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. 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.



September 18, 2020

    The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

  1. "New York's Diploma Privilege Bill Looks Dead, but Lawmakers Continue to Push the Court," 09.16.20.
    The New York Law Journal reports that "state lawmakers are once again trying to persuade the New York Court of Appeals to adopt a diploma privilege option that would allow law graduates to be licensed without taking the bar exam—after their legislative approach appears to have failed."

  2. "Law Grads With Disabilities Sue State Bar Over Exam Accommodations," 09.15.20.
    The Recorder reports that "three law school graduates with disabilities have sued California's state bar and the National Conference of Board Examiners, alleging that the organizations are forcing them to take the October bar exam in person in violation of state and federal disability laws."

  3. "Law Grad Says He's Being Retaliated Against For Bar Exam Criticism," 09.15.20.
    The Daily Report writes that a Florida International University law graduate who has been a vocal critic of the Florida Board of Bar Examiner's handling of the bar exam is facing a character and fitness challenge to his Florida bar application.

  4. "Make October's Bar Exam Open-Book, California Law Deans Tell Justices," 09.14.20.
    The Recorder reports that "the deans of 15 California law schools have asked the state Supreme Court to drop remote proctoring of the online October bar exam and to make the test open-book."


  5. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  6. "How a Midsize Firm Is Systematically Mapping Diversity Efforts Across the Talent Pipeline," 09.17.20.
    The Daily Report takes a look at "how one midsize firm is systematically addressing all phases of the pipeline, from recruitment to retention and promotion—and it could offer lessons for other firms seeking to improve diversity."

  7. "As Mansfield-Certified Firms Hit 100, Diversity Lab Announces New Midsize Firm Program," 09.15.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "one hundred law firms are now "Mansfield 3.0" certified, an increase of more than 40 firms over the previous year, according to legal diversity organization Diversity Lab."

  8. "Legal Tech is Catching Up to Diversity Efforts. Now They Have to Get Ahead," 09.15.20.
    Legaltech News reports that "legal tech companies have joined law firms, legal departments other sectors of the industry in promoting diversity and inclusion, and broader racial justice in U.S. society."

  9. "UC Law Deans Unite to Defend Critical Race Theory Amid Trump Attacks," 09.14.20.
    The Recorder reports that "the deans of the five law schools within the University of California system have banded together to defend critical race theory in the face of attacks from the Trump administration, which recently barred federal employers from offering training on the subject."

  10. "How Will Widespread Remote Working Affect Corporate Diversity and Inclusion Efforts?," 09.14.20.
    Corporate Counsel takes a look at some of the challenges to corporate diversity initiatives that are posed by the pandemic remote working regime.


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

  12. "ABA Well-Being Pledge Gathers Steam, as Number of Firm Swells in 2 Years," 09.17.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "in the two years since the American Bar Association asked law firms and other employers of lawyers to commit to combating substance use and related mental health issues in the profession, the number of signatories to its pledge has grown from 13 to nearly 200."

  13. "Struggles with mental health could get worse as winter looms," 09.16.20.
    The Boston Globe reports that "the change in seasons has many mental health experts worried that an already tenuous landscape will worsen…[noting that] six months of turmoil and uncertainty have left two out of five Americans with feelings of depression or anxiety."

  14. "Big Firms' Office Use Is Still Voluntary-With Few Takers," 09.16.20.
    According to the Daily Report, "Atlanta's large firms are in no hurry to fully reopen their offices during the COVID-19 pandemic, after most reopened for voluntary reentry in June."

  15. "Mommy-Shaming Big Law Moms During COVID," 09.15.20.
    Vivia Chen, writing for The American Lawyer, suggests that "the pressures of the pandemic has escalated the stakes of mommyhood to new heights on all fronts-personal, political and moral."


  16. Law Schools and Law Students

  17. "More NALP Salary Data For The Law School Class Of 2019," 09.17.20.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights the updated NALP bimodal salary curve for the Class of 2019.


  18. Law Firms and Lawyers (North America)

  19. "Associate Bonus Wars Rage Even in 2020, but Should Some Firms Sit It Out?," 09.17.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "the annual associate bonus war is heating up, pandemic or not, driven by a still red-hot talent market and the uneven financial impacts of 2020 so far."

    1. "Milbank Matches Bonus Scale, Will Pay Out Extra For Top Performers," 09.17.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that "Milbank has matched Davis Polk & Wardwell's bonus scale, informing associates of a special one-time bonus to be paid out by next month."

