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.

October 22, 2021

    Top Stories

  1. "Having lawyer parents boosts job prospects, salaries for law grads," 10.20.21.
    Karen Sloan, writing for Reuters, reports on NALP's inaugural findings about the employment and salary outcomes for first-generation college grads compared to those who had a parent with a college degree and those who had a parent with a law degree: "Law graduates who are the first in their families to attend college fare worse on the legal job market than classmates with at least one college-educated parent, according to new data from the National Association for Law Placement (NALP). Peers with at least one lawyer parent, in contrast, have a leg up."

    1. "First-generation college grads find fewer jobs after law school than their peers, new NALP data says," 10.20.21.
      The ABA Journal also reports on these new findings, writing that "first-generation college graduates fared less well in the job market after law school than those who had at least one parent with a JD or a college degree, according to new data from the National Association for Law Placement."

    2. "First-Generation Law Students Struggle in Post-Grad Market Compared With Peers, Study Shows," 10.20.21.
      Law.com also has this story: "First-generation law school students are worse off in the job market after graduating compared to their peers who have at least one parent or guardian with a law degree, according to new data released Wednesday by the National Association for Law Placement."

    3. "Children Of Lawyers Have Leg Up In Law Jobs, Report Says," 10.20.21.
      More on this from Law360.

    4. "Employment Outcomes for First-Generation College Students Fall Below Those of Their Peers, and Disparities in Outcomes by Race/Ethnicity Persist," 10.20.21.
      You can find the NALP press release about the new first generation college employment outcomes data, the information about the new Jobs & JDs report, and complete employment and salary outcomes reporting for the Class of 2020 at https://www.nalp.org/classof2020.

  2. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  3. "Law firms promise jobs before law school in new diversity push," 10.21.21.
    Reuters reports that "two big Ohio firms will help recruit minority students to the University of Dayton's law school, with full-time job commitments after they graduate…Thompson Hine and Taft Stettinius & Hollister are the first two firms to sign on to Dayton's Flyer Legal Promise Program, which builds on an undergraduate scholarship program for underserved students from local high schools."

  4. "DLA Piper Sharpens Focus on Diversity and Inclusion With 2 New Appointments," 10.21.21.
    The National Law Journal reports that "Am Law 100 firm DLA Piper has taken steps to place DEI more central to its talent management, firm culture and client relations: Lenora Ausbon-Odom, the firm's director of professional development, has been named chief talent development and inclusion officer, while and Edward "Smitty" Smith, a leader in its Washington, D.C., office and regulatory practice, has been named national diversity and inclusion partner."

  5. "Perceiving Discrimination: Race, Gender, And Sexual Orientation In The Legal Workplace," 10.21.21.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a new article in the Law & Society Review that examines self-reports of perceived discrimination in the legal workplace: "Across three waves of surveys, we find that persons of color, white women, and LGBTQ attorneys are far more likely to perceive they have been a target of discrimination than white men."

  6. "'Carving Out Space': How Minority IP Lawyers Say They're Attracting Diverse New Talent," 10.21.21.
    According to the Daily Report, "minority intellectual property attorneys say more diversity and exposure is needed in the practice area."

  7. "Is Big Law's addiction to elite schools hobbling diversity efforts?," 10.18.21.
    "If they really want to expand their ranks of Black associates, law firms should recruit from more schools, consider candidates outside the very top of their class and not wait for on-campus interviews to build relationships with diverse law students." Karen Sloan, writing for Reuters, says this is one of the top takeaways from last week's day-long "Black Lawyers Matter" conference co-hosted by University of Houston Law Center, Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, and the Law School Admission Council. ("Law schools consistently fall short in helping Black students on the job market, said panelist Jim Leipold, executive director of the National Association for Law Placement.")

  8. "K&L Gates Adds Diversity Credit to Billable Hours Policy," 10.18.21.
    The Legal Intelligencer reports that "K&L Gates is the latest Am Law 200 firm to announce it will compensate lawyers for diversity and inclusion work by allowing that work to count toward their billable hour targets."

  9. "Tackling Race Issues: A Senior Partner's Reverse Mentoring Experience," 10.15.21.
    A senior partner and a supervising associate at a UK law firm talk to Law.com International about their experiences working together in a reverse mentoring relationship.

  10. "Law Firms Must Rethink What It Means to Invest in Diverse Talent," 10.15.21.
    Former Crowell & Moring chair Kent A. Gardiner, writing for The American Lawyer, on how firms can better overcome barriers with the help of their senior leaders.

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

  12. "Will Covid Really Change the Way We Work?," 10.21.21.
    This piece is The New York Times suggests that the "Great Resignation" could be a sign of a major realignment in the labor market, or it could be just a temporary readjustment.

  13. "Education Dept. Releases Resource on Student Mental Health," 10.20.21.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "the U.S. Department of Education released a new resource Tuesday for educators and practitioners on supporting students' mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, including seven specific recommendations."

  14. "You Up? As Tech Burnout Grows, Lawyers Struggle to Set Boundaries," 10.21.21.
    Legaltech News reports that "increasingly, lawyers are relying more on text messaging and videoconferencing platforms to communicate with their clients, but without setting clear boundaries and expectations for accessibility, industry observers said these additional collaboration platforms are accelerating the legal industry's burnout and well-being challenges."

  15. "'Play the Game YOUR Way': 1L, Unsure If She's 'Cut Out' for Law School, Starts Twitter Dialogue on Law Student Mental Health," 10.15.21.
    Law.com reports that a first-year law student who was unsure whether law school was for her reached out to #lawtwitter for advice and lawyers and students from around the globe commented, expressing their own struggles with mental health conditions and encouraging her to take care of herself throughout her studies.

  16. The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

  17. "Professor, Please Help Me Pass The Bar Exam: #NEXTGENBAR2025/26," 10.21.21.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a new article in the Journal of Legal Education that tackles the challenges to law school faculty posed by the so-called NextGen bar exam — the changes adopted by the National Conference of Bar Examiners in January of 2021. ("These monumental changes to the bar exam do not allow for the legal academy to take a tempered wait-and-see approach before taking action. Instead, law schools must-working together—understand the changes…and begin to meaningfully adjust their curricular and assessment practices to ensure students graduating in 2025 or 2026, when the NextGen exam will first be administered, have the skills necessary to clear the new, final hurdle of the NextGen bar exam.")

  18. "Jurisdictions are switching back to in-person bar exam starting in February," 10.21.21.
    The ABA Journal reports that California, New York, Illinois and Texas will administer in-person bar exams in February.

    1. "California's Winter Bar Exam Will Be Held In Person, Supreme Court Says," 10.20.21.
      The Recorder reports that "California will administer the February bar exam in person for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, following reports of widespread technical problems with the most recent online version of the exam."

  19. "Michigan Justices Debate, But Ultimately Adopt, the Uniform Bar Exam," 10.18.21.
    Law.com reports that "the Michigan Supreme Court last week agreed to adopt the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE), with the first test to be given in July 2022." ("Michigan will join the 40 other states that administer the Uniform Bar Exam.")

    1. "Michigan opts for universal bar exam as states shun patchwork tests," 10.18.21.
      More on this story from Reuters.

  20. "Texas' July bar exam pass rate holds steady, bucking larger trend," 10.15.21.
    Reuters reports that in Texas, the largest state yet to report July bar exam results, figures released Friday by the Texas Board of Law Examiners show a pass rate that is the same as the full-length, in-person exam given in July 2019, which, due to COVID-19, marks the last time the bar exam was given in person.

  21. "'We Understand the Anger': Remote Bar Exam Vendor Says Tech Problems Are Fixed," 10.15.21.
    The Recorder reports that "senior executives with ExamSoft, the company whose software resulted in widespread technical problems on the July 2021 bar exam, told California bar leaders on Friday that they've fixed the glitches that affected thousands of test-takers." ("Company officials also said they significantly increased their staff since the October 2020 exam to address complaints that some applicants waited hours to reach ExamSoft representatives for technical help.")

  22. Law Schools and Law Students

  23. "University of Florida Law gets another $40 million from namesake donor," 10.21.21.
    Reuters reports that "the University of Florida's law school said Thursday that it's getting a $40 million donation—the final gift from late alumnus and trial lawyer Fredric G. Levin, for whom the school is already named."

  24. "What Should Post-Pandemic Legal Education Look Like?," 10.19.21.
    This Slaw column from the Council of Canadian Law Deans asks what should post-pandemic legal education look like, and suggests that "if the pandemic has taught us anything it is that the next generation of lawyers will need to know something about productive responses to crises, whether those are public health or climate-related or something else entirely, as well as how to advise others to react productively as well."

  25. "The Unsung Heroes Of The Desegregation Of American Law Schools," 10.18.21.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a new law review article that "examines the desegregation of American law schools in all seventeen states with de jure segregation." ("In 1940 seventeen American states prohibited interracial education by force of law. In 1945 the south offered white students sixteen law schools, but African-American students were limited to one segregated law school. Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP developed a strategy to desegregate American education by first attacking the inequities in graduate and professional education in the courts. Law schools were the first targets as Marshall hoped to develop a cadre of civil rights advocates who could carry on his work.")

  26. Law Firms and Lawyers

  27. "Senior Associates Are a Hot Commodity. Orrick Is Lending Out 6 of Them for the Next 3 Years.," 10.22.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "One year after offering up six of their senior associates to various racial and social justice organizations for year-long fellowships, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has decided to renew the program for another three years." ("The initial Racial, Social & Economic Justice Fellowship Program took six associates and lent them out as fellows to a variety of social and racial justice organizations for 12 months, with the firm footing the full salary and bonus of said associates. The program was such a success—both from the firm's perspective and from the perspective of those organizations that benefited from having Big Law lawyers on staff for a year—that the firm has tripled-down on its commitment.)

  28. "Unseen Obstacles May Limit Productivity as Law Firms Return to Offices," 10.21.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Big Law has addressed such big issues as vaccination, safety and flexibility as they prepare for workers to return to the office, but lying just below those large issues are innumerable smaller ones that could wreak havoc as most firms prepare to have their people back in the office." ("Developing new routines for what essentially amounts to two part-time jobs—one in the office, one at home—will take time. How do you collaborate effectively in a hybrid environment? Will employees listen to the in-office mandates? What if they don't? Will clients be able to accept that their attorneys aren't as available as they were during the pandemic due to commutes and in-office distractions?")

  29. "What's the Next Hot Legal Market After Salt Lake City? Analysts Point to Boise, Las Vegas and Raleigh," 10.21.21.
    The American Lawyer suggests that markets such as Raleigh, Boise and Las Vegas are likely places for law firm growth.

  30. "Gibson Dunn Sets January Date for U.S. Office Reopenings," 10.20.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher has set an early 2022 date for the reopening of its U.S. offices, with the firm's attorneys increasingly interested in spending some time at the workplace in recent months."

  31. "Winning the War for Talent Will Take More Than Money," 10.19.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "unprecedented demand for legal services, a free-flowing string of transactional work and a pandemic-fueled exodus from the workforce have firms fighting tooth and nail to staff up and retain their talent…[and suggests that] the firms that will come out ahead in this 'talent war' are likely going to need more than deep pockets."

  32. "Allen & Overy Launches Flexible Lawyering Unit in US," 10.19.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Allen & Overy is bringing its Peerpoint flexible lawyering unit to the U.S., concluding that the COVID-19 pandemic has created conditions that have amplified the value of the service for both clients and talent." ("…the platform now has over 350 lawyers across Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and the U.S. [with an] emphasis is on providing clients attorneys with a substantial level of experience, ranging from midlevel associates to partners.")

  33. "Paul Hastings chair says partner hiring game has changed: 'I've never seen it like this'," 10.19.21.
    Reuters speaks with Seth Zachary, who is stepping down as chairman of Paul Hastings next fall after leading the Los Angeles-founded firm for 22 years. (Zachary discusses "the changing industry, today's intense lateral market, and why so many firms are setting up shop in California.")

  34. "Law Firm Leasing Appears to Be Rebounding From Pandemic Lows," 10.19.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "law firm leasing activity in the U.S. has risen to the highest quarterly total since the beginning of 2020, a recent report found, as firms looking to the post-pandemic future plan on office space being an important part of their long-term strategy."

  35. "Burnout Is Going to Cause a Wave of Turnover Among Law Firm Leaders," 10.18.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "it's not just the rank and file who are burning out of Big Law…law firm leader burnout is also at an all-time high, industry analysts say, and is likely to cause not only a wave of turnover at the top in the next year, but shorter reigns in general for the next generation of firm chairs."

  36. "Law Firm Leaders Idealize 'Collaboration' in the Office Space Race, Despite So Much Change," 10.18.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "regardless of what they're doing with office space or leases, many firms are still pointing to a desire to enhance collaboration as a primary motivator."

  37. "Trio of Big Law firms set office return dates in coming months," 10.15.21.
    Reuters reports that "Milbank, Baker & Hostetler and Kirkland & Ellis have released new return-to-office strategies after the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant forced many Big Law firms to delay their original reopenings."

  38. International Law Firms

  39. "Why Another Associate Left a Magic Circle Firm for a US Rival," 10.18.21.
    Law.com International speaks with an associate who left a Magic Circle firm for a US firm about why he made the decision to jump.

  40. Corporate Counsel/Legal Operations/Legal Technology/ALSPs/ABSs

  41. "Corporate Legal Chiefs Look Beyond Gender in New Diversity Goals," 10.21.21.
    Bloomberg Law reports that "corporate law departments will need to consider applicants who have a disability, are non-White or LGBTQ, under new hiring goals by Diversity Lab, a non-profit group that promotes diversity in the legal profession."

  42. Higher Education /Secondary Education

  43. "The Struggles of Income-Driven Repayment," 10.22.21.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "two recent reports are highlighting the need for reforms to income-driven plans for paying back student loans, as the repayment pause ends early next year and the Department of Education looks to create a new plan through the regulatory process." (One report outlines the challenges Black borrowers face with income-driven repayment plans, while another offers a solution.)

  44. "Black Borrowers Have Been Excluded From the Student-Debt Conversation, Report Says," 10.20.21.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on a new report from the Education Trust that was released on Wednesday: "The report, titled 'Jim Crow Debt: How Black Borrowers Experience Student Loans,' is based on surveys of nearly 1,300 student-loan debtors and interviews with 100 of them during the pandemic as a part of the National Black Student Loan Debt study. Researchers found that Black borrowers are in no better position than they were decades ago, with many unable to afford basic needs like food, rent, health care, childcare, and savings because of their student-loan debt." (Subscription required.)

  45. "University of North Carolina Can Keep Affirmative Action, Judge Rules," 10.18.21.
    The New York Times reports that "the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill may continue using race as a factor in its admissions process, a federal judge ruled on Monday, rejecting the argument of a conservative nonprofit legal group that is trying to dismantle college affirmative action policies across the country."

