Weekly News Digest for Legal Career Professionals

Each week NALP's Executive Director, James Leipold, provides a summary of news articles of interest to legal career professionals. Read past issues here.

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.



November 17, 2017

1. "Wells Fargo Report Shows Legal Market Stalled in Third Quarter," 11.16.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "the legal market took a turn for the worse in the third quarter of the year, according to a report released Thursday by Wells Fargo & Co."

2. "Valparaiso law school told by board to not admit first-year students in 2018," 11.16.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "the Valparaiso University board of directors has voted to suspend the admission of first-year students at the law school for the fall of 2018."

    a. "Valparaiso Law School Suspends Admissions," 11.16.17.
    More on this from The Wall Street Journal: "This year's incoming class had just 29 full-time students, down from 206 in 2013." (Subscription required.)

    b. "Law School Won't Admit New Students," 11.17.17.
    More on this from Inside Higher Ed: "…the university is going to seek to merge its law school with that of another institution, or to move the law school to another part of the country, where it might attract more students."

    c. "ABA removes accreditation censure for Valparaiso School of Law," 11.14.17.
    The ABA Journal reports that "a public censure given to Valparaiso University School of Law for not being in compliance with admissions standards has been removed by the Council of the ABA's Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar."

3. "Cooley Law seeks TRO to prevent ABA from releasing accreditation findings," 11.16.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School has filed a federal lawsuit against the American Bar Association, alleging that a letter made public about the school's accreditation compliance violates the Higher Education Act and common law due process."

4. "CLOC Survey Shows Legal Departments Still Spending More Externally," 11.16.17.
Corporate Counsel reports that "a survey released this week by the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium…[reveals] that a large percentage of the legal budget still goes to external legal costs."

5. "Calls for Tougher Oversight of For-Profit Law School," 11.15.17.
Inside Higher Ed reports that that all three of the law schools run by InfiLaw have struggled to maintain compliance with ABA admission and bar passage standards for accreditation, and Department of Education gainful employment ratings that evaluate the debt-to-earnings ratios of the schools' graduates.

6. "ABA places Thomas Jefferson School of Law on probation," 11.15.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "Thomas Jefferson School of Law has been placed on probation by the Council of the ABA's Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar."

7. Survey: Law Departments' Legal Spend Stabilizing," 11.15.17.
Corporate Counsel reports that the HBR 2017 Law Department Survey shows that "law departments bulked up staff numbers this past year, while total legal spending began to stabilize."

8. "Lights, Camera, Action at UCLA Law for Documentary Film Clinic," 11.15.17.
The Recorder reports that the law school at UCLA "will be offering free legal assistance to independent filmmakers at its new Documentary Film Legal Clinic, opening spring semester."

9. "Dentons, in Latest Growth Bid, Launches In-House Consulting Service," 11.15.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "Dentons announced on Wednesday the formation of a consulting service…staffed by more than 50 former general counsel…that will help corporate law departments adopt technology and legal project management; select outside counsel; and mentor new general counsel."

10. "Succession Still a Struggle for Law Firms, States New Study," 11.15.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "a new survey by ALM Legal Intelligence finds that a third of law firms don't have succession plans for leadership or client relations."

11. "Why are women lawyers leaving the profession mid-career? ABA initiative hopes to answer the question," 11.15.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "an ABA initiative to study why women are leaving the profession mid-career kicked off last week with a summit at Harvard Law School."

12. "A Deep Dive Into Axiom," 11.15.17.
In his Legal Evolution blog Bill Henderson writes that "Axiom has become the leading exemplar of the NewLaw sector," and explains why that is so by looking at Axiom's founding values and evolving business model.

13. "Wisconsin considers law school loan repayment for lawyers willing to represent rural clients," 11.14.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "Wisconsin lawmakers are considering a bill that would pay up to $20,000 annually toward attorneys' school loans, providing they practice in remotely populated areas of the state and take court-appointed cases."

14. "How to Line Up the Best References Before a Job Search," 11.14.17.
More good advice from Julie Brush, writing for The Recorder, on how best to solicit references before you need them.

15. "For Alternative Providers, Your Biggest Client Is Their Biggest Opportunity,"11.14.17.
The American Lawyer reports that new research from CLOC shows that "the largest companies are the most receptive to using new ways to solve their legal problems."

16. "Northwestern Law School, ROSS Intelligence Move Forward with AI Partnership," 11.14.17.
Legaltech News reports that "Northwestern University's Pritzker School of Law and Ross Intelligence are moving forward with a partnership that will let students use new technology [artificial intelligence] in classrooms and public interest activities."

17. "No Pain, No Gain for Law Firms as Client Demands Get More Extreme," 11.14.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "with demand still slack and competition among top firms fiercer than ever, corporate clients are finding new ways to exploit their advantage."

18. "State Bar Incubator's First Batch of Lawyers Leaves the Nest," 11.14.17.
The Daily Report reviews the State Bar of Georgia's innovative incubator program as the first class of its lawyers moves on — the program is a collaborative effort by the state bar and its five law schools.

19. "Following 'Mansfield Rule' Popularity, Diversity Lab Touts 2 New Hackathons," 10.13.17.
The American Lawyer reports that following the "success of the 2016 Women in Law Hackathon that produced the widely implemented Mansfield Rule, the Diversity Lab, an organization dedicated to closing the gender diversity gap in the legal profession, is poised to announce this week that it will be holding two new hackathon sessions in 2018."

20. "Showing Better 2017 Financial Results Just Got a Little Tougher," 11.13.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "Law firms'…revenue growth decelerated from the first half of the year," according to new data from Citi Private Bank.

21. "Unhappy Hour: Law Firms' Drinking Culture Amplifies Sexual Harassment Problems," 11.13.17.
Patrick Krill, writing for Law.com, argues that "free-flowing booze is certainly a risk-factor for inciting behavior that can range from mildly annoying and inappropriate to wholly outrageous and legally actionable." (Watch for an article on lawyer well-being from Patrick Krill and his colleague Paula Davis-Laack in the February issue of NALP's PD Quarterly.)

22. "New International Enrollments Decline," 11.13.17.
Inside Higher Ed reports that "after years of growth, enrollments of international students at American universities started to flatten in fall 2016, and a downward trend in new enrollments appears to be accelerating this academic year."

23. "Small Law Firms Gather to Get Advice of Their Own," 11.13.17.
The New York Law Journal reports on the proceedings of the 14th annual small law firm symposium of the New York City Bar Association.

24. "LSAT-Takers Trending Up Following 5-Year Plunge. Why?," 11.10.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "LSAT numbers have seen modest single-digit gains in the last two testing years, following a five-year decline in which the number of LSAT test-takers dropped by nearly 41 percent."

25. "'A Wake Up Call' for Companies in Weinstein, Spacey Scandals," 11.10.17.
Corporate Counsel reports that legal fallout from recent high profile sexual harassment and assault allegations is affecting companies and their general counsel across the country.

    a. "The Workplace After Harvey Weinstein: Harassment Scandals Prompts Rapid Changes," 11.10.17.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "sexual misconduct claims in Hollywood and beyond have prompted firms to scrutinize how employees work together." (Subscription required.)

26. "New Rivalries Emerge as Law Firms Race to Innovate," 11.10.17.
The American Lawyer reports that law firms and alternative legal services providers are racing to harness technology to help clients navigate EU privacy regulations, and looks at new technology developments at Orrick, DLA, Hogan, and Axiom, among others.

27. "Why Millennial Lawyers Aren't Flocking to Top Pa. Cities," 11.10.17.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that "young lawyers are less plentiful in Pennsylvania's big cities than in many other metro areas."

28. "Law Firm's Internship Program Offers Military Veterans a Career Stepping Stone," 11.09.17.
The New York Law Journal takes a look at a veteran's internship program at Hughes Hubbard & Reed, now in its second year, aimed at helping veterans transition out of the military and into the private sector.

29. "alt.legal: Diffusing Innovation In The Law, The Amazing Work of Bill Henderson," 11.08.17.
This piece from Thomson Reuters published by Above the Law argues that "Bill has thought more deeply about legal innovation than anyone out there."



Past News Digests


Prior digests for past weeks are provided below for reference; some articles may no longer be offered online or may have moved to different URLs than the links shown here.