    2. "Davis Polk, Cooley to Reward Associates With Special Bonuses," 09.15.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that "Davis Polk & Wardwell is the latest to announce associate bonuses in September, following bonus news from Cooley, as big firms move to reward attorneys for their work during the pandemic."

  20. "Littler Reinstates Pre-Pandemic Pay, Joining Other Big L&E Firms," 09.17.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Littler Mendelson, the largest labor and employment firm in the country, announced Thursday that it will be reinstating full pay for all who are still actively working at the firm in the U.S., Mexico and Canada."

  21. "The COVID Pandemic Could Kill the Partner Office," 09.17.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "with partial or full-time remote work expected to remain an option at most firms even once the health crisis has ended, many are contemplating changes to their private offices" including smaller single-sized offices for all.

  22. "New Matter Generation Back to Pre-COVID-19 Baseline, but Worries Remain, Survey Finds," 09.17.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that new survey research shows that "overall new matter generation is mostly back to pre-pandemic levels and many larger legal markets are continuing to trend up…but more than half of surveyed respondents still have concerns about the future financial success of their firms, layoffs remain high, and apparently over one-third of U.S. consumers believe law firms are not currently providing legal services due to the pandemic."

  23. "Why Law Firms Seem to 'Eat Their Young' During Downturns," 09.16.20.
    In this first installment of a four-part series in The American Lawyer that looks at how actions firms have taken during the pandemic are negatively impacting younger lawyers, the author argues that associates have suffered the brunt of the negative impact of the pandemic.

  24. "Winston & Strawn Eliminates Some Staff Positions, Opening Support Services Center," 09.15.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Winston & Strawn has confirmed that it is eliminating some employee positions, adding to a list of Big Law firms that have recently laid off staff, citing changes in the legal industry."

  25. "Male Partner Compensation Grew at Nearly Twice the Rate of Female Partner Comp in Last 10 Years," 09.15.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "male equity partners in major law firms saw an increase of 42% in their overall compensation over the past decade, while female equity partners saw 22% growth, the biennial study on partner compensation by legal recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa found in its latest results."

  26. "Returning to the Office? At Some Firms, There's an App for That," 09.14.20.
    The Legal Intelligencer reports that Blank Rome and Greenberg Traurig, among other firms, have developed apps designed to facilitate employees' return to the office by providing basic health screening related to COVID.

  27. "Dentons Partially Rolls Back Cuts and Outlines Voluntary Retirement Program," 09.11.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Dentons US announced in a lengthy memo Friday that it is rolling back its austerity measures while also implementing a voluntary retirement program for staff."

  28. "Davis Polk's Changes Highlight Increasing Focus on Partner Comp During Pandemic," 09.11.20.
    The American Lawyer provides some analysis and insight into the likely motivations behind Davis Polk's decision to modify its longstanding lockstep partner pay system.

  29. "As COVID-19 Creates Curveballs, Firms Pivot Practices to Keep the Work Coming," 09.11.20.
    According to The American Lawyer, "firms of all sizes are marketing ad hoc multidisciplinary practice groups to meet pandemic-related client needs, a move aimed to boost demand even as the COVID-19 economic downturn takes a toll on revenue."

  30. "The Human Centered Skills Fundamental for Lawyers," 09.11.20.
    A consultant, writing for Corporate Counsel, identifies the seven most important skill areas for a general counsel — purpose, culture, leadership, talent, creativity, collaboration, and innovation.


  31. International Law Firms

  32. "DLA Piper Expands Consulting, Legal Services Offering," 09.16.20.
    Law.com International reports that "DLA Piper is expanding its roster of legal services and consulting products under its fledgling brand, Law&, with the aim of turning the firm into an all-in-one client service provider."

  33. "UK Top 50 Analysis: Things Will Get Worse Before They Get Better," 09.15.20.
    Law.com International reports that in addition to the Coronavirus disruption, political uncertainty with the U.K. general election late last year and the continuing confusion about Brexit have dampened financial results for top U.K. law firms.


  34. Corporate Counsel/Legal Operations/Legal Technology

  35. "General Counsel Need to Be Ready for New California Board Diversity Mandate," 09.16.20.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "in-house leaders for California-based companies should be preparing for new state legislation that requires boards of directors to include members of underrepresented communities and imposes hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for violations of the diversity mandate."