    1. "UNC Wins Affirmative Action Case, for Now," 10.19.21.
      More on this from Inside Higher Ed: "Federal judge backs university's consideration oer f race in admissions, but appeals are expected, and the Supreme Court has yet to decide whether it will hear the Harvard case."

    2. "3 Takeaways From the Ruling on UNC's Admissions Policies," 10.19.21.
      The Chronicle of Higher Education takes a deep dive into the ruling, by Judge Loretta C. Biggs of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. (Subscription required.)

October 15, 2021

    Top Stories

  1. "Law Firms Struggle to Stave Off Mass Attrition," 10.12.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "an unprecedented mass exit of talent that spans industries and continents is among the things Big Law firms are up against as the second year of the COVID-19 era winds down." ("A so-called Great Attrition this year has seen more than 15 million U.S. employees quit their jobs since April, with surveys indicating the movement spans sectors and countries, and that around 40% of employees are at least somewhat likely to quit their jobs in the next three to six months.")

    1. "A record number of workers are quitting their jobs, empowered by new leverage," 10.12.21.
      The Washington Post reports that 4.3 million people quit their jobs in August, nearly 3 percent of the entire workforce: "The phenomenon is being driven in part by workers who are less willing to endure inconvenient hours, compensation, or conditions because they know there are ample opportunities elsewhere."

    2. "To Retain Employees, Give Them a Sense of Purpose and Community," 10.11.21.
      This timely Harvard Business Review article explores best practices for retaining employees during the Great Resignation.

    3. "'Great Attrition' or 'Great Attraction'? The choice is yours," 09.08.21.
      This is the McKinsey report on the Great Resignation referenced in the American Lawyer article.

  2. "Return of Office Workers Reaches Pandemic High as Employees Trickle In," 10.12.21.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "a widely anticipated surge in employees returning to the office after Labor Day never materialized, but as Covid-19 infection rates fall again, workers are trickling back to the office at the highest rate since the pandemic began." (Subscription required.)

  3. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  4. "'Perfection in Every Document': Big Law's Latinx Leaders on What It Took to Reach the Top," 10.15.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "the ranks of Latinx law firm leaders have ticked upward over the past two years," and speaks with three law firm leaders, who all share roots in Cuba.

  5. "Less Credit, Unfair Reviews. How Much Does Everyday Sexism at Work Matter?," 10.14.21.
    This fascinating New York Times piece uses data visualizations to show how subtle biases and micro-aggressions against women at work pile up and explains the aggregate impact of routine gender bias over time.

  6. "Haynes and Boone Hires NY Lawyer as First Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer," 10.13.21.
    The Texas Lawyer reports that "New York diversity consultant Sharon Jones will soon join Haynes and Boone as a partner and the firm's first chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, after advising the Am Law 100 firm on diversity issues for more than three years."

  7. "In-House Leader Diversity, Already Slow to Change, Stalled in the Pandemic," 10.13.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "representation of minorities and women among in-house legal leaders has not grown quickly enough, many members of the legal profession agree, and a new survey shows that the pandemic did not help matters."

  8. "Origination Credit Is Mysterious at Many Firms, and It's a Retention Problem," 10.13.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "how origination credits are awarded-specifically, how they are awarded to women and minority attorneys—is a key factor in breaking the bottleneck of diverse attorneys vying for partnership."

  9. "'Comfortable Being Uncomfortable': What Legal Leaders Learned About Their Role in Racial Justice," 10.13.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that at the MCCA Pathways to Diversity conference this week, legal leaders discussed changes they made in light of last year's protests for racial justice: "corporate leaders have spent much of the last year focused on racial justice, and for legal leaders that has raised questions around how to lead their departments in a way that furthers equity in their own corporations, as well as in the legal industry as a whole."

  10. "Loeb & Loeb Takes 'Fundamental Step Forward' With First Chief Diversity Officer," 10.12.21.
    The Recorder reports that Loeb & Loeb has hired Sidley Austin's West Coast diversity director Jennifer (Ganesh) Davda as its first chief diversity officer.

  11. "Legal Departments Have a New Scoring Tool to Assess Law Firms' DEI Efforts," 10.11.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "the Minority Corporate Counsel Association introduced Monday a new tool to help companies assess the diversity efforts of their outside law firms and help those firms improve their performance." ("Dubbed the "diversity scorecard," the ranking assesses how a law firm is performing in four categories: demographics; recruitment; retention and attrition; and promotions for women and diverse groups, especially those from underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds.")

  12. "Law Firms Are Willing to Pay for More Diverse Lateral Candidates, Raising Questions for Recruiters," 10.11.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "demand for diverse legal talent is higher than ever, and recruiters are facing new pressure to place candidates from underrepresented backgrounds at the law firms they call clients," a demand that is raising some difficult ethical questions for recruiters.

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

  14. "We Mastered Zoom From Home. Just Wait for Hybrid-Office Zoom.," 10.13.21.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "during the pandemic, companies across the U.S. grew accustomed to meeting exclusively on video calls, but with more workers returning to their offices part-time, often on schedules with minimal overlap, many are finding themselves increasingly thrown into meetings that mix in-person and remote attendees…that means navigating new, delicate social dances, and the accompanying hiccups, as workplaces experiment with different ways to ensure everyone can be seen and heard." (Subscription required.)

  15. The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

  16. "AccessLex Institute to Donate $5M in Bar Review Programs to 4,000 Law Students Across the Country," 10.13.21.
    Law.com reports that the AccessLex Institute, the legal nonprofit organization that designed the Helix Bar Review program, has announced a $5 million donation that will allow around 10% of this year's 3Ls to take the course for free.

  17. Law Schools and Law Students

  18. "McGeorge Law says trial lawyer's $25 mln gift will expand access," 10.12.21.
    Reuters reports that "the University of Pacific McGeorge School of Law on Tuesday announced a $30 million influx of cash, thanks to a deep-pocketed donor and university funds, with most of the money earmarked for student scholarships."

  19. "A Guide to Big Changes for Public Service Loan Forgiveness," 10.08.21.
    The New York Times has this helpful guide to the recent changes that the Education Department is making to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

  20. "Villanova Law's biggest donor ponies up another $13 million," 10.07.21.
    Reuters reports that Villanova University's has received a fit of $13 million from Charles and Barbara Widger that "will be used to bolster professional development and leadership training, including by endowing a new associate dean and three other positions focused on those areas."

  21. "NYU Law dean to step down after nine years," 10.07.21.
    Reuters reports that New York University School of Law's longtime leader, Trevor Morrison, said Thursday that he will step down in May, after nine years in the job.

  22. Law Firms and Lawyers

  23. "More firms pause office return plans, eying November or beyond," 10.14.21.
    Reuters reports that "as U.S. law firm leaders continue to adjust to the pandemic's uncertain retreat, more of them are pushing back earlier plans to more fully reopen their offices in October." ("Among the latest firms to delay their returns, Crowell & Moring and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr have scrapped their plans without announcing new schedules. Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld; Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson; and Debevoise & Plimpton, meanwhile, have all set new return-to-office dates in November.")

  24. "Big Law Shifting Preferences to In-Office Work, Data Shows," 10.14.21.
    The Legal Intelligencer reports that "while many leading legal industry players have embraced hybrid working arrangements out of necessity during the fourth wave of COVID-19, aggregated data from the Am Law 200 suggests a shifting preference toward keeping lawyers in the office more days out of the week than initially announced ."

  25. "Is the Grass Really Greener? Former Law Firm Attorneys Weigh the Pros and Cons of Moving In-House," 10.14.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "lawyers who made the jump from law firms to in-house say they've welcomed leaving behind billable hours and have embraced the opportunity to tackle problems from more of a business perspective. But they've also had to make do with fewer legal resources."

  26. "Culture vs. Cost: Law Firms Are Taking Diverging Approaches to Real Estate in the New Normal," 10.14.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "while many law firms are reducing space as more attorneys work remotely, others are maintaining their pre-pandemic footprint or even expanding."

  27. "Snacks and Business Casual—Fried Frank and Akin Gump Move Ahead With November Part-Time Return," 10.13.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld are asking that their personnel return to the office part-time in November, as more firms stick with their autumn return plans amid falling numbers of COVID-19 cases."

  28. "Blank Canvas No More: Quinn Emanuel Hosts Local Artists in Empty LA Office," 10.12.21.
    The Recorder reports that "Quinn Emanuel is filling blank space in its Los Angeles office by hosting two midcareer artists…the firm's inaugural artists-in-residence are LA painters Edgar Ramirez and Molly Segal."

  29. "In November Return Plans, Debevoise Plots Flexibility for Parents of Young Children," 10.11.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Debevoise & Plimpton has delayed its Oct. 11 initial return-to-office phase for U.S. and European personnel to Nov. 8 while also announcing that it is offering more flexibility for those in certain situations—joining a growing list of firms who have moved away from an October return."

  30. "Does a Law Firm's New Normal Have Room for an Afternoon Nap?," 10.11.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "some lawyers and law firm professionals acknowledge that napping has become part of their routines over the last 19 months that they've been frequently, or exclusively, remote, but as firms slowly urge their personnel back into the office and plan spaces for the future, there's at least a prospect that this practice could continue in the workplace."

  31. "Law firm leaders play catch-up as virus outlook shifts," 10.08.21.
    Reuters reports that as the seven-day average of daily U.S. coronavirus cases continues to drop, law firm leaders struggle to "balance wanting to reopen offices with health considerations, client preferences and attorney expectations."

  32. "White & Case Promotes Largest Ever Round," 10.08.21.
    Law.com International reports that "White & Case has promoted 59 lawyers to its partnership in its largest global promotions round ever, the firm announced on Friday."

  33. "Hanson Bridgett Revamps Associate Compensation, Adding Productivity, Sabbatical Bonuses," 10.08.21.
    The Recorder reports that "Hanson Bridgett is the latest midsize law firm to revise its associate compensation system, following a slew of pay raises in Big Law that emerged amid the red-hot talent wars over the summer."

  34. "Discounts, Write-Offs and AFAs 'Widespread' at Law Firms Since Pandemic," 10.08.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "law firms took dramatic steps at the start of the pandemic to reduce costs for themselves and for their clients, but while many reversed their own furloughs and draw reductions, a new report outlines how write-offs, discounts and alternative fees remain 'widespread,' even as client demands have increased over the last year and a half."

  35. International Law Firms

  36. "Allen & Overy Hikes Junior Lawyer Salaries Amid Latest UK War For Talent," 10.13.21.
    Law.com International reports that "Allen & Overy has raised its newly-qualified associate base pay rate after Magic Circle rival Linklaters restarted the U.K. pay war for junior talent last month." (A&O will now pay its NQ lawyers a base rate of £107,500, up from £100,000.)

  37. Corporate Counsel/Legal Operations/Legal Technology/ALSPs/ABSs

  38. "'We Will Never Go Back': Legal Chiefs on Pandemic Lessons, and What's Here to Stay," 10.12.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "in-house legal department leaders say the COVID-19 pandemic has permanently altered workplace dynamics—not just in obvious ways, such as the embrace of remote work, but also in more subtle ways, such as the need to pay greater attention to mental health and rethink what it takes to attract and retain top talent."

  39. "How Legal Operations Can Drive the Future of the Legal Industry," 10.12.21.
    This piece in Legaltech News by the former president of CLOC makes the case that legal operations will continue to transform the legal industry.

  40. "PwC Goes All-In on Flexibility. Will Big Law Follow?," 10.08.21.
    Law.com reports that PwC announced last week that it will allow its 40,000 client-facing U.S. employees to work from wherever they wish.

  41. Higher Education /Secondary Education

  42. "Half of All College Students Take Online Courses," 10.13.21.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "an analysis of newly available federal data shows that a far larger proportion of college students take at least one fully online course than was previously understood."

  43. "Student-Debt Crisis Ensnares Parents: How Baylor Steered Lower-Income Parents to Debt They Couldn't Afford," 10.13.21.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "some of the wealthiest U.S. colleges are steering parents into no-limit federal loans to cover rising tuition, leaving many poor and middle-class families with debt they can't repay. (Subscription required.)

October 8, 2021

    Top Stories

  1. "'The struggle is real': Why these Americans are still getting left behind in the recovery," 10.07.21.
    The Washington Post reports that "millions of Americans have returned to work this year as health risks have subsided, but a full jobs rebound is a long way off, and the recovery so far has largely left behind Black Americans and workers without college degrees." ("The Black unemployment rate, at 8.8 percent, remains nearly double the White unemployment rate…but looking across all groups, employment among Black women is the least recovered.")

  2. "Biden administration temporarily expands student loan forgiveness program for public servants," 10.06.21.
    The Washington Post reports that "service members, teachers and other public servants who have been shut out of a controversial student loan forgiveness program will get another chance at debt cancellation…the Education Department will temporarily allow all payments borrowers made on federal student loans to count toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness, regardless of the loan program or payment plan." ("It estimates the move will bring more than 550,000 people closer to debt cancellation, including 22,000 who will be immediately eligible.")

    1. "Biden administration expands student loan forgiveness eligibility," 10.06.21.
      More on this story from Reuters: "The Biden administration on Wednesday announced changes to the federal student loan forgiveness program that would allow thousands more public sector workers, including members of the military, to seek a reprieve on their educational debts."

    2. "Change Comes to Public Service Loan Forgiveness," 10.07.21.
      More on this from Inside Higher Ed: "A federal loan forgiveness program known for its ineffectiveness will undergo major reforms over the next year, the Department of Education announced Wednesday. The overhaul is intended to fulfill a "largely unmet" promise to wipe away the student debt of teachers, military service members and others working in the public sector."

    3. "Debt-weary lawyers bank on relief with loan forgiveness overhaul," 10.07.21.
      Karen Sloan, writing for Reuters, takes a look at the effect of the changes on public service loan forgiveness on lawyers and law students.

    4. "Changes announced for public service loan forgiveness; ABA urges government to do more," 10.07.21.
      The ABA Journal reports on this "welcome step" but writes that ABA President Reginald Turner issued a statement this week calling on the President to do more: "The ABA urges Congress and the administration to consider additional actions, including moves that would forgive some student debt, offer borrowers the ability to refinance loans at lower interest rates and improve the ability of struggling borrowers to seek a bankruptcy discharge for federal student loans."

  3. The Feel-Goods

  4. "Fat Bear Week has a winner: 480 Otis is the chunkiest champ for the fourth time," 10.05.21.
    The Washington Post reports that "in the battle of the beefiest, 480 Otis has emerged the enormous victor of Fat Bear Week 2021, beating 151 Walker by more than 6,000 votes after a rousing day at the polls." ("At approximately 25 years old, Otis is one of the oldest bears that feast at Brooks Falls before winter hibernation. He is also one of the most beloved, with his own dedicated Facebook page where fans post about his shenanigans at his 'office,' referring to his preferred sockeye salmon feasting spot in the Brooks River.")