November 10, 2017

1. "Percentage of New Women Partners Rising Slowly; Still Low Compared to Men," 11.09.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "a record number of women made partner in 2017, but female attorneys still lag far behind their male counterparts in promotions to partnership, according to a new report by the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance."

2. "Big Law Outpaces Big Biz for LGBTQ Equality," 11.09.17.
The American Lawyer reports that according to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's latest Corporate Equality Index findings, "the country's biggest law firms continue to outpace corporate America in their level of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employees." ("Of the 160 large firms that participated in this year's [CEI]…127 received perfect scores, up from 112 last year.")

3. "Texas law school serving at-risk students achieves 59% bar pass rate," 11.09.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law, which opened in 2014 to help students with lower admission credentials gain law licenses, had a 59.3 percent pass rate for the July 2017 Texas bar exam, its first graduating class."

4. "ABA Summit Examines Why Seasoned Women Are Leaving the Law," 11.08.17.
The American Lawyer reports that the ABA's Long-Term Careers for Women in Law initiative held its initial event at Harvard this week, "where heads of law firms and legal departments attempted to disentangle the riddle as to why seasoned female lawyers are leaving the law."

5. "Most In-House Law Departments Spend 'Inefficiently,' Study Says," 11.08.17.
The American Lawyer reports on new research that suggests "six out of 10 in-house law departments allocate their legal spend inefficiently."

6. "St. John's University School of Law Announces It Will Take GRE Scores," 11.08.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that "St. John's University School of Law announced Wednesday that it will accept Graduate Record Exam scores for its JD program starting with applicants for the Fall 2018 class."

7. "Think Your Law School Is 'Innovative?' This Professor Has a Ranking System," 11.07.17.
Legaltech News reports that Michigan State University has developed a ranking system for innovative law schools.

    a. "Michigan State institute tracks law school innovation," 11.07.17.
    The ABA Journal has more on the Law School Innovation Index that was launched by Michigan State University last week.

8. "Lawmakers ask Dept. of Ed to extend student loan discharge for Charlotte School of Law students," 11.07.17.
The ABA Journal reports that members of Congress from North Carolina have written to US Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to ask that students enrolled in Charlotte School of Law between December 2016 and August 2017 have their federal student loans discharged under a provision that requires exceptional circumstances.

9. "Should You Ask for a Raise After an Interim Title Bump?," 11.07.17.
Good advice as always from Julie Brush, writing for The Recorder, on the question of whether an interim promotion (in this case Interim GC) merits a request for more money.

10. "Bar Report Details Lag in Pay and Partnerships for Women, Minorities," 11.06.17.
The New York Law Journal reports on the release of the New York City Bar Association's latest diversity benchmarking report, which shows "frustratingly slow" progress for women and minority lawyers when it comes to partnership and top earnings.

11. "Where the Millennials Are: Tracking the Generations in Big Law," 11.06.17.
The American Lawyer reports that data collected by ALM Intelligence show that millennials now outnumber lawyers from GenX and baby boomers in Big Law.

    a. "This generational group is the largest in BigLaw," 11.08.17.
    More on the mounting wave of millennials in BigLaw from the ABA Journal.

12. "LSAT Test-Takers Continue To Surge, With 10.7% Increase In Sept/Oct Following June's 19.8%," 11.06.17.
The TaxProf Blog reports that the number of LSAT test-takers has risen over both of the last two test administrations in this cycle, the largest increase since 2009-2010.

13. "PPP Growth at US Top 10 Outpaces UK Rivals by 50 Percent Over 5 Years as Earnings Gap Widens," 11.06.17.
The American Lawyer reports that new research shows "partner profits at the top 10 US firms growing by roughly 50 percent more than their equivalent UK rivals over the last five years."

14. "Black on Bay Street: Hadiya Roderique had it all. But still could not fit in," 11.04.17.
A former BigLaw associate in Canada, writing for The Globe and Mail, tells her story of not fitting in as a person of colour on Bay Street.

15. "Suffolk Law Launches 'Legal Innovation & Technology' Program for Legal Professionals," 11.03.17.
Legaltech News reports that "Suffolk University Law School this week announced the launch of an online certificate program in 'Legal Innovation and Technology' designed to help legal professionals think more broadly about potential applications of technology in law practice."

16. "NY Employers Take Note: Paid Family Leave Benefits Law Becomes Effective Jan. 1st," 11.03.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that on January 1, 2018, the New York Paid Family Leave Benefits Law takes effect, imposing new or unfamiliar obligations on New York employers.

17. "Legal Industry Loses 1,100 Jobs in October," 11.03.17.
The American Lawyer reports that the latest USBLS stats show that "the legal services sector dropped 1,100 jobs in October as the overall US economy posted jobs gains." ("Generally the monthly reports since June 2013 have shown between 1.12 million people and 1.13 million people employed in the legal industry — a range that's about 50,000 fewer jobs than the pre-recession high in 2007.")

18. "GRE or LSAT? Council's Latest Move Could Nix Tests Altogether," 11.03.17.
Law.com reports that at its meeting last weekend, the Council of the ABA's Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has accepted a recommendation to do away with the standard that requires a standardized admissions test.

    a. "ABA Legal Ed council revisits admissions test requirement, tables bar exam standard," 11.06.17.
    More on the ABA Council meeting outcomes from last week from the ABA Journal.

    b. "ABA Backs Testing Choices on Law Admissions," 11.07.17.
    And even more on this from Inside Higher Ed.




November 3, 2017

1. "The T-Shaped Lawyer: Successful Skills and Abilities of Current and Future Lawyers," 11.03.17.
A great post on Slaw about T-shaped lawyers: "To have a successful career in the legal field, new lawyers need to develop new skills and mindsets."

2. "New Index Measures Law Schools on Innovation and Technology Programs,"11.02.17.
Law Sites reports that the director of The Center for Legal Services Innovation at Michigan State University College of Law has launched a new Law School Innovation Index that aims to measure how well law schools are preparing students to deliver legal services in the 21st century.

3. "It's Lonely at the Top for Big Law's Few Black Leaders," 11.02.17.
Vivia Chen, writing for The American Lawyer, highlights the fact that since 1991, there have been just seven black managing partners or chairs; she asks "How did these men (no women, of course) beat the odds? And what advice do they have for lawyers of color?"

4. "Racial Gaps in Belief That College is Necessary," 11.02.17.
Inside Higher Ed reports on new polling data from the Public Policy Institute of California that reveals racial gaps in how people view the importance of higher education: "Two-thirds (67 percent) of Latinos said that college today is necessary. A little more than half of Asian Americans (54 percent) and African Americans (51 percent) agreed. Among white people the figure was only 35 percent.")

5. "Newer lawyers are needed on Legal Ed council, says Young Lawyers Division recommendation," 11.01.17.
The ABA Journal reports that the ABA Young Lawyers Division has recommended that the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar add two young attorneys who are not employed in legal education. The Council will consider this recommendation during its meeting today.

6. "Lack of Gender Diverse Partnership: Is It the Woman or the Firm?," 11.01.17.
ALM intelligence analysts, writing for The American Lawyer, crunch the data and suggest three reasons why gender diverse partnership fails.

7. "Tougher Bar Pass Standard for Law Schools on Agenda at ABA Meeting," 11.01.17.
Law.com reports that the ABA's Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar will again take up "a controversial proposal to toughen law school accreditation standards regarding bar exam pass rates."

8. "The Sometimes Murky Path to Partnership," 11.01.17.
The American Lawyer reports on the results of its New Partner Survey, noting that "an overwhelming 88 percent of new partners said their firms adequately prepared them for the partnership."

9. "Ex-MoFo Chairman Wetmore to Join Major, Lindsey & Africa," 11.01.17.
The Recorder reports that Keith Wetmore, former chairman and current chairman emeritus of Morrison & Foerster, will join MLA's San Francisco office as a managing director. (Wetmore led MoFo for twelve years, and was one of the first openly gay men to lead a large law firm — some of you may remember that he spoke at the NALP Annual Education Conference in Phoenix in 2001.)

