rehearsal before the first Broadway preview of the show.

  4. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  5. "The Data Is Out: Mansfield Firms Have Grown Diverse Leadership 30 Times More Than Other Firms," 04.15.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "law firms that participated in the first few rounds of the Mansfield Rule certification process through legal industry diversity organization Diversity Lab saw racial and ethnic diversity in their management committees increase more than other firms-by a factor of 30."

  6. "Archer Names New Chief Diversity Officer," 04.12.21.
    The Legal Intelligencer reports that Archer has hired former Philadelphia City Solicitor Shelley Smith as the firm's new chief diversity officer.

  7. "Norton Rose's Chair Wants to Fix Diversity. Should This Be Her Job?," 04.09.21.
    Vivia Chen, writing for Bloomberg Law, reflects on what it means when a woman of color is named to lead a global law firm — is she suddenly in charge of the firm's DEI initiatives, and should she be?

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

  9. "With No Commute, Time Gained Is Easily Lost as Barriers Erode," 04.15.21.
    In the second part of a series about how the pandemic has changed lawyers' work schedules and billable hours, The American Lawyer writes that "while not having to spend time getting to and from the office has provided some additional freedom, the lack of a commute has left some without a much-needed divider between work and home."

  10. "How Working From Home Changed Wardrobes Around the World," 04.15.21.
    The New York Times provides "a whirlwind tour of how the pandemic affected what we wore, from India to Italy — eight New York Times correspondents in seven different countries share dispatches from a year of dressing."

  11. "Remote Work Has Permanently Altered Law Firm Life, for Better and for Worse," 04.13.21.
    Law.com reports that "the shift from office work to working-from-home has triggered a massive transformation in Big Law."

  12. The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

  13. "Building A Better Bar Exam: The Twelve Building Blocks Of Minimum Competence," 04.15.21.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a new research paper that "outlines 10 recommendations that courts, law schools, bar associations, bar examiners, and other stakeholders should consider in their efforts to move towards better, evidence-based lawyer licensing."

  14. "A Bar Exam Rebound? Average MBE Score Recovers After Hitting Historic Low Last February," 04.14.21.
    Law.com reports that "the national average score on the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) from the February exam increased 1.4 points, to land at 134, according to the National Conference of Bar Examiners."

  15. "The Multistate Bar Exam Is Not A Valid Measure Of Attorney Competence," 04.12.21.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a new law review article that makes the case that "the current bar exam has never been proven to be a valid measure of attorney competence."

  16. Law Schools and Law Students

  17. "Law Schools, Students and Bar Examiners Face a Brave New Online World," 04.13.21.
    Law.com reports that "there are aspects of academia and its relationship to the rest of the legal industry that have likely been permanently altered [by the pandemic]."

  18. "Paving The Way: The First American Women Law Professors," 04.12.21.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights the publication of a new book by the late Herma Hill Kay, former Dean of UC Berkeley School of Law that tells the stories of the first fourteen female law professors at ABA- and AALS-accredited law schools in the United States, with a foreword by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

  19. "LSAC: Law School Policies And Practices — Justice-Impacted Individuals," 04.09.21.
    The TaxProf Blog reports on the results of new research undertaken by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), in collaboration with the National Justice Impact Bar Association (NJIBA) that examines "barriers specific to justice-impacted individuals throughout the application, enrollment, and educational experience in order to ensure that policies and practices do not unintentionally serve as mechanisms of exclusion that disproportionally impact applicants of color and low-income applicants."

  20. Law Firms and Lawyers (North America)

  21. "Sheppard Mullin, Paul Hastings Are Paying Out Special Bonuses to Staff," 04.15.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "while many big firms that have remained busy are handing out bonuses to young lawyers, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton and Paul Hastings are sharing the wealth with other employees as well, paying out special bonuses to staff."

  22. "Big Law Firms, GCs Form Pro Bono Alliance to Support Victims of Anti-Asian Hate," 04.15.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that with the launch of the new Alliance for Asian American Justice, "more than 45 law firms and 17 general counsel from Fortune 1000 companies have dispatched their pro bono programs to provide Asian American communities with legal support in the wake of a surge in reported hate crimes against a population organizers say is frequently marginalized in the legal system."

  23. "Holland & Knight Looks Like a Winner in Merger With Prime Texas Target," 04.15.21.
    According to the Daily Business Review, "Holland & Knight, on a revenue growth streak the past decade, appeared to strike a winning bid when it announced it was in merger talks with Thompson & Knight."

    1. "Merger Talks Between Holland & Knight and Thompson & Knight Advance Growth Strategies," 04.09.21.
      The American Lawyer reports that "Holland & Knight and Thompson & Knight are in merger talks, a deal that would create a newly 1,600-lawyer firm in 30 offices, the firms said in a Friday statement."

  24. "The legal sandbox tipping point," 04.15.21.
    Jordan Furlong writes that "the tipping point of regulatory reform in the law is drawing near" in his most recent Law21 blog post, where he considers regulatory reforms underway in Ontario and California that will likely allow non-law firms to develop and bring to market innovative technological legal services.

  25. "The Way Back: How Law Firms Are Planning for Post-COVID Office Life," 04.14.21.
    The American Lawyer is tracking firm-by-firm office return plans, and notes that "firms have taken a broad spectrum of approaches when it comes to getting people back at their desks."

  26. "Quinn Emanuel Joins the Bonus Fray With Hours-Based Rewards," 04.14.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan is the latest firm to offer special bonuses ranging from $12,000 to $64,000, and is one of several firms to tie the money to billable hours, even offering a bit extra for those who bill the most."

    1. "Boies Schiller Doles Out Special Bonuses to Associates," 04.12.21.
      The American Lawyer reports that "Boies Schiller Flexner has jumped into the bonuses fray, announcing in a recent memo that the firm will pay out spring and fall bonuses to associates on the scale set by Davis Polk & Wardwell in March."

    2. "Add Baker Botts to List of Big Law Firms Paying Special Bonuses," 04.09.21.
      The Texas Lawyer reports that "Baker Botts is the latest Am Law 100 firm founded in Texas to send good news about special bonuses to its associates as pressure to reward associates hits Am Law 200 firms around the country."

  27. "'Totally Comfortable Hiring on Zoom,' Law Firms Have Kept Lateral Market Active," 04.14.21.
    The New Jersey Law Journal reports that "any speculation that COVID-19 would cause long-term disruption in lateral hiring at law firms was proven wrong in relatively short order last year, as hiring stayed active through much of 2020-and remains even more so today."

  28. "Under Economic Pressure, Large Firms May Increasingly Sue Clients for Nonpayment," 04.14.21.
    The Legal Intelligencer reports that "economic pressures accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic have forced many law firms into difficult conversations with clients, as they aim to balance flexibility during an economic downturn with their own budgetary constraints…[and] in some instances, the challenge is leading to lawsuits."

  29. "Dozens of Big Firm Leaders and GCs Speak Out Against 'Unnecessary Obstacles' to Voting," 04.12.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "leaders of 62 Am Law 100 firms and 19 general counsel have signed on to a statement that denounces all efforts to restrict U. S. citizens' constitutional right to vote."

    1. "More Legal Leaders Join Opposition to New Voting Restrictions," 04.13.21.
      The American Lawyer reports that "legal industry support for a statement denouncing state voter disenfranchisement laws is growing, with leaders of three more Big Law firms and another general counsel signing on."

    2. "Leaders of 62 BigLaw firms denounce voting restrictions; coalition is formed to challenge legislation," 04.13.21.
      More on this from the ABA Journal.

  30. "This firm takes top spot for its COVID-19 response, Yale Law Women says; which others took top honors?," 04.12.21.
    The ABA Journal reports that "Yale Law Women has named the top 2021 law firms for gender equity, inclusion and family-friendly practices in a number of categories, including the best law firm for a COVID-19 response and the best law firm for racial justice contributions." (You can find the Yale Law Women Top Firms Report 2021 here.)

  31. "New York Partner Promotions Slow After Period of Rapid Expansion," 04.12.21.
    The New York Law Journal reports that "after several years of large firms in New York expanding their classes of newly promoted partners, that momentum came to a halt when firms as a whole cut back the number of new partners in the past year." ("According to data collected by the New York Law Journal, the number of new partners at the biggest firms in the city collectively dropped by double-digit percentages.")

  32. "Client Demands, Time Zones and a Corporate Boom: Why Attorneys Are Working Longer and More Erratic Hours," 04.12.21.
    In the first of a series about how the pandemic has changed lawyers' work schedules and billable hours, The American Lawyer reports that "partners, counsel and associates alike are finding themselves working longer-or in some cases, weirder—hours as geography evaporates in a remote era but time zones don't."

  33. "Perkins Coie, Anticipating 'Hybrid' Work, to Scale Back Office Footprint," 04.09.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Perkins Coie leaders told firm personnel Friday that they can continue working remotely until October, but when they do return, they'll find that the firm is well into the process of changing how it uses its space…those firm changes include a large reduction in total office footprint and adopting a hybrid workplace model after October for a mix of in-office and remote work."

  34. "How Remote Work Sparked a Reluctant Revolution Across the Legal Industry," 04.09.21.
    This Law.com podcast features a discussion about the aspects of remote work that are likely to stick for various sectors of the industry post-pandemic.

  35. "How Major League Baseball Could Transform Lawyer Development," 04.09.21.
    Jordan Furlong, writing for Slaw, makes the case that law schools and law firms have a lot to learn from minor league baseball when it comes to lawyer training: "The pandemic, by making minor-league games impractical, forced clubs to set up what you might call permanent spring-training camps where players could work out, practice, and learn — and in the process, they accidentally opened up an entirely new approach to developing teams' young talent."

  36. Law Firm Year-End Financial Reporting

  37. "Leaning on Pandemic-Friendly Practices, Arnold & Porter Ups Revenue, Profits," 04.14.21.
    (Revenue up 1.1%, PPP up 11.7%)

  38. International Law Firms

  39. "The Pandemic Is Changing The Way UK Law Firms Use Legal Tech," 04.14.21.
    Law.com International spoke with legaltech and innovation leaders across the U.K.'s top law firms about how they have been refocusing their technology efforts across the past 12 months in light of the pandemic.

  40. "Noerr Considers Allowing Partners to Go Part Time As Revenue Grows 7.6%," 04.14.21.
    Law.com International reports that "the German law firm Noerr's firmwide revenue grew in 2020 to €271.6 million ($325.4 million), a 7.6% increase from last year's €252.4 million, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic…[and] the firm is considering allowing some partners to reduce their hours and work part-time."

  41. "Latham & Watkins Latest To Adapt London Office Working Strategy," 04.14.21.
    Law.com International reports that "two U.S. headquartered firms have become the latest to move forward with London working plans, as the U.K. gradually relaxes COVID-19 restrictions."

  42. "'Women Hold Up Half the Sky': Why So Many Women Run the World's Largest Law Firms in Asia," 04.12.21.
    Law.com International reports that "an expanding group of women lawyers oversee the Asia operations of some of the world's largest law firms…while women elsewhere are slowly rising to upper management positions at global firms, women in Asia are ahead of the curve…currently, women lead the Asian operations of at least six global firms."

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

  44. "For Stressed-Out In-House Counsel, Remote Work Will Remain a Blessing and a Curse," 04.13.21.
    Law.com reports that while "in-house counsel had a rough year…corporate legal departments did benefit from some aspects of remote work and will play a key role in helping their companies permanently transform their operations to accommodate greater flexibility to continue working outside the traditional office."

  45. "Clients Want Innovative Firms. So Why Aren't They Hiring Them?," 04.13.21.
    Legaltech News reports that "general counsel say they want efficient and tech-savvy legal services from their outside counsel, but when awarding work, GCs will usually pick firms that previously worked on their matters over ones that are potentially more innovative."

  46. Higher Education /Secondary Education

  47. "After Anti-Asian Incidents, Colleges Seek to Reassure Fearful International Students," 04.09.21.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "the surge in anti-Asian racism — building throughout the pandemic and culminating in the recent mass shootings in Atlanta, which killed six women of Asian descent — could compound international-enrollment challenges…colleges are concerned that the rise in anti-Asian discrimination and violence could make international students, 70 percent of whom are from Asian countries, think twice about coming to the United States." (Subscription required.)

April 9, 2021

    Top Stories

  1. "Kirkland Set to Stay on Top After More Than 16% Rise in Revenue and Profits," 04.09.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Kirkland & Ellis reached another record financial year in 2020…revenue spiked 16.3% to $4.83 billion, while average profits per partner increased 19.2% to about $6.2 million."

  2. "Elite New York Firms' 2020 Financial Performance Furthers Strategic Advantage," 04.08.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "for many of New York's elite firms, 2020 brought about record financial fortunes amid a pandemic and economic recession, early Am Law 100 data shows, leading to the highest-ever posted partner profits and creating further pay stratification within the Am Law 200." ("The top average partner pay among New York firms is now dominated by Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, where average PEP spiked to $7.5 million; Davis Polk, at $6.35 million; and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, where PEP soared by 14% to $5.369 million. These are only PEP averages for some of the top firms, of course. The compensation at the peak partner rungs at some well-performing New York firms is approaching $15 million or more.")

  3. The Feel-Goods

  4. "The Joy of Watching the Ospreys Return," 04.05.21.
    Alexander Aciman, writing for The New Yorker, shares a lovely meditation on the return of the ospreys this spring, noting that last year was a difficult one for them too.

  5. "Live like a cicada: Enter and exit singing.," 04.02.21.
    I don't know if this is really a feel-good story or not, but this piece in The Washington Post urges us to live out the end of our year of COVID gloom like the Brood X cicadas that are about to hatch in several Mid-Atlantic, Midwestern and Southern states, including here in Washington, DC: "What the emotionally submerged human dreams of, the cicada literally does, digging upward into the warmth of late spring, sprouting wings and spending the rest of its life buzzing, bouncing, bopping and blithely bugging out. What a way to go: climbing into trees and falling out of them, drunk on love and sunshine, making a racket using just your drum-tight abdomen, bumping nether parts with someone you've just met and clinging to them for dear, dear life, using every second of the time you have left, which is about six weeks." (On a personal note, the last time Brood X was making our sidewalks crunchy in DC I was just starting my job as NALP's new executive director in April of 2004.)

  6. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  7. "'Hard to Reconcile': Survey Finds Law Schools Are Doing More to Support LGBTQ+ Students, but Falling Short on Faculty," 04.07.21.
    Law.com reports that "many schools still don't have a process for faculty to self-identify as LGBTQ" according to the latest findings from the LGBT Bar's annual Law School Campus Climate Survey.

  8. "Now Is the Time to Double Down in Support of Women Lawyers," 04.06.21.
    Two women managing partners from Perkins Coie, writing for The Recorder, write that "A year into the pandemic, we believe that without steps to improve recruitment, retention and support for women lawyers the progress that has been made could go to waste. Now is the time to double down on supporting women lawyers—especially women of color, who have particularly high attrition rates at law firms."