    1. "Fat Bear Week: 480 Otis Takes Title for 4th Time," 10.06.21.
      More on Otis from The New York Times.

  5. "5 Minutes That Will Make You Love Maria Callas," 10.06.21.
    This is for my fellow opera buffs out there — The New York Times asked a variety of arts luminaries to identify their favorite passages from the masterworks of Maria Callas. (Whether you are an opera fan or not, give yourself a five-minute study break and listen to the first selection curated by Patti LuPone.)

  6. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  7. "EEOC Guidance on Protections Against Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity," 10.07.21.
    Three Skadden attorneys, writing for the New York Law Journal, examine new EEOC guidance that prohibits employer discrimination against an employee on the basis of gender identity, writing that "with many employers returning to the office over the next several weeks…employers should consider how to implement the EEOC Guidance."

  8. "Diversity at Elite Law Firms Is So Bad Clients Are Docking Fees," 10.05.21.
    Bloomberg reports that "Facebook, HP, and Novartis are part of a growing number of major global companies that have warned they'll take their work elsewhere or cut fees unless they see more racial and gender diversity in the law firms they hire."

  9. "ABA internship for law students with disabilities spurs young lawyer's work at IT company," 10.05.21.
    The ABA Journal reports on a program through which the ABA and Accenture offer summer internships to first-year law students with disabilities.

  10. "'Mentorship on steroids': How Cadwalader is gaining on diversity," 10.05.21.
    Reuters reports on the success of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft's "unique sponsorship program that's starting to noticeably change the demographics of the firm's upper ranks."

  11. "Yes, Data and Metrics Can Improve Your Diversity & Inclusion Outcome," 10.01.21.
    DLA Piper's national diversity and inclusion partner, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, writes about the importance of using data and metrics to increase diversity.

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

  13. "Law Firms Still Beset by 'Chronic Underestimation' of Wellness," 10.06.21.
    Law.com reports that "firms are saying the right things when it comes to mental wellness…[but] new perks meant to boost mental health don't address underlying causes of problems, such as workloads and staff shortages."

  14. "Colorado High Court Task Force Recommends Expanding 'First-of-Its-Kind' Lawyer Well-Being Pilot Program," 10.01.21.
    Law.com reports that "in a report on Colorado's Well-Being Recognition Program for Legal Employers Pilot Project, released Thursday, the Pilot Advisory Board recommended that the state Supreme Court adopt a formal well-being recognition program for legal employers."

  15. Law Schools and Law Students

  16. "Montana law school dean resigns after complaints about the oversight of Title IX allegations," 10.07.21.
    The ABA Journal reports that "Paul Kirgis, dean of the University of Montana's Alexander Blewett III School of Law, has resigned from his post…[after] the school [came] under fire for accusations that the administration dissuaded students from filing administrative complaints alleging Title IX violations."

  17. "Vanderbilt Law bags $10 million gift from alumnus," 10.06.21.
    Reuters reports that "Vanderbilt Law School on Wednesday unveiled a $10 million donation from alumnus and private-equity entrepreneur Justin Ishbia."

  18. "Should law schools fully embrace the GRE? New report urges caution," 10.05.21.
    Karen Sloan, writing for Reuters, takes a look at the "new report by researchers the ABA tasked with evaluating the GRE's promise," which is now out for public comment until October 31.

  19. "Students At 20+ Law Schools Demand Cancellation Of Contracts With Lexis-Nexis And Westlaw In Immigration Protest," 10.05.21.
    The TaxProf Blog reports that "law students across the country are calling on their schools to sever ties with two major research firms over their work with immigration enforcement agencies."

  20. "9% Of The Way Through The Fall 2022 Law School Admissions Cycle: Applicants Are Up 11.5%, With Biggest Increase (21.6%) Among The 150-159 LSAT Band," 10.04.21.
    The TaxProf Blog provides this update from LSAC on the nascent law school application cycle currently underway.

    1. "Spivey's First Look At The Fall 2022 Admissions Cycle," 10.05.21. More on the new admissions cycle from Mike Spivey via the Tax Prof Blog.
      More on the new admissions cycle from Mike Spivey via the Tax Prof Blog.

  21. "Columbia Law's First Artist-in-Residence Engaging Students and Scholars With His 'Art of Justice' Project," 10.01.21.
    The New York Law Journal reports that as Columbia Law School's inaugural artist-in-residence, Harlem-based artist and photographer Bayeté Ross Smith, "will engage students and faculty through his Art of Justice project, a series of installations and programs in which he will address contemporary social, political, and human rights issues while strategically engaging the legal community."

  22. "'All of These Are Insane:' Current and Former Law Students Share Their OCI Horror Stories on Reddit," 10.01.21.
    Law.com reports that "a Reddit thread blew up [last week] with current and former law school students recounting their worst on-campus law firm interview experiences, many of which were borderline cringeworthy."

  23. "The Gathering Clouds On the Law School Horizon," 09.30.21.
    This is a thoughtful piece from Mike Spivey, writing for Above the Law, outlining a series of challenges that will inevitably face law schools in the near-term future: "We are looking at a confluence of pressures, a perfect storm, coming together to make the challenges of the Great Recession potentially look all but trivial."

  24. Law Firms and Lawyers

  25. "The Great Resignation: Capturing Lawyers' Workflows Before They Walk Out the Door," 10.07.21.
    This piece in Legaltech News makes the case that "with recent turmoil in the labor market, law firms and corporations must increase their productivity and revenue while capturing their departing employees' knowledge and best practices."

  26. "Piano Concerts and Trial Dramas: Law Firms Are Using Podcasts to Reach Clients and Talent," 10.07.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "as the pandemic has changed media consumption habits, law firms have recognized a need to rethink how they reach their audiences [and] several firms, including Milbank, Hogan Lovells and Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, have turned to podcasting to build connections, and each has put their own spin on the medium."

  27. "From This Week to Next Year, Firm Leader Views on In-Office Work Are Diverging," 10.06.21.
    The Legal Intelligencer reports that "the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic has large law firms taking very different stances on whether to reopen offices and require in-office attendance, even if part-time, or to postpone that step once again." ("For many months, most firms agreed it was best to stay mostly remote. Now, their timelines for getting people back in the office are becoming more varied.")

  28. "'This Is The Right Time': Ropes & Gray Sticks With November for Expanded Reopening, as Other Firms Postpone," 10.05.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Ropes & Gray has set Nov. 8 as the target date for its "Phase 2" of reopening its offices, asking all attorneys to come back into the office one or two times a week through the end of the year, while asking legal executive assistants to come in three days a week."

  29. "Michelman & Robinson Boosts Associate Salaries to Starting Pay of $230K," 10.05.21.
    The Recorder reports that "Michelman & Robinson, a Los Angeles-born midsize firm focused on litigation, regulatory and transactional work, announced Monday it would raise associate salaries beyond the Davis Polk & Wardwell associate pay scale announced in June."

  30. "The Lateral Process Inspires 'Visceral Fear' in Some Attorneys. This Recruiter Wants to Demystify It," 10.05.21.
    The American Lawyer speaks with Dan Binstock about "the rules of the road" for lawyers seeking to make a lateral move.

  31. "ESG is 'mission critical.' Can Paul, Weiss get law schools on board?," 10.04.21.
    Reuters reports that "Paul, Weiss will provide two annual $25,000 scholarships to Berkeley Law students involved in the firm's new ESG research initiative at the school in a bid to boost the number of young lawyers versed in ESG practice."

    1. "Paul Weiss, UC Berkeley Team Up to Close Knowledge Gap in 'Existential' ESG Questions," 10.05.21.
      More on this from The Recorder: "Paul Weiss has launched the ESG and Law Institute with UC Berkeley School of Law's Business in Society Institute."

  32. "Leaking Talent a 'Growing Threat' to Law Firms," 10.04.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "the talent crunch has triggered alarm bells about law firms' long-term viability, as epic workloads and existential upheaval continue to rain on a generation that's less interested in the traditional benefits of Big Law life…despite salary increases, creative bonuses and more flexibility than ever, industry observers say firms still aren't finding enough, investing in enough or folding in enough young attorneys to office leadership, causing concern they'll burn out or find greener pastures in other industries."

  33. "All-or-Nothing Approach to Office Returns Risks Alienating Attorneys and Clients Alike," 10.04.21.
    The Young Lawyer Editorial Board of The American Lawyer writes about the nuanced and complex lessons to be learned about the long-term effects of the remote environment and the challenges of the return to the office and the hybrid future: "We caution firms and clients against making abrupt demands that do not account for some of the positive outcomes the pandemic has brought."

  34. "Kirkland Promotes 151 to Partner, Topping Last Year's Record," 10.01.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Kirkland & Ellis has again upped the ante on its new partner class, announcing today that it has promoted 151 new partners in its offices across the globe—an increase from last year's record 145."

    1. "Kirkland & Ellis partner class hits highs after lucrative year," 10.01.21.
      Reuters also reports on the Kirkland partner promotions, "a record class size for the nation's highest-revenue law firm."

    2. "Kirkland & Ellis, Goodwin and Morgan Lewis Make Bumper Partner Promotions," 10.01.21.
      More on partner promotion announcements from Law.com International.

  35. "Calif. Firms Manatt, Paul Hastings Reign Supreme for Top Summer Associate Programs," 10.01.21.
    The Recorder reports that "summer associate programs at Los Angeles-born firms Manatt, Phelps & Phillips and Paul Hastings received a perfect score in The American Lawyer's 2021 Summer Associates Survey."

  36. "Law Firm Mergers Lag Pre-Pandemic Levels, but 2022 Could Change That," 10.01.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "more law firms merged in the just-completed third quarter than during the same period in 2020, but the overall pace of mergers in 2021 continues to lag behind pre-pandemic levels."

  37. International Law Firms

  38. "Legal professionals in UK and Ireland at a high risk of burnout — study," 09.29.21.
    The Australasian Lawyer reports that "an alarming number of legal professionals in the UK and Ireland have experienced mental ill-health, according to a recent study from legal mental health charity LawCare."

  39. Corporate Counsel/Legal Operations/Legal Technology/ALSPs/ABSs

  40. "Corporate Lawyers Are Exhausted, and Cutting Workloads Isn't a Quick Fix," 10.07.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that according to new survey results, "corporate attorneys are burned out—and addressing the problem isn't as easy as cutting their workload."

  41. "CLO Hirings Rapidly Ramp Up, Potentially Straining Candidate Pipeline," 10.05.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "in an analysis of more than 100,000 U.S. hiring decisions…LinkedIn found chief legal officer hiring rates increased by 53% since September 2020." ("Three other job titles experienced even greater growth—chief diversity and inclusion officer (111%), chief underwriting officer (71%) and chief people officer (61%).")

  42. "Looking for a New Job? Here Are Some Résumé Best Practices," 10.04.21.
    Corporate Counsel provides résumé advice for those looking for new in-house jobs: "I encourage you to create an ego-free résumé that focuses heavily on actual experience."

  43. "LegalZoom Gets Green Light to Hire Attorneys in Arizona," 10.01.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "consumer-facing online legal services platform LegalZoom, which went public in June at a valuation of $7 billion, has received approval from the Arizona Supreme Court for an alternative business structure license in the state." ("The approval makes LegalZoom the most recognizable business to secure a license since the state did away with prohibitions on fee sharing and outside ownership of law firms at the start of 2021. It will allow the company to employ lawyers alongside its suite of online offerings.")

  44. Higher Education /Secondary Education

  45. "A Year After a Jobs Bust, College Students Find a Boom," 10.08.21.
    The New York Times reports that "seniors and graduates are again in demand as companies revive recruiting, underscoring the economic premium that comes with a diploma."

  46. "More Than 75% of Colleges Don't Require SAT or ACT," 10.07.21.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "more than 1,775 U.S. colleges and universities — three-quarters of the four-year institutions in the United States — are either test optional or test blind this year, according to a list published by FairTest: the National Center for Fair and Open Testing…[and noting that] that's an all-time high."

October 1, 2021

    Top Stories

  1. "With School in Session, Child Care Remains a Pressing Concern for Firms—and Their Working Parents," 09.30.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "as the pandemic carries on, child care issues continue to be a crisis within a crisis for many in the legal industry."

  2. The Feel-Goods

  3. "Fat Bear Week Is Back," 09.29.21.
    The New York Times reports that "Fat Bear Week, a contest to crown a champion among the hundreds of hefty bears of Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska, has returned for 2021."

  4. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  5. "What if Disability Rights Were for Everyone?," 10.01.21.
    This guest essay in The New York Times by Ari Ne'eman, a doctoral candidate in Health Policy at Harvard and a visiting scholar at the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy at Brandeis, argues that "the increasingly broad reach of disability rights protections also offer a set of tools to help many who never thought of themselves as disabled and perhaps never will…[and asks] can a movement born to address discrimination against a particular minority evolve into something greater — a larger push for rights for all?"

  6. "A Historic Night as the Metropolitan Opera Tries to Ensure Its Future," 09.29.21.
    The New York Times reports that "after eight minutes of applause, the curtain had dropped for a final time, and many members of the cast of 'Fire Shut Up in My Bones,' the first opera by a Black composer in the 138-history of the Metropolitan Opera, began to cry." ("What we saw Monday night is what happens in America when diversity is unleashed, when we see creativity that we've not been able to see.")

    1. "Review: 'Fire' Brings a Black Composer to the Met, Finally," 09.28.21.
      More on this from The New York Times: "On Monday, for the first time in its 138-year history and as it returned from an 18-month closure, the Metropolitan Opera presented a work by a Black composer: Terence Blanchard's 'Fire Shut Up in My Bones.' By opening the season with this work, the Met filled a gaping hole in its repertory at a time when the performing arts are rightfully being challenged to become more diverse."

  7. "Top Leaders and Diverse Lawyers Carry the DEI Burden. This Program Looks to Spread the Work Around," 09.29.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Diversity Lab has launched a new initiative that asks for change at law firms not just from the top, but at the practice group level and even on the individual partner level."

  8. "For Firms Focused on Diversity, Investing in Lawyers Can Begin Even Before LSATs," 09.28.21.
    The Legal Intelligencer reports that "midsize firms like Morris James and Pittsburgh-based Burns White are investing resources in students before they get to law school, in an effort to help build a more diverse talent pool in their legal communities…they're not alone, as firms across the country aim to improve diversity in their ranks, and some even look to high schools for potential future lawyers."

  9. "How Gamification Leads to Meaningful Workplace DEI Changes," 09.28.21.
    This piece in Law.com reports that gamification is quickly becoming one of the biggest trends in corporate training and makes the case that "rather than trivializing the seriousness of DEI, gamification drives the point home and changes how people view their own biases and the experiences of others."

  10. "For Transgender Youth, Stigma Is Just One Barrier to Health Care," 09.28.21.
    The New York Times reports that "many obstacles prevent young transgender people from getting the health care they need, according to a recent study in the journal JAMA Pediatrics; these include stigma and discrimination from the health care system as well as legal, economic and social obstacles to obtaining gender-affirming care." ("A 2019 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that about 1.8 percent of high school students in the United States identified as transgender.")