10. "Study Shows Despite Plethora of Policies, Big Law Still Struggles With Gender Diversity," 10.31.17.
The American Lawyer reports that new research from McKinsey & Co. and Thomson Reuters shows that law firms' gender diversity initiatives are "not necessarily translating into transformative changes within the industry."

    a. "Survey chronicles female lawyers' exodus from equity partnership, belief they can't have it all," 11.01.17.
    More on the new study by McKinsey and Thomson Reuters from the ABA Journal: "law firms are taking steps to improve gender equality, but it's not translating to a better gender balance past the associate level."

11. "ETS Validity Study on GRE for Law Schools Admissions," 10.31.17.
Inside Higher Ed reports that "the Educational Testing Service is today releasing a study that it says shows that the Graduate Record Examination, not just the traditionally required Law School Admission Test, has validity for law school admissions."

12. "Foley & Lardner, Gardere Mull Potential Merger," 10.31.17.
The American Lawyer reports that Foley & Lardner and Gardere Wynne Sewell have confirmed that the two firms are talking about a merger.

13. "Artificial Intelligence Beats Big Law Partners in Legal Matchup," 10.31.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "lawyers from leading international law firms…have been beaten in an accuracy contest by artificial intelligence software developed by students."

14. "Which law schools have the best professors and the best classroom experience? New rankings released," 10.31.17.
The ABA Journal reports on the Princeton Review's 2018 annual law school rankings.

15. "Ontario's Law Society: Orwell's Big Brother or Fuller's Rex?," 10.31.17.
A good column from Slaw about whether or not a diversity and inclusion obligation can be imposed on individual lawyers by the bar — it is a thoughtful piece on the difference between individual and institutional roles and responsibilities when it comes to diversifying the profession — worth a read even for those of us not steeped in this particular debate in Ontario. ("Imagine that individual lawyers did have a duty to promote equality, inclusion, and diversity. What would that look like…? Far more useful would be requiring law firms, organizations, corporations, and law schools to have that positive obligation to promote equality, diversity, and inclusion.")

16. "Florida Coastal, which has 47.7% bar pass rate, out of compliance with ABA accreditation standards," 10.30.17.
The ABA Journal reports that the ABA has notified Florida Coastal School of Law that it is "significantly" out of compliance with a variety of ABA standards.

17. "For Love of Client, GCs Say Law Firms Need to Be More Proactive," 10.30.17.
The American Lawyer speaks with several law department leaders about the advice they have for outside counsel: "the overwhelming theme was a desire for their outside firms to be more proactive — on everything from pitching for work and offering innovative solutions to simply asking their clients how the firms could be more effective."

18. "Alternative fee arrangements have plateaued, survey author says," 10.30.17.
The ABA Journal reports on the results of the 2017 Litigation Trends Annual Survey.

19. "No, You Really Cannot Ask That and Other Implications of New Laws Impacting Employers," 10.30.17.
Two labor and employment lawyers from Sidley, writing for The Recorder, provide guidance on implementing new state employment laws in California that prohibit employers from asking about criminal records or doing background checks before extending a conditional offer, prohibit employers from asking about salary history, and expand coverage of the California Family Rights Act.

20. "#MillennialGCs: To Be Young and In-House," 10.30.17.
Corporate Counsel speaks with young lawyers who are working in-house: "according to a 2017 survey from the Association of Corporate Counsel, 30 percent of in-house lawyers who are millennials…did not have previous experience at a law firm."

21. "Georgia Bar Exam Pass Rate Is Finally on the Rise," 10.30.17.
The Daily Report brings news that "for the first time in five years, the pass rate for the Georgia bar exam has gone up." (The first-time pass rate rose by 4 percent.)

22. "Aligning Partner Compensation to Actual Contribution," 10.30.17.
A good piece on partner comp from ALM: "In a legal market increasingly characterized by aggressive competition between law firms for the most commercially-successful partners, getting partner compensation right is profoundly important and arguably the highest responsibility of any firm's leadership."

23. "'You're Going to Fail' — and Other Great Advice for Rookie Lawyers," 10.30.17.
Senior members of the Georgia Bar share advice with junior lawyers in the Daily Report.

24. "To Poach, or Not To Poach, That is the Question," 10.30.17.
Julie Brush, writing for The Recorder, offers advice on the delicate topic of poaching a valued employee from a former employer: "…such a move can jeopardize relationships and taint your reputation."

25. "For-Profit Law Schools Inspired John Grisham's Latest Book. Here's Why.," 10.27.17.
The National Law Journal reports that John Grisham's new book, The Rooster Bar, takes a jab at for-profit law schools.

    a. "For-profit law schools set scene in John Grisham's new novel," 10.26.17.
    More on the new Grisham novel from the ABA Journal, noting that the Paul Campos Atlantic article "The Law-School Scam" was the inspiration for the book.

26. "Possibilities and Frustrations of the 'On Demand' Attorney," 10.27.17.
Legaltech News takes a look at Susskind's predictions about document automation and connectivity, and the rise of the "on-demand lawyer," and how that reality is playing out in the marketplace.

    a. "Richard Susskind on Document Automation and Connectivity," 10.27.17.
    And here is the related Susskind excerpt from Tomorrow's Lawyers.

27. "A Student Loan Nightmare: The Teacher in the Wrong Payment Plan," 10.27.17.
As the first student loans eligible for public service loan forgiveness become ripe for actual forgiveness (a 2007 federal program for public servants promises to forgive student loan debt after 10 years of qualified on-time payments), The New York Times publishes this cautionary tale. (Expect to see more stories like this in the coming months and years.)

28. "Conversations with Newsmakers: Greg Nevins on LGBT Workplace Fairness," 10.27.17.
The National Law Journal speaks with Greg Nevins, the workplace fairness program strategist at Lambda Legal, about how the conversation about sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace has shifted in recent years, and noting that "an argument that would protect gay workers under existing federal law is gaining momentum."

29. "Law Firms Becoming Tech-Savvy, Efficient Businesses? Thank Their Clients," 10.27.17.
Legaltech News reports from Thomson Reuters' 16th Annual Law Firm COO & CFO Forum, where law firms discussed the extent to which the industry's recent evolution is directed and shaped by client business.

30. "Yes, You Should Think About Your Post-Law Career," 10.27.17.
Vivia Chen, ALM's Careerist, speaks with Paul Irving, former managing partner and co-chair of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, who left the practice of law and reinvented himself — the interview about his post-law career is published in The American Lawyer.

31. "Artificial Intelligence: An Historic Perspective," 10.24.17.
A good piece on emerging trends in AI legal tech, with Dean Sonderegger from Wolters Kluwer writing here for Above the Law.




October 27, 2017

1. "Bar passage and admissions tests among topics to be revisited by ABA Legal Ed Council," 10.26.17.
The ABA Journal reports that at its meeting next week, the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar will again take up the bar passage requirements for ABA-accredited law schools, as well as revisiting the standard that currently governs the LSAT requirement for law school admission.

2. "Trusting Your Legal Interns Has Never Been More Important," 10.26.17.
An in-house lawyer, writing for Above the Law, argues that "whether working in-house, Biglaw, or as a solo practitioner, we have a duty to train the next generation of legal talent whenever we have the opportunity to do so."

3. "Law Schools Say Tuition Discounts Not Sustainable: Survey," 10.26.17.
Law.com reports that survey results from a study conducted by the National Association of College and University Business Officers and the AccessLex Institute show that "most law schools say their tuition discount practices are not sustainable long term."

4. "Your Law Firm's True Profitability Revealed," 10.26.17.
The American Lawyer provides an interactive chart with financial data for the world's 100-largest law firms by revenue that allows for the calculation of a firm's profit margin if partner "salaries" were taken into account.

5. "A Law School Class on How Innovation Diffuses in the Legal Industry," 10.25.17.
Bill Henderson, writing for his blog Legal Evolution, shares the syllabus and objectives behind a new course he is teaching on how innovation diffuses in the legal industry.

6. "Law Departments Are Adding Lawyers, Legal Ops While Cutting Budgets," 10.25.17.
Corporate Counsel reports on new Thomson Reuters research on corporate legal departments that shows that in order to control costs "more legal departments are taking an operationally focused approach to optimize processes, rather than relying solely on blanket approaches such as fixed fees or matter budgets."