  9. "A Shift in Federal Government Priorities for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion," 04.06.21.
    Two law firm partners, writing for the New York Law Journal, "provide historical context for President Biden's Executive Order 13985 by way of background information on former President Trump's now-revoked order governing federal contractors' diversity, equity and inclusion policies and trainings…present an overview of Biden's order and offer suggestions for employers to consider in aligning with E.O. 13985 and in continuously improving DEI goals and programs."

  10. "Why U.S. News & World Report Failed Diversity 101," 04.02.21.
    Vivia Chen, writing for Bloomberg Law, dissects the US News diversity rankings fail: "We should stop putting old White men in charge of decisions about diversity." ("The whole episode underscores how even sophisticated people in the woke world of mainstream media can fail spectacularly to grasp the fundamentals of what it means to be a minority and how hurtful it is not to be acknowledged as such.")

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

  12. "The Post-Pandemic Office Is Already Here-in Australia," 04.04.21.
    The Wall Street Journal writes that "Australians' return to work gives a taste of what the post-pandemic office might look like in other countries soon." (Subscription required.)

  13. "Returning to the Office Sparks Anxiety and Dread for Some," 04.02.21.
    The New York Times reports that "after a year of working remotely, some employees are not keen to go back to the office, and, so far, employers are being receptive to their concerns."

  14. Law Schools and Law Students

  15. "A 'Bank Run' at Notre Dame Law," 04.08.21.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that Notre Dame Law School, having reached its seat deposit target earlier than expected, cut off applicants who had been admitted but had not paid this week, ahead of their April 15 deposit deadline, moving those candidates to their waitlist.

    1. "A 'Thunderdome' Competition? Admitted Students Got Shut Out at This Law School Amid Deposit Frenzy," 04.08.21.
      More on this from Law.com: "Notre Dame Law School is facing criticism from would-be law students and admissions experts after it waitlisted people who were previously offered admission when they didn't pay deposits quickly enough this week. Admissions experts say that shutting out admitted students ahead of the school's April 15 deposit deadline because more people than expected were accepting those offers is unprecedented, and that the high-pressure, time-compressed tactics the school used were outside the norm."

  16. "Law Student Climate Change Activists Target Gibson Dunn," 04.07.21.
    Law.com reports that "law Students for Climate Accountability on Wednesday launched its #DoneWithDunn campaign, sending a letter to the firm denouncing its representation of clients in the fossil fuel industry and demanding that it adopt standards governing what cases and clients it will forgo."

  17. "Legal Education Needs a Wellness Reckoning," 04.07.21.
    Janet Thompson Jackson, a law professor at Washburn University School of Law, writing here for Bloomberg Law, writes that "more than a general call to action, legal education needs a new step-by-step blueprint of how to reimagine legal education with a focus on wellness."

  18. "Be Proactive, and Be Patient: Landing a Legal Job Amidst a Pandemic," 04.07.21.
    A Florida attorney, writing for the Daily Business Review, recounts her experience as a 3L looking for a job during the pandemic.

  19. "As Florida Coastal tries to get student loan funds reinstated, ABA seeks teach-out plan," 04.06.21.
    The ABA Journal reports that "the U.S. Department of Education has terminated the Florida Coastal School of Law's access to federal student financial aid, and the for-profit school has been directed to file a teach-out plan with the ABA's Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar."

  20. "Santa Clara University Escapes Law Students' COVID Tuition Refund Class Action," 04.05.21.
    The Recorder reports that "a federal judge in California has dismissed a class action brought by three Santa Clara University law students who sought a tuition refund after their classes moved online last spring due to COVID-19."

  21. "How to Navigate Tough Questions During a Job Interview," 04.05.21.
    This Wall Street Journal article provides advice to job seekers on how to navigate thorny questions during in-person or video interviews and avoid potential pitfalls. (Subscription required.)

  22. Law Firms and Lawyers (North America)

  23. "Jones Day Recruits Another Big Batch of Supreme Court Law Clerks," 04.08.21.
    The National Law Journal reports that "amid the chaos of the pandemic, Jones Day was able to continue its signature annual foray into recruiting former U.S. Supreme Court law clerks, adding nine of them in recent months as associates for its nationwide issues and appeals practice from the high court's 2019-20 term."

  24. "11 tips to survive your freshman year as an associate," 04.08.21.
    A law firm partner and a law firm associate, writing together for the ABA Journal, write that "many summer associate positions fail to provide a realistic picture of what it is like to be an associate" and then pass along some tips to the next generation of young associates.

  25. "Will Southeast Am Law Firms Pay Cravath?," 04.08.21.
    According to the Daily Report, Alston & Bird has announced that it will "pay out special associate bonuses to reward performance in 2020 and 2021…and effective June 1, associates in the firm's Atlanta and Raleigh, North Carolina, offices will start at $190,000, drawing them even with the firm's major market offices and the Cravath scale."

  26. "Hogan Lovells US Associates, Counsel Could Receive $64,000 In Special COVID Bonuses," 04.08.21.
    Law.com International reports that "Hogan Lovells is the latest international law firm to roll out a swathe of financial rewards to its people to thank them for their work efforts throughout the pandemic…[noting] in the U.S., associates and counsel will be awarded special bonuses."

  27. "Texas Firms Starting to Announce Special Associate Bonus Programs," 04.07.21.
    The Texas Lawyer reports that "Vinson & Elkins and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, along with trial boutique McKool Smith, are among the Texas-founded firms that have jumped on the parade led by Davis Polk & Wardwell, offering special associate bonuses of up to $64,000."

  28. "'Wait Till We're Less Busy': Lawyers Unconvinced by Orrick's 'Unplug Time'," 04.08.21.
    As concerns over lawyers' mental health grow, several lawyers shared their thoughts with Law.com International on Orrick's 'unplug time' policy unveiled in March.

  29. "West Coast Boutique Launches Fellowship to Bridge 'Gap' Among First-Generation Attorneys," 04.06.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "West Coast litigation boutique Bradley Bernstein Sands has officially welcomed the inaugural class of a unique fellowship aimed at supporting and training first-generation attorneys in an effort to diversify the industry and bridge the knowledge gap that many first-generation attorneys experience."

  30. "Law Firm Merger Talks Heat Up as Pandemic Increases Pressure to Scale," 04.06.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "two new reports on law firm mergers in the first quarter of 2021 suggest there is tremendous interest in growth among firms of all shapes and sizes, and that the year after COVID-19 halted life in the United States could look more like the years before."

  31. "Millennial Lawyers Are Finding Fewer Barriers to Exit Big Law and Go Solo," 04.05.21.
    According to the Daily Report, "younger lawyers are steering their careers around their personal values, with some finding solo practice a better fit…and the barriers to entry for solo practice are lower than ever."

  32. "Is Your Firm Prepared for the Silver Tsunami?," 04.02.21.
    This piece in Law.com reports that "the number of retirement-eligible attorneys is growing and will continue to grow at an increasing rate for the next two decades" and warns that "a Silver Tsunami of aging partners is threatening the legal profession."

  33. "Legal Jobs Down Slightly in March Amid Associate Hiring, Administrative Cuts," 04.02.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that according to Friday's Bureau of Labor Statistics employment situation summary, "in spite of rising employment across the overall economy and other professional services areas, the legal profession lost 1,400 jobs in March."

  34. "As Law Firms Hire More GCs, Once-Clear Lines Are Blurring," 04.02.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "in what some recruiters say is a growing trend, corporate GCs are finding new jobs at firms, where they hope to leverage their business skills and contacts in building a practice."

  35. "Law firms forced into 21st Century technology by the pandemic," 04.02.21.
    The Washington Business Journal reports that with the pandemic, law firms have finally embraced new technology.

  36. Law Firm Year-End Financial Reporting

  37. "Profits Surge at Clark Hill, Fueled by Cybersecurity, Financial Services and Government Relations," 04.08.21.
    (American Lawyer: Revenue up 3.6%, PPP up 22%)

  38. International Law Firms

  39. "DLA Piper Offers Extra Pay or Holiday as COVID Reward," 04.06.21.
    Law.com International reports that "DLA Piper is offering its international business fee earners and business services staff the option of one week's extra holiday or one week's extra pay as a reward for their efforts during the past year."

  40. "Ashurst Profits and Top Pay Dropped During "Year of Consolidation", LLPs Show," 04.06.21.
    Law.com International reports that "Ashurst operating profits slumped by 9% in the year ending April 2020."

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

  42. "Clients See ALSPs as More Efficient. Law Firms See a 'Frustrating' Perception Problem," 04.07.21.
    Legaltech News writes that "at the end of the day, law firms' long-standing reputation as trusted legal advisers could be overshadowing some of the progress they've made around technology and a more efficient, client-focused delivery model."

  43. Higher Education /Secondary Education

  44. "Here's a List of Colleges That Will Require Students to Be Vaccinated Against Covid-19," 04.06.21.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education has a continuously updated list of the colleges and universities that have announced they will require COVID vaccines to enroll for in-person classes in the fall. (Subscription required.)

    1. "4 More Colleges Will Require Vaccinations," 04.07.21.
      Inside Higher Ed reports that Northeastern University, Brown University, Fort Lewis College, St. Edward's University, Rutgers University, Cornell University, and Nova Southeastern University have all announced that they will require all students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the first day of classes in the fall.

    2. "Cornell Plans to Require Students to Be Vaccinated for Fall Semester," 04.02.21.
      The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "most on-campus Cornell University students will be required to get a Covid-19 vaccine for the fall-2021 semester, the campus announced on Friday." (Subscription required.)

    3. "Texas and Utah Bar Public Colleges From Requiring Covid-19 Vaccines," 04.08.21.
      The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "as a small but growing number of colleges announce that they'll require students to get a Covid-19 vaccine, two state governments have prohibited their public colleges from doing so." (Subscription required.)

  45. "More students applied to top colleges this year. How making test scores optional opened the field.," 04.05.21.
    The Washington Post reports that in part as a result of pandemic-era decisions by elite schools to make standardized tests optional, "far more students than ever applied this year to the most selective colleges and universities…[and] what seems clear is that the test-optional movement has opened doors for many students from traditionally underrepresented groups."

    1. "Ivy League Acceptance Rates Fall to Record Lows Due to Covid-19," 04.06.21.
      The Wall Street Journal reports that "a pandemic-fueled surge in applications translated into record low acceptance rates this year for the country's elite colleges, including most of the Ivy League." (Harvard University admitted just 3.4% of the people who applied, Yale University accepted 4.6%, and Columbia University accepted just 3.7%.) (Subscription required.)

April 2, 2021

    Top Stories

  1. "Same Day Hiring and Signing Bonuses: The Corporate Associate Market Is on Fire," 04.01.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "following a tremendous financial year for law firms, the associate lateral market is running hot with moves, and firms are pulling out all the stops to lure more corporate associates, including massive signing bonuses and extending offers to associates the day they're interviewed."

  2. "Law Firms Are Looking For Tech-Savvy Lawyers: What That Means To Law Students," 03.31.21.
    A group of law firm lawyers, writing for Legaltech News, provide advice about preparing to meet the evolving needs of law firms that are looking for lawyers well-versed in technology: "Law firms are now looking for tech-savvy lawyers who understand and implement technologies as they evolve. If you are a future lawyer interested in private practice, you should think about how to best prepare yourself for the emerging needs of law firms." ("Law firms embracing sophisticated technologies are more in need of lawyers who can easily use and think about such technologies because lawyers should feel that they are in control of the technology, rather than feeling the technology is in control of them…. It is not enough for lawyers to understand how a technology works, but they also need to understand how it gets decisions wrong… Law firms' recruiting departments are already taking into account such changes. As law firms continue to expand their technology platforms, it is imperative that they hire lawyers who are technology-proficient…it is not enough to rely on teaching lawyers how to use technology tools, i.e., what buttons to push. To fully optimize technology, firms need to hire lawyers who are so comfortable with technology that it is intuitive.")

  3. Unrelated Feel-Good Story of the Week

  4. "Why Animals Don't Get Lost," 03.29.21.
    Everything you've always wanted to know about the astounding navigational feats of animals, including Billy, a big, bad-tempered old tomcat, in the current issue of The New Yorker. (Published in the print edition of the April 5, 2021, issue, with the headline "Where the Wild Things Go.")

  5. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  6. "The pandemic may set women back by a whole generation," 04.02.21.
    Ishaan Tharoor, writing for The Washington Post, writes about "the grim conclusion of an annual report on the global gender gap released this week by the World Economic Forum, which keeps an index on gender parity in 156 countries…[noting that] the organization had previously forecast that gender parity was a century away…but the effect of the pandemic has now added roughly 36 years to its calculation, effectively the span of another generation." ("Just in the United States, more than 2 million women left the workforce over the past year.")

  7. "'This Is Where Our Compass Points Us': Reed Smith Partners Outline Plan to Make a Difference in Racial Equity," 04.01.21.
    Law.com reports that "Reed Smith partners said the events of 2020 led them to create a Racial Equity Action Plan to help the firm, its communities and clients heal and make a lasting impact."

  8. "Are Law Firms, Legal Departments Ready to Answer the Diversity Call?," 03.31.21.
    Robert Grey, president of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, writing here for Bloomberg Law, writes that "the legal profession has been historically slow to change, and nowhere is this more apparent than in its lack of diversity…[but] general counsel and managing partners can be part of the solution by committing to work together and leading by example."

  9. "'Shouldn't You Have an Accent?': Some Asians Face Racism Among Legal Professionals," 03.31.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "the Association of Corporate Counsel Foundation 'Courageous Conversations #StopAsianHate' webinar shined a light on some of the different stereotypes that Asian American legal professionals encounter in the workplace."

  10. "Nelson Mullins and Dickinson Wright Create New Diversity Director Roles," 03.31.21.
    According to the Daily Report, "Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough and Dickinson Wright are the latest Am Law 200 firms to hire their first dedicated diversity equity and inclusion directors, a position becoming standard in Big Law in the wake of the racial justice protests."

  11. "What is holding women lawyers back?," 03.25.21.
    Former law firm partner and author Susan Smith Blakely, writing for the ABA Journal, shares her perspective on why the progress of women in law firms continues to be so slow and so incremental.

  12. "A Tipping Point for Asian American Lawyers?," 03.19.21.
    In her debut column for Bloomberg Law, award-winning columnist Vivia Chen writes about the increasing violence targeting Asian Americans and how leading Asian American lawyers, scholars and judges are weighing in. (With apologies for being a week late to the party on this one.)

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

  14. "Here Come Hot Desks and Zoom Rooms. And Holograms?," 03.30.21.
    According to The New York Times, "as companies prepare to bring workers back, experts say even more changes are on the way…[including] expanded gathering spaces and fewer personal workstations…changes that are being fueled by the success of working from home."

  15. "The hybrid office is here to stay. The shift could be more disruptive than the move to all-remote work.," 03.30.21.
    The Washington Post reports that "the post-vaccine workplace is taking shape, and for many it's going to be a hybrid model, allowing more remote work but with clear expectations that some days a week will be in the office."