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

  12. "Lawyers Reluctant to Discuss Mental Health as Junior Burnout Continues, LawCare Finds," 09.27.21.
    Law.com International reports that according to new research, "legal professionals remain at a high risk of burnout, but still struggle in to disclose experience of mental ill-health at work."

  13. "Workers are putting on pants to return to the office only to be on Zoom all day," 09.27.21.
    The Washington Post reports that pandemic-era safety procedures have created a new dynamic at work, in which many employees say they're operating at work the same way they were at home: "As many office workers head back to the office — even as the delta variant spreads across the United States — employees are facing a bizarre new reality: They're still spending most of their time isolated and glued to their computers for Zoom meetings, email and Slack. With more companies implementing permanent hybrid working options — in which some employees work from home and others in the office — the virtual nature of work may far outlive the pandemic. And with it, so may the quirks of the new office environment."

  14. "How a Princeton Economist Teaches Resilience," 09.27.21.
    The New York Times opinion piece takes a look at the work of Markus Brunnermeier, an economics professor at Princeton University, and his new book, The Resilient Society: "I argue that resilience can serve as the guiding North Star for designing a post-Covid-19 society," Brunnermeier asserts.

  15. The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

  16. "The Impact Of 1L Credentials And Academic Attrition Rates On Bar Exam Success," 09.30.21.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a new law review article that "quantifies the impact of academic attrition on bar passage for individual schools…[demonstrating] the impact of academic attrition and matriculant credentials on bar passage at individual schools."

  17. "Illinois' July 2021 Bar Exam Results Likely Delayed by Probe Into Test's Tech Issues," 09.30.21.
    Law.com reports that "the results of Illinois' July 2021 bar exam are likely to be delayed beyond Oct. 1 amid an ongoing probe into technical issues some test-takers experienced, the state's Board of Admissions to the Bar said in a notice posted to its website earlier this week."

  18. "Calif. bar exam probe details tech failures, computer crashes," 09.28.21.
    Reuters reports that "about 2% of law school graduates taking California's remote bar exam in July experienced significant tech problems that resulted in lost answers or lost time, according to an investigation by the State Bar of California…[and] nearly 31% of the 7,742 people who took the remote exam on July 27 and 28 faced at least one technical issue, though most were able to continue the exam without losing time or test content, the investigation found."

    1. "Following repeat problems with remote bar exam, California releases investigation findings," 09.28.21.
      More on this from the ABA Journal.

  19. Law Schools and Law Students

  20. "ABA Releases Consultant's Report On Use Of GRE In Law School Admissions, Establishes Verification Program For GRE Scores," 09.29.21.
    The TaxProf Blog reports that the ABA has released the report of an independent consultant with expertise in evaluating standardized tests that was charged with evaluating the Educational Testing Service's report, The Validity of GRE® General Test Scores for Predicting Academic Performance at U.S. Law Schools. (The consultant's report finds that the ETS report is "an insufficient basis for a clear recommendation that the GRE and LSAT can be used interchangeably and successfully for admissions to any/all law schools.")

  21. "National peer mentoring program launches for female law students," 09.28.21.
    The Canadian Lawyer reports that "the Women's Legal Mentorship Program has formally established the first truly national peer mentoring program for female law students in Canada, which seeks to help them connect with future colleagues and build their professional network."

  22. "The Fall 2022 Law School Admissions Season Opens With A Bang: Applicants Are Up 15%," 09.27.21.
    The TaxProf Blog reports that "as of 9/23 there were about 6,000 law school applicants so far this year…about 15% more than last cycle's ~5,100, and 50% more than the 2019-2020 cycle's ~3,900."

  23. "NYU Law tops goal with $540 million fundraising campaign," 09.27.21.
    Reuters reports that "New York University School of Law has just wrapped what it says is the largest capital campaign by any law school in the country."

  24. "How St. Mary's Law School Convinced the ABA to Approve First-Ever Remote JD Program," 09.24.21.
    Legaltech News speaks with St. Mary's University School of Law Dean Patricia Roberts about why the ABA is embracing online-only JD programs and why launching a solely online JD program isn't simply using Zoom.

  25. "Critical race theory pioneer to receive legal education's top honor," 09.24.21.
    Reuters reports that "the Association of American Law Schools will give its highest award to Kimberlé Crenshaw, who established the concept of intersectionality and helped to advance and define critical race theory….Crenshaw, who is on the faculties of both Columbia Law School and the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, will receive the 2021 AALS Triennial Award for Lifetime Service to Legal Education and the Legal Profession."

    1. "The Man Behind Critical Race Theory," 09.13.21.
      I found this piece from the New Yorker to be particularly helpful to me in understanding the intellectual and legal underpinnings of critical race theory. (The New Yorker spoke with Kimberlé Crenshaw as part of their reporting for this article: "Crenshaw contributed what became one of the best-known elements of C.R.T. in 1989, when she published an article in the University of Chicago Legal Forum titled 'Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics.' Her central argument, about 'intersectionality'—the way in which people who belong to more than one marginalized community can be overlooked by antidiscrimination law—was a distillation of the kinds of problems that C.R.T. addressed. These were problems that could not have been seen clearly unless there had been a civil-rights movement, but for which liberalism had no ready answer because, in large part, it had never really considered them. Her ideas about intersectionality as a legal blind spot now regularly feature in analyses not only of public policy but of literature, sociology, and history.")

  26. Law Firms and Lawyers

  27. "Some attorneys liked parts of their pandemic lifestyles so much, they've made some changes permanent," 10.01.21.
    The ABA Journal writes about the long-term effects of the pandemic on lawyers' lives and workstyles: "Attorneys across the globe pivoted during the pandemic, bringing their work home, shifting their hours and slowing down-for the most part. Their happy hours moved online, their meetings were held on Zoom, and their documents were signed electronically. But those adjustments don't have to end simply because the COVID-19 shutdown is coming to an end. Some attorneys are choosing to continue making room for their new hobbies, their altered schedules or their amended ways of living their lives post-COVID."

  28. "Soaring Demand Is Straining Everyone in Law Firms. Wilson Sonsini's Douglas Clark Has a Plan to Help.," 10.01.21.
    The American Lawyer speaks with Douglas Clark, managing partner of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati about "what the ongoing surge of work means for those handling it and for the future of the industry."

  29. "Baker McKenzie Becomes Latest to Break Through $3B Revenue Barrier," 09.30.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Baker McKenzie has become the fourth law firm to break through the $3 billion revenue barrier, it announced on Thursday as part of its financial results for the 2020-21 financial year." ("It joins an exclusive club of the world's largest firms, led by Kirkland & Ellis, Latham & Watkins and DLA Piper. Baker McKenzie's global revenues grew 7.8% during the 12 months to the end of June.")

  30. "In Designing New Spaces, Law Firms Seek to Make the Office a Destination," 09.29.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that law firms building out new spaces are "demonstrating their belief that in-person collaboration will be a fundamental part of the flexible future…[noting that they hope to] reestablish their offices as a vital locus for lawyers and staff to interact and collaborate."

  31. "There's a decrease in signing bonuses for 2021 summer associates, new survey says," 09.29.21.
    The ABA Journal reports that according to a Law360 survey, "summer associates who recently wrapped up their work say they had ample networking opportunities, received clear instructions on assignments, and found the experience affirming. But few were offered signing bonuses."

  32. "Law firm talent chiefs balance lawyers' 'greater expectations' after COVID-19," 09.29.21.
    Reuters reports that a number of large law firms have recently hired new chief talent officers, including Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, Baker McKenzie, and DLA Piper — for this article "Andy Colón spoke with Reuters about his new role, the pandemic's impact on the lateral hiring market and how he plans to help his firm keep up."

    1. "New Arnold & Porter Chief Legal Talent Officer Seeks to 'Move the Needle of Recruiting'," 09.28.21.
      The National Law Journal reports that "Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer hired Thompson Hine chief talent officer Andy Colón, bringing on a veteran recruiter from a firm that has used innovative methods such as psychological testing to assess potential associate hires."

  33. "Women Dominate Law Firm Business Pro Ranks, New Survey Finds," 09.29.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that new survey results show "women play a major role in the business of law firms, but may not be advancing at the same rate as their male peers."

  34. "How the Good Times Could Come to a Halt for an Am Law 100 Firm," 09.28.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that while many law firms have been remarkably resilient (and profitable) during the pandemic, they remain vulnerable to outside forces, and loss of talent always looms as a threat.

  35. "Remote Work Isn't the Only Reason Lawyers Are Flocking to Virtual Firms," 09.27.21.
    The Recorder reports that "virtual firms without billable hours requirements are drawing top-talent from the legal industry."

    1. "Founder of Jamieson Law says being virtual pre-pandemic has helped all female team excel," 09.27.21.
      The Canadian Lawyer's Law Times reports that the Jamieson law firm, which established itself as a virtual practice long before the coronavirus, has allowed its women lawyers to thrive during the pandemic because of its flexible work-life balance, improved technology, and a desire to better serve clients.

  36. "Law Firm Associates Have Never Had a First Year Like the Last. Here's What Some Learned.," 09.27.21.
    The American Lawyer speaks with first-year associates at large law firms who have spent the entire beginning of their lawyering career working remotely.

  37. "After a Year Shut In, Summer Associates Relished In-Person Opportunities," 09.27.21.
    The American Lawyer reports on the results of its 2021 Summer Associate Survey: "The in-person events summer associate programs are known for—ball games, concerts and elaborate lunches—came back this year (albeit in limited supply), and despite the overwhelming popularity of hybrid work, many summer associates relished the few chances they had to meet face to face."

  38. "Virus Resurgence Leaves DOJ Return-to-Office Plans in Limbo," 09.27.21.
    Law.com reports that "the U.S. Department of Justice has no immediate plans to require most staff to return to their offices as the delta variant continues to keep COVID-19 case levels high across the country."

  39. "The Way Back: How Law Firms Are Planning for Post-COVID Office Life," 09.27.21.
    The American Lawyer has updated its firm-by-firm reporting on office returns, vaccination policies, and other pandemic-related changes to the law firm workplace.

  40. "Hoteling, Hybrid Schedules Shape New Law Firm Office Designs," 09.24.21.
    The Recorder reports that "law firms continue to downsize, but many are hesitant to scrap private offices altogether."

  41. International Law Firms

  42. "Australian Law Firms Give Staff 'Wellness Days' to Cope With COVID Lockdowns," 09.29.21.
    Law.com International reports that "law firms in Australia are giving staff an extra few days of vacation to help them deal with the stress of prolonged COVID-19 lockdowns, as the topic of mental health in the legal workplace moves front and center."

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

  44. "Midmarket In-House Legal Chiefs Seeing Healthy Bump in Pay," 09.29.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "midmarket companies are giving in-house legal professionals higher salaries and more incentives this year than in 2020, according to a survey published Wednesday."

  45. Higher Education /Secondary Education

  46. "Most Departments at Berkeley Drop GRE Requirement," 09.30.21.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "only 13 of more than 125 graduate programs at the University of California, Berkeley, will require the Graduate Record Examination for admission next year, the university announced this week." ("Most departments eliminated GRE requirements last year due to difficulties applicants had in taking the exam during the COVID-19 pandemic. But the majority of Berkeley's departments this year again chose not to require the GRE.")

  47. "University Endowments Mint Billions in Golden Era of Venture Capital," 09.29.21.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "large college endowments have notched their biggest investment gains in decades, thanks to portfolios boosted by huge venture-capital returns and soaring stock markets." (Subscription required.)

  48. "The post-pandemic future of college? It's on campus and online.," 09.28.21.
    The Washington Post reports that "in higher education a year and a half after the coronavirus pandemic shuttered campuses across America students are back on campus and online at the same time," a trend that is likely to persist well beyond the pandemic.

September 24, 2021

    Top Stories

  1. "New findings published on law school debt," 09.21.21.
    The ABA Journal reports that "a survey released Tuesday asked young attorneys if their legal education was worth the cost, and fewer than half said yes; however, 60.9% of respondents said that if they had to do it over, they would still attend law school." ("The data is part of a report, Student Debt: the Holistic Impact on Today's Young Lawyer, published by the American Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division and the AccessLex Institute Center for Legal Education Excellence.")

    1. "Ashamed. Stressed. Hopeless. How debt is weighing on young lawyers," 09.21.21.
      More on this from Karen Sloan at Reuters: "Student loan debt isn't just a financial burden. A new survey found it's also a source of embarrassment and shame for many young lawyers, particularly those with large loan balances." ("The data — based on responses from 1,300 early career attorneys — indicates that the negative effects of student loans worsen among borrowers with debt loads of $200,000 or more, and that the impact of student loan debt varies by race. Black borrowers, for instance, reported higher loan balances than did borrowers of other races.")

    2. "Most New Law Students Are Unprepared for How Law School Debt Will Impact Them," 09.22.21.
      Law.com reports that "a new survey by the ABA's Young Lawyers Division and the AccessLex Institute found that most new law students lack a clear understanding of how law school debt will impact their careers." ("This year, analysts found that roughly 80% to 90% of all borrowers indicated their student loan debt had some impact on their advancement toward major life milestones. Specifically, more than half of respondents said they waited to or decided not to buy a house, while approximately 45% of respondents without children directly attributed these life circumstances to their student debt. 'Decisions to forego or delay homeownership, marriage, and children may also diminish young lawyer well-being, and more broadly, can impact key industries and disrupt future economic growth,' the survey authors concluded, also finding higher amounts of debt brought high anxiety or stress to lawyers.")

    3. "Impact of Student Loan Debt on Young Lawyers," 09.23.21.
      More on this from Inside Higher Education: "A recent report by the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and AccessLex Institute shows student loan debt is common and burdensome for young lawyers — about 90 percent of those surveyed said their debt impacted their advancement toward major life milestones, and a majority of borrowers said they are anxious, stressed, regretful or guilty due to their loan debt."

    4. "Student Debt: The Holistic Impact On Today's Young Lawyer," 09.23.21.
      The TaxProf Blog also has this story, with a link to the underlying study.

  2. The Feel-Goods

  3. "'America's Oldest Park Ranger' Is Only Her Latest Chapter," 09.20.21.
    The New York Times has the story of Betty Reid Soskin, who has fought to ensure that American history includes the stories that get overlooked. ("Betty Reid Soskin, who turns 100 on Sept. 22, is the oldest active ranger in the National Park Service. Over the past decade and a half, she has become both an icon of the service and an unlikely celebrity, drawing overflow crowds to talks and a steady stream of media interviewers eager for the eloquent words of an indomitable 5 feet 3 inch great-grandmother once described by a colleague as 'sort of like Bette Davis, Angela Davis and Yoda all rolled into one.'")