  36. "Diversity Push Barely Budges Corporate Boards to 12.5%, Survey Finds," 09.15.20.
    The New York Times reports that "the boards of the 3,000 largest publicly traded companies remain overwhelmingly white [despite pledges by corporations] to increase the number of Hispanic, Black, Asian-American and other underrepresented members on their boards."

  37. "With Outside Legal Bills Shrinking, General Counsel Look Harder for More Cost Savings," 09.15.20.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "as the novel coronavirus outbreak drives corporate legal departments to look for new ways to rein in costs, some in-house leaders are turning to legal spend management firms to suss out additional savings."


  38. Higher Education

  39. "NACAC Releases 'Roadmap for Change'," 09.18.20.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that the National Association for College Admission Counseling has released a new report that calls on leaders in higher education to "begin basing policy and practice on the premise higher education is a public good and enact public policy that recommits our nation to postsecondary access and success."

  40. "Should Harvard's Admissions Process Be Race-Blind? Attorneys Face Off at Appellate Court," 09.16.20.
    Law.com reports on the Wednesday federal appellate court arguments challenging Harvard University's race-conscious admissions process.

  41. "Low-income students are dropping out of college this fall in alarming numbers," 09.16.20.
    The Washington Post reports that "as fall semester gets into full swing in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, schools are noticing a concerning trend: Low-income students are the most likely to drop out or not enroll at all, raising fears that they might never get a college degree." ("Enrollment trends so far show especially steep drops among Black students and rural White students.")

  42. "More Pandemic Consequences for Underrepresented Students," 09.16.20.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "students of color and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds have been more likely to suffer hardships as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and are in need of support from their colleges, a new survey of students at large, public research institutions found."



Past News Digest Issues



September 11, 2020


    Top Story

  1. "For 2020, Revenue May Fall, but Profitability Is Largely Expected to Hold," 09.10.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Nearly six months after the arrival of COVID-19 in the United States forced the shutdown of wide parts of the economy, it's become apparent that the law firm world, as a whole, has managed to avoid the worst of the pain….Most of the firms are seeing a decline in revenue, but they are indicating that that decline is almost matched, if not exceeded, by decreases in expenses."


  2. The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

  3. "Pennsylvania High Court Rejects Diploma Privilege… Again," 09.10.20.
    The Legal Intelligencer reports that "the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Thursday denied a petition calling for a diploma privilege that would allow recent law graduates to be licensed without taking and passing the bar exam."

  4. "2020 Bar Applicants Held Hostage by Hubris," 09.08.20.
    A 2020 law school grad, writing for The Recorder, criticizes decisions that have been made about the California bar exam and argues that "the court and the bar have the duty to take a hard look at the systems and processes they have created and endorsed."

  5. "Allowing Law School Graduates To Practice Law Without Taking A Bar Exam Through A Diploma Privilege Does Not Put The Public At Greater Risk Of Attorney Misconduct," 09.07.20.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a new paper by two academics that concludes "a study of the Wisconsin State Bar disciplinary system demonstrates that there is little difference in the protection of the public between admitting law students to the practice of law by a diploma privilege versus requiring passage of a bar examination."

  6. "Will October's Online Bar Exams Implode? Takers Request 'Stress Tests' to Find Out," 09.04.20.
    Law.com reports that test-takers who will use the ExamSoft system to take the bar exam online in October are complaining that the system has not effectively been stress-tested, and are sounding alarms about the likelihood of technology failures during the exam itself.


  7. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  8. "How law firms can increase diversity among equity partners," 09.10.20.
    A multiethnic female lawyer who is an equity partner at a large law firm, writing for the ABA Journal, shares her personal story in the hopes that it will help other women lawyers and inspire changes to law firm culture.

  9. "Corporate Counsel, Big Law Join Lawyers for Racial Justice Initiative," 09.10.20.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "Corporate counsel from the Bank of New York Mellon Corp., General Electric Co., Johnson & Johnson, Verizon Wireless, Dell Technologies and several other sizable companies have joined with major law firms and a national network of pro bono lawyers [Lawyers for Racial Justice] as part of an effort to drive systemic change and racial justice."

  10. "Law Schools Tackle Racism and Injustice With Two-Day 'Teach-In'," 09.08.20.
    Law.com reports that "eight law schools have partnered to present 10 online seminars looking at racism and inequality in the law and the legal profession."