  16. "'I Was Hurting Myself and My Body': More Lawyers Are Reaching Out for Help," 03.29.21.
    According to the Daily Report, the State Bar of Georgia's Lawyer Assistance Program has released data showing a nearly 10% increase in calls from this time last year.

  17. "Remote Work Is Here to Stay. Manhattan May Never Be the Same.," 03.29.21.
    The New York Times reports that "about 90 percent of Manhattan office workers are working remotely, a rate that has remained unchanged for months…[and] as more companies push back dates for returning to offices and make at least some remote work a permanent policy, the consequences for New York could be far-reaching, not just for the city's restaurants, coffee shops and other small businesses, but for municipal finances, which depend heavily on commercial real estate."

  18. "Did Your Job Description Go Out the Window During the Pandemic?," 03.28.21.
    The Wall Street Journal writes that many workers have been asked by their employers to do more in the past year: "White-collar and front-line workers found themselves taking on unexpected duties beyond their original job description as the coronavirus abruptly transformed businesses and stretched many workforces thin. Today, many of them are re-evaluating their broader job demands. Some can ask for changes to their compensation, title or job description—but others may leave their overstuffed roles altogether." ("Taking on too much at work can contribute to burnout, a widespread pandemic-era phenomenon. Over two-thirds of workers questioned experienced burnout symptoms while working from home.") (Subscription required.)

  19. "We Live in a New Age of Email Anxiety," 03.28.21.
    The Wall Street Journal writes that the pandemic has upped the ante around email and email anxiety: "Email, that most workaday form of electronic communication, is more important than ever, with so many people working remotely in isolation. And it has the power to freak people out in a thousand different ways. With life on overdrive for many of us these days, mustering up the emotional fortitude for the perfect response feels even more stressful." (Subscription required.)

  20. "'My Child Is Interrupting Me Right Now.' The Challenges of Lawyering and Parenting in a Pandemic," 03.26.21.
    This Law.com Legal Speak podcast features Sidley Austin partner and mother of two Corin Swift discussing how parenting amid a pandemic has upended her work life. (Podcast)

  21. "Adapting to the Future of Work: Rethinking Strategies in an Age of Remote, Virtual, and Online Operations," 03.25.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "with many of the world's largest, most well-established firms already shifting to at-home and distance operations and adopting a more employee- vs. employer-centric focus…companies need to drastically rethink how they design policies and programs to not only attract and retain top talent, but also maintain operations and grow their business in an age where (virtually) anything goes."

  22. The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

  23. "COVID-19 Blew Up the Bar Exam. Even Bigger Changes Are Coming.," 04.01.21.
    The National Law Journal writes that "one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the bar exam looks wildly different in most of the country."

  24. "Radical roads to reform lawyer formation," 03.31.21.
    The latest from Jordan Furlong on lawyer formation and lawyer licensing: "Lawyer licensing is out of step with lawyer competence, and the lawyer formation process is the reason why. In most jurisdictions today, that process fails to properly and efficiently ensure competence, confidence, and independence among the lawyers it certifies. It is fragmented, repetitive, and focused primarily on the interests of the entities (law schools, bar examiners, regulators) that administer each step, rather than on the lawyer it is forming and the clients that lawyer will someday serve. What we need is a new lawyer development model that is unified, strategically designed, and focused on the needs and interests of lawyers and clients."

  25. "Several states consider lowering cut scores on bar exam, making it easier to pass," 03.29.21.
    The ABA Journal reports that "Rhode Island has followed California's lead in lowering the bar exam cut score to make the test easier to pass, a step that several other states are also considering."

    1. "Bar Exams May Soon Be Easier to Pass, as States Eye Changes," 03.29.21.
      More on this from Bloomberg Law.

  26. Law Schools and Law Students

  27. "Will Law Schools Require Students To Be Vaccinated In The Fall?," 04.01.21.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a post from The Volokh Conspiracy blog by a constitutional law professor at the South Texas College of Law Houston about the likely direction of law school vaccine policies for fall: "I can see a world where in-person instruction is limited to vaccinated students, and those who refuse to be vaccinated will stay on Zoom…I suspect schools, in general, will decide to impose some form of a vaccine mandate."

  28. "This Public Defender Just Got $275,000 in Law School Loans Forgiven. Here's How.," 04.01.21.
    Law.com speaks with one of the lucky few law school graduates who has successfully navigated the complicated federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to have her remaining student debt forgiven after working for a decade as a public defender in Danville, Kentucky. ("According to the most recent information available from the U.S. Department of Education, fewer than 3% of those who have applied for PSLF have been approved.")

  29. "'There Is Greatness Across Law Schools': Biden's First Court Picks Venture Beyond the T-14," 03.31.21.
    Law.com reports that "four of the 11 judicial nominees the White House unveiled Tuesday obtained their law degrees from schools outside the so-called T-14."

  30. "Misgendering students is not 'academic freedom.' It's an abuse of power.," 03.31.21.
    A law professor at Pace, writing for The Washington Post, writes that referring to people by their correct gender is a matter of respect: "It's a misuse of power for a professor to insist on calling students as they wish, without regard for the student's identity. A professor who deliberately misgenders a student humiliates them, and we cannot pretend otherwise. Such disdain for a classmate's self-esteem intimidates everyone, including cisgender students. This is hazing, not teaching. It pushes learning and curiosity out of the classroom."

    1. "Prof who refused to use transgender student's preferred pronouns can pursue suit, 6th Circuit rules," 03.31.21.
      The ABA Journal reports on the recent 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that reinstated a First Amendment lawsuit by a public college professor in Ohio who violated school policy by refusing to use a transgender student's preferred pronouns — the decision that prompted the Pace professor's piece above.

  31. "Canadian Law Students Face Another Virtual Summer. Law Firms Are Ready," 03.31.21.
    Law.com International reports that "most law school students working this summer at firms across Canada will not set foot in a law office, as the majority of large firms continue to have their lawyers and staff work predominantly from home."

  32. "The US News Law School Rankings Are Here, But Has Their Credibility Taken a Hit?," 03.30.21.
    Law.com reports on the release of the latest U.S. News & World Report law school rankings. (You can find the 2022 Best Law Schools ranking from US News here.)

    1. "Inside the US News Rankings Drama," 03.30.21.
      Karen Sloan unpacks the turmoil surrounding this year's U.S. News & World Report law school rankings in her weekly Ahead of the Curve feature.

    2. "US News releases its 2022 law school rankings; which schools had lowest student debt?," 03.30.21.
      More on the latest US News law school rankings from the ABA Journal.

    3. "US News' Rough Year Just Got Worse: Law School Rankings Changed a Third Time," 03.29.21.
      Law.com reports that "U.S. News & World Report has modified its closely watched law school rankings yet again—marking the third time the rankings have changed in the two weeks prior to their official March 30 release."

  33. "Compared with 2016, there are now half as many for-profit law schools," 03.29.21.
    The ABA Journal reports that "in 2010, there were six for-profit law schools; as of March 2021, however, only three with that tax status remain—and two of the three hope to eventually convert to nonprofit status."

  34. "Why Did the Dean of the Most Diverse Law School in the Country Cancel Herself?," 03.26.21.
    The New York Times offers a more nuanced perspective on the sudden retirement of Mary Lu Bilek, the dean at the law school at the City University of New York, that was widely reported last week.

  35. Law Firms and Lawyers (North America)

  36. "Womble to Cut Office Space by Half for Post-Pandemic Workplace," 04.01.21.
    According to the Daily Report, "after weathering last year's pandemic-related shutdowns, Womble Bond Dickinson is seeking to downsize its office space as it expands its policy on remote working for lawyers and staff post-pandemic…embarking on an ambitious push to reduce its U.S. office space by up to 50%."

  37. "Law Firms Likely to Continue Quietly Trimming Employee Rosters," 03.31.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that as law firms come out from under the pandemic they are likely to continue to scrutinize staff roles, and especially those of legal assistants, and will be taking a hard look at underproductive partners as well.

  38. "Young Lawyers Offer Firms Advice After Watching a Year of Remote Recruiting and Onboarding," 03.31.21.
    The Young Lawyer Editorial Board of The American Lawyer offers advice to law firms about making the most of virtual recruiting and onboarding, and suggests that a return to some in-person interactions in these processes is essential.

  39. "The Legal Assistants of Tomorrow Might Not Look Like Assistants at All," 03.30.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "as attorneys get more comfortable with administrative tasks—a process accelerated by remote work—law firms are reassessing the role of legal assistants."

  40. "Cravath Matches Special Bonuses as Other Firms Join the Fray," 03.29.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Cravath, Swaine & Moore has jumped into the 2021 associate special bonus war, announcing it will match the scale set by Davis Polk & Wardwell, after a number of other Big Law firms did the same."

    1. "Clifford Chance Matches US Rivals for Associate Special Bonuses," 03.31.21.
      Law.com International reports that "Clifford Chance has matched a special associate bonus pay scale set by Davis Polk & Wardwell and is set to hand out payments of between $12,000 to $64,000 to U.S. associates."

  41. "How a Good Year Can Trip Up Firms Down the Road," 03.29.21.
    The American Lawyer writes about the risks of complacency that face law firms after a year of particularly strong performance financially.

  42. "The Evolving Duty of Competence in the Digital Age," 03.29.21.
    Two Dentons partners, writing for the Daily Report, write that "although technological advancements have been beneficial to the legal community as a whole, lawyers can face risks if they do not update their practices to stay informed about developments in technology."

  43. "Webcams and Wi-Fi Speeds: Welcome to the Law Firm Interview of the Future," 03.28.21.
    This American Lawyer piece offers some (not so) tongue-in-cheek perspective on the law firm job interview of the future.

  44. "Dechert, Norton Rose Fulbright to Offer Paid Leave for COVID Shots," 03.26.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "at least two global firms are providing as much as a full day of paid leave for personnel to receive COVID-19 vaccinations."

  45. "'More and More Disgruntled': Lawyers Seek to Manage Client Expectations Amid Pandemic," 03.26.21.
    The Daily Report writes that "as case backlogs pile on dockets across the country after courts shut down in response to the coronavirus pandemic, lawyers say they're weighing best practices for managing client expectations."

  46. Law Firm Year-End Financial Reporting

  47. "Womble Weathers Pandemic With Flat Revenue Growth But Double Digit Increase in Profit," 04.01.21.
    (Daily Report: revenue up 0.1%, PPP up 28.9%)

  48. "Sans Pandemic-Related Austerity Cuts, Loeb & Loeb Saw Profits Up 8.5%," 04.01.21.
    (The Recorder: Revenue up 4.1%, PPP up 8.5%)

  49. "Ice Miller PEP Jumped Over 20% After Expense Reductions, Furloughs and Some Layoffs," 03.30.21.
    (The American Lawyer: Revenue up 6.3%, PPP up 23.8%)

  50. "Citing 'Temporary' Effects, Litigation-Heavy Munger Tolles Posts Revenue, Profit Dip," 03.30.21.
    (The Recorder: Revenue down 4.1%, PPP down 4.3%)

  51. International Law Firms

  52. "Allen & Overy Latest To Hand Out COVID-19 Bonuses," 03.31.21.
    Law.com International reports that "Allen & Overy has joined the throngs of law firms rewarding its people for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic."

  53. "Ashurst Doubles Bonus Pool, Set to Hand Out One-Off Payments For COVID Efforts," 03.30.21.
    Law.com International reports that "Ashurst has become the latest international law firm to expand its bonus model in light of its people's efforts during the coronavirus pandemic."

  54. "The Culture of Law: Can Non-Lawyers Successfully Run Law Firms?," 03.29.21.
    Law.com International reports that "while a decade ago it was not unusual for law firms to seek out managing partners or chief executives who were not lawyers, fewer non-lawyers are running Australian law firms today."

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

  56. "Elite Firms Deepen Ties to ALSPs in New Division of Labor," 03.29.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that the ever-growing need to bill clients at a lower rate while putting timekeepers to use on higher-value tasks has led to deeper ties between ALSPs and law firms where law firm lawyers devise the high-level strategy and outside providers execute on it.

  57. "For Legal Departments, Going Remote Was Hard—But Staying Remote Could Be Harder," 03.26.21.
    Legaltech News reports that "if companies are serious about making remote working a permanent fixture, they'll first have to embark on a number of policy adjustments, reevaluate employee/employer boundaries and make some cybersecurity tweaks that executives have been putting off for a long time."

  58. Higher Education /Secondary Education

  59. "A mental health crisis was spreading on college campuses. The pandemic has made it worse.," 03.30.21.
    The Washington Post reports that "across the country, some school leaders and experts say the pandemic has brought new urgency to a mental health crisis that had been unraveling on college campuses for years."

  60. "Another Uncertain Admissions Cycle for International Students," 03.30.21.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "with many consulates not having resumed regular visa processing, and with travel bans in place for many countries, would-be international students face logistical hurdles in getting to the U.S. this fall."

  61. "More Than a Million Student-Loan Holders to Get Relief," 03.30.21.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "the Biden administration is suspending collections on defaulted student loans held by more than one million borrowers…[extending] relief to 1.14 million students who borrowed under an older loan program known as the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFEL), and then defaulted on those loans." (Subscription required.)

  62. "Loan Relief for Borrowers With Disabilities," 03.30.21.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "the Education Department has announced that people who have disabilities that make them eligible for federal student loan discharges will now have one hoop fewer to jump through — at least for the duration of the pandemic."

March 26, 2021

    Top Stories

  1. "Evanston, Ill., leads the country with first reparations program for Black residents," 03.22.21.
    The Washington Post reports that "the nation's first government reparations program for African Americans was approved Monday night in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, action that advocates say represents a critical step in rectifying wrongs caused by slavery, segregation and housing discrimination and in pushing forward on similar compensation efforts across the country."

    1. "Chicago Suburb Shapes Reparations for Black Residents: 'It Is the Start'," 03.22.21.
      And The New York Times reports on this development as well: "In Evanston, a city of 73,000 people that is home to Northwestern University and known for its liberal politics, members of the City Council said they were taking concrete steps that go beyond proposals that have emerged in American cities in recent years, committing funds to a city reparations program intended to address historical racism and discrimination."

  2. "Racial-Justice Commission Will Examine Inequities in New York City," 03.23.21.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "New York City is establishing a racial-justice commission that will examine ways of dismantling institutional racism within city government and consider restorative measures such as reparations." (Subscription required.)

  3. The Feel-Goods

  4. "After the shooting, a boy gave flowers to workers at King Soopers stores near the attack," 03.25.21.
    The Washington Post reports that after the deadly mass shooting at a grocery store in Boulder, Colo., an 11-year-old boy handed out flowers to employees at King Soopers stores near his home to show support. (Hat tip to Mary Beal)

  5. "World Happiness Report is out, with a surprising picture of global resilience," 03.23.21.
    The Washington Post reports that "in a conclusion that even surprised its editors, the 2021 World Happiness Report found that, amid global hardship, self-reported life satisfaction across 95 countries on average remained steady in 2020 from the previous year."

  6. "Young man with autism pens viral employment letter: 'take a chance on me'," 03.22.21.
    The Washington Post reports that a 20-year-old job seeker who is autistic posted a handwritten letter he penned to his "future employer" on his LinkedIn profile that has been viewed by millions, and he has received countless messages in response, including some from companies with neurodiverse recruitment programs, including Amazon, Dell and Microsoft.