  4. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  5. "LCLD to Require Law Firm and GC Members to Make Public, Measurable Diversity Pledges," 09.21.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) is requiring that its roughly 350 members each make public pledges that include 'specific, measurable actions' on diversity to remain a member of the organization—an effort to hold the law firms and legal departments that make up the organization publicly accountable going forward."

  6. "Fish Partner's Life as a Trans Woman to Be Featured at Vail Film Festival," 09.21.21.
    The Texas Lawyer reports that a documentary about Fish & Richardson partner DJ Healey, one of the relatively few out trans partners at an Am Law 100 firm, will be featured at the Vail Film Festival, streaming through Sunday.

  7. "Gender Pronouns Are Changing. It's Exhilarating.," 09.21.21.
    John McWhorter, an associate professor of linguistics at Columbia University, writing here for The New York Times, writes about the evolution of the use the pronoun "they" in the new way, referring to a specific person.

  8. "Why Gender Pronouns Are Becoming a Big Deal at Work," 09.16.21.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "some big business is increasingly embracing the practice of sharing individual pronouns in the workplace as part of diversity initiatives to support co-workers who may be transgender, or nonbinary colleagues who identify as neither male nor female." (Subscription required.)

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

  10. "The Future of Work Should Mean Working Less," 09.23.21.
    This guest opinion essay in The New York Times from a writer and a former academic, sushi chef and parking lot attendant who holds a Ph.D. in religious studies, makes the case that the pandemic reminded us we exist to do more than just work: "The conventional approach to work — from the sanctity of the 40-hour week to the ideal of upward mobility — led us to widespread dissatisfaction and seemingly ubiquitous burnout even before the pandemic. Now, the moral structure of work is up for grabs. And with labor-friendly economic conditions, workers have little to lose by making creative demands on employers. We now have space to reimagine how work fits into a good life."

  11. "Why having too much free time can be as bad for you as having too little," 09.21.21.
    The Washington Post reports on a study published earlier this month in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that shows "an individual's well-being increases in correlation with their free time — but only to a certain point…while having too little free time isn't healthy, having too much also diminishes well-being." ("Having a moderate amount of discretionary time leads people to be happier than having a small amount, because it relieves that time stress, but perhaps the more interesting part is that a moderate amount of discretionary time leads people to be better off or happier compared to having a large amount of free time. And that's because with a large amount of free time, people feel this lacking sense of productivity and purpose.")

  12. "Another Truth About Remote Work," 09.20.21.
    The Atlantic reports that in August only 13.4 percent of Americans were still working from home even though most people who are still working from home assume that the number is much higher, and noting that "Americans with the option to telework are much more likely to be highly educated; they're also more likely to be upper-income workers, rather than low- or middle-income, and the professionals who telework tend to be concentrated in urban centers."

  13. "The effects of remote work on collaboration among information workers," 09.09.21.
    This paper in the journal Nature Human Behaviour estimates the causal effects of firm-wide remote work on collaboration and communication: "Our results show that firm-wide remote work caused the collaboration network of workers to become more static and siloed, with fewer bridges between disparate parts. Furthermore, there was a decrease in synchronous communication and an increase in asynchronous communication. Together, these effects may make it harder for employees to acquire and share new information across the network."

  14. The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

  15. "Bar exam scores keep rolling in, nearly all lower than last year," 09.22.21.
    Reuters reports that "more states have released results from the July 2021 bar exam, with few bright spots in the numbers…[and] pass rates are down in all but two of the 19 jurisdictions that have reported results thus far, and 10 of those states posted double-digit declines."

  16. "July 2021 Florida Bar Exam Results: Florida International Is #1 For 7th Year In A Row," 09.21.21.
    The TaxProf Blog has published the July 2021 Florida bar passage rates by school, noting that "for the seventh year in a row, Florida International is #1."

  17. Law Schools and Law Students

  18. "Most law schools brought in larger 1L classes. Will the class of 2024 find jobs?," 09.17.21.
    Reuters reports that "the number of first-year law students is up more than 9% nationally…at least 17 law schools have welcomed 1L classes a quarter or more larger than last year…[and] while many programs can accommodate the influx, it's not clear that the legal job market has room for more fresh Juris Doctors." ("This was all foreseeable," laments Law School Transparency Executive Director Kyle McEntee.)

  19. "What's Changing in the New FAFSA and What's Not," 09.17.21.
    The New York Times reports on changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): "Big changes are coming to a notoriously complex form that students need to submit to qualify for college financial aid — but the changes will mostly appear gradually, over the next few years."

  20. Law Firms and Lawyers

  21. "'A very big deal.' Nonlawyer licensing plan clears hurdle in California," 09.23.21.
    Reuters reports that "California is on track to become the largest state to let specially trained nonlawyers offer legal advice in limited settings, such as employment and consumer debt." ("The State Bar of California's Board of Trustees on Thursday gave its preliminary blessing to a proposed 'paraprofessional' program.")

  22. "Firms Will Bring People Back to the Office, but They Won't Be the Same," 09.22.21.
    The American Lawyer writes that when law firms eventually bring people back to their offices, "between new hires and departures and a new focus on maximizing in-office interactions, plus a new recognition of home-life stressors and the toll taken by a virus that's killed millions, firm leaders will have a new mix of employees on their hands, both literally and psychologically." ("I'm a real believer that coming back into the office is going to be almost as traumatic as leaving it 18 months ago. Because in the intervening months, people have gone through a hell of a lot of trauma and anxiety," Jim Jones, a senior fellow at the Georgetown Law Center on Ethics and the Legal Profession, said earlier this month.)

  23. "Wilson Sonsini Delays October Return, Looking to February 2022," 09.22.21.
    The Recorder reports that "Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is postponing its office return once again, creating a longer runway for the firm to implement hoteling and other plans that support hybrid work."

  24. "Law Firms Are Launching Innovative Programs, but Adoption Lags," 09.21.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "the largest law firms in the United States and around the world are introducing new initiatives to improve service delivery, but they're struggling to get attorneys to adopt their new tools and strategies."

  25. "More law firms scrap October return plans, opting to watch and wait," 09.20.21.
    Reuters reports that "law firms are going back to the drawing board on office reopenings — and more are settling for a big fat question mark, at least for now."

  26. "When Demand Falters, Which Law Firms Will Struggle?," 09.20.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "law firms are getting 'the best of all worlds' right now, with increases in demand, rates and productivity likely leading to big profits again in 2021…[but] if demand tapers off, law firms without a diverse practice mix could struggle…[and] firms that aren't thoughtful about office returns and flexible work arrangements could also be challenged."

  27. "The Talent War Has Escalated, But Attorney Head Counts Haven't," 09.17.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "competition for talent at all levels is as intense as it's ever been, with Big Law leaders saying toward the beginning of the year that they wanted to double down on lateral additions in 2021…but with 2022 fast approaching, lawyer head count has not spiked dramatically."

  28. International Law Firms

  29. "Linklaters Sets New UK Magic Circle Associate Pay Rate," 09.24.21.
    Law.com International reports that "Linklaters has increased salaries for its newly-qualified associates by 7.5%, hitting new heights for junior pay among the U.K.'s elite Magic Circle U.K. firms." ("The firm is set to pay its NQs £107,500 as well as a discretionary bonus, up from a figure of £100,000 which had put it on a par with key rivals Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Allen & Overy and Slaughter and May.")

  30. "Slaughter and May Appoints Woman To Inaugural Managing Partner Role," 09.22.21.
    Law.com International reports that "Slaughter and May has elected litigation partner Deborah Finkler to be the firm's first ever managing partner." ("Finkler joins a fresh generation of female leaders to take up mantles over the past year which includes Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters respective senior partners Georgia Dawson and Aedamar Comiskey, and Herbert Smith Freehills senior partner and chair Rebecca Maslen-Stannage.")

  31. "The 2021 Global 200: Ranked by Gross Revenue," 09.21.21.
    Law.com International ranks the Global 200 by gross revenue: "Gross revenue for The Global 200 totaled $161.8 billion for fiscal year 2020, an increase of 5.9% compared with fiscal year 2019."

    1. "The 2021 Global 100: Ranked by Profits Per Equity Partner," 09.21.21.
      Law.com International reports that "profits per equity partner among Global 100 firms averaged $1,903,000 in 2020, an increase of 10.4% when compared with 2019's average of $1,723,000."

    2. "The 2021 Global 200: Ranked by Head Count," 09.21.21.
      Law.com International reports that "lawyer head count for the largest global firms based on total attorneys was 244,970 in 2020, an increase of 5.8% from 2019."

    3. "Top-grossing firms' 2021 revenue highlights lawyer demand in the face of COVID-19," 09.22.21.
      The Australasian Lawyer, reviewing the Global 200 findings, reports that "the revenue being reported by the world's highest-grossing law firms has highlighted the demand for lawyers in the face of COVID-19."

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

  33. "Canadian Women's GC Group Launches Unique 'General Counsel University'," 09.21.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "Women General Counsel Canada, an organization established by women general counsel, is launching a unique program to bolster the leadership and business skills of senior women in-house lawyers to propel them up the corporate ladder."

  34. Higher Education /Secondary Education

  35. "M.B.A. Applications at Some of the Country's Best Colleges Fell This Year," 09.20.21.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "some of the best known M.B.A. programs in the U.S. registered precipitous drops or sluggish interest from prospective candidates this year, following a 2020 admissions cycle in which applications soared." (Subscription required.)

    1. "Despite What The WSJ Says, MBA Applications Are Up Again At Most Top Business Schools," 09.23.21.
      The TaxProf Blog disagrees.

September 17, 2021

    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  1. "Female lawyers still underrepresented, especially in partnership ranks; which law firms do best?," 09.16.21.
    The ABA Journal reports that "about 23% of equity partners in U.S. law firms are women, even though women have made up at least 40% of U.S. law students for decades…[noting that] currently, women make up more than half of U.S. law students, but law firms aren't retaining them."

  2. "New York State Bar Association Launches New Task Force on Racism, Social Equity," 09.16.21.
    The New York Law Journal reports that "the New York State Bar Association on Thursday launched a new task force on racism, social equity and the law, which will examine the impact of structural racism in New York."

  3. "A New Minority? International J.D. Students In U.S. Law Schools," 09.16.21.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a new journal article that "reveals the significance of a new and growing minority group within US law schools - international students in the Juris Doctor program."

  4. "Why Hispanic Heritage Month starts in the middle of September," 09.15.21.
    CNN reports on the history of National Hispanic Heritage month, which kicked off September 15.

    1. "Hispanic Heritage Month 2021," 09.15.21.
      NPR celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month through October 15 with special programming across NPR podcasts, playlists and social media reflecting on the diversity of the Latinx community.

  5. "For the First Time, All of Mansfield Program's Law Firms Achieve Certification," 09.13.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "all 118 law firms in the latest round of Diversity Lab's Mansfield program have achieved certification—a first for the four-year-old program."

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

  7. "The 'New Normal' for Legal Employers: Signing the ABA Wellness Pledge," 09.16.21.
    In this Lawyer Wellness column for the New York Law Journal, Priscilla Lundin provides an update on the ABA Wellness Pledge: "Three years in, there are 213 Pledge signatories and counting. Most are global Big Law firms, but other legal employers are joining too."

  8. "Peloton rides into the corporate law firm 'wellness' market," 09.14.21.
    Reuters reports that "beginning Oct. 6, all U.S. O'Melveny employees will have free access to Peloton's digital platform for workouts and will receive discounts on the company's all-access membership and stationary bikes."

  9. "Need a quick stress-reliever? Try one of these surprising science-based strategies.," 09.08.21.
    The Washington Post has "some outside-the-box but science-based strategies that can help us calm down quickly, so we can keep functioning and doing what needs to be done."

  10. The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

  11. "National mean scaled score for August MBE slightly decreases compared to 2019," 09.15.21.
    The ABA Journal reports that "for the July 2021 Multistate Bar Examination, which had 45,872 test-takers, the national mean scaled score was 140.4…a decrease of 0.7 points compared to the July 2019 MBE, which had 45,334 examinees and a national mean scaled score of 141.1."

    1. "Ominous early signs emerge for July 2021 bar exam pass rates," 09.15.21.
      Reuters reports that "pass rates are down year-over-year in all but one of the nine states that have announced results" for their July bar exams.

    2. "Early Bar Exam Results Less Drama-Filled Than the Test Itself," 09.16.21.
      More from Law.com on the early results coming in for the July bar exam: "Considering the technical nightmares reported from the remote bar exam in July—frozen screens, reboots, panic attacks—the early results seem surprisingly uneventful…[with scores] down less than one point."

  12. Law Schools and Law Students

  13. "Saying the Quiet Parts Out Loud: Teaching Students How Law School Works," 09.16.21.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a recent essay by two law professors who reflect on the experience of creating and teaching a unit spring 2021 called How Law School Works: "Ultimately, we wanted students to learn at least some invisible rules of 'how law school works' in their first year so that they could better navigate the system and more effectively advocate for themselves and for change while they were still in school."

  14. "Teaching Law Students To Be Responsible Stewards Of Technology," 09.16.21.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a recent law review article that focuses on the complex and layered challenges of teaching law students to be technologically literate.

  15. "Admissions Data At 75% Of The U.S. News Top 50: Higher LSATs, UGPAs, And Enrollment," 09.15.21.
    The TaxProf Blog has updated admissions data for the US News top 50 law schools, noting that "LSAT (+1.4) and UGPA (+0.4) medians are up, as well as enrollment (+29.0)."

  16. "First ABA-approved online J.D. program to debut next fall," 09.14.21.
    Reuters reports that "St. Mary's University School of Law next fall will launch the first fully online Juris Doctor program approved by the American Bar Association."

    1. "St. Mary's Law Launches Fully Online, ABA-Accredited JD Program," 09.14.21.
      And the Texas Lawyer has this story as well: "St. Mary's University School of Law in San Antonio is the first law school in the country to launch a fully online J.D. program that is accredited by the American Bar Association, with classes beginning in the fall of 2022."

  17. "NFL owner gives $5 million to law school to train 'social change agents'," 09.14.21.
    Reuters reports that "the principal owner of the Minnesota Vikings has donated $5 million to New York Law School to support its social justice advocacy and defray the cost of law school for public interest-minded students."

    1. "Minnesota Vikings Co-Owner Donates $5M to New York Law School," 09.14.21.
      And more on this gift from the New York Law Journal: "The donation, made by Zygi Wilf and his family, was announced Tuesday and will help support the law school's initiative to retain diverse students and their ability to work with social justice programs and leaders."

  18. "SDNY alums name first 1Ls for Ginsburg-inspired scholarship fund," 09.13.21.
    Reuters reports that "a scholarship program honoring the career of late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has named its inaugural class of awardees, choosing four first-year law students to receive a $10,000 stipend and mentoring from a network of former New York federal prosecutors."