7. "The Rise of the Legal Engineer," 10.25.17.
Legaltech News takes a look at the increasingly important role of the legal engineer — a relatively new group of professionals who "could be one of the key groups of people that make or break a firm in the near future." (The piece says that a legal engineer is "a facilitator who can identify new opportunities to improve existing ways of working and deliver innovative new client solutions, marrying legal knowledge with technological expertise.")

8. "These Millennial Legal Tech Entrepreneurs Are Changing Big Law," 10.25.17.
And Legaltech News reports that "Millennial legal professionals are finding entrepreneurial opportunities in technology, and using it to change Big Law." This piece profiles some of these new practitioners.

9. "Northwestern Law and Kellogg B-School to Launch Bay Area Tech Program," 10.25.17.
Legaltech News reports that Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law is partnering with the university's Kellogg School of Management to give JD students an opportunity to work as externs at Silicon Valley companies and take courses in law and business.

10. "Nearly 70 Percent of Test Takers Pass New York State Bar Exam," 10.24.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that "68 percent of test takers passed the New York State Bar exam, an increase of 4 percent from last year."

    a. "New York State Bar exam sees slight pass rate increase for July 2017," 10.25.17.
    More on this from the ABA Journal.

11. "Law Student Debts Contribute to Gender Disparity, Study Says," 10.24.17.
The Eyeopener reports that "a new study from Ryerson University and the University of Pennsylvania found that student debt from law school can negatively influence career choices and partner prospects for female lawyers."

12. "The legal profession's 'status-health paradox': BigLaw success brings more depression, study says," 10.24.17.
The ABA Journal reports that according to a new study from the University of Toronto, "People with higher income typically have better mental health. But the opposite is true for lawyers in the United States and Canada."

    a. "High-pressure law jobs linked to depression," 10.26.17.
    More on this study from the Canadian Lawyer: "The more lawyers get paid, the more likely they are to experience depression, dissatisfaction with their career choice and work-life balance conflict."

13. "Healthy Job Market Predicted for New College Grads," 10.24.17.
Inside Higher Ed reports that "hiring of new college graduates is expected to increase by 19 percent this year," according to new research from Michigan State University.

14. "Parsing the Data as Susskind Warns of 'The End of Leverage'," 10.24.17.
The American Lawyer takes a look at what is happening with law firm leverage in light of Susskind's prediction that high leverage will disappear in law firms as clients drive cost reduction.

    a. "Susskind on The Future for Law Firms and Leverage," 10.24.17.
    And Law.com excerpts Susskind on the future of law firms, including the demise of the leverage model.

15. "Millennials Won't Destroy Your Law Firm. Can They Save It?," 10.23.17.
The American Lawyer writes that for law firms that get it right, "the changes [that millennials] embrace may be key to success in a new era for legal services."

16. "New Online Undergrad Program Aims to Boost Legal Profession's Diversity Pipeline," 10.23.17.
Law.com reports that "the ABA and Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law are jointly launching an online program to introduce minority undergrads to legal education."

    a. "Pipeline program for underrepresented students to enter legal ed launched by ABA, IU McKinney Law," 10.23.17.
    More on this from the ABA Journal.

17. "The Future Of The Legal Profession," 10.20.17.
Olga Mack shares one of her Venn diagram doodlegraphics via Above the Law,

18. "Hundreds of NYC-Area Lawyers Volunteering to Assist Puerto Rico," 10.20.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that "the New York City office of LatinoJustice is sending lawyers on a fact-finding mission to Puerto Rico next week in advance of a larger effort to dispatch hundreds of lawyers to help residents file insurance claims, seek disaster assistance and get compensated for lost wages following Hurricane Maria."

19. "New Law Prohibits Employers From Asking Applicants About Salary History," 10.19.17.
The Recorder reports that "beginning Jan. 1, 2018, California employers will no longer be able to ask job applicants about their salary history."

20. "California Law Deans React to Lack of Movement on Passing Bar Exam Score," 10.19.17.
The Recorder gathers reactions from the California law school deans to the California Supreme Court announcement last week that it would not change the passing score on the state's bar exam.



October 20, 2017

1. "California Bar Exam to Remain One of Nation's Most Difficult, Court Rules," 10.19.17.
The Wall Street Journal reports that "the California Supreme Court said in a letter Wednesday that it was 'not persuaded' by recommendations that the passing score of the exam be lowered."

    a. "California Supreme Court Won't Lower Bar Exam Passing Score," 10.18.17.
    The Recorder reports that "the [California] Supreme Court on Wednesday announced it will not lower the passing score for the state's bar exam."

    b. "Cut score for California state bar exam to stay at 1440 — for now," 10.18.17.
    And more on this from the ABA Journal.

2. "Above the Law's David Lat taking a break from 'the trenches' of daily journalism," 10.19.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "David Lat is stepping down as managing editor of Above the Law." Lat will take a parental leave, and then will return as an editor-at-large, with Elie Mystal taking over as executive editor of the blog.

3. "On the LSUC Dialog on Licensing Pt 2: Where Is Access to Justice?," 10.19.17.
More on the Ontario lawyer licensing question from Slaw, here arguing that the process for reevaluating the licensing regime has not taken proper recognition of access to justice issues.

4. "With BLP Merger, Bryan Cave Would Get Bigger. But Will It Get Better?," 10.18.17.
The American Lawyer dissects Bryan Cave's proposed merger with UK-based Berwin Leighton Paisner.

    a. "Bryan Cave, Big British Firm BLP Confirm Merger Talks," 10.16.17.
    The American Lawyer reports that a potential merger between Berwin Leighton Paiser and Bryan Cave was acknowledged in a joint statement from the firms this week.

5. "Revisiting the Case for Project Management in Legal Practice," 10.18.17.
A good column from Slaw on why project management is a good fit for legal practice and how it fits into legal information work.

6. "Columbia Law, Embracing GRE for Fall 2018, Is Latest School to Join Wave," 10.17.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that "Columbia Law School will join six other law schools, including Harvard and Georgetown, in accepting the Graduate Record Exam for admission as an alternative to the LSAT."

7. "Taking on the World: The Big Four in the Global Legal Market," 10.18.17.
A good piece by David Wilkins and friends for The American Lawyer on the threat that the Big Four accounting firms pose for Big Law.

8. "Big Law's Misguided Fascination With Growth," 10.18.17.
The American Lawyer debunks the myth that growth is always good for law firms.

9. "Student lawsuits against Charlotte School of Law consolidated," 10.17.17.
The ABA Journal reports that a federal district court has consolidated three class actions files against Charlotte School of Law, "all of which allege that the for-profit law school misrepresented its ABA-accreditation status and bar passage rates."

10. "More Mergers — and Merger Whispers — Keep Firms on Their Toes," 10.17.17.
The American Lawyer on the merger mania gripping law firms, and noting that "the number of firms engaged in undisclosed negotiations is also on the rise."

11. "Study of black Harvard law grads finds many leave private practice; 66% would recommend legal career," 10.17.17.
The ABA Journal reports on the results of a new study of black Harvard Law alums conducted by David Wilkins. (You can read a copy of the report here.)

12. "ISO African-Americans to study law: University of Baltimore recruits top talent from historically black colleges," 10.17.17.
The Baltimore Sun reports on efforts by the University of Baltimore's law school to recruit African-American undergraduates from Maryland's four historically black colleges and universities.

13. "Akin Gump Hires Former Prudential Exec for New Diversity Position," 10.17.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has hired its first chief officer for diversity and inclusion, bringing on former Prudential Financial Inc. vice president and chief diversity officer Michele Meyer-Shipp."

14. "Q&A: USC's Hadfield on Law Schools, Client Needs, Legaltech," 10.17.17.
Law.com interviews USC law prof Gillian Hadfield, an outspoken critic of the legal profession and legal education.

15. "The Right Way to Decline a Job Offer," 10.17.17.
Julie Brush, the Lawyer Whisperer, writing for The Recorder, offers advice on how to decline a job offer without burning bridges.

16. "Outside Counsel Diversity Initiatives Force Companies to Confront Norms," 10.17.17.
The National Law Journal reports that "companies around the country ever more are facing questions about improving the biases through which the promotion and hiring of white males can happen at a faster clip than women and minority counterparts."

17. "PwC: Law Firms Are Falling Behind on Technology, Client Expectations," 10.16.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "a new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers says that Big Law firms are not keeping pace with cutting edge technologies and growing client expectations."