  7. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  8. "'A More Diverse Conversation': Why It Matters That More Law Journals Are Electing Black Editors," 03.24.21.
    Karen Sloan, writing for Law.com, reports that "a record number of first-ever Black editors-in-chief of flagship law reviews will likely prompt more diverse law students to seek leadership roles and will help expand the authors and topics that get published."

  9. "The End of Affirmative Action," 03.24.21.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a new law review article by Meera Deo who writes that "we have arrived at the end of affirmative action. Now, more than ever, institutions of higher learning must move beyond a single-minded focus on educational diversity, which admits students of color primarily to enrich the classroom experiences of their white peers and then ignores what they may need to maximize both engagement and retention."

  10. "Despite Calls for Diversity, Black Lawyer Marketplace Founder Still Sees Challenges Securing Clients," 03.24.21.
    Legaltech News speaks with Justis Connection founder and CEO Kisha Brown — Justis Connection is a platform that seeks to showcase the capabilities of Black lawyers to those seeking legal counsel.

  11. "Building An Anti-Racist Law School At Penn State-Dickinson," 03.23.21.
    The TaxProf Blog collects three forthcoming articles in the Rutgers Race and Law Review about building an anti-racist law school, each written by faculty or staff at Penn State Dickinson, "Building an Antiracist Law School: Inclusivity in Admissions and Retention of Diverse Students—Leadership Determines DEI Success," "Educating Antiracist Lawyers: The Race and the Equal Protection of the Laws Program at Dickinson Law," and "Exploring Race and Racism in the Law School Curriculum: An Administrator's View on Adopting an Antiracist Curriculum."

  12. "When Diversity Wasn't Enough, One College Created a Blueprint for Belonging," 03.23.21.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education's Race on Campus feature takes a look at how "Albion College responded when it found that being on campus is not the same as belonging…Albion College's shift over the past six years from 18- to 41-percent students of color was a welcome accomplishment for a campus seeking greater diversity. But it soon became clear that the rural college in south central Michigan hadn't done enough to prepare for the rapid transformation of its student body or to ensure that its new students felt welcome…. That's something the college is trying to change with the appointment of the college's first chief belonging officer." (Subscription required.)

  13. "Facing the Horror: How Asian American GC Helps Her Team Discuss Atlanta Shootings," 03.23.21.
    Corporate Counsel speaks with Lynn Whitcher, general counsel at MD7 and an Asian American, "about being an ethnically diverse woman in a male-dominated industry, her unique approach to managing a legal department, and the candid discussion her team held about racism in the aftermath of the Atlanta shootings."

    1. "'Sprayed Me With Lysol': Asian American Lawyers Battle Racism Linked to Coronavirus," 03.23.21.
      The Connecticut Law Tribune speaks with Asian law students and lawyers about their experiences with "both subtle and outright aggression directed toward Asian Americans since the COVID-19 pandemic."

    2. "Asian Bar Leaders See Spa Shootings as a 'Tipping Point'," 03.19.21.
      Last Friday the Daily Report spoke with Angela Hsu and Timothy Wang, the president and president-elect of the Georgia Asia Pacific Bar Association, about the community response to the March 16 shootings at three Asian-owned massage spas that killed eight people.

    3. "Law Firms Denounce Rise in Violence, Harassment Toward Asian Americans," 03.19.21.
      The American Lawyer reports that "a number of large law firms are publicly speaking out in support of the Asian American community after the killing of eight people in the greater Atlanta area this week."

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

  15. "'We're Just Tired All the Time': A Day in the Life of Working Parents During the Pandemic," 03.25.21.
    The American Lawyer spoke with several working parents in recent weeks, and concludes that "The COVID-19 pandemic has taken the delicate balance of working and parenting many lawyers aimed for and thrown it into disarray. The pandemic has required sacrifice, and no two situations are identical across geographies, practice or family structure."

    1. "Inside the Home Office, Where Lawyers Mixed Work and Family During the Pandemic," 03.25.21.
      And The American Lawyer has a slide show of photos from lawyers and law firm professionals who shared a view into their reality for the past year-plus.

  16. "The Lawyer Brain: Transform Your Well-Being And Develop A Performance Edge," 03.25.21.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a new book by Debra Austin that "addresses the lawyer well-being crisis by summarizing the studies that demonstrate that law students and lawyers suffer from high rates of anxiety, depression, burnout, substance misuse, and suicide risk; explaining relevant parts of the brain, and how stress impacts lawyer brain function; reviewing the neuroscience and psychology research that links brain health and mental strength to well-being; and providing an action plan for lawyers to enhance their well-being, optimize their performance, and improve their brain health and mental strength."

  17. "Digital Vaccine Passports and the Legal Risks For Employers," 03.24.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "employers…are now considering whether digital vaccine passports are the key to returning to normal life and getting back into the workplace."

  18. "Mayor Ends Remote Work for 80,000 in Signal to Rest of New York City," 03.23.21.
    The New York Times reports that "on May 3, the city will compel its municipal office employees to begin to report to work in person…. Mayor Bill de Blasio's decision to bring the nation's largest municipal work force back to the office represents a significant turnabout for a city that served as the national epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic…"

  19. "Microsoft to Ease Workers Back to the Office Starting Next Week," 03.22.21.
    The New York Times reports that "Microsoft has joined other corporate giants in assessing the best way to bring workers back to the office, a year after the pandemic sent home employees, who had to learn how to be productive on video conference calls while juggling interruptions from families, pets and the doorbell. The tech giant announced Monday that it would begin allowing more workers back into its headquarters in Redmond, Wash., starting on next Monday, while also acknowledging that work life may never be the same." ("Once we reach a point where Covid-19 no longer presents a significant burden on our communities, and as our sites move to the open stage of the dial, we view working from home part of the time (less than 50 percent) as standard for most roles.")

  20. "Viewpoint: Why Remote Work Is Corroding Our Trust in Each Other," 03.03.21.
    SHRM reprints this Harvard Business Review piece by Mark Mortensen and Heidi Gardner who find that the strains of remote work are wearing down company culture and people's goodwill and are leading to a crisis of trust. (Hat tip to Fred Thrasher)

  21. The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

  22. "Remote Bar Exam Set for Georgia, as Task Force Forms to Evaluate Attorney Competency," 03.35.21.
    The Daily Report writes that "while announcing that the bar exam set for July 27 and 28 would be administered remotely for the third time, Supreme Court of Georgia Chief Justice Harold Melton also revealed his plans to sign an order creating a Georgia Lawyer Competency Task Force." ("The task force will be charged with evaluating current requirements for admission to practice law in Georgia, including taking and passing the bar exam, and it will evaluate alternatives to the bar exam.")

  23. Law Schools and Law Students

  24. "US News Makes Last-Minute Changes to Law School Rankings, Fueling Criticism and Concern," 03.25.21.
    Law.com reports that "U.S. News & World Report said Thursday that it's removing a controversial diversity ranking from its law school rankings package that is set to be released March 30." ("That decision comes after deans from 162 law schools asked for a last-minute revision to the stand-alone "Most Diverse Law Schools Ranking," citing the exclusion of students of more than one race from its calculation of "underrepresented minorities." The deans requested that the ranking be recalculated to include multiethnic students-which would mark the second time the diversity ranking was changed in the past week. U.S. News this week recalculated that ranking after initially failing to include Asian students.")

  25. "Hiring decisions based on first-year grades miss 'exceptional students,' according to new paper," 03.21.21.
    The ABA Journal reports on new research by three academics that that studied classes between 1979 and 2019 at an unnamed top 20 law school: "According to their research, 24% of the students who graduated in the top 10% of their classes did not have that same distinction when they finished first-year courses. Delaying when selective opportunities are awarded to students could improve career opportunities, according to the paper."

  26. "'Slaveholder' Comment Prompts CUNY Law Dean's Departure," 03.22.21.
    The New York Law Journal reports that "the dean of the City University of New York School of Law has revealed that her decision to retire was precipitated by a racially offensive comment she made during a faculty meeting in November."

    1. "CUNY law school dean cancels herself after 'slaveholder' comment," 03.20.21.
      More on this from the New York Post.

    2. "'Slaveholder' Comment Roiled CUNY Law for Months Prior to Dean's Mea Culpa," 03.23.21.
      The New York Law Journal continues to follow this story, reporting that "a New York law dean's decision to retire after referring to herself as a "slaveholder" during a faculty meeting in the fall was preceded by months of escalating tension with the school's faculty, stemming from her push to grant early tenure to a white professor ahead of several minority professors."

  27. "Bust Out Those Caps and Gowns. In-Person Commencement Is Back at Some Law Schools," 03.19.21.
    Law.com reports that "law schools are unveiling their graduation plans for the Class of 2021, and the results are a mixed bag…[some] schools have said they intend to hold in-person events in large venues with a limited number of guests [while] others are sticking with virtual graduations."

  28. "Résumé-Writing Tips to Help You Get Past the A.I. Gatekeepers," 03.19.21.
    The New York Times provides would-be job seekers with tips on how to understand and navigate predictive hiring tools that use artificial intelligence to evaluate résumés: "Making it through the automated screening can require tailoring your résumé, not just the cover letter, to each job you are applying for."

  29. Law Firms and Lawyers (North America)

  30. "The Evolving Duty of Competence in the Digital Age," 03.24.21.
    Two Dentons partners, writing for the New Jersey Law Journal, write that while many lawyers working remotely during the pandemic increased their technological aptitude, all lawyers face risks if they do not update their practices to stay informed about developments in technology.

  31. "After Overhauling How Deals Get Done During the Pandemic, Lawyers Say Changes Are 'Here to Stay'," 03.23.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that most IPO roadshows are likely a thing of the past as the legal and financial deal-making culture has adapted to the virtual reality imposed by the pandemic.

  32. "Reed Smith's Solution to Pandemic Demand Lull? Build More Tech," 03.23.21.
    Legaltech News reports on Reed Smith's "Now and Next" initiative, that "saw Reed Smith partners, associates and knowledge management teams from various practice groups and offices collaborate to create tech-based tools and resources."

  33. "Law Firms Have High Hopes, Vague Plans for Vaccination Success," 03.23.21.
    According to the Daily Report, ALM reporters have spoken to a variety of law firm leaders about the vaccine and their plans to reopen their offices, noting that most of them expect to have some sort of hybrid environment moving forward. ("Working remotely is here to stay," Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner's Atlanta managing partner, Eric Schroeder, told ALM. "I don't think we'll ever be back to a 100% return to the office. The question is, what percentage will we be back to a year from now?")

  34. "Associate Bonus Battle Hits Big Law," 03.23.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "triggered by significant profit and revenue boosts as well as one of the strongest associate markets in more than a decade, large law firms are on the verge of another bonus battle."

    1. "Paul Hastings, Goodwin, Simpson, Debevoise, Cleary Board the Bonus Bandwagon," 03.25.21.
      The American Lawyer reports that "more firms—including Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton; Debevoise & Plimpton; Paul Hastings; Goodwin Procter; and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett-have announced they will match the special associate bonus scale set by Davis Polk & Wardwell earlier this week."

    2. "Paul Weiss, Milbank and Skadden Join Latest Push for Special Associate Bonuses," 03.24.21.
      The American Lawyer reports that "Milbank; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison are now among a handful of elite firms handing out special payments for associates, announcing Wednesday they will match the payments set by Davis Polk & Wardwell earlier this week."

    3. "Davis Polk Ups Ante on Associate Bonuses," 03.22.21.
      The American Lawyer reports that "Davis Polk & Wardwell is again raising a scale for associate bonuses, announcing spring and fall bonuses that together exceed bonus installments that were set last week by Willkie Farr & Gallagher."

    4. "Willkie Announces Spring Bonuses for Associates Following Strong 2020," 03.19.21.
      The American Lawyer reports that "Willkie Farr & Gallagher is doling out spring bonuses to its associates ranging from $7,500 to $40,000."

  35. "Under Shadow of COVID, Blakes Tops Canadian Law Firm Brand Index for 6th Consecutive Year," 03.23.21.
    Law.com International reports that "For the sixth year in a row, Blake, Cassels & Graydon has topped the Thomson Reuters Canada Law Firm Brand Index. This is the seventh time Blakes has earned the top spot since the Canadian index, formerly published by Acritas, was introduced in 2012."

  36. "Orrick Hands Lawyers, Staff Paid Leave to 'Unplug', Plans Office Reopenings," 03.22.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has handed all its global lawyers and staff 40 hours of extra paid leave per year, as the law firm prepares for changed working environments in the future…the law firm told its people, including partners and all fee-earners, that it is granting the equivalent of five work days for them to take off in order for them to unplug."

  37. "Law Firms Are Planning Major Office Changes for Post-Pandemic Era," 03.19.21.
    According to the Daily Report, "law firms are closely analyzing their workforces' remote work preferences and who needs to come in when, as shrinking the office footprint can mean big savings in the long run."

  38. "Arizona Supreme Court approves first licenses for nonlawyer-owned firms providing legal services," 03.18.21.
    The Phoenix Business Journal reports that "the first applicants for the Arizona's new Alternative Business Structure license received approval from the Arizona Supreme Court on Wednesday, making them the first hybrid-structure firms providing legal services in the country."

  39. Law Firm Year-End Financial Reporting

  40. "Fried Frank Grew Equity Tier and Saw Flat Revenue, Lower PEP," 03.25.21.
    (The American Lawyer: Revenue up 0.6%, PPP down 4.4%)

  41. "Due to Energy Slowdown, Thompson & Knight Revenue Down 10%, Profits Down 16%," 03.25.21.
    (Texas Lawyer: Revenue down 10.5%, PPP down 15.1%)

  42. "With Trials On Hold, Winston & Strawn Sees Revenue Slide But Profits Lift," 03.24.21.
    (The American Lawyer: Revenue down 3%, PPP up 4.6%)

  43. "Despite Pandemic-Driven Revenue Decline, Kramer Levin Sees Net Income Growth," 03.24.21.
    (New York Law Journal: Revenue down 2%, PPP up 6.4%)

  44. "After Pre-Pandemic Merger, Duane Morris Sees RPL Dip, but Profits Grow," 03.23.21.
    (The Legal Intelligencer: Revenue up 3.1%, PPP up 1.8%)

  45. "Dechert's Revenues, Profits Dip 5% After Double-Digit 2019 Increases," 03.22.21.
    (The American Lawyer: Revenue down 5.7%, PPP down 5.7%)

  46. "Mayer Brown Notches More Revenue Growth, 11% Profit Gain," 03.22.21.
    (The American Lawyer: Revenue up 2.2%, PPP up 10.7%)

  47. "Orrick Saw Flat Revenue, Double-Digit Profit Growth as Litigation Underperformed," 03.22.21.
    (The American Lawyer: Revenue down 0.5%, PPP up 10.9%)

  48. "DLA Piper's 8.8% Jump in Profits Bolstered by US Growth," 03.22.21.
    (The American Lawyer: Revenue up 0.7%, PPP up 8.8%)

  49. "Milbank Sees 16% Spike in Revenue and Profits, Amid More Demand for Partner Hours," 03.19.21.
    (The American Lawyer: Revenue up 15.6%, PPP up 16%)

  50. International Law Firms

  51. "Australian Victim of Sexual Harassment Says Problem an Epidemic at Law Firms," 03.25.21.
    Law.com International reports that "a lawyer who recently disclosed that she had left Australian law firm Allens after being sexually harassed by a colleague says she has since been contacted by other female lawyers who suffered sexual harassment at law firms, adding that such behavior remains a huge problem in the law firm world."