  19. "Scores suggest longer LSAT was no problem for August test takers," 09.10.21.
    Reuters reports that "the average score earned by the 24,907 people who took the LSAT this August was 154.19, just 1.4 points lower than the 155.6 average score among August 2020 LSAT takers, [and noting that] both exams used an at-home, online format due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the most recent test was four sections long—one section longer than the August 2020 iteration."

  20. Law Firms and Lawyers

  21. "Netflix is making a series set in Big Law. How realistic will it be?," 09.16.21.
    Karen Sloan, writing for Reuters, reports that "Netflix announced this week that it has ordered 10 episodes of "Partner Track," a new series that follows an Asian-American female associate trying to make partner at a white-shoe New York law firm and struggling with her morals along the way."

  22. "Flexibility lures young lawyers in highly competitive market for Canadian legal talent," 09.16.21.
    The Canadian Lawyer reports that "law firms across Canada planning a gradual return to offices are not only navigating evolving infection numbers and safety protocols but must also deal with another challenge: a shortage of lawyers…[and] are using the return to the office as an opportunity to say they have changed."

  23. "Rather Than Delay Office Returns (Again), One Firm Is Now Keeping Personnel on Standby," 09.16.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "while some firms have opted to push their return dates by a few months, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has decided to give personnel three weeks' notice before returning to the office."

  24. "Legal Talent War May Be Fought Away From Chicago Market," 09.16.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "the talent war is still raging, with several major markets eclipsing the national average increase in attorney compensation so far this year…but the battle may not be as fierce in Chicago."

  25. "Law Firms Are Doubling Down on Legal Ops. They Just Won't Call It 'Legal Ops'," 09.16.21.
    Legaltech News reports that "legal operations roles are gaining traction in many law firms [but] unlike corporate legal departments, finding someone in a law firm that has "legal ops" in their title is still fairly uncommon."

  26. "Tradition Won't Carry Big Law Toward a Brighter Future—Innovation Will," 09.15.21.
    This piece in The American Lawyer argues that "young lawyers aren't interested in stodgy firms, and neither are clients…[but] law firms can build something better by emulating the tech clients they fight over."

  27. "The Pandemic Is Forcing Law Firm Leaders to Experiment More," 09.15.21.
    The American Lawyer writes that over the last 18 months, law firm leaders have had to innovate and overcome unprecedented challenges: "Firms and their lawyers have not only been resilient, they've been nimble, adjusting to a new way of working and setting records for productivity in the process."

  28. "'Who Cares Where You Sit?': Big Law Marketing Chiefs Push for More Remote Work Options," 09.15.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that law firm marketing professionals are pushing for greater remote work options.

  29. "Diminishing Returns: How Many Billable Hours Is Too Many?," 09.14.21.
    The American Lawyer asks "at what point do high billable hours mean diminishing returns for both the lawyer and the firm? [noting that] firm leaders are looking for ways to ease that stress, including unplug time and lower hours requirements."

  30. "Cost-Conscious Clients Are Driving Growth in Law Firm Subscription Models," 09.10.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that subscription-based law firm pricing is growing, driven by clients seeking price-certainty.

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

  32. "In-House Lawyers Are Taking Their Business Expertise to Private Practice," 09.16.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "as the landscape of work is changing in the legal world and beyond, in many cases for good, the dividing line between working in-house and joining private practice is wearing thin...in recent weeks, an increasing number of lawyers have moved out of in-house roles to become partners, counsel or associates at law firms."

  33. "Women Legal Execs Outearned Their Male Counterparts Last Year, New GC Pay Study Shows," 09.15.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "the latest pay trends study from executive compensation analysis firm Equilar Inc. shows that the median total comp for women GCs reached more than $3 million last year, compared with about $2.7 million for men…marking the first time that women legal chiefs have outearned men since Equilar began tracking gender-specific pay data five years ago."

  34. "Optimism Abounds Among In-House Leaders Despite Huge Changes on the Horizon," 09.13.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "Seyfarth Shaw's latest survey of in-house counsel found that despite post-pandemic uncertainty, most corporate legal leaders are optimistic about the future of work."

September 10, 2021

    Top Stories

  1. "A Generation of American Men Give Up on College: 'I Just Feel Lost'," 09.06.21.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "men are abandoning higher education in such numbers that they now trail female college students by record levels." (Subscription required.)

    1. "Record Numbers of Men 'Give Up' on College," 09.08.21.
      Inside Higher Ed reports that "the number of men enrolled at two- and four-year colleges has fallen behind women by record levels…for the 2020-21 academic year, women made up an all-time high of 59.5 percent of college students, while men trailed at 40.5 percent."

    2. "Men Fall Behind in College Enrollment. Women Still Play Catch-Up at Work.," 09.09.21.
      And The New York Times reports writes that while the gender imbalance in college enrollment grew worse during the pandemic, "a closer look at historical trends and the labor market reveals a more complex picture, one in which women keep playing catch-up in an economy structured to favor men."

  2. The Feel-Goods

  3. "Told to 'Find Arthur,' I Stumbled Upon My Future at the U.S. Open," 09.06.21.
    The author of this lovely Sports of the Times piece in The New York Times recalls his experience as a Black, sixteen-year old tennis player competing with his dad on a doubles team representing the Pacific Northwest in the father and son division of the Equitable Family Tennis Challenge at the 1983 US Open in New York. (Hat tip to Mary Beal)

  4. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  5. "The Great Resignation Doesn't Have to Threaten Your DE&I Efforts," 09.01.21.
    The author of this Harvard Business Review piece presents six strategies for talent leaders to ensure that the "Great Resignation" does not threaten diversity efforts: "In a climate where underrepresented job seekers are in high demand and many will be part of the cadre leaving their jobs in the next year, organizations face a major risk of seeing their diversity numbers get worse. To avoid sliding backward at this critical juncture, organizations need to break traditional conventions and fundamentally shift their approaches to diversity hiring." (Hat tip to Andrew Parker)

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

  7. "If You Never Met Your Co-Workers in Person, Did You Even Work There?," 09.08.21.
    The New York Times reports that: "The coronavirus pandemic, now more than 17 months in, has created a new quirk in the work force: a growing number of people who have started jobs and left them without having once met their colleagues in person. For many of these largely white-collar office workers, personal interactions were limited to video calls for the entirety of their employment."

  8. "We'll Give You a Week Off. Please Don't Quit.," 09.06.21.
    The New York Times reports that "companies are trying to combat burnout from working remotely by offering more time off and other perks."

  9. The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

  10. "Admitted to Practice Without Bar Exam: Divided Georgia Supreme Court Sides With Lawyer, Reverses Examiners," 09.08.21.
    According to the Daily Report, "Wednesday the Supreme Court of Georgia reversed the state Board of Bar Examiners' denial of a motion for admission to the bar without examination," ruling that the twice-transferred Uniform Bar Examination results satisfy reciprocity requirements.

  11. "'Remove That Barrier': Syracuse Law School, AccessLex Partner for Free Bar Prep Program," 09.08.21.
    Law.com reports that Syracuse University College of Law and the AccessLex Institute have "entered into a three-year agreement, starting this year, for students' free access to the Helix Bar Review preparation course."

  12. "A longer, cheaper bar exam prep program looks to upend the industry," 09.07.21.
    Reuters reports that the non-profit AccessLex Institute is launching a new, less-expensive bar prep course, Helix Bar Review.

  13. Law Schools and Law Students

  14. "ABA Finds Cleveland-Marshall Law School Out Of Compliance With Financial Resources Accreditation Standard," 09.08.21.
    The TaxProf Blog reports that "at its August 19-20, 2021, meeting, the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association considered the status of Cleveland State University Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and concluded that the Law School is not in compliance with Standards 202(a), (c), and (d)."

    1. "Law school dinged for noncompliance with ABA standard addressing financial conditions," 09.07.21.
      More on this from the ABA Journal: "Cleveland State University's Cleveland-Marshall College of Law has been found to be out of compliance with an ABA accreditation standard focused on program resources."

  15. "The Fall 2021 Law School Admissions Season Was One For The Ages: Applicants Were Up 12.6%, With Biggest Increase (66%) Among The 170+ LSAT Band," 09.07.21.
    The TaxProf Blog provides this update on the frothy law school admissions cycle that has just concluded.

  16. "How The Pandemic Breathed Life Back Into Law Schools," 09.03.21.
    The CEO and managing partner of Fennemore Craig, writing for Above the Law, provides some perspective on the current law school application bubble.

  17. Law Firms and Lawyers

  18. "America's largest law firms are siphoning off Canada's top associates," 09.09.21.
    Precedent reports that "as the pandemic triggered a spike in legal work around the world, the United States started to poach associates on Bay Street, and there's no way to stop the brain drain."

  19. "When Will Law Firms Hit a Wall Over Rate Increases?," 09.09.21.
    The American Lawyer explores whether the current hot legal market will continue to support robust annual fee hikes.

  20. "Is Firm Culture a Good Reason to Return to the Office?," 09.08.21.
    Vivia Chen, writing for Bloomberg Law, writes that "Big Law is an alienating environment for young lawyers, but arguably more so for women and minorities—which might explain why some of them truly dread returning to the office."

  21. "Legal Job Market Continued to Improve in August Despite National Hiring Slowdown," 09.08.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "lawyers and other professionals saw continued job growth in August as the overall recovery stumbled," according to Friday's Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report.

  22. "With Anxiety in the Air, Law Firms Plan to Roll Out the Red Carpet When Returns Arrive," 09.08.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "leaders of large U.S. law firms are…rolling out special programming designed to create added comfort around what many lawyers—even those who relish their newfound flexibility—still believe is an important and enjoyable part of a demanding job: collaborating directly with others."

  23. "How to retain more women in law firms," 09.08.21.
    This is a thoughtful column in the ABA Journal by a woman who left Big Law to go in-house after meeting a wall of inflexibility after she had her first child.

  24. "Sanford Heisler Sharp Reduces Billable Hour Requirement, Citing Pandemic Lessons," 09.08.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "New York-based Sanford Heisler Sharp is reducing its annual billable hour minimum from 2,160 hours to 1,920 hours, or 20 hours fewer per month, as the firm looks to recognize the increased efficiency that has come from remote work as well as the importance of a better work-life balance."

  25. "'You Have to Get More Creative': What Law Firms Learned About Training During the Pandemic," 09.08.21.
    Legaltech News reports that based on lessons learned during the pandemic, "some firms are not looking to return to the old ways of business, instead opting for a hybrid model of remote and in-person training moving forward."

  26. "With Office Returns Delayed, Law Firms May Not Get Back Till 2022," 09.07.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "office returns scheduled for this month are already tenuous, and if many in Big Law decide to press pause on return-to-work plans again, their next window may not come until 2022."

  27. "When It Comes to Office Returns, Associates and Staff Are a Workforce Divided," 09.07.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "associates are more bullish on a hybrid future than nonlawyer professionals, some of whom would be happy to leave their commutes in the past."

  28. "This firm is partnering with law students for new business ideas," 09.03.21.
    Reuters reports that "Troutman Pepper has been named Richmond Law's new "innovator-in-residence" and will be a key partner in its Legal Business Design Challenge — a course that debuted last year which exposes law students to the structure and business model of large law firms as they develop ways to improve law firm functions and client services."

  29. International Law Firms

  30. "European Firms Return to the Office, But Proceed With Caution," 09.09.21.
    Law.com International reports that "as law firms in the U.S. and U.K. debate the relative merits of mask mandates, vaccine passes, and whether to require all staff to come back to the office, European firms have a different, and perhaps more delicate set of decisions to make…law firms in Europe can easily find themselves caught between their legal obligation to protect employee health and safety, and the legal prohibition against infringing employees' right to privacy by asking whether they have been vaccinated."

  31. "UK Top 50 Results Table: PEP Skyrockets in 'Truly Exceptional' Year," 09.08.21.
    Law.com International reports that "the U.K.'s largest 50 law firms have enjoyed their biggest average rise in profit per equity partner in the post financial crisis era…the average change in PEP was a rise of 18.7%, up from 0.5% the previous year. It is the biggest such rise for at least 14 years."

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

  33. "'Happy' Law Firm Associates Disrupt In-House Hiring," 09.07.21.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "law departments are experiencing the tightest labor market in memory" and suggests that part of the reason may be that law firm associates are happier at their firms because of the new ability to work remotely.

  34. Higher Education /Secondary Education

  35. "As America Grows More Diverse, a State's Colleges Follow Suit," 09.07.21.
    Using 40 colleges in Maryland as a case study, The Chronicle of Higher Education analyzes the impact of growing US diversity on college enrollment. (What they found: Significant declines in white student enrollment, a jump in Hispanic, Black, and Asian enrollment, with liberal arts colleges leading the increase in Black student enrollment.) (Subscription required.)

  36. "U.S. workplaces look to college fights as return to work 'turning point' looms," 09.07.21.
    Reuters reports that "a legal battle is brewing over remote work between administrators at U.S. colleges committed to in-person classes and some faculty with disabilities [and] experts warn it is a precursor of what awaits employers that order staff back to the office amid the COVID-19 pandemic."

September 3, 2021

    Top Stories

  1. "Hamilton Reviews The Formation of Professional Identity: The Path From Student To Lawyer," 09.02.21.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a new Journal of Legal Education article in which Neil Hamilton reviews the new book "The Formation of Professional Identity: The Path from Student to Lawyer," that he writes "provides much-needed concise and effective curriculum to address two closely related fundamental challenges for each law student and law school." ("The fundamental challenge for each law student is how to grow from being an aspiring-entrant-to-the-profession student to being a lawyer with adequate competency on the full array of capacities and skills that employers and clients want and need. The fundamental and complementary challenge for each law school—and for higher education for the professions generally—is how most effectively to foster each new student's growth from being an aspiring-entrant student to being a licensed contributing member of the profession."

  2. "Time to Reconsider Training for the Future of the Legal Industry," 09.01.21.
    Two in-house leaders, writing for Corporate Counsel, propose changes they believe will improve legal education and training for lawyers: "The pandemic caused a re-evaluation of many traditional beliefs about work, school, and the need to adapt to an ever-changing environment. It also resurfaced conversations within the legal industry on the best way to train lawyers. In this article, we propose changes we believe will improve legal education and create further opportunities for new lawyers. They include: Adapt law school education for a variety of future legal roles; Create greater law school/practitioner partnerships; Create an apprentice program to train new law graduates; and Develop higher quality and more readily available continuing legal education."

  3. The Feel-Goods

  4. "Paralympian Robyn Lambird makes history as first non-binary medal-winner," 08.31.21.
    Pink News reports that "Paralympics history has been made after Robyn Lambird became the first out non-binary athlete to win a medal…the Australian wheelchair racer, 24, won bronze in the Women's 100-metre T34 sprint Sunday with a triumphant score of 18.68 seconds." (Hat tip to Nicole Netkin-Collins.)