18. "AI Goes To Law School," 10.16.17.
Legaltech News reports that "as AI's presence increases, law schools are beginning to consider what their relationship to such technologies could and should look like."

19. "Midsize Firms Offer Flexibility to International Clients," 10.16.17.
The Legal Intelligencer writes that regional midsize firms can offer international clients efficiency and personal connections.

20. "Columbia Law School Launches $300 Million Fundraising Campaign," 10.16.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that Columbia Law School is kicking off an "ambitious" $300 million fundraising campaign that it "hopes will draw the best students from around the world, attract the highest-caliber faculty and improve its law library."

21. "Richard Susskind On In-House Lawyers Sharing Risks Through Fee Arrangements," 10.16.17.
Corporate Counsel excerpts Richard Susskind on risk-sharing between law firms and legal departments, and gathers lawyer reactions.

    a. "Here's What Law Students Think of Susskind's Ideas on the Profession's Future," 10.17.17.
    Leigh Jones, writing for Law.com, gathers law student reactions to Susskind's advice for finding the right job.

    b. "Susskind's Job Interview Advice for Law Students Misses Mark, Career Pros Say," 10.18.17.
    And Law.com gathers reactions of law school career services professionals to Susskind's advice that students seeking jobs with law firms ask pointed questions about the firm.

22. "After Hurricane Maria, some University of Puerto Rico law students come to mainland schools," 10.13.17.
The ABA Journal reports that in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, about 40 students from law schools in Puerto Rico will be taking courses at five mainland law schools as visiting students.

23. "Firm Culture, Flexibility Key in Retaining Millennial Attorneys," 10.13.17.
The American Lawyer reports on a session led by Larry Richard at last week's Thomson Reuters 22nd Annual Law Firm Leaders Forum — Richard identified "four changes firms can make to better train the youngest generation of attorneys."

24. "How To Sell Yourself Without Feeling Sleazy," 10.13.17.
More from Julie Brush in The Recorder with advice for lawyers on how to effectively "sell" themselves to potential clients.

25. "Texas law firms are catching a case of merger fever," 10.12.17.
The Houston Chronicle reports that "Texas-based corporate law firms…are on pace in 2017 to record the most corporate law firm mergers in the state's history."





October 13, 2017

1. "Ropes & Gray Issues Bonuses to Retain Associates Amid Lateral Raids," 10.13.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "Ropes & Gray has been offering associates retention bonuses of up to $50,000 per person in order to prevent mass exits in the wake of a stream of partner departures."

2. "PwC Launches On-Demand Flexible Lawyering Service for Clients," 10.12.17.
Law.com reports that PwC has launched a new flexible lawyering service that "will help clients with their staffing needs by providing temporary lawyers for in-house teams during abnormal spikes in workload."

3. "City Law Department Hires 53 Recent Law School Graduates," 10.12.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that "the New York City Law Department has hired 53 recent law school graduates and 2 post-graduate volunteer attorneys to work in its various divisions."

4. "Tech Isn't a Silver Bullet for Adapting to Competitive Market," 10.12.17.
The American Lawyer reports on a panel discussion at the Thomson Reuters' Law Firm Leaders Forum in New York where panelists agreed that "technology is only one part of the solution for law firms, in addition to creating new process and bringing in new nonlegal staff."

5. "Citi: First-Half Results Largely Met Firm Leaders' Projections," 10.11.17.
Gretta Rusanow and David Altuna from Citi Private Bank, writing for The American Lawyer, review law firm financial performance for the first half of 2017, and the confidence index of law firm leaders, noting once again that behind relatively strong industry average numbers lurk "widening dispersion and heightened volatility" and positive bias on the parts of law firm leaders who continue to "believe that their firms will be the ones to grow, likely at the expense of others."

6. "ABA Legal Ed committee suggests changes to rule on law school admissions tests," 10.11.17.
The ABA Journal reports that the ABA's Standards Review Committee has recommended that the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar do away with requirement of taking the LSAT, and instead simply require a valid test, or, alternatively, that the Council do away entirely with a testing requirement.

7. "Yes, It's News When Big Law Elects a Black Leader," 10.11.17.
Vivia Chen, writing for The American Lawyer, speaks with Ellisen Turner, the newly appointed managing partner of Irell & Manella.

8. "Bryan Cave's TechX 'Incubates' Firm Attorneys, Not Technology," 10.11.17.
Legaltech News reports that Bryan Cave's recently launched technology incubator is a different kind of incubator: "instead of 'incubating' various technology companies in the legal sector, TechX is looking to bolster the firm's own attorneys in understanding and shepherding in new technology innovation to its core infrastructure."

9. "Changing the lawyer assessment system," 10.11.17.
Jordan Furlong from Law21 offers some ideas on changing the lawyer assessment system: "Individual performance metrics inherently drive me-first behaviors that can undermine attempts to build a firm-wide culture of performance geared towards the client's interests." (Note Jordan Furlong will be a featured plenary speaker at NALP's 2017 Professional Development Institute.)

10. "Baker McKenzie Brand Twice As Strong As Any Other Law Firm's," 10.10.17.
The American Lawyer reports that the annual release of the Acritas Global Elite Brand Index, atop which Baker McKenzie has long sat, shows that the firm's brand is now twice as strong as any other law firm's among more than 1,000 in-house counsel from more than 50 countries.

11. "Susskind on the Evolution of Legal Services," 10.10.17.
The second in The American Lawyer's series of excerpts from Richard Susskind's second edition of Tomorrow's Lawyers.

    a. "Law Firm Leaders React to Susskind's Take on Legal Education's Future," 10.12.17.
    Leigh Jones, writing for Law.com, gathers reactions from four prominent law firm leaders to Susskind's analysis of what's wrong with legal education.

    b. "Susskind's AI Bet: Too Far or Not Far Enough?," 10.10.17.
    And Legaltech News evaluates how accurate Susskind's predictions about the impact of AI on the legal sector have been.

    c. "Susskind on Legal Education: Reactions from Law School Leaders," 10.10.17.
    And Leigh Jones, writing for Law.com, gathers reactions from three prominent leaders in legal education to the recommendations that Susskind has made about the ways that legal education needs to change to prepare tomorrow's lawyers.

    d. "How To Avoid Becoming Irrelevant in a Fast-Changing Legal Market," 10.10.17.
    And the ALM Susskind-fest continues, with The American Lawyer gathering law firm lawyer reactions to Susskind's predictions about the way that the legal services industry would change.

    e. "Legal Operations Directors Are Here, and They're Vital, Say GCs," 10.09.17.
    And Corporate Counsel reflects that Susskind was in many ways the first to see the rise of the Legal Operations Director as an important and inevitable evolution in the general counsel's office.

12. "AI Hype Overshadows Legal's Slow Crawl With Adoption and Understanding," 10.10.17.
Legaltech News reports that "a Thompson Reuters survey found that many legal departments are not ready to use artificial intelligence in their operations and do not fully understand its applications."

13. "An Interview How-To for Introverts," 10.10.17.
Julie Brush, the Lawyer Whisperer, writing for The Recorder, provides some sound interviewing advice for introverts. (Note Julie Brush will be a featured speaker at NALP's 2018 Legal Recruiting Summit.)

14. "Legal Chiefs' Total Compensation Up Four Percent From Last Year, Report Says," 10.10.17.
The Recorder reports that according to a new report "median total direct compensation for top legal officers grew 4 percent overall in 2016."

15. "Using Technology To Increase Diversity," 10.09.17.
Olga Mack and Katia Bloom, writing for Above the Law, argue that "technology can be extremely helpful in specifically targeting diverse candidates."

16. "PA. Bar Passage Rates Improve After Historic Low," 10.09.17.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that "the passage rate for first-time takers of the July Pennsylvania bar exam showed marked improvements after hitting a new low last year," with 81.2 percent of first-time applicants passing this year, compared to only 75.4 percent of first-time test-takers last July.

17. "What Happens to Kirkland's Legions of Income Partners?," 10.09.17.
The American Lawyer takes a look at what has become of the many income partners named to Kirkland's non-equity partnership class since 2010.

18. "Why Your Law Firm Isn't Anywhere Near As Profitable As You Think," 10.06.17.
ALM's chief global correspondent, writing for The American Lawyer, plays with the numbers and concludes that most law firms publish artificially high profit margins that do not account for the true costs of equity partners.