  52. "Linklaters Ups Partner Gender Targets Following Previous Shortfalls," 03.23.21.
    Law.com International reports that "Linklaters has increased its firmwide gender diversity target for its annual partner promotions round to 40%, the firm said on Tuesday, after mixed results on its previous aim. Linklaters is the latest outfit to reaffirm its commitment to diversifying its partnership, with a number of firms opting to introduce or increase their targets in recent months."

  53. "Lateral Hires in Asia Already Surpassing All of 2020," 03.22.21.
    Law.com International reports that "law firms in Asia…have been adding partners at a feverish pace, competing for talent across the region as they bolster their practices to meet the needs of global businesses emerging from the disruptions caused by COVID-19."

  54. "Top UK Firms Eye Early Summer Office Return," 03.19.21.
    Law.com International reports that "partners at several top law firms in London have said that they expect to return to the office in June or early July, as they prepare for the next phase of coronavirus developments."

  55. "Two More Top UK Firms To Hand Staff Pandemic Bonuses," 03.19.21.
    Law.com International reports that "Linklaters and Addleshaw Goddard have become the latest U.K. firms to unveil one-off COVID-19 bonuses for staff…bringing the total number of firms offering additional COVID-19 bonuses to seven so far this year."

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

  57. "The Ties That Bind: How to Stay Close With Clients Long After the Crisis Ends," 03.25.21.
    The American Lawyer writes that many lawyers have drawn closer to their clients during the pandemic, and offers suggestions for ensuring those closer ties remain in place once the pandemic is over.

  58. "Law Firms, Clients Want to Automate Their Relationship, But Differ on Specifics," 03.24.21.
    Legaltech News reports that "with both clients and outside counsel alike having to still support a remote working environment, many are planning to spend on workflow and process automation tools to elicit greater efficiencies in their decentralized operations."

  59. "Burford Profits Dip for Another Year, but Funder's Business With Corporations Grows," 03.24.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Burford Capital saw its profits dip for the second straight year in 2020, according to the litigation funding giant's latest financial report."

  60. "The Rise of In-House Legal Ops Has Turbo Boosted ALSPs' Growth," 03.19.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "a recent uptick in the number of corporate legal department clients who are seeking to reduce spending on outside counsel and ensure that the law firms they hire are working as effectively and efficiently as possible…[has led to] a turbo boost to the ALSP industry."

  61. Higher Education /Secondary Education

  62. "Rutgers Will Require Students to Get Vaccine," 03.26.21.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "Rutgers University announced Thursday that it would require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before coming to campus next fall…the first or at least among the first universities to take the step of mandating students receive a COVID-19 vaccine."

    1. "Rutgers Will Require Proof of Covid-19 Vaccination to Attend in the Fall," 03.25.21.
      More on this from The Chronicle of Higher Education. ("The policy carves out exemptions for medical and religious reasons, and for students taking classes fully online.") (Subscription required.)

    NACE reports that "employers project hiring 7.2% more new college graduates from the Class of 2021 than they hired from the Class of 2020."

  64. "Moody's Upgrades Its Outlook for Higher Ed," 03.22.21.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "the expected return of students to campuses this fall and a generous federal stimulus package led Moody's Investors Service to revise from negative to stable its sectorwide outlook for America's colleges on Monday." (Subscription required.)

    1. "Moody's Raises Higher Ed Outlook to Stable," 03.23.21.
      More on this from Inside Higher Ed.

March 19, 2021

    Top Stories

  1. "How Racism and Sexism Intertwine to Torment Asian-American Women," 03.18.21.
    The New York Times writes that "many viewed the shooting rampage in Atlanta that left eight people dead as the culmination of a racialized misogyny that they say has long been directed at them."

  2. "Asian Americans see shooting as a culmination of a year of racism," 03.18.21.
    The Washington Post: "The coalition Stop AAPI Hate has been documenting anti-Asian attacks since the pandemic started last March and says there have been nearly 3,800 hate-fueled incidents against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in the U.S. — a number the group says is probably a fraction of the true number. About 3 in 10 Asian adults said they've experienced jokes or slurs about their race or ethnicity during the pandemic, according to Pew Research — the highest percent among all races. More than 68 percent of documented reports of anti-Asian harassment and violence since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic have been from women."

  3. "The long, ugly history of anti-Asian racism and violence in the U.S.," 03.18.21.
    The Washington Post takes "a look at the violence and racism that Asian immigrants and Asian Americans have faced since before the Civil War."

  4. "Asian Americans were already living in fear. The Atlanta-area spa killings feel like a terrifying escalation for them," 03.17.21.
    CNN reports that "many Asian Americans across the United States have been verbally harassed, spat on and injured for months in a 'disgusting pattern of hate' that coincides with the Covid-19 pandemic…the killings of eight people, most of them Asian, at three spas in the Atlanta area Tuesday jolted a community already on edge."

    1. "For Asian-Americans, Atlanta shooting sows fresh fear after a year of mounting discrimination," 03.17.21. (Reuters)

    2. "Atlanta spa shootings stir fear amid historic rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans," 03.17.21. (Los Angeles Times)

    3. "The Growing Power of Asian-Americans in Georgia Now Comes With Fear," 03.17.21. (The New York Times)

    4. "Atlanta killings stoke fear, concern in Denver area's Asian American communities," 03.17.21. (The Denver Post)

    5. "On Capitol Hill, Asian American Leaders To Voice 'Very Real' Fear In Community," 03.18.21. (NPR)

  5. The Feel-Goods

  6. "Ruth Bader Ginsburg celebrated in song by Illinois university," 03.17.21.
    The Australasian Lawyer reports that "the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University released a documentary entitled A Tribute to RBG in Song on Monday…the tribute showcased the renowned legal superstar's personal life, and features vocal performances from Bienen School lecturer and soprano Patrice Michaels, Ginsburg's daughter-in-law." (You can watch the video on the Davee Media Library website.)

  7. "A boy left his Buzz Lightyear inside a plane. A ramp agent made it his mission to reunite them.," 03.16.21.
    If this piece from The Washington Post doesn't make you smile, nothing will.

  8. "An intimate and relatable record of the past year stretches more than 90 feet along the walls of a family's home," 03.13.21.
    The Washington Post published this lovely feature about the family diary that covers the walls of the home of Jeff Allum, the Director, Research & Data Analytics at the Association of American Law Schools, who along with his wife and son chronicled their COVID year together in words and drawings.

  9. "Cardozo Honors the Legacy of Billie Holiday," 03.11.21.
    The Yeshiva University News Blog reports on a recent program that celebrated the discovery that the legendary jazz great, Billie Holiday, created her first recordings in the home of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law: "John Hammond discovered Billie Holiday at Monette Moore's speakeasy on West 133rd Street and was able to convince Benny Goodman to use her in a recording at Columbia Records, then located at 55 Fifth Avenue (now Cardozo School of Law). Those first songs, "Riffin' the Scotch" and "Your Mother's Son-in-Law" lead to her recording of "Strange Fruit," a protest of the lynching of Black Americans that has been called the beginning of the civil rights movement." (Hat tip to Judy Collins)

  10. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  11. "Record Number of Black Students Take the Reins at Flagship Law Journals," 03.18.21.
    Law.com reports that "at least eight law journals have elected their first-ever Black editors-in-chief this cycle, in what could be a sign that legal education's renewed diversity efforts are yielding results and that law students are taking steps to combat their own internal biases…it looks to be the single-largest cohort of groundbreaking Black law review leaders on record." ("Among the flagship journals that have recently elected their first Black editors-in-chief are those at the University of Virginia School of Law; Fordham University School of Law; the University of Minnesota Law School; the University of Houston Law Center; the University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law; Georgia State University College of Law; Syracuse University College of Law; and Tulane University Law School.")

    1. "The new top editor of Georgetown's flagship law journal is 'undocumented and unafraid'," 03.17.21.
      The Washington Post reports that Agnes Lee is believed to be the first openly undocumented student elected editor in chief of the flagship journal at a top U.S. law school. (Lee is a "dreamer," one of the more than 640,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children.)

  12. "'The Culmination of 20 Years' Work': Women Take The Driving Seat at Top Firms," 03.17.21.
    Law.com International reports on "the recent flurry in appointments of female leaders at many of the world's largest law firms."

  13. "Hey, GCs: Get Moving on Diversity, Urges Civil Rights Attorney," 03.17.21.
    Corporate Counsel speaks with Peter Romer-Friedman, who represents employees in suits pertaining to civil rights and discrimination-related issues, about "how GCs can help their organizations avoid employment- related lawsuits and the meaningful steps that companies can take towards fostering a more inclusive environment."

  14. "Race on Campus: The Debate Over 'Latinx'," 03.16.21.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education's weekly Race on Campus column explores how academics and students are pushing the term "Latinx" into the lexicon and provides some practical tips about when and how to use the term. (Subscription required.)

  15. "How Diversity Evolved From a 'Nice Thing to Do' to an Economic Necessity," 03.16.21.
    The Daily Report speaks with the co-founder of Georgia's oldest Black law firm, who recalled "early efforts by big clients to diversify their outside counsel, with results that ranged from difficult to insulting."

  16. "Who Is Making Sure the A.I. Machines Aren't Racist?," 03.15.21.
    Cade Metz, a longtime technology correspondent at The New York Times, provides this excellent exploration on the biases inherent in many AI applications and makes the case that "A.I. is the future. It will underpin everything from search engines and email to the software that drives our cars, directs the policing of our streets and helps create our vaccines. But it is being built in a way that replicates the biases of the almost entirely male, predominantly white work force making it."

  17. "Black law students are thriving at places like Georgetown, but there still aren't enough of them," 03.14.21.
    A 2017 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center who is a civil rights attorney, writing here for The Washington Post, emphasizes the importance of bringing a "broader context to a racist incident that thrust the Georgetown Law community into the public eye last week…[writing that] white students rarely understand the emotional drain of racial isolation, particularly against the backdrop of white supremacy…Black students face "stereotype threat," a well-researched phenomenon that explains how group stereotypes cause stereotyped students to perform poorly on standardized tests…and their small numbers mean that…their performance is racialized in ways that White students never have to face."

  18. "Three Ways To Build an Antiracist Law Classroom That Confronts Structural Violence," 03.12.21.
    An associate professor at Cardozo School of Law writing for the New York Law Journal outlines steps that can be taken to make changes in law school classrooms and syllabi to build an antiracist curriculum.

    1. See also "Exploring Race and Racism in the Law School Curriculum: An Administrator's View on Adopting an Antiracist Curriculum," 03.15.21. (Rutgers Race and the Law Review)

  19. "How the Racial Justice Movement Has Changed Legal Search," 03.12.21.
    In this piece in Corporate Counsel, two search consultants write that "since May 2020, we and many of our colleagues have noticed a positive, purposeful change among our clients, as they seek to enhance their commitment to D&I. First and foremost, many are becoming more intentional around diversity hiring—asking for it, pushing themselves out of their predetermined boxes and truly making a commitment to diversity in their recruiting practices."

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

  21. "'Work as a Thing, Not a Place': Connecting During the Post-COVID-19 Transition," 03.17.21.
    The American Lawyer reports on the proceedings during a panel discussion at ALM's Legal Week that looked at what went well last year in that regard, what is still a concern and what challenges can be expected as workers return to the office, or don't, and where one panelist noted that "we talked to generations below Gen X and they have long thought of work as a thing, not a place."

  22. "When Sweatpants Are Epiphanies," 03.17.21.
    Frank Bruni, one of my favorite New York Times columnists, writes hopefully about some of the upsides to our year of pandemic confinement: "From the unfathomable loss and grinding horror of this pandemic, shouldn't we wring some positives, including a recognition that we don't have to do everything as we once did, that bits of what was imposed on us over the past 12 months amounted to improvements and that some of the alternate routes, contingency plans and risk-conscious behavior that we latched on to have lasting merit?"

  23. "How to Make the Most of Remote Meetings On—And Off—Zoom," 03.12.21.
    Legaltech News provides pointers for avoiding Zoom fatigue while maintaining expectations and camaraderie gleaned from a panel held during last week's ABA annual TechShow.

  24. "How In-House Leaders Are Trying to Keep Stressed, Overworked Legal Teams Sane," 03.12.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "the pandemic has taxed legal departments in many ways…but largely absent from the conversation is the mental toll that the COVID crisis has taken on corporate counsel and the tactics that in-house leaders have developed to mitigate the damage."

  25. The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

  26. "Eliminate the Bar Exam for Lawyers," 03.15.21.
    This Wall Street Journal op-ed by a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a coauthor of "Trouble at the Bar: An Economics Perspective on the Legal Profession and the Case for Fundamental Reform" argues that "the Justice Department should…eliminate the American Bar Association's monopoly in determining what constitutes an acceptable legal education and state licensing requirements, which restrict the supply of lawyers." (Subscription required.)

  27. Law Schools and Law Students

  28. "Required USC course on race is expected to help law students with various viewpoints," 03.18.21.
    The ABA Journal reports on the first required course on race, racism and the law at University of Southern California's Gould School of Law, a course that will focus on two questions: How has race and racism influenced U.S. law, and how has American law influenced "the social phenomena of race and racism"?

  29. "Law School is Expensive. A New Database of 800 Scholarships Aims to Help.," 03.16.21.
    Law.com reports that the AccessLex Institute has released a first-of-its-kind searchable database with information on scholarships for law students totaling $3 million.

  30. "Virtual Judicial Internships for Law Students Coming Back This Summer," 03.16.21.
    According to the Daily Report, the Georgia Latino Law Foundation will again host a virtual judicial internship program for Georgia law students.

  31. "75% Of The Way Through The Fall 2021 Law School Admissions Cycle: Applications Are Up At 96% Of Law Schools, With Biggest Increases Among The Highest LSAT Bands," 03.15.21.
    The TaxProf Blog provides an update on the law school applications for fall.

  32. "Another Georgetown Law Professor Departs Amid Racial Controversy," 03.15.21.
    Law.com reports that "a second adjunct professor has left Georgetown University Law Center after a video of the two discussing the academic performance of Black students went viral."

  33. "Alberta regulator's shortened articling period to remain for 2021-2022," 03.11.21.
    The Canadian Lawyer reports that "the benchers of the Law Society of Alberta have confirmed that the required eight to 12-month minimum articling term, approved in April 2020, will stay in place for 2021-2022, with further review to be done by the end of 2021…this amendment seeks to offer flexibility for students and the firms or organizations employing them, in light of the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on articling students, firms and organizations."