  5. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  6. "MCCA Chair, Discover GC Talks 'Difficult Conversations' and 'Not Being Stuck'," 08.30.21.
    Corporate Counsel speaks with "the first Black woman to chair the Minority Corporate Counsel Association board of directors, Wanji Walcott, [about] what many have called a watershed moment for diversity, equity and inclusion in the legal industry, as the pandemic's most recent surge leaves remote workers in limbo and many attorneys worry about the effect this will have on already-underrepresented communities in the legal sphere."

  7. "How the pandemic set back women's progress in the global workforce," 08.28.21.
    The Washington Post reports that "the first year of the pandemic knocked 54 million women around the world out of work, widening the gender gap in employment...[noting that] it could take years for that gap to narrow again….[and] of the women who lost jobs in 2020, almost 90 percent exited the labor force completely, compared with around 70 percent of men."

  8. "California Firms Have More Women Lawyers, but Fall Short on Women Equity Partners," 08.27.21.
    The Recorder reports that "California has more women lawyers than ever, yet a minority of the population achieves equity level partnership or leadership posts…[and notes that] San Francisco-born firms are hiring women lawyers firmwide faster than firms based elsewhere."

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

  10. "These Millennials Are Dumping Their Jobs to Plot New Careers," 08.30.21.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "with several years in the workforce and some savings, some young professionals [are taking] an early career break to reassess and chart a different path…these workers, now in their late 20s and early 30s, are both chastened by pandemic-era burnout and optimistic about a rebounding job market." (Subscription required.)

  11. Law Schools and Law Students

  12. "Law schools are answering Justice Department's call for eviction help," 09.02.21.
    Reuters reports that "forty schools have joined a new tenant assistance planning group…after U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a call Monday for the legal profession to step up and help those facing eviction."

  13. "Ida forces two-week closure of New Orleans law schools, return to online Sept. 13," 09.01.21.
    Reuters reports that "New Orleans' law schools will remain closed for at least two weeks as the city recovers from Hurricane Ida and workers try to restore power to more than one million people in Louisiana — a task that could take a month or more…Tulane University Law School and Loyola University New Orleans School of Law have told students that all classes are canceled through Sept. 12 and will resume online Sept. 13."

  14. "The U.S. News Law School Rankings Are Racist," 08.31.21.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a new law review article by Rory D. Bahadur that argues "the U.S. News and World Report Law School Rankings invoke ideas about excellence and high achievement in the legal academy, but under the surface, they also operate as a catalyst for systemic racism…this is because the metrics used to evaluate success are themselves racist metrics which devalue blackness and overvalue whiteness and wealth."

  15. "ABA Nod To St. Mary's U Online Law School A Turning Point," 08.31.21.
    Law360 reports that "St. Mary's University School of Law in San Antonio recently received approval from the American Bar Association to offer the nation's first online-only ABA-accredited law degree program."

    1. "ABA Approves First Fully Online Law School," 09.02.21.
      More on this from Inside Higher Ed.

  16. "Q&A: Here's how Georgetown Law crushed 2021 admissions," 09.01.21.
    Karen Sloan from Reuters speaks with Georgetown University Law Center's admissions dean Andrew Cornblatt about the record-breaking admissions cycle that just concluded: "By the end of the admissions cycle, Georgetown had 14,000 applicants, a 41% increase from the previous year. It was the largest applicant pool on record at any law school, outpacing the national 12.6% increase in law school applicants….hat surge in interest, coupled with a national spike in high Law School Admission Test scores that experts attribute to the shorter, at-home test called the LSAT Flex, helped Georgetown bring in a 1L class with significantly higher academic credentials than in 2020…its median LSAT score rose three points to 171, while the median grade-point average increased to 3.85 from 3.78 a year ago."

  17. "Admissions Data At Nearly Half Of The U.S. News Top 50: Higher LSATs, UGPAs, And Enrollment," 08.30.21.
    The TaxProf Bog has more analysis of the fall class admission statistics from Mike Spivey.

  18. "A Survey Of Deans On The Impact Of The COVID-19 Pandemic On Their Law Schools," 08.28.21.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a new law review article that reports on the findings of an anonymous survey of deans at ABA-accredited law schools asking questions about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on legal education and on law school students, faculty, and staff: "The COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on: a) the finances of many, but not all, law schools; b) the emotional wellbeing of law school students, faculty, and staff; c) the stress level of law school deans."

    1. "'Most stressful time of my career': Law deans reflect on pandemic," 08.31.21.
      More on this new research from Karen Sloan at Reuters: "Law school deans have lost plenty of sleep during the pandemic, according to a newly published survey in which top law school administrators reported high levels of COVID-related stress."

  19. Law Firms and Lawyers

  20. "Big Law Associate Raises Miss the Mark," 09.01.21.
    A law firm Chief of Staff, writing for Law.com, writes that raising associate salaries is "a cynical strategy bound to fail: Throwing money around doesn't address the source of the discontent and burnout among Big Law associates, which is rising to alarming levels."

  21. "Burned Bridges? As Counteroffers Increase, More Laterals Are Revoking Acceptance of New Positions," 09.01.21.
    A search consultant, writing for Law.com, writes that lateral "hiring is off the charts and counteroffers, once rare, now are commonplace" and notes that offer acceptance revocations are becoming more common.

  22. "Big Law Converges Around a Late September Return—But That May Not Be Realistic," 08.31.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "the delta variant has complicated the return-to-office plans at many Big Law firms, leaving many in a scramble of delays and vaccination mandates…[and noting that while] many Big Law firms are targeting a Sept. 21 return date," that may not be realistic.

  23. "After US Raises, What Does a First-Year Associate Cost Around the World?," 08.31.21.
    The American Lawyer has an infographic that illustrates what an entry-level lawyer makes in a wide variety of major markets around the world.

  24. "Pay Hikes Are a 'Superficial' Solution to Well-Being in Big Law, Associates Say," 08.31.21.
    The Legal Intelligencer writes about the associate unhappiness reflected in The American Lawyer's 2021 Midlevel Associates Survey, released last week, noting that "there's a growing desire for firms to rework billable hour requirements due to concerns about mental health and work-life balance."

  25. "Big Law Is Targeting Secondary Markets for Growth-Salt Lake City and Miami Could Be Next," 08.31.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "large law firms are stepping up their activity in midmarket cities in the U.S.…[noting that] population growth, tech and VC dollars, universities and business-friendly regulation…are a few key ingredients for the growth of secondary legal markets like Austin, Denver and Nashville, Tennessee."

  26. "Stroock's Leaders Are Working to Break Down Barriers the Pandemic Has Reinforced," 08.31.21.
    The American Lawyer speaks with Stroock & Stroock & Lavan's co-managing partners about "why they think extending remote flexibility to staff is important, what they're doing to erode barriers between staff and attorneys, and how they've navigated a hot market for talent to make key additions."

  27. "Foreseeing Future of Office Work, Kirkland Plans Move in Downtown Chicago," 08.30.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "citing a need for more collaborative workspace and lacking an appetite for multiyear renovations at its current Windy City headquarters, Kirkland & Ellis is moving to a new office tower further west along the Chicago River…the news comes as numerous firms say they're rethinking physical space in a post-COVID-19 era."

  28. "Half of Am Law 100 Firms Founded in California Are Requiring COVID-19 Vaccines," 08.30.21.
    The Recorder reports that "just over half of the Am Law 100 firms born in California are now mandating employees get fully vaccinated for COVID-19."

  29. "'White Shoe,' Once a Badge of Honor, Is Now a Branding Dilemma," 08.30.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that some of the traditional "white shoe law firms" are grappling with the elitism associated with that term: "The term can mean the elite of the legal community working on the most important matters for the most impactful clients, or it can mean an antiquated and exclusory organization that is behind the times, symbolizing a way of working long gone."

  30. "Aided by Technology, Mergers and Lateral Movement Keep Momentum," 08.27.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "lateral moves and merger talks haven't been slowed by the resurgence of COVID-19…[noting] confidence in financial gains through rest of the year, remote work tools, among [the] reasons for continued activity."

  31. "Big Law Hiring Practices Bring Shortages as Client Demands Grow," 08.27.21.
    Bloomberg reports that "conservative entry-level hiring practices that bolstered Big Law firms after the Great Recession constrain them now as they struggle to find associates for the mountains of work after pandemic shutdowns…[noting that] Am Law 200 firms have hired more than 8,500 associates this year through Aug. 20, a 24% increase over the previous three-year average."

  32. "Overworked Lawyers Say They're Logging Too Much Unbillable Time," 08.27.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "a recent survey found a massive disconnect regarding how much time the timekeepers feel they are spending on nonbillable tasks and what their admins think they are doing…the survey found that close to 70% of timekeepers think they work too many hours, and 82% believe they spend too much time on nonbillable tasks like administrative work and email management."

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

  34. "Deloitte Grows Legal Business Services Unit With Contract Lifecycle Management Team," 08.30.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Deloitte continues to grow its Legal Business Services unit…[in a] bid to make a splash in the alternative legal service provider space."

  35. Higher Education /Secondary Education

  36. "Incoming First-Years Optimistic About Their Lives," 09.03.21.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "more than 90 percent of first-year students are optimistic about their personal lives, including 28 percent who are 'super' optimistic, according to a new poll from NBC News/Generation Lab." ("About the same share believe they'll land the job they want when they graduate, 88 percent say they will definitely or probably marry and almost 80 percent say they plan to have kids, the poll found.")

  37. "Hurricane Ida's Impact," 08.31.21.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "many campuses in the Gulf region were shuttered as Tropical Storm Ida moved northward Monday, creating dangerous conditions for parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama…colleges in the storm's path reported they were still assessing the damage Monday…[noting that] Tulane University president Michael A. Fitts said the university would close campus and cancel classes through Sunday, Sept. 12, with classes to remain online only from then until after the conclusion of fall break, on Oct. 11.""

    1. "New Orleans Colleges Hit by Ida Extend Campus Closures," 09.01.21.
      More on this from Inside Higher Ed: "More New Orleans colleges announced plans to evacuate the remaining students on their campuses and shift to remote learning as power outages in the area due to damage caused by Hurricane Ida are projected to potentially last weeks."

  38. "The Semester of Magical Thinking: Colleges expected that fall would be close to normal. It's not.," 08.30.21.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the summer surge in the Delta variant has upended many colleges plans for returning to "normal" operations this fall. (Subscription required.)

August 27, 2021

    Top Stories

  1. "New lawyer hiring better than predicted, NALP says," 08.26.21.
    Reuters reports on NALP's release of its Selected Findings Report with the employment and salary outcomes for the Class of 2020, noting that "the law school class of 2020 fared better than expected on the employment front, considering they graduated in the chaotic early months of the COVID-19 pandemic."

    1. "Job Market For New Grads Stays Resilient Amid COVID-19," 08.26.21.
      Law360 also reports on the new NALP employment findings for the Class of 2020.

    2. "Median salaries reach all-time high for class of 2020 law grads, while employment rate drops slightly," 08.26.21.
      More on this from the ABA Journal.

    3. "Overall Median Salaries Rise and Private Practice Employment Remains Strong for the Class of 2020, Even as Other Key Employment Metrics Decline Due to the Pandemic," 08.26.21.
      You can find the full Selected Findings Report, NALP's press release summarizing the findings, the National Summary Report for the Class of 2020, the updated bimodal salary distribution curve, and a link to the recording of Wednesday's webinar about the findings at www.nalp.org/classof2020.

  2. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  3. "Can Big Law Fix Its Failures on Work Allocation?," 08.25.21.
    The American Lawyer writes that "the traditional methods of assigning out work at a law firm have long been a breeding ground for implicit bias and associate attrition…[and notes that] a number of big firms are looking to change that."

  4. "Hunton Andrews Kurth Asks Law Students How to Promote Diverse Recruitment, Associate Retention," 08.23.21.
    The Daily Business Review reports that for the second year in a row, Hunton Andrews Kurth used a virtual Hackathon program to connect law students and partners, asking the next generation of lawyers to help solve the problems of the profession they'll soon be entering — this summer associates worked on solutions to issues such as the lack of diversity in the legal profession or high associate attrition in Big Law.

    1. "How Can Big Law Retain Young Talent? One Firm Crowdsourced the Solution From Summer Associates," 08.24.21.
      More on this from The American Lawyer.

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

  6. "As Delta Strains Law Firm Morale, What Can Leaders Do?," 08.26.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "many firms are…worried about the erosion of the social connections among their attorneys as the pandemic and remote work continues—especially the younger generation, many of which have spent little to no time getting to know their colleagues in-person."

  7. "Prioritizing Mental Health Is Now 'Table Stakes' for Firms Seeking Top Talent," 08.24.21.
    Legaltech News reports that "for law firms and other legal organizations, the failure to create an environment that supports and preserves employee mental health can not only impact team morale, but also hinder their ability to attract and create talent in a competitive marketplace."

    1. "'Don't Let It Go Too Long': Lawyers Offer Advice on Addressing Mental Health," 08.20.21.
      The Daily Report speaks with a variety of lawyers about the issue of mental health in the legal profession.

  8. "Did Covid Break Students' Mental Health?," 08.24.21.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on the current state of mental health on campus: "Data have made clear that students are experiencing heightened stress — particularly academic stress — and burnout as the pandemic continues. With the Delta variant thwarting colleges' plans for a near-normal campus experience this fall, those stressors could compound student mental-health concerns that have been on the rise for years. But so far, the pandemic hasn't caused a deluge of new psychological diagnoses among students. The emerging picture of Covid-19's effect on student well-being is more complex." (Subscription required.)

  9. "It's 'Back to That Isolation Bubble' for Workers Pining for the Office," 08.23.21.
    The New York Times reports that "while workers who want to stay at home forever have been especially vocal about their demands, a silent majority of Americans do want to get back to the office, at least for a few days a week, but as the latest coronavirus surge has led employers to delay return-to-office plans, that larger group is growing increasingly glum."

  10. "4 Ways Law Firms Can Avoid Leaving Attorneys Behind in a Hybrid Environment," 08.23.21.
    Legaltech News shares some industry tips for fostering an integrated and inclusive hybrid law firm workforce.

  11. "Workers Don't Want Their Old Jobs on the Old Terms," 08.23.21.
    New York Times opinion writer Paul Krugman writes that "some workers really don't seem willing to go back to their old jobs unless offered substantially more money and/or better working conditions."

  12. "Remote Work May Now Last for Two Years, Worrying Some Bosses," 08.22.21.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "with the latest wave of return-to-office delays from Covid-19, some companies are considering a new possibility: Offices may be closed for nearly two years…raising concerns among executives that the longer people stay at home, the harder or more disruptive it could be to eventually bring them back." (Subscription required.)

  13. "To Gen Zers Working From Home, the Office Is a Remote Concept," 08.21.21.
    The Wall Street Journal writes about some of the challenges facing a new generation of young professionals who started careers during the pandemic and have never worked in the same space as colleagues. (Subscription required.)