19. "Slight Job Growth In Legal Sector: Labor Dept.," 10.06.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "the US legal services industry added 900 jobs in September," according to the latest USBLS data released last Friday.

20. "Columbia Law Students Create 'Legal Corps' for Puerto Rico," 10.06.17.
Law.com reports that "a trio of Puerto Rican students at Columbia Law School is mustering an army of attorneys and fellow law students on the mainland to provide free legal assistance to those on the island impacted by Hurricane Maria."

    a. "Mobilizing the Legal Corps in Puerto Rico," 10.08.17.
    More on this from Slaw.

21. "Following Layoffs, Former ILTA Founder Launches Association of Legal Technologists," 10.06.17.
Legaltech News reports that after a rocky leadership transition at ILTA, a new organization has formed, the Association of Legal Technologists (ALT), that will hold its first member conference in February — the new group seeks to be a think-tank for the industry, focusing on problem solving and networking.

22. "How AI's Opportunities Will Augment Rather than Replace Lawyers," 10.05.17.
This piece from last week's Legaltech News provides a good overview of AI generally and the potential applications of AI in the legal space.



October 6, 2017

1. "'Why Law?' These Students Show You Benefits of a JD," 10.05.17.
Karen Sloan, writing for Law.com, highlights a new online video titled "Why Law?" — "a collaboration between 12 law schools to highlight the doors that can open with a law degree and the ability of attorneys to have a positive impact on the world." You can view the video here.

2. "Hogan Lovells Sheds Staffers, Confirms Financial Reporting Tweaks," 10.05.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "Hogan Lovells, which earlier this week changed the way it reports some of its financial results, is set to trim its US business services ranks by more than 40 staffers as part of a voluntary retirement program."

3. "Orrick Taps Consulting Firm for New Diversity, Inclusion Head," 10.05.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "Joi Bourgeois, an attorney and veteran legal career expert, has joined Orrick as its new global head of diversity and inclusion."

4. "When Is the Best Time to Make a Lateral Move?," 10.05.17.
The American Lawyer takes a data-driven look at the variables that can maximize the likelihood of a successful lateral move.

5. "Sedgwick Departures Continue As Chicago Managing Partner Leaves For UK Rival," 10.05.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "senior level attorneys continue to leave Sedgwick…and [the firm] recently closed its offices in Washington, DC, and Austin, TX."

6. "Post-Recession Borrowers Struggle to Repay Loans," 10.05.17.
Inside Higher Ed reports that "new federal data show that college students are taking out more student loan debt and also taking longer to pay it off."

7. "Andrews Kurth, Hunton & Williams Explore Merger," 10.04.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that Andrews Kurth and Hunton & Williams are in merger talks.

8. "Another Thing Amazon Is Disrupting: Business-School Recruiting," 10.04.17.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon is now the top recruiter at most of the top business schools, and has hired more than 1,000 MBAs in the past year (and their recruiting process looks nothing like law firm recruiting). (Subscription required.)

9. "Legal Innovation: It's the New Roles that Make the New Tools," 10.04.17.
The head of practice analytics and service innovations and the practice management counsel from Orrick, writing for Legaltech News, describe what their new project teams look like, and they include analytics attorneys, specialized programmers, statisticians and data scientists, chief data officers, and project managers.

10. "The Paradox of the Client-Driven Market," 10.04.17.
Bill Henderson, writing for Law.com, responds to "four very good questions about the changing economic landscape," and predicts that "in the short to medium term, we are likely to see more entry-level employment in large legal departments."

11. "Tomorrow's law firm, today," 10.04.17.
Jordan Furlong of Law21 talks to Jacky Wetzels about "how lawyers and law firms can respond to the major shifts underway in the legal market."

12. "The Rise of Predictive Programming in the Law," 10.04.17.
This Slaw piece raises some concerns about the use of predictive coding's use to predict the outcome of legal cases.

13. "'Best' Law Firms for Women? Really?," 10.04.17.
ALM's Vivia Chen, writing for The American Lawyer, rants about lists of women-friendly law firms, arguing that "too often these lists reward effort rather than result."

14. "Latest Law School to Accept GRE is Washington U. in St. Louis," 10.03.17.
Law.com reports that "Washington University School of Law announced Tuesday that it will start accepting either GRE or LSAT scores from applicants, starting with those applying for a seat next fall."

    a. "Move Over LSAT — As Of Today 6 Law Schools Accept the GRE," 10.03.17.
    More on this from Above the Law.

15. "Indiana, New York Mergers Highlight Record Pace of Deals in 2017," 10.03.17.
The American Lawyer on the law firm merger frenzy: "law firm mergers are on pace to shatter a two-year-old record."

16. "Are Law Firms Charging Less or Just Making Less?," 10.03.17.
The American Lawyer on what it means that realization rates continue to fall: "outside of the Am Law 50, we aren't seeing any appreciable growth in the rates law departments are paying."

    a. "Should Law Firms Charge Less or Differently?," 10.03.17.
    And The American Lawyer excerpts Richard Susskind's updated Tomorrow's Lawyer, with his thoughts on charging less.

17. "Note to Law Students: Consider a Career in Privacy Law," 10.03.17.
Legaltech News reports that George Washington University Law School will host a panel encouraging students to consider a data privacy practice.

18. "Parsing Susskind: Examining Disruptions Caused by Project Management and AI," 10.03.17.
Legaltech News gathers reactions to Susskind's industry predictions from law firm chairs, top legal educators, general counsel, law students, and industry analysts.

19. "Applying Artificial Intelligence in the 'Legal Aid Space'," 10.02.17.
A good Slaw post on the promise of technology to help close the justice gap.

    a. "'Apps' and the Waning of the Solicitor-Client Relationship," 10.03.17.
    And some Slaw counterpoint and words of caution about the promise of technology in the delivery of direct legal services.

20. "Firms Offer More Web-Based Legal Tools, But at What Price?," 10.02.17.
The American Lawyer takes a look at the proliferation of law firm-based proprietary online legal tools, and the role they play in turning a profit — some firms are giving them away and some are charging a subscription fee, but all of them are intended to raise the law firm's profile.

21. "Interviewing Advice For People Who Hate To Interview," 10.02.17.
A cute piece with some practical advice on interviewing by a millennial law professor writing for Above the Law.

22. "Axiom Brings in Microsoft, Amazon Exec to Expand AI and Automation Development," 10.02.17.
Legaltech News reports that Axiom is opening a new research and development center that will "create and test advanced technology solutions for Axiom, which provides compliance and contract technology for corporations and law firms."

23. "A law degree provides a larger earnings boost to whites than minorities, researchers say," 10.02.17.
The ABA Journal provides a summary of new research findings that show "white law graduates get a median annual boost to earnings of about $41,000…[while] the median boost to earnings is $34,000 for Asians, $33,000 for blacks, and $28,000 for Hispanics."

24. "Is Department of Education data on student loan defaults an accurate reflection of law schools?," 10.02.17.
The ABA Journal reports that the law school student loan default rate data that was published last week is incomplete because "law schools that are part of a university have their default rates aggregated with the university, so it is difficult to determine their default rates."

25. "Job Skills Are Job 1 for Santa Clara's New JD Tech Program," 09.29.17.
The Recorder reports that Santa Clara University School of Law is launching a Tech Edge JD program that will rigorously prepare students for careers in law and technology.

26. "Training Short-Term Lawyers Is Long-Term Investment for Firms," 09.29.17.
The American Lawyer reports that according to a recent survey by Robert Half Legal, "firms are spending an average of $12,000 recruiting and training each first-year associate they hire, while larger firms spend $62,000 on average."

27. "Millbank Seeks Secretarial Cuts Ahead of HQ Relocation," 09.29.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that New York-based Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy is shedding administrative staff ahead of its move to its new location at 55 Hudson Yards.

28. "Why Don't Law Firms Like Experienced Managers?," 09.25.17.
The American Lawyer writes that "there is still a degree of stigma attached to management within law firms."