  34. Law Firms and Lawyers (North America)

  35. "These Firms Steered Clear of Layoffs and Salary Cuts in 2020," 03.19.21.
    The American Lawyer speaks with the leaders of a variety of firms that did not conduct layoffs during the pandemic who told reporters that "cultural cohesion was too crucial to fracture at a time when it would have to be maintained by way of virtual technology."

  36. "Crowell & Moring to Combine With Kibbe & Orbe, Gaining NY Securities Strength," 03.18.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Crowell & Moring is combining with financial services boutique Kibbe & Orbe, adding 24 lawyers in three cities."

  37. "With 'No Playbook,' Big Law Leaders Must Lead Differently Post-COVID," 03.16.21.
    The American Lawyer reports on a LegalWeek program featuring Scott Westfahl, a professor at Harvard Law School and the director of its executive education program, who said that "Big Law has a leadership problem and, given the ultra-competitive talent market and a vast expanse of untrodden ground as the industry emerges out of the pandemic, law firm leaders need to adapt," noting that the expectation for lawyers to be in the office everyday is no longer realistic.

  38. "Florida Law Firms Eager for Return to Office, Citing In-Person Associate Mentorship as Top Priority," 03.16.21.
    The Daily Business Review reports that Florida law firms are motivated to return to the office in part to resume in-person, one-on-one training between partners and associates, noting that "in recent months, many Florida firm leaders have expressed frustration over the difficulty of showing a young attorney how to practice law via Zoom."

  39. "Nonlawyer-Owned Law Firm Advising Small Businesses Has National Ambitions," 03.15.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "a Spokane, Washington, company has launched what it calls the first nonlawyer-owned law firm in the U.S., using Utah's regulatory sandbox to provide a subscription service guiding small businesses."

    1. "First law firm owned entirely by nonlawyers opens in Utah," 03.17.21.
      The ABA Journal reports that Law on Call—touted as the first entirely nonlawyer owned law firm in the United States—has opened for business in Utah. ("Law on Call's clients pay $9 per month to get unlimited phone access to lawyers who can offer advice in the areas of business law, end-of-life planning, contracts, employment, housing, and real estate. If legal work is needed, the discounted rates start at $100 per hour.")

  40. "Big Firms Prepare for Another Year of Virtual Summer Programs," 03.15.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "following months of uncertainty over their summer associate programs, several large law firms have decided to make their 2021 programs virtual for a second year in a row, though some are leaving the door open for potential in-person events."

  41. "Growing Nonequity Partner Tiers Say a Lot About Law Firm Leadership—and Not All of It Positive," 03.15.21.
    Law.com reports that "the number of nonequity partners has ballooned at dozens of large firms after a trying year that ultimately culminated in eye-popping profit growth…but whether a firm's nonequity ranks are the sign of a tight ship or a sinking one has a lot to do with how lawyers land there in the first place and where they ultimately end up."

  42. "Associate Hiring Has Revved Up After Last Year's Freeze," 03.12.21.
    According to the Daily Report, law firm demand for associates has rebounded this year after a sharp slowdown in associate hiring last year from the pandemic.

  43. Law Firm Year-End Financial Reporting

  44. "Wilmer's Transactional Teams Carried the Firm Through the Pandemic With 20% Growth," 03.18.21.
    (The National Law Journal: Revenue up 5%, PPP up 9.6%)

  45. "Armstrong Teasdale Used Lateral Hires and New Offices to Push Forward," 03.18.21.
    (The American Lawyer: Revenue up 9.1%, PPP up 9.4%)

  46. "Mintz Levin Started Its Fiscal 2020 Mid-Pandemic, and Saw Profits Grow by a Third," 03.18.21.
    (The American Lawyer: Revenue up 9.1%, PPP up 33.5%)

  47. "Blank Rome Reevaluated Costs Amid 2020 Challenges, Posting Big Profit Gains," 03.17.21.
    (The Legal Intelligencer: Revenue up 2%, PPP up 8.2%)

  48. "Sticking to Long-Term Plan, Haynes and Boone Grew Revenue, Profits in 2020," 03.17.21.
    (Texas Lawyer: Revenue up 6.4%, PPP up 6.8%)

  49. "After Taking PPP Loan, Smith Gambrell Posted $1M in PEP, Avoided Layoffs," 03.17.21.
    (Daily Report: Revenue up 4.2%, PPP up 12%)

  50. "Show Me the Money: Big Law in Missouri Sees Profits Surge," 03.17.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that several Kansas City or St. Louis-based law firms in the Am Law 200 performed very well in 2020. ("Husch Blackwell, Shook, Hardy & Bacon and Polsinelli all increased revenue by at least 3% in 2020, and these firms had profits per equity growth last year above 16%.")

  51. "Focused on 'Delivering Efficiencies' With Hybrid Model, Manatt Saw Revenue, Profits Grow in 2020," 03.17.21.
    (The Recorder: Revenue up 4.6%, PPP up 8.9%)

  52. "Latham, With High Demand Across Practices, Posts Double-Digit Revenue, Profit Gains," 03.16.21.
    (The American Lawyer: Revenue up 15%, PPP up 19.6%)

  53. "Despite Lukewarm Litigation Market, MoFo Saw Profits Grow as US and LatAm Deals Continued," 03.15.21.
    (The American Lawyer: Revenue up 1.6%, PPP up 9.4%)

  54. "Kilpatrick Townsend Rides Client Demand to Revenue, Profit Jumps," 03.15.21.
    (Daily Report: Revenue up 4%, PPP up 10.4%)

  55. "Dentons UK and Middle East Profits Fell by 16%, LLP Accounts Show," 03.15.21.
    (Law.com International: "Dentons' U.K. and Middle East business saw operating profits slump by 16% in the year ending April 2020.")

  56. "Global Energy Work Helped Bracewell Post Higher Revenue, Profits in 2020," 03.12.21.
    (Texas Lawyer: Revenue up 3.9%, PPP up 7.4%)

  57. International Law Firms

  58. "Linklaters Offers Voluntary Redundancy to All London Secretaries," 03.19.21.
    Law.com International reports that "Linklaters has offered voluntary redundancy packages to all of its London-based secretarial staff…in total, 225 secretaries and personal assistants have been offered severance packages."

  59. "Allen & Overy Expects Global Workforce to Work Remotely 40% of Time," 03.16.21.
    Law.com International reports that "Allen & Overy expects its lawyers and staff to be able to work remotely 40% of the time on average in the future, management has told the firm, the latest move by a major international firm to change its working practices."

  60. "Freshfields To Allow Staff To Work Remotely 50% Of The Time," 03.15.21.
    Law.com International reports that "Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has become the latest top firm to introduce a new remote working policy for a post-COVID world. It will allow its U.K. workforce to work remotely for up to 50% of the time post-pandemic."

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

  62. "Legal Operations Professionals Shine During COVID," 03.12.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "the need for legal departments to operate more efficiently during the pandemic accelerated the trend of corporate legal departments hiring legal operations professionals, according to Thomson Reuters' 2021 State of Corporate Law Departments report."

  63. "A Handbook on Leadership: How to Cultivate Strategic Relationships," 03.12.21.
    Corporate Counsel speaks with Morag Barrett, leadership development expert and the best-selling author of 'Cultivate: The Power of Winning Relationships and the Future-Proof Workplace', about what it means to be an inspirational leader.

  64. "The Importance of Lawyers with Empathy: Pandemic Edition," 03.12.21.
    Corporate Counsel takes a look at what has been lost in lawyer-client relations during the pandemic, and concludes that using virtual communications calls for a different way of interacting with clients.

  65. Higher Education /Secondary Education

  66. "College Admission Season Is Crazier Than Ever. That Could Change Who Gets In.," 03.16.21.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "Ivy League schools and a host of other highly selective institutions waived SAT and ACT requirements for the class of 2025, resulting in an unprecedented flood of applications and what may prove the most chaotic selection experiment in American higher education since the end of World War II." (Subscription required.)

    1. "'When Normal Life Stopped': College Essays Reflect a Turbulent Year," 03.17.21.
      The New York Times examined more than 900 personal essays high school seniors submitted for their college applications and writes about what they reveal about a turbulent and sorrowful year for the students. ("Reading them is like a trip through two of the biggest news events of recent decades: the devastation wrought by the coronavirus, and the rise of a new civil rights movement.")

  67. "Colleges Counted on Enrolling Latino Students. Now They're Scrambling.," 03.16.21.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "thousands of would-be freshmen didn't make it to college this year, driving down first-time fall enrollment by 13 percent…among Latina/o students, first-time enrollment plummeted by nearly 20 percent…the sudden drop, which followed years of progress in raising Latino/a enrollment and completion rates, reflects the unequal toll the pandemic has taken on the health and finances of people of color." (Subscription required.)

  68. "The Pandemic May Have Permanently Altered Campuses. Here's How.," 03.15.21.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the pandemic may have permanently altered college campuses, accelerating changes that began years before, and shares the predictions of more than 40 architects, campus planners, and leaders in student life and housing about how several categories of campus spaces might look different in the future. (Subscription required.)

  69. "This STEM College Will Stop Looking at ACT and SAT Scores. Its Admissions Dean Explains Why.," 03.15.21.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that: "Worcester Polytechnic Institute announced on Monday that it will adopt a test-blind admission policy. Starting this fall, the institution will no longer consider ACT or SAT scores for all applicants as part of an eight-year pilot." (According to Andrew B. Palumbo, assistant vice president for enrollment management and dean of admissions and financial aid at WPI: "I want to be clear: This policy has nothing to do with Covid. It has everything to do with the inequities that standardized tests reinforce in college admissions.") (Subscription required.)

March 12, 2021

    Top Stories

  1. "Georgetown Law Fires Professor for 'Abhorrent' Remarks About Black Students," 03.11.21.
    The New York Times reports that "Georgetown University Law Center said on Thursday that it had fired an adjunct professor who made 'abhorrent' remarks about Black students on a video call and had placed another adjunct who was on the call with her on administrative leave."

    1. "Georgetown Law professor terminated after 'reprehensible' comments about Black students," 03.11.21.
      The Washington Post also reports on this development: "The dean said the incident underscores the school's needs for more anti-bias training."

  2. "A Year Later, Who Is Back to Work and Who Is Not?," 03.09.21.
    The New York Times reports that "as a proportion of their employment levels before the pandemic, significantly fewer Black and Hispanic women are working now than any other demographic, according to the latest government data — and women are lagging behind men across race and ethnicity." ("Hispanic women fell into the deepest hole at the peak of the job losses, going from 12.4 million workers in February 2020, the last month of job gains before the pandemic, to 9.4 million in April — a 24 percent drop…There are nearly 10 percent fewer employed Black women than a year ago, but only 5 percent fewer employed white men.")

  3. Unrelated Feel-Good Read/Watch of the Week

  4. "Wisdom The Albatross, Now 70, Hatches Yet Another Chick," 03.05.21.
    NPR reports that "the world's oldest known wild bird, a Laysan albatross named Wisdom, has hatched yet another chick at Midway Atoll in the Hawaiian archipelago…biologists first identified and banded Wisdom in 1956; she is at least 70 years old." (Hat tip to Jessica Buchsbaum, Bilzin Sumberg)

  5. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  6. "Number of Women GCs on Canadian Public Company Boards Rising," 03.11.21.
    Law.com International reports that "women general counsel outnumber their male colleagues 2-to-1 in board membership at Canadian public companies, according to a report released Thursday by Canadian law firm Blake, Cassels & Graydon."

  7. "'They Certainly Don't See Trans People as People': Trans Lawyers Discuss Their Fight for Acceptance in the Legal Industry," 03.11.21.
    Law.com reports on a panel discussion at ALM's Legalweek conference on LGBTQ+ attorneys and the challenges they face in the legal industry. (Video)

  8. "As Law Firm Pros Tout Diversity Efforts, Lower-Level Staff Aren't As Impressed," 03.10.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "a recent survey of law firm staff…found that overall they were pleased with their firms' DE&I advancement efforts, but that satisfaction dips among those with the title of manager and below, and there is a solid number who feel that firm's diversity efforts stop with race and gender when they shouldn't."

  9. "Data Is Fueling Corporate Diversity Efforts-But Is It Safe?," 03.10.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "Businesses and other organizations are using data to help create benchmarks around ongoing efforts to improve diversity and inclusion. However, with a patchwork of data protection regulations to worry about, some companies may begin hesitating to collect or use such information for fear of coming into conflict with the law."

  10. "Ogletree, Balch Hire New D&I Officers as Firms Step Up Diversity Efforts," 03.10.21.
    According to the Daily Report, "Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart and Balch & Bingham have just hired new chief diversity and inclusion officers at a time when law firms are redoubling their efforts to recruit, retain and advance diverse lawyers, and Black lawyers in particular."

  11. "How I Made Partner: As the Firm's 1st Black Female Partner, Rachel Shaw of Pryor Cashman Shattered the Glass Ceiling," 03.08.21.
    Law.com speaks with Pryor Cashman's first black female partner.

  12. "ABA's Model Diversity Survey can help with DEI strategies," 03.08.21.
    The ABA Journal reports on a panel discussion about the ABA's 2020 Model Diversity Survey Report — released in February by the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, it is the first ABA report on diversity, equity and inclusion in law firm practice.

  13. "Declare Racism a Public Health Emergency," 03.07.21.
    A public health researcher at the Brown University School of Public Health, writing for The New York Times, argues that "to bring desperately needed relief to the communities of color that have been ravaged by the pandemic because of the effects of structural racism, the Department of Health and Human Services should declare racism a public health emergency."

  14. "'We Don't Know Basic Things': Diversity Advocates Call for More Data on Judicial Clerks," 03.05.21.
    The Recorder reports on the proceedings at a panel on the treatment and selection of clerks sponsored by the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law where Goodwin Liu, associate justice of the California Supreme Court, expressed frustration that there is so little data on the diversity of judicial clerks in the federal courts. ("While there has been some demographic tracking of U.S. Supreme Court clerks, real-time data on clerks in the circuit and district courts are not widely available.")

  15. "Will Top Next-Gen Talent Choose to Practice With Law Firms?,"
    Debra Pickett, writing for Bloomberg Tax, asks "whether the best and brightest of Gen Z women and minority law school grads will choose to work for law firms where they still see almost no one in a position of power who looks like them."

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

  17. "New ABA ethics opinion addresses professional responsibilities of virtual practice," 03.10.21.
    The ABA Journal reports that "lawyers can practice law virtually but must ensure that they consider various ethical responsibilities related to the duties of competence, diligence, communication, confidentiality and supervision, according to a new opinion released by the ABA's Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility."

  18. "Lawyers: 'False Sense of Liberation' at Home Fuels Spike in Workplace Sexual Harassment," 03.10.21.
    The New Jersey Law Journal reports that "during the coronavirus era…incidents of unwelcome touching and physical contact in the workplace seem to be declining while sexual harassment by electronic communications is seen as a growing problem."