  14. "Most workers hate meetings. Here's how to make sure yours are productive.," 08.20.21.
    The Washington Post has "tips for hosting better meetings, whether in person or virtually."

  15. The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

  16. "California State Bar to Investigate Tech Troubles on July Bar Exam," 08.20.21.
    The Recorder reports that "California state bar officials said Friday that they will investigate complaints about technical problems with the July 27-28 remote bar exam."

  17. Law Schools and Law Students

  18. "Deep applicant pool yields record-breaking diversity at top law schools," 08.26.21.
    Reuters reports that "a wave of top law schools brought in their most diverse first-year classes ever this month, aided by a nearly 13% increase in the national applicant pool, with Harvard and Yale law schools reporting that students of color made up more than half of their 1L enrollment."

  19. "Fordham Law School's Dean Dishes on Return-to-Campus Plans and a 'Need to Be Flexible'," 08.26.21.
    Law.com speaks with "Fordham Law School Dean Matthew Diller to talk about the process of managing fall return-to-campus plans, in addition to the school's surprising increase in applicants and changes in legal education moved forward by the pandemic."

  20. "Student loan data will become part of law schools' ABA required disclosures," 08.20.21.
    The ABA Journal reports that "starting with the 2023-2024 school year, law schools' Standard 509 Information Reports will include information about the number of students who receive student loans, and the data will be categorized by race, ethnicity and gender."

  21. "Early Returns On The Law School Class Of 2024: Higher LSAT Scores, UGPAs, And Enrollment," 08.20.21.
    The TaxProf blog has analysis from Spivey Consulting of the available data 1L enrollment data for the top 50 US News law schools, showing in general higher median LSATs and UGPAs, and larger entering classes.

  22. Law Firms and Lawyers

  23. "Even the Delta Variant Won't Sweep Away Law Firms' 2021 Windfall," 08.26.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "law firm analysts expect Big Law's financial gains to be even better in 2021 than they were in 2020…with growth in demand, rates and production for firms across the board."

  24. "California Associates Call on Firms to Innovate Past the Billable Hour," 08.26.21.
    The Recorder reports that "midlevel associates at California-born Big Law firms are calling on firm management to revamp their billable hour policies with more consideration for mental health and non-billable work that disproportionately falls upon diverse lawyers."

  25. "Staff Are Ready to Reimagine the Workplace Dynamic. Are Law Firms?," 08.26.21.
    The American Lawyer writes that "the events of the past 18 months have given business professionals a sense that they deserve better treatment—and some evidence that they've earned it…now, in a tight talent market, many feel empowered to shop around to improve their compensation and working conditions…[and] law firms may have to confront something they haven't seen in the legal industry in quite a while: Leverage owned by those who are not attorneys."

  26. "In the War for Talent, Balance Is Midsize Firms' Secret Weapon," 08.26.21.
    This piece in The American Lawyer makes the case that while "2021 has brought a fierce competition for talent to virtually all pockets of the legal industry…for midsize law firms, it's an opportunity to shine."

  27. "Reed Smith Cuts 66 Roles Across US, UK Offices," 08.25.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Reed Smith has cut 66 legal secretary roles across its U.S. and U.K. operations following the conclusion of a redundancy consultation."

  28. "Law Firms Have Seen Big Revenue, Profit Gains in 2021, Even as Compensation Costs Rise," 08.24.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "law firms of all sizes are seeing revenue, demand and productivity rise in 2021, providing ample cushion for a rise in compensation expenses in Big Law this year, according to a survey by the Wells Fargo Private Bank Legal Specialty Group."

  29. "What's Driving Top Firms to Pay Lawyers More to Do Less?," 08.24.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "firms are coming up with extra incentives for lawyers and staff to take time away from work…[including] $1,000 vouchers to spend away from work and mental health counseling."

  30. "Changing Tide Leads Many Canadian Law Firms to Institute Vaccine Mandates," 08.24.21.
    Law.com International reports that "at this time last week, large Canadian law firms were firmly in the no vaccine mandate camp, but as the numbers of COVID-19 delta variant infections rose across the country, Canadian law firms, following vaccine mandates issued by major banks and other businesses, as well as governments, have changed their tune."

  31. "For Associates, This Summer's Raises Deserve a Second Look Through a Long-Term Lens," 08.24.21.
    The American Lawyer's Young Lawyer Editorial Board writes that "salary and bonus increases may be great in the short term, but they can potentially make longer-term paths, such as partnership, much less lucrative or challenge the financial stability of a firm…they can also have other collateral consequences, such as promoting brain drain from firms less able to weather salary and bonus increases, and potentially also an overcrowded lateral market."

  32. "The 2021 Midlevel Associates Survey: The National Rankings," 08.23.21.
    The American Lawyer publishes the results of its annual Midlevel Associates Survey, which "examines several aspects of job satisfaction: compensation and benefits; training and guidance; relations with partners and other associates; interest in and satisfaction level with the work; the firm's policy on billable hours; and management's openness about firm strategies and partnership chances."

    1. "Midlevel Associates Aren't Satisfied With Law Firms' Return-to-Office Plans," 08.23.21.
      The American Lawyer reports that according to its 2021 Midlevel Associates Survey, "as law firms prepare to bring lawyers back into the office in the coming months, many midlevel associates are uneasy about a perceived lack of communication from their firm's management, especially as it relates to return plans that vary widely in terms of both in-office requirements and the detail firms have provided."

    2. "The 2021 Midlevel Associates Survey: City-by-City Rankings," 08.23.21.
      And The American Lawyer provides city-by-city rankings of law firms based on the results of their Midlevel Associates Survey.

    3. "Words of Wisdom: Associates Offer Earnest Advice to Their Law Firm Leaders," 08.24.21.
      The American Lawyer shares candid responses submitted by associates in response to its 2021 Midlevel Associates Survey.

    4. "Associates Give Firms High Marks for Their Pandemic-Inspired Tech Transformation," 08.24.21.
      The American Lawyer reports that "as the pandemic has stretched on, midlevel associates say their firms have become more adept at providing them with the technology needed to work remotely."

  33. "Fox Rothschild Is Raising Associate Salaries to Fend Off Poaching," 08.20.21.
    The Legal Intelligencer reports that "in a bid to guard against other big firms offering more competitive salaries, Philadelphia-based Am Law 100 firm Fox Rothschild on Friday announced increases to base-level compensation of partner-track associates that will go into effect later this month."

  34. International Law Firms

  35. "How Law Firms in Australia Are Helping Staff Cope With COVID Lockdowns," 08.26.21.
    Law.com International reports that "Australians have had to cope with multiple extended, strict lockdowns over the past year as the government tries to curb the spread of COVID-19, and some of the country's law firms are making a concerted effort to support their staff through these periods, providing them with more flexible work options and programs on managing mental overload, mindfulness and sleep, and offering UberEats vouchers, group exercise classes, singalongs and virtual cooking demonstrations."

  36. Higher Education/Secondary Education

  37. "For Some College Students, Remote Learning Is a Game Changer," 08.23.21.
    The New York Times reports that last year online classes helped many students with disabilities pursue their education: "Although many college students have struggled with remote learning over the last year, some with disabilities found it to be a lifeline. As the fall semester approaches, those students are pushing for remote accommodations to continue, even as in-person classes resume."

  38. "Exhausted but Optimistic: a Portrait of This Year's Incoming Freshmen," 08.23.21.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on the latest findings from the annual Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement, conducted by the Center for Postsecondary Research at Indiana University at Bloomington, which found that "members of the high school Class of 2021 — whose entire senior year was marred by a global pandemic — are mentally exhausted but optimistic about their first year of college." (Subscription required.)

August 20, 2021

    Top Stories

  1. "Nearly a third of U.S. workers under 40 considered changing careers during the pandemic," 08.16.21.
    The Washington Post reports that "nearly 1 in 3 U.S. workers under 40 have thought about changing their occupation or field of work since the pandemic began…a signal that the pandemic has been a turning point for many, even those who did not contract the coronavirus."

  2. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  3. "A Diversity Boon? Attorneys in This Wilmer Hale Practice Don't Have to Choose Between Passion and Profit," 08.19.21.
    The American Lawyer takes a look at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr's anti-discrimination practice group, which it says allows for many young attorneys to pursue their passion while still doing paid work and is a boon to the firm's diversity efforts.

  4. "Want more diverse attorneys? More firms focus on the pre-law pipeline," 08.13.21.
    Karen Sloan, writing for Reuters, reports that Steptoe & Johnson has launched a fellowship program for college graduates interested in the law: "The goal of the program is to enhance the firm's lawyer pipeline, particularly our pipeline of candidates from under-represented groups such as women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, persons with disabilities, first-generation lawyers, and first-generation Americans," said Steptoe's chief diversity officer and chief legal talent officer Shauna Bryce in an announcement of the program.

  5. "Behind the Surprising Jump in Multiracial Americans, Several Theories," 08.13.21.
    The New York Times reports that "the Census Bureau released a surprising finding this week: The number of non-Hispanic Americans who identify as multiracial had jumped by 127 percent over the decade…for people who identified as Hispanic, the increase was even higher."

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

  7. "Top 4 unexpected culture killers for post-COVID-19 hybrid work," 08.17.21.
    The ABA Journal writes that "after more than a full year of working remotely, this will be yet another disruption for law firms to endure—one that, if not approached thoughtfully, can do serious damage to engagement and retention."

  8. "Incoming Freshmen Are Mentally Exhausted," 08.17.21.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "a new survey finds that incoming first-year students suffer from increased levels of depression, loneliness and hopelessness."

  9. "The Limits of Vacation," 08.14.21.
    The New York Times writes that "during the pandemic, some companies have expanded their vacation policies to reduce burnout, [but] experts say there's a better way."

  10. Law Schools and Law Students

  11. "The Pandemic Changed What the Next Generation of Attorneys Are Learning," 08.19.21.
    The American Lawyer writes that "during the pandemic, not only law schools but law firms, courts and all of us in the legal profession had to adapt and embrace technology…that has accelerated legal educators' awareness of the significance of tech, legal tech and law school students' exposure to it."

  12. "ABA Standards Committee Approves Anti-Racism, Bias Training As New Accreditation Standards For Law Schools," 08.17.21.
    The TaxProf Blog reports that at its meeting held on May 13-15, 2021, the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar approved for Notice and Comment proposed revisions to several standards, including one that would require law schools to provide anti-racism and anti-bias training.

  13. "5 Ways the Pandemic Has Changed Legal Education," 08.16.21.
    Legaltech News identifies five ways that the pandemic has changed legal education and notes that "in a post-COVID-19 world, law schools will likely find themselves building curriculums that focus more heavily on in-house legal-ops skills and delivering tech-enabled services to clients."

  14. "Nell Newton Named Interim Dean At Miami," 08.16.21.
    The TaxProf Blog reports that "after nearly three months of turmoil following the firing of Tony Varona less than two years into his deanship , the University of Miami has named Nell Newton (formerly dean at Notre Dame) Interim Dean."

  15. "John Marshall Law School Opens New Location," 08.16.21.
    According to the Daily Report, "John Marshall Law School opened its new location in downtown Atlanta on Monday when the fall semester began."

  16. Law Firms and Lawyers

  17. "Firm Leaders Are Worried About a 'Lost Generation' of Young Lawyers," 08.18.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "as remote work becomes popular among younger lawyers and the rise in COVID-19 cases cause firms to redraft office reopening plans, firm leaders are worried about a growing group of lawyers who have missed out on in-person mentorship from senior partners and may create a dearth of future firm leaders."

  18. "Law Firms in Canada Turn to Rapid Screening Program for Office Returns Amid Fourth Wave of COVID," 08.17.21.
    Law.com International reports that "with a burgeoning fourth COVID wave rolling across Canada, a handful of law firms are participating in a rapid screening program to provide another layer of safety for those going into the office."

  19. "As Summer's End Draws Near, Big Law Parents Again Face the Unknown," 08.17.21.
    The American Lawyer reports that "parents in Big Law, mostly vaccinated and hoping to return to the office (at least some of the time), are again stressing about child care, in-person school and whether or not it is safe to allow their children, many of whom are ineligible to be vaccinated, to attend."

  20. "These Associates Are Leading Oral Arguments as Remote Proceedings Continue," 08.16.21.
    The National Law Journal reports that "the COVID-19 pandemic may have helped give associates more opportunities to present oral arguments, with the associated travel costs eliminated when proceedings moved online."

  21. "Can the plaintiffs' bar loosen Big Law's grip on J.D. students? It's trying," 08.16.21.
    Karen Sloan, writing for Reuters, reports that "students at Harvard Law School recently formed a new group dedicated to plaintiff's law."

  22. "As Law Firms Nationally Delay Office Returns, Vaccine Mandates Emerge in the Sunbelt," 08.16.21. "
    The American Lawyer reports that "an increasing number of Sunbelt-based firms are imposing vaccine mandates amid the steady spread of the COIVD-19 delta variant."

  23. "Arnold & Porter Delays Office Return While Removing Access for Unvaccinated," 08.16.21.
    The National Law Journal reports that "Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer joins the growing ranks of large law firms now requiring all staff and lawyers be vaccinated for the coronavirus—or face being locked out of the building—while also delaying its office return date."

  24. "K&L Gates Requiring Vaccines for US Employees to Enter Office," 08.16.21.
    The Legal Intelligencer reports that "K&L Gates told employees last week they have to be vaccinated to come into the office…[and] is revising its plans to bring U.S. employees back into offices, now Oct. 11 at the earliest."

  25. "Mandates bring new role for law firms: playing vaccine cop," 03.13.21.
    Reuters reports that "U.S. law firms are entering a brave new world of logistical and administrative challenges as a growing number begin requiring lawyers, staff and even office guests to be vaccinated against COVID-19."

  26. "Goodwin delays office return to November amid Delta spread," 08.13.21.
    Reuters reports that "Goodwin Proctor is delaying its plans for a large-scale return to the office from Sept. 13 to Nov. 8."

  27. "Defining lawyer competence," 08.13.21.
    Jordan Furlong, writing for his Law21 blog, constructs a definition of lawyer competence.

  28. Higher Education /Secondary Education

  29. "U.S. to Eliminate Student Debt for Borrowers With Permanent Disabilities," 08.19.21.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "the Biden administration is wiping out more than $5.8 billion in student loans for more than 323,000 borrowers who are permanently disabled, the latest step in the government's…effort to lessen the burden for millions of adults struggling to repay their debts." (Subscription required.)

  30. "Will That College Degree Pay Off?," 08.13.21.
    The New York Times reports on the findings of a new report that analyzed data collected for the federal Education Department's "College Scorecard" tool to measure the "return on investment" offered by various higher education programs: "The report found that almost two-thirds of the 26,000 bachelor's degree programs in the study enabled a majority of their graduates to make enough money to recover their costs in 10 years or less after graduation."

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