September 29, 2017

  1. "Program helps law firms see progress in gender diversity — but is it enough?," 10.01.17.
    This feature article from the October issue of the ABA Journal magazine takes a look at the various lists and assessments that attempt to measure what top firms are doing to attract and retain female attorneys, noting that despite all of the data collection, "for most female lawyers at major US firms, the likelihood of becoming a top-earning partner is close to non-existent."

  2. "Technology Offers Law School Grads New Ways to Tap into the Job Market," 09.29.17.
    Legaltech News takes "a look at some of the new tools helping new lawyers get a foot in the door to their legal careers."

  3. "At the U. of Puerto Rico, Widespread Damage and Anxiety After Maria," 09.28.17.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "more than a week after Hurricane Maria made landfall, the leaders of Puerto Rico's public university are confronting damaged buildings, broken windows, felled trees, and water damage, a level of destruction that they say will keep their campuses closed for at least several more weeks." Meanwhile, a note from the dean at the University of Puerto Rico School of Law yesterday says that "The major challenge is the lack of electricity. Today a group of volunteers helped us clean up the school and the building is in good shape. As soon as power is restored we will resume our semester."

    1. "Big Law Picks Up the Pieces in Puerto Rico," 09.27.17.
      Law.com reports that lawyers at large law firms in Puerto Rico are trying to return to some sense of normalcy following Hurricane Maria.

  4. "From her dad's killing during the crack epidemic to a Supreme Court clerkship," 09.28.17.
    The Washington Post delivers the feel-good story of the week, reporting on the brutal pathway that Tiffany Wright has taken to become a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

  5. "Ex-Big Law Associate Who Flunked Bar Can Proceed With Suit Against Examiners," 09.28.17.
    Law.com reports that "a former Ropes & Gray associate and Harvard Law School grad who failed the bar exam twice can move ahead with parts of her federal lawsuit [brought under the Americans With Disabilities Act and the New York City Human Rights Law] against the New York State Board of Law Examiners."

  6. "Which law schools had highest loan default rates for fiscal year 2014?," 09.28.17.
    The ABA Journal reports on law school student loan default rates as documented in data released Wednesday by the US Department of Education.

    1. "The Law Schools With The Highest Student Loan Default Rates," 09.29.17.
      And more on this from Above the Law.

    2. "Federal Loan Default Rates Rise," 09.28.17.
      Inside Higher Ed reports that "federal student loan default rates are on the rise after four decades of declines, according to the US Department of Education."

    3. "National Default Rate for Student Loans Rises, Breaking Streak of Declines," 09.27.17.
      More on this from The Chronicle of Higher Education.

  7. "Law Firm Mergers Keep Record Pace in Third Quarter," 09.27.17.
    The American Lawyer reports that "law firm mergers kept up their record pace in the third quarter of the year and are on track to eclipse a record set just two years ago."

  8. "Student's Post-Grad Plans Show Confidence in Job Market," 09.27.17.
    NACE reports that "the post-graduation plans from the [undergraduate] Class of 2017 resemble those for the pre-recession Class of 2007 more closely than any other class in 10 years," noting in particular that a smaller percentage of them plan to continue with post-graduate education than any class since the Class of 2007.

  9. "New Space Law Center Focuses on Regulation of the 'Final Frontier'," 09.27.17.
    Law.com reports that Cleveland-Marshall College of Law has opened a new Global Space Law Center.

  10. "That Makes Five: Winston & Strawn Suit Adds to Growing List of Gender Bias Claims," 09.27.17.
    The American Lawyer provides an overview and update on the five gender bias lawsuits that have been lobbed at large law firms: "the suits allege that women at the firms received lower pay than male counterparts for work of similar quality, that they received fewer promotions and business generation opportunities, and, in some cases, that they were subjected to sexual harassment."

    1. "Winston & Strawn Hit With Explosive Gender Bias Suit," 09.25.17.
      Law.com reports that a new gender bias suit has been filed against Winston & Strawn in San Francisco County Superior Court.

    2. "Winston & Strawn Is The Latest Biglaw Firm to Face A Gender Discrimination Lawsuit By A Former Partner," 09.26.17.
      More on this from Above the Law.

  11. "Women Get Paid Less, No Matter What," 09.26.17.
    A good rant by Vivia Chen, writing for The American Lawyer, in response to some new Harvard Business Review research that suggests the ban on asking job applicants about their salary histories is actually causing women to get paid even less.

    1. "We're Not There Yet, Not Even Close," 09.27.17.
      And a good rant by Jill Switzer, writing for Above the Law, who is justifiably frustrated and disappointed that women continue to be so poorly represented/compensated/advanced in law firms.

  12. "What Do Lawyers Really Do With Their Time?," 09.26.17.
    Law.com reports on the findings of a new billing trends report that says lawyers spend only 29 percent of each work day on billable time and measures an average realization rate of 82 percent and an average collection rate of 86 percent.

  13. "Why Do Employers Require Big Law Experience When Hiring a GC?," 09.26.17.
    More legal career insight from Julie Brush in The Recorder.

  14. "The Global 100: Firms Ranked by Head Count," 09.25.17.
    The American Lawyer publishes its annual Global 100 Report, here ranking law firms by lawyer head count, and noting that "overall lawyer headcount for global 100 firms was up 2.7 percent in 2016." (It is no surprise that Dentons sits atop the list.)

    1. "The Global 100: Firms Ranked by Profits Per Equity Partner," 09.25.17.
      And The American Lawyer also ranks its Global 100 firms by profits per equity partner, noting that "profits per equity partner among Global 100 firms averaged $1.6 million in 2016, an increase of less than one percent." (And here it is no surprise that Wachtell again sits atop this list.)

    2. "For Global Law Firms, Is This as Good as It Gets?," 09.25.17.
      And Chris Johnson at Law.com provides this commentary and analysis of the 2017 Global 100 results, characterizing the new normal as "a stifling mixture of flattening growth, widespread uncertainty, intense competition and severe pricing pressure from clients."

  15. "New Akin Gump Blog Aims to School Big Law Recruits," 09.25.17.
    Karen Sloan, writing for Law.com, reports that Akin Gump has launched Legal Scoop, a new blog "meant to help decode the large firm hiring process for law students."

  16. "Who Will Train Tomorrow's Lawyers and How Will They Learn?," 09.25.17.
    A good piece in Forbes about why what we are doing in law schools right now to train tomorrow's lawyers is not enough.

  17. "Pepperdine Law grad donates record $8 million to the school," 09.22.17.
    The ABA Journal reports that "a 1997 graduate of Pepperdine University School of Law has donated $8 million to fund its global justice program."

  18. "Should You Include a Short Job Stint on Your Resume?," 09.22.17.
    Julie Brush, the Lawyer Whisperer, writing for The Recorder, says the answer to that question is yes, offers good reasons for that being so, and provides advice about how to frame short stints on a resume.

  19. "A Whistleblower Takes On Charlotte School of Law," 09.22.17.
    Steven J. Harper, writing for The American Lawyer, reviews the latest developments at the Charlotte School of Law and the other InfiLaw schools.

  20. "PwC's entry into the US legal market is important — just not for the reasons you think it is," 09.22.17.
    ALM analyst Nicholas Bruch, writing for Law.com, dissects PwC's announcement that they will open a US law firm.

    1. "How to Counter the Growing Big Four Threat," 09.26.17.
      More on this from The American Lawyer: "law firms need to become more efficient and develop alternative services in areas such as technology and process management in order to counter the growing threat posed by the Big Four."

  21. "Smart Contract 2.0: the need for 'smart lawyers'," 09.22.17.
    This is a good piece on smart contracts and blockchain — like it or not we all have to understand this emerging technology — from IT Web Legal View in South Africa (the contract issues at play here transcend jurisdictions). (Hat tip to NALP's new Director of Public Service Initiatives, Sam Halpert, for this piece.)

  22. "Outside firms see Boston as market of opportunity," 09.21.17.
    Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly reports that "a recent wave of entrants to the Boston legal market underscores that outside firms large and small are finding the client-rich environment irresistible and are undaunted by the challenge of competing with the city's established firms." (Subscription required.)

  23. "MIT professor allays bar's fears of 'robot lawyers'," 09.21.17.
    Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly reports on a research paper by two academics titled Can Robots Be Lawyers? (Subscription required.)

  24. "The legal education model is out of touch, writes new ABA commission member," 09.21.17.
    More on last week's provocative Quartz piece by Gillian Hadfield, from the ABA Journal.