  19. "How to Help Kids Manage Anxiety as Schools Reopen," 03.09.21.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "with federal health and education officials making a big push to restart in-person learning, more…students may experience separation anxiety, feel overwhelmed at the prospect of being around so many people again, or worry about the virus," and provides some strategies from counselors, pediatricians and psychologists to help kids cope. (Subscription required.)

  20. "Time Management Tricks to Take Back Control of Your Calendar," 03.07.21.
    The Wall Street Journal writes that "balancing your schedule might seem even harder during the pandemic, but there are ways to discover moments of blissful free time," and provides five time-management concepts from productivity experts and executive coaches to help you get started. (Subscription required.)

  21. "Measuring Lawyer Well?Being Systematically: Evidence from the National Health Interview Survey," 03.04.21.
    This article from the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies finds that "contrary to the conventional wisdom, lawyers are not particularly unhappy…they suffer rates of mental illness much lower than the general population…[and] lawyer mental health is not significantly different than the mental health of similarly educated professionals, such as doctors and dentists…[however] rates of problematic alcohol use among lawyers are high, even when compared to the general population [and] problematic use of alcohol among lawyers has grown increasingly common over the last 15 years." (Hat tip to Sam Halpert)

  22. The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

  23. "New York Will Give Third Online Bar Exam in July," 03.08.21.
    The New York Law Journal reports that "New York will administer the July 2021 bar exam remotely-marking the third time the test has gone online during the COVID-19 pandemic."

  24. "How Law Schools Fared on the October 2020 Bar Exam," 03.05.21.
    The Recorder reports on individual law school pass rates on California's October 2020 bar exam: "Stanford (98%), UCLA (97%), UC Berkeley (96%), University of Southern California (96%) and Loyola of Los Angeles (92%) recorded the top pass rates among California law schools."

  25. Law Schools and Law Students

  26. "Legal incubator programs are poised for continued growth, Techshow speaker says," 03.11.21.
    The ABA Journal reports on the proceedings from a panel at this week's ABA Techshow explained that "legal incubator programs providing space and support for newly admitted lawyers in exchange for representing underserved clients first gained great traction in the aftermath of the Great Recession, which left many recent law graduates seeking employment alternatives…but even as the legal job market has improved in subsequent years, attorneys have continued to join the growing number of programs assisting practitioners hanging up their shingles."

  27. "Tech competency needs to be taught in law school, associate dean says," 03.11.21.
    More from the ABA Journal and the ABA Techshow, where April Dawson, the associate dean of academic affairs and pedagogical enrichment at North Carolina Central University School of Law said that "an easy way to teach law students technology is incorporating it into existing classes."

  28. "Law Professors Flock to New Academic Freedom Group," 03.10.21.
    Law.com reports that "more than 200 college and university professors from across the country and across academic disciplines have joined forces to launch a new organization dedicated to protecting academic freedom on campus…the group's initial membership draws heavily from the legal academy, with law professors comprising about a quarter of those involved."

  29. "Howard University Renames Law Library for Civil Rights Champion Vernon Jordan," 03.09.21.
    Law.com reports that "Howard University has renamed its law library for Vernon Jordan, the civil rights advocate, presidential adviser and Big Law trailblazer who graduated from the Washington, D.C., law school in 1960."

  30. Law Firms and Lawyers (North America)

  31. "Could Associates Benefit From Continuing to Work Remotely?," 03.12.21.
    The American Lawyer asks "What if the exposure an associate could get by working remotely for multiple partners across many offices outweighs the direct mentorship of a partner (or two) in their 'home' office when it comes to development? [And then concludes] for some associates, working remotely, at least part of the time, might be a faster track to the build they need to become a partner themselves."

  32. "Young Litigators Face Rising Employment Competition, Fewer Courtroom Opportunities," 03.10.21.
    According to the Daily Report, lateral associates are facing increased competition in the wake of layoffs during 2020 and those with no prior courtroom experience are facing a major career setback.

  33. "'It's Gotten Stale': 6 Struggles Young Lawyers Might Be Keeping to Themselves," 03.10.21.
    The Daily Report speaks with five Millennial attorneys about the struggles they are facing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

  34. "Virtual Firms Are Rapidly Expanding. What Kind of Lawyers Do They Want?," 03.10.21.
    The American Lawyer takes a look at the hiring criteria virtual law firms use when seeking additional lawyers, usually a blend of great lawyering and a sense of entrepreneurship.

  35. "Big Firms Headed Off 'Great Unknowns' by Pre-Paying Bills," 03.10.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that said more firms than usual have prepaid some of their 2021 expenses, using "significant gains in 2020 to prepay this year's expenses and cut down on lingering uncertainty posed by COVID-19."

  36. "After Posting Big Profits, Firms Look for Savings They Can Keep," 03.09.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that many of the cost-saving measures implemented during the pandemic are likely to stick around: "A once-in-a-lifetime pandemic caused once-in-a-lifetime expense reductions that could forever alter the business of law. After those cost savings fueled double-digit profit growth for many firms in 2020, don't be surprised if Big Law leaders try to make some of those gains stick."

  37. "The Outperformers, Part 3: What 2020 Taught Firms About Real Estate, Diversity and Strategic Growth," 03.08.21.
    In this third and final installment of a series from The American Lawyer, the writers argue that "the pandemic accelerated, and in some cases validated, trends that have been brewing in the industry since well before COVID-19 turned the working world on its head a year ago…[and] focus on the likely lasting effects of 2020, with a focus on three transformative trends: real estate right-sizing, strategic growth, and diversity and inclusion."

  38. "Outsourcing Likely to Grow in Post-COVID Law Firm," 03.08.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "law firms have become increasingly open to outsourcing back-office staff over the last 12 months as the COVID-19 pandemic has already conditioned them to having work done off-site and prompted a reassessment of their real estate needs."

  39. "Who's at Risk Being Left Behind When Firms Return to the Office?," 03.08.21.
    The American Lawyer writes that "Associates, new partners and senior partners all have different reasons to want, or not want, to go back into the office. They also could face differing consequences if they don't."

    1. "Some Firms Eye Summer Return to Office, While Others Rule Out a 2021 Return Completely," 03.05.21.
      The American Lawyer reports that "there is no one prevailing norm among Big Law when it comes to when attorneys and staff will be required to come back into the office, though firms are at last at the decision-making stage…but there is one point that firms all agree: remote working will continue despite what happens in the pandemic."

  40. "Legal Jobs Multiply Following Historic Month in Dealmaking," 03.05.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that February numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show there were 7,200 more legal jobs in February compared to January, with 1,129,600 jobs reported in total, putting the industry 35,700 jobs below its February 2020 peak, but 37,500 jobs above its April 2020 low.

  41. Law Firm Year-End Financial Reporting

  42. "Breaking $1B in Revenue, Wilson Sonsini Benefited From 2020 Tech and Life Sciences Boom," 03.11.21.
    (The Recorder: Revenue up 17.6%, PPP up 26.2%)

  43. "Revenue Slipped at Vinson & Elkins, but Profits Rose as Restructuring, SPAC Work Boomed," 03.10.21.
    (Texas Lawyer: Revenue down 1.3%, PPP up 5.1%)

  44. "Shaken by Departures, Boies Schiller Flexner Saw Revenue Plummet 38%, Profits Down 54%," 03.10.21.
    (American Lawyer: Revenue down 38.3%, PPP down 32.1%)

  45. "A PPP Loan and Flat Profits: Denver-Based Sherman & Howard Took Layoffs Off the Table," 03.10.21.
    (American Lawyer: Revenue down 1%, PPP up 1.2%)

  46. "Willkie Saw a Flood of Billion-Dollar Deals in 2020, Driving Double-Digit Revenue Growth," 03.09.21.
    (American Lawyer: Revenue up 13.6%, PPP up 10.9%)

  47. "After Drop in Profits and Deal Work, Shearman Optimistic About 2021 Growth," 03.09.21.
    (American Lawyer: Revenue down 11.1%, PPP down 22.9%)

  48. "Polsinelli 'Zig-Zags' to Profit, Revenue Increases," 03.09.21.
    (American Lawyer: Revenue up 6.5%, PPP up 16.7%)

  49. "Cozen O'Connor Profits Outpaced Revenue, but Firm Resisted Major Cuts," 03.08.21.
    (Legal Intelligencer: Revenue up 2.6%, PPP up 6.4%)

  50. "Nixon Peabody Sees Revenue Dip, Profits Swell After Laying Off Lawyers in 2020," 03.08.21.
    (American Lawyer: Revenue down 3.3%, PPP up 12.7%)

  51. "With New Strategic Plan in Place, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner Posts Flat 2020," 03.08.21.
    (American Lawyer: Revenue down 1%, PPP up 0.5%)

  52. "Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler Posts Flat Revenue, Profit Increase," 03.08.21.
    (New York Law Journal: Revenue flat, PPP up 3.2%)

  53. "Weil Boosts Profits 12% Amid Wave of Restructuring and Deal Work," 03.05.21.
    (American Lawyer: Revenue up 9.2%, PPP up 12.1%)

  54. "After Early Austerity Measures, Husch Sees 19% Profit Growth," 03.05.21.
    (American Lawyer: Revenue up 9.7%, PPP up 19.1%)

  55. "Despite Revenue, Profit Declines, Baker Botts Cashed in on Technology, Energy Sectors in 2020," 03.05.21.
    (American Lawyer: Revenue down 5.4%, PPP up 15.3%)

  56. "With Patience and PPP Money, Shutts & Bowen Finished 2020 With Characteristic Growth," 03.05.21.
    (American Lawyer: Revenue up 2.1%, PPP up 8.4%)

  57. "As Sheppard Mullin Breaks $2M PEP, Leadership Discusses Firm Growth, Shifting Staff Resources," 03.05.21.
    (The Recorder: Revenue up 8.5%, PPP up 11.1%)

  58. International Law Firms

  59. "Top Women in Law Offer Lessons of Lockdown and Their Tips for Juniors," 03.08.21.
    Law.com International asked senior female leaders from across the U.K. legal industry what impact they think the coronavirus lockdowns have had on female career progression, what advice they would give their younger selves, and for their top tips for junior women looking to move up through the ranks.

  60. "Why Do Fewer Women Move in Law Than Men?," 03.08.21.
    Law.com International reports that "female lawyers—especially those at the senior end and partners-move far less than their male counterparts…[noting that] this has long since been the case but never more so than amidst this COVID-19 pandemic…the systemic and structural inequalities that exist in the legal industry ensure that moves for females are much harder to pursue and secure."

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

  62. "Corporate Counsel Women of Color Founder Among Most Influential Black Lawyers of the Decade," 03.09.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "Lawyers of Color has named Corporate Counsel Women of Color founder, president and CEO Laurie Robinson Haden as one of the most influential Black lawyers of the decade."

  63. "Want to Reduce Legal Spending, Bolster Diversity and Create Strong Succession Plans? 3M Knows How," 03.09.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that in working with its small carefully selected preferred counsel network of outside law firms, the company stresses the importance of having diverse attorneys as successors to their relationship partners.

  64. "Stay Virtual or Try In-Person? Inside Legal Conferences' Complicated Timing Decision," 03.05.21.
    Legaltech News reports that "legal organizations like Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) and the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) are now faced with difficult choices around when and where to return to in-person activities."

  65. Higher Education /Secondary Education

  66. "Only 32 Borrowers Have Ever Qualified for Income-Driven Repayment," 03.09.21.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "only 32 borrowers have ever qualified for full forgiveness from the federal income-driven loan repayment program, according to a policy brief released Monday by the National Consumer Law Center." ("If the program worked as intended, more than 2 million borrowers would have had their debt cancelled by now," the study said.)

March 5, 2021

    Top Stories

  1. "COVID Forced Summer Associate Recruiting to Go Remote. Firms May Never Return to Campus.," 03.04.21.
    Karen Sloan, writing for Law.com, talks to NALP members about how the pandemic version of OCI went this year, and how it is likely to go again this summer: "With the first pandemic-era OCI now in the books, law schools and law firms alike say the recruiting process worked better than expected considering the format and timing was untested." ("The upcoming August OCI will again be virtual, and that format seems likely to remain even after the pandemic has abated, say firms and career services deans.")

    1. "'Better Than Expected.' Law Schools and Firms Weigh In On OCI In The Age of COVID," 03.04.21.
      Law.com speaks with Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law Career Services Dean David Diamond and Skadden Arps Global Hiring Partner Gavin White about this year's strange summer associate recruiting cycle. (Podcast)

  2. "'A Year Like No Other': Top Law Schools Are Inundated With Strong Applicants," 03.04.21.
    Law.com reports that "a surge of applicants-particularly among those with high scores on the Law School Admission Test-has made this one of the most competitive admission cycles in decades, and law schools are scrambling to adjust to the influx of wannabe lawyers." ("As of early March, 55,166 people had applied to law school for the 2021-22 academic year, which is an increase of more than 20% from this time a year ago. Should that increase hold steady through the remainder of the cycle, it would be the largest year-over-year growth in the past two decades.")

    1. "Two-Thirds Of The Way Through The Fall 2021 Law School Admissions Cycle: Applications Are Up At 97% Of Law Schools, With Biggest Increases Among The Highest LSAT Bands," 03.01.21.
      The TaxProf Blog provides this update on current law school application volume.

  3. Unrelated Feel-Good Read/Watch of the Week

  4. "It looks like the Batmobile, works on solar energy, and could be the future of cars," 02.25.21.
    The Washington Post reports that "a California company whose name comes from the ancient Greek for "wingless," is rolling out the first mass-produced solar car this year."

  5. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  6. "'Norm of Silence' Erodes Amid Post-#MeToo Reforms for Judicial Clerks Facing Harassment, NYU Panelists Say," 03.04.21.
    The New York Law Journal reports on the proceedings at a Zoom presentation hosted by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law on Thursday during which a panel discussed sexual and other forms of harassment, noting that "judicial clerks face particular challenges given the power dynamics in chambers."

  7. "5 Law Firms Make Canada's Most Diverse Companies List," 03.03.21.
    Law.com International reports that "five Canadian law firms are included in the 2021 list of Canada's Best Diversity Employers, a sign that some in the nation's legal industry may be responding to calls for an end to systemic workplace inequality." (The five law firms are Norton Rose Fulbright Canada, McCarthy Tétrault, Dentons, Borden Ladner Gervais, and Blake Cassels & Graydon.)

  8. "Jill Louis of Perkins Coie's Dallas Office Joins Growing List of Women of Color Taking On Big Law Leadership Roles," 03.03.21.
    The Texas Lawyer reports that Jill Louis took over the managing partner position in Perkins Coie's Dallas office Feb. 10, noting that "she joins a small, but growing list of women of color who have ascended into Big Law leadership roles."

  9. "Hybrid and remote schedules threaten the progress we've made on gender equity at the office," 03.03.21.
    The president of Barnard College at Columbia University, writing for The Washington Post, argues that "without a comprehensive approach to closing gender-based gaps in the workplace, flexibility alone might widen them."

  10. "Gibson Dunn M&A Leader Elected Firm's First Female Chair," 03.03.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "New York-based mergers and acquisitions lawyer Barbara Becker is set to become Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's first female managing partner, after the firm's partnership elected her Wednesday to replace longtime leader Ken Doran."

  11. "Diversity in U.S. Law Firms: 'It's Always Going to Be Incremental'," 03.02.21.
    Attorney at Work reports on the findings from NALP's recent report on law firm diversity in the U.S.

    1. "Renewed Focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Legal Industry Has Made Great Strides, But There's Still Work to Do," 03.02.21.
      Detroit Business also reports on NALP's recent report on law firm diversity.

  12. "Navigating Diversity and Inclusion," 03.01.21.
    An in-house lawyer and a law firm partner, writing for Corporate Counsel, provide guidance for companies implementing new diversity initiatives.

  13. "The Summer Associate Diversity Program as a Change Agent in Law Firms," 02.26.21.
    The chair of a law firm diversity and inclusion committee, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, argues that "law firms should look to their summer associate programs as an important element to create a sustainable, diverse profession that better reflects our clients and population at large."

  14. "Can GC Succession Planning Drive Diversity?," 02.25.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "some of the largest companies in the U.S. are failing to develop thoughtful general counsel succession plans and are holding diverse candidates to a higher bar than their white male counterparts must clear, according to a new report from management consulting firm Russell Reynolds Associates."

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

  16. "Four reasons you're tired of Zoom calls - and what to do about it," 03.03.21.
    The Washington Post reports on new research from Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab "outlining why video chats may exact such a mental toll, and suggesting how you can reduce fatigue."

  17. "'You Can Bring a Drink': Lawyer-Moms Create Safe Space to Vent," 03.03.21.
    The Recorder reports that "a group of Covington & Burling lawyers host a casual, virtual vent session for the firm's mothers, informally referred to as Covington Moms Commiserate, or CMC…an unstructured forum for the attorneys to express parenting hardships amid the COVID-19 pandemic."

  18. "Ways Legal Employers Can Help Pandemic-Weary Parents," 03.03.21.
    NALP member, Meredith Kahan (Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP), writing for Law360, provides suggestions for what legal employers can do to support working parents.

  19. "How to Protect Yourself Against Coronavirus Variants," 03.03.21.
    An internal medicine physician at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School who worked on the Massachusetts government response to Covid-19 last year, writing here for The New York Times, provides advice about upgrading masks to guard against new coronavirus variants and other steps individuals and communities can take to keep everyone safe.

  20. "How to help kids regain their footing after a year of stress and disruption," 03.02.21.
    The Washington Post speaks with educational psychologist Michele Borba "about what caregivers and educators can do to help kids manage stress and stay optimistic, and actually thrive, after a year of disruption."

  21. The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

  22. "California's Summer Bar Exam Will Be Held Online, Supreme Court Says," 02.26.21.
    The Recorder reports that "California's July bar exam will be held primarily online, continuing the trend of remote testing that began when the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in early 2020."

    1. "California Joins Seven Other Jurisdictions (Thus Far) In Holding Online July 2021 Bar Exam," 02.27.21.
      The TaxProf Blog reports that California joins a growing list of jurisdictions that have announced they will host the July bar exam online, including Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.

  23. "Frugal innovation in lawyer formation," 02.26.21.
    Jordan Furlong, writing for his Law21 Blog, turns his attention to law student formation with an eye for doing more with less, and asking "what would frugal legal education and bar admission look like?"

  24. Law Schools and Law Students

  25. "Columbia Reigns Supreme in Big Law Hiring, But Northwestern, Cornell Came on Strong in 2020," 03.04.21.
    Law.com reports that "Columbia Law School has once again snagged the top spot on Law.com's annual Go-To Law Schools report-its eighth straight year at No. 1."

    1. "The Top 50 Go-To Law Schools," 03.04.21.
      Law.com ranks the 50 law schools that sent the highest percentage of their 2020 juris doctor graduates into associate positions at the largest 100 law firms in the country. (Chart)

    2. "Sneak Peek at the 2021 Go-To Law Schools: Nos. 11-20," 03.04.21.
      Law.com ranks the 50 law schools that sent the highest percentage of 2020 J.D.s into associate jobs at the nation's largest 100 law firms.

    3. "Sneak Peek at the 2021 Go-To Law Schools: Nos. 21-30," 03.03.21.
      Law.com ranks the 50 law schools that sent the highest percentage of 2020 J.D.s into associate jobs at the nation's largest 100 law firms.

    4. "Sneak Peek at the 2021 Go-To Law Schools: Nos. 31-40," 03.02.21.
      Law.com ranks the 50 law schools that sent the highest percentage of 2020 J.D.s into associate jobs at the nation's largest 100 law firms.

    5. "Sneak Peek at the 2021 Go-To Law Schools: Nos. 41-50," 03.01.21.
      Law.com ranks the 50 law schools that sent the highest percentage of 2020 J.D.s into associate jobs at the nation's largest 100 law firms.

  26. "Law student using American Sign Language wins 4th Circuit appeal," 03.04.21.
    The ABA Journal reports that "Jehanne McCullough, a University of Virginia School of Law student who is deaf, recently argued a federal excessive force appeal through the school's appellate clinic, and three American Sign Language interpreters were also involved in the process."

  27. "ABA Seeks Comments On Proposed Changes To Accreditation Standards Relating To Professional Formation, Mental Health And Substance Abuse," 03.02.21.
    The TaxProf Blog reports that "the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar approved for Notice and Comment proposed revisions to Standards 303 and 508 and Rules 2 and 13 of the ABA Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools."

  28. "Difficulties of pandemic should be acknowledged in law school transcript, students say," 03.02.21.
    The ABA Journal reports that "the COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on many student population groups, and law students at the University of Minnesota Law School are asking that it be mentioned in the transcript for the 2020-2021 academic year."

  29. "ABA Clears 4 Law Schools Flagged for Low Bar Pass Rates," 03.01.21.
    Law.com reports that "the ABA's Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar last month determined that Atlanta's John Marshall Law School, The Charleston School of Law, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University College of Law, and the University of South Dakota School of Law had each provided enough information to determine that they met the minimum bar pass threshold."

    1. "4 more law schools found to be in compliance with ABA's new bar passage standard," 03.01.21.
      More on this from the ABA Journal.

  30. "Students From 52 Law Schools Boycott Seward & Kissel's Recruitment Over Alleged Conflict in Donziger Prosecution," 02.26.21.
    The New York Law Journal reports that "students from 52 law schools, including Stanford, Yale, Harvard and NYU, are boycotting Seward & Kissel's recruiting process because of the firm's role in prosecuting embattled lawyer Steven Donziger for criminal contempt of court."

  31. Law Firms and Lawyers (North America)

  32. "Law Firm Staffers Don't Want to Return to Offices. Should They Get the Choice?," 03.05.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "60% to 80% of the law firm professional staff surveyed by Cushman & Wakefield would be happy to continue working remotely…and a number of firms are likely to oblige, owing to the cost savings that they could realize from shrinking their real estate footprints."

  33. "At More Than a Dozen Firms, 2020 Layoffs Were Followed by Partner Profit Windfalls," 03.04.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "at least 15 Am Law 200 firms posted revenue or profit increases above 5% in 2020, even after these firms laid off attorneys or staff last year."

  34. "It's a Buyer's Market for Law Firm Real Estate, as Many Mull Office Space Options," 03.03.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "big firms are waiting to see how new trends like working remotely play out for office space post-pandemic, but that wait-and-see approach has created a tenant's market with opportunities for proactive firms in the short term."

  35. "Ropes & Gray Targets Early September for Return to Office," 03.02.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "while most Am Law 200 firms have shied away from setting targets to return to the office, Ropes & Gray has planted a flag in the sand, telling attorneys and staff that the current period of permissive office usage in the firm's U.S. offices will continue until Labor Day."

  36. "The Outperformers: What Sets Big Law's Most Successful Firms Apart," 03.02.21.
    Two consultants, writing for The American Lawyer, suggest that there are a handful of common drivers that are propelling the most profitable law firms: "Among other things, these firms develop and commit to strategic plans, and cultivate and manage cultures of high performance with discipline; they align profitability and compensation with those commitments; and they have deep knowledge of the markets on which they focus (practices, sectors, cities) and the competitive landscapes that surrounds them."

    1. "The Outperformers, Part 2: How Profitability, Comp and Culture Separate the Elites," 03.04.21.
      The American Lawyer publishes the second installment in this Outperformers series, which notes that "standout firms are growing faster than their peers by focusing on profitability…a common driver of success in firms that outperform the market is that they increasingly use their compensation systems to reward partners whose books are accretive to profitability."

  37. "How law firms reacted to racial injustice and the COVID-19 pandemic," 03.02.21.
    The ABA Journal reports on the results of a new study by the NALP Foundation and the National Business Institute that found "nearly three-fourths of surveyed law firms launched new programs to address racial injustice after Black Lives Matter demonstrations and the death of George Floyd last year…[and] 54% of firms said mental health and well-being was a top challenge."

    1. "How Lawyer Professional Development Went Virtual, and Why Some Programs Fall Flat," 03.02.21.
      The American Lawyer also reports on the results of the new study by the NALP Foundation and National Business Institute.

  38. "Firms Rallied in Response to the Pandemic, but How Long Can That Intensity Last?," 03.01.21.
    The American Lawyer, noting that law firms have relied on collective urgency and adrenaline to overcome adversity and produce a banner financial year, asks "how do firms deal with a potentially drained workforce and maintain that level of effort as the urgency wanes?"

  39. "BigLaw Eschews Recruiting At Lower Ranked HBCU Law Schools Despite Pledge To Hire More Black Associates," 02.28.21.
    The TaxProf Blog features the Law360 story from last week that argued "most BigLaw firms are missing out as they eschew the HBCUs — with the exception of Howard University School of Law, the highest ranked among them — in favor of the handful of top-ranked law schools where they have historically recruited." (The story notes that "data collected by the National Association for Law Placement, primarily capturing large firms, showed that 88 firms reported recruiting at Howard during the most recent on-campus season, while no more than four reported recruiting at each of the remaining five HBCU law schools.")

  40. "Uncertainty Swirls Over Law Firm Budgets, as Lawyers Face 'Critical Unknowns' in 2021," 02.26.21.
    The Daily Report writes that "questions about when litigation activity will resume and when expenses will pick up have caused critical planning and budgeting challenges [for midsize firms] for 2021."

  41. "Smaller Offices and Hoteling: Law Firms Plan the Future Workplace," 02.26.21.
    Law.com considers the long-term consequences of COVID on the workplace, noting that the era of five-days-a-week attendance is likely over for good with some law firm leaders conceding that it may be possible to cut their space requirements by 50%-75% from current footprints.

  42. "Justice Minister David Lametti proposes permanent justice reforms in wake of pandemic," 02.25.21.
    The Canadian Lawyer reports that "the COVID-19 pandemic appears set to force a modernization of Canada's justice system…[with] federal Justice Minister David Lametti… introducing a bill seeking to make some of the [pandemic era] changes permanently available options."

  43. Law Firm Year-End Financial Reporting

  44. "Perkins Coie Breaks $1B Revenue, Targets June 30 Return to Office," 03.04.21.
    (The American Lawyer: Revenue up 7.1%, PPP up 4.5%)

  45. "Goodwin Rides Life Sciences, Private Equity and Tech to 20% Profit Growth," 03.04.21.
    (The American Lawyer: Revenue up 11.7%, PPP up 10.6%)

  46. "Sidley's Revenue and Profits Climb as Firm Leverages Practice Mix," 03.03.21.
    (The American Lawyer: Revenue up 5.4%, PPP up 9.8%)

  47. "Troutman Pepper's Midyear Merger Produced Revenue and Profit Gains," 03.03.21.
    (Daily Report: "2.1% revenue growth and a 17.2% jump in net income, compared with the combined 2019 financials of predecessor firms Troutman Sanders, based in Atlanta, and Pepper Hamilton, based in Philadelphia")

  48. "Pandemic-Related Matters Fueled Covington's Double-Digit Revenue Growth," 03.02.21.
    (The National Law Journal: Revenue up 11.3%, PPP up 5.5%)

  49. "In Its First Year Post-Merger, Faegre Drinker Kept Profits Steady," 03.02.21.
    (The Legal Intelligencer: "gross revenue fell just short of the sum total of gross revenue between its two legacy predecessors [and] average profits per equity partner was flat.")

  50. "Litigation-Heavy O'Melveny Sees Flat Revenue, 6% Profit Increase," 03.01.21.
    (The American Lawyer: Revenue flat, PPP up 6%)

  51. "Procopio Posts Record Revenue After Year of Cuts, PPP Money and Resilient Clients," 03.01.21.
    (The Recorder: Revenue up 7.6%, PPP up 24.8%)

  52. "Bucking Pandemic Cost-Cutting Trends, Paul Weiss Still Managed Double-Digit Growth," 02.26.21.
    (The American Lawyer: Revenue up 11.2%, PPP up 14.3%)

  53. "Saul Ewing's Expense Cuts Boosted PEP 14% Despite Flat Revenue," 02.26.21.
    (The Legal Intelligencer: Revenue up 0.7%, PPP up 14.4%)

  54. "Hanson Bridgett Found Double-Digit PEP Growth Despite RPL Decline," 02.26.21.
    (The Recorder: Revenue up 7.1%, PPP up 17.5%)

  55. International Law Firms

  56. "Australian Law Firms to Resume Pay Raises as Legal Jobs Market Heats Up," 03.04.21.
    Law.com International reports that "after pausing on pay rises as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold last year, law firms in Australia are gearing up for another round of midyear salary increases as the market for talent grows more competitive."

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

  58. "Thinking of a 'Hoteling' Law Office? This GC Was Hesitant But Now Endorses It," 03.04.21.
    The Daily Report spoke with Tye Darland, the senior vice president and general counsel at Georgia-Pacific, about the hoteling strategy implemented in 2018 and 2019 by the company for its 2,700 employees, including 120 in the legal department, and reports that "renovated offices for the in-house legal department at Georgia-Pacific are serving as a case study for big law firms pondering how to bring lawyers and staff back together if the pandemic eases."

  59. Higher Education /Secondary Education

  60. "As schools reopen, Asian American students are missing from classrooms," 03.04.21.
    The Washington Post reports that: "As school buildings start to reopen, Asian and Asian American families are choosing to keep their children learning from home at disproportionately high rates. They say they are worried about elderly parents in cramped, multigenerational households, distrustful of promised safety measures and afraid their children will face racist harassment at school. On the flip side, some are pleased with online learning and see no reason to risk the health of their family."

  61. "Group sues Yale over race-conscious admissions and seeks cert in Harvard suit," 02.26.21.
    The ABA Journal reports that "Students for Fair Admissions has filed a lawsuit challenging race-conscious admissions policies at Yale University less than a month after the U.S. Department of Justice dropped a bias suit that it filed against the school during the Trump administration…the nonprofit group's Feb. 25 suit claims that Yale discriminates against Asian American and white applicants…[alleging] that Yale is violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars discrimination in programs that receive federal financial assistance."

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