September 22, 2017

1. "The Best Big Law Firms for Summer Associates," 09.21.17.
The American Lawyer reports on the results of its annual Summer Associate Survey.

    a. "Summer Associate Satisfaction: A National View," 09.21.17.
    The American Lawyer ranks law firms based on summer associate satisfaction.

    b. "City by City: A Regional Breakdown of Summer Associate Satisfaction," 09.21.17.
    And The American Lawyer ranks law firm offices in individual cities by overall summer associate satisfaction scores.

2. "PwC to Launch US Law Firm as Big Four Expand Legal Offerings," 09.21.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "PricewaterhouseCoopers is set to launch a law firm in the US, a clear sign that the concerted push into legal services by the Big Four accounting firms continues."

    a. "PwC to open US law firm, a sign of increasing focus on legal operations by Big 4 accounting firms," 09.21.17.
    More on this from the ABA Journal.

3. "First-Year Associate Jobs Set For Slight Rise, Survey Finds," 09.21.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "the number of first-year associate jobs at law firms across the US and Canada is set to rise slightly over the next 12 months, a new survey has found."

4. "Winston & Strawn Welcomes New Talent Management Team," 09.21.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "Winston & Strawn is expanding its talent team following its addition earlier this year of chief talent officer Susan Manch by recruiting three new directors…Diane Costigan, Sylvia James, and Julie Mercier."

5. "Dentons Reviewing 32 Support Roles After Scottish Deal," 09.21.17.
Legal Week reports that "Dentons has begun a redundancy consultation ahead of its proposed combination with Maclay Murray & Spens that could see up to 32 business services roles cut across three of the leading Scottish firm's offices."

6. "On the LSUC Dialogue on Licensing, Pt 1: Is There a Need for Change?," 09.21.17.
A good post on Slaw that reviews the proceedings of the Law Society of Upper Canada to date and queries whether there is indeed a need for a change to the requirements for the licensing of lawyers in Ontario.

7. "In San Francisco, A New Chasm Erupts on Legal Pay," 09.20.17.
The Recorder reports that a new study shows "male median earnings for legal positions in San Francisco increased by almost $2,000 between 2010 and 2015, while female median earnings fell by $4,000 during the same period…women in the city's legal workforce now make 68 cents for every dollar that men earn." Ugh.

8. "Law schools are letting down their students and society — here are three steps they can take to fix things," 09.20.17.
A law professor from USC, writing for Quartz, argues that "Law schools in the US today have become depressingly single-purpose: training members of a closed profession and failing to equip them to tackle the full breadth of problems facing economies and societies that are undergoing extensive transformations," and offers three practical suggestions for turning the ship around. (Hat tip to NALP President-Elect Melissa Lennon for this one.)

9. "Will Your Case Go to Trial? This Computer Program Might Know the Answer," 09.20.17.
Law.com reports that Hong Kong-based SettlementAnalytics has announced that it has "the world's first quantitative legal measurement to indicate the likelihood of a lawsuit proceeding all the way to trial and adjudication."

10. "Even College Doesn't Bridge the Racial Income Gap," 09.20.17.
This New York Times editorial draws attention to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute that found "last year, black college graduates earned about 21 percent less per hour on average than white college graduates; in 1979, the gap was 13 percent." (You can read the Economic Policy Institute Report here.) (And ugh.)

11. "Women Make Slight Gains In Big Law Equity Partnership: Report," 09.19.17.
Bloomberg Law reports that a new survey conducted by the National Association of Women Lawyers shows that "women have made modest gains in the highest ranks of Big Law firms, but they remain underrepresented and out-earned by their male counterparts."

    a. "Female Equity Partner Rate Is At All-Time High. (But It's Not That Great.)," 09.18.17.
    And Vivia Chen, the ALM's Careerist, writing for Law.com, weighs in with her thoughts on the latest NAWL report on the representation of women law firm partners.

    b. "Why Women Leave Big Law To Start Their Own Firms," 09.19.17.
    And in a related piece, Bloomberg Law reports that "increasingly, women are choosing to start their own law firms rather than persist in Big Law."

12. "Pay for Associate Hours? More Companies Say 'No Thanks'," 09.19.17.
The American Lawyer reports that there is "a slow-moving but persistent wave of corporate general counsel who are tired of waiting — and paying — for law firms to train lawyers, and are bringing more first-year law school graduates directly into their in-house legal departments."

13. "Hogan Lovells Offers Voluntary Retirement to 400 US Business Services Staff," 09.19.17.
Law.com reports that "Hogan Lovells has offered hundreds of its US support staff voluntary retirement."

    a. "Hogan Lovells Eyes 90 Job Redundancies in UK Restructuring," 09.18.17.
    More on Hogan from Legal Week, where layoffs are expected in their UK operations as well.

14. "'Really Hard and Intense:' Departing Northwestern Law Dean Says of Competition Among Top Schools," 09.19.17.
The National Law Journal reports that "Daniel Rodriquez will step down as dean of Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law at the end of the academic year."

15. "Baker Donelson the Latest Firm to Adopt AI for Contract Analysis," 09.19.17.
Legaltech News reports that Baker Donelson has signed a deal with Kira Systems to use artificial intelligence to analyze and manage their contract operations.

16. "UC Law Schools Orchestrate 2-Day Civil Rights Conference," 09.19.17.
The Recorder reports that "the four University of California law schools have launched a conference to prepare lawyers to protect the civil rights of vulnerable people."

17. "Should You Send a Thank You Note After an Interview?," 09.19.17.
Julie Brush, writing for The Recorder, says the answer to this question is undoubtedly yes. (Julie Brush, the founder and author of The Lawyer Whisperer, will be a featured speaker at NALP's Legal Recruiting Summit in January.)

18. "25 Percent Of Law Schools Say They Plan To Accept The GRE," 09.18.17.
Above the Law reports that "in a survey done by Kaplan Test Prep of admissions officials from 128 law schools, a full 25 percent say accepting the GRE is an admission policy they plan on implementing."

    a. "GRE Gaining Traction as Alternative Test for Law School Admission," 09.19.17.
    Law.com also reports on these survey results.

    b. "More law schools plan to accept GRE scores, but there's still hesitation, survey finds," 09.18.17.
    As does the ABA Journal.

19. "Understanding The Duty Of Legal Technology Competence," 09.18.17.
Above the Law correctly notes that five years after the ABA created an ethical duty of technology competence, a majority of states have adopted this duty, and "yet most lawyers still have little understanding of the scope of this duty and what it means for the day-to-day practice of law." ATL is offering a free webinar to try to combat this relative state of ignorance.

20. "Major Lindsey Unveils Legal Cost-Saving Tool for Corporate Clients," 09.18.17.
The American Lawyer reports that Major, Lindsey & Africa "announced Monday the launch of Make-Buy Analysis, an interactive tool that conducts a cost-benefit analysis for corporate legal departments to determine whether or not their workloads justify the hire of another internal attorney."

21. "Florida Law Grads Weathered The Storm When It Came To The Bar Exam," 09.18.17.
Above the Law reports on the July bar exam results in Florida for each of the Florida law schools.

22. "When Affirmative Action Isn't Enough," 09.17.17.
The New York Times reports that "despite the continued debate and legal wrangling over whether college affirmative action efforts are too aggressive, black and Hispanic freshmen were more underrepresented at the nation's tops schools in 2015 than they were in 1980." Ugh.

23. "JDs from middle-rank schools in states with many public colleges may give the best investment return," 09.15.17.
The ABA Journal reports on new research by Jerry Organ that shows "between 2010 and 2014, net tuition declined the most at middle ranked law schools, due to merit scholarship patterns associated with maintaining or improving rankings." (You can read more on Professor Organ's article here.)

24. "Over 70 Law Schools to Offer Software and iPhone App to Help Students in their Job Search," 09.15.17.
This press release says that "over 70 law schools across North American will be deploying Lawcountability, JD, a software platform and iPhone app designed to help students raise their profiles, network more effectively, meet potential employers, and ultimately, get a job." (Ari Kaplan, author of The Opportunity Maker: Strategies for Inspiring Your Legal Career Through Creative Networking and Business Development, is behind the project. Any law student can register for a free Lawcountability account here.)

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