  11. "Amid Black Lives Matter Movement, a Different Lateral Market for Black Partners," 09.04.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that there has been "an uptick in firm interest in hiring Black lateral partners since May, when the murder of George Floyd sparked protests and conversations about racial injustice around the country."

  12. "In their shoes: Stories of systemic racism from the legal profession.," 08.26.20.
    National Magazine, the official periodical of the Canadian Bar Association, invited legal professionals to share their stories about their experience with racism. (Hat tip to Kara Sutherland for this one.)


  13. Mental Health/Remote Work/Remote Learning

  14. "Mental Health Needs Rise With Pandemic," 09.11.20.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "several recent surveys of students suggest their mental well-being has been devastated by the pandemic's social and economic consequences, as well as the continued uncertainty about their college education and postcollege careers."


  15. Law Schools and Law Students

  16. "400 Of 700 Michigan State Law Students Cannot Access Their Student Loans Due To Gymnastics Scandal, Integration With University," 09.09.20.
    The TaxProf Blog reports that "most law school students at Michigan State University are still waiting to receive their student loans more than a week after classes began as officials grapple with federal consequences stemming from the Larry Nassar investigation."

  17. "Vanderbilt Law Review members donate fees to support minority students with ABA diversity scholarship," 09.09.20.
    The ABA Journal reports that the leaders of the Vanderbilt Law Review have donated their annual dues to the ABA's Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund, a diversity legal scholarship program, "to do their part to fight racial injustice in the law."

  18. "10 Legal Writing Tips for Law Students," 09.09.20.
    This post in the Canadian online legal magazine Slaw provides "10 legal writing tips, which we hope will be useful for most kinds of legal writing."

  19. "Classmates' comments should be confidential, Harvard Law says in new social media policy," 09.08.20.
    The ABA Journal reports that "if you are a Harvard Law School student making a social media post about something said in class, you should not write it in a way that identifies the speaker to those who were not there, according to a new policy at the school."


  20. Law Firms and Lawyers (North America)

  21. "Davis Polk Changes to Modified Lockstep Compensation for Partners," 09.10.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Davis Polk & Wardwell is moving to a modified lockstep system for partner compensation, the firm confirmed Thursday."

  22. "Ropes & Gray Launches Voluntary Associate Deferral Program," 09.10.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Ropes & Gray has kicked off a voluntary one-year deferral program for its incoming first-years, who are due to start in January….The firm will pay participants an $80,000 stipend to work at a public interest group or nonprofit. They may also take a $38,800 stipend—20% of first-year starting pay—to take a personal sabbatical doing whatever they wish, except for practicing law at a law firm."

  23. "Ogletree Fully Rescinds Pay Cuts, Citing 'Strong Pipeline' of Business," 09.09.20.
    According to the Daily Report, "Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart, citing a recent improvement in business, has fully rescinded pay cuts for lawyers and staff that the national labor and employment firm instituted in May."

  24. "From a Small Firm to a Big Firm: Some Lessons I've Learned From Both," 09.09.20.
    A law firm associate, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, provides her personal insights about the similarities and differences between working at large and small law firms.

  25. "Adjusting the COVID-19 Response: How Law Firms Are Altering Austerity Measures," 09.08.20.
    The American Lawyer provides an update of its firm-by-firm listing of pandemic-related austerity measures implemented (and now in some cases rescinded) by law firms.

  26. "Eversheds Sutherland Partially Pays Back Cut Comp, but Pay Cuts Will Remain," 09.08.20.
    According to the Daily Report, "Eversheds Sutherland is partially paying back a 10% cut in compensation to its U.S. lawyers and staff that the firm preemptively instituted in early May."

  27. "Utah Approves Rocket Lawyer for New Regulatory Sandbox," 09.08.20.
    Legaltech News reports that "Utah's Supreme Court unanimously approved Rocket Lawyers application to join the state's pilot program, which allows nonlawyers to provide certain traditional legal services and authorizes new legal business models."

  28. "At Working Mother's Top Firms for Women, Female Equity Partner Gains Were Slight," 09.08.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that Working Mother magazine has released its annual list of the best law firms for women based on demographics, mentorship programs and flexible work policies, and noting that "flexible work schedules were prominent among the winners [this year]."

  29. "The Pandemic Has Put Associate Development Back on the Back Burner," 09.07.20.
    Law.com reports that "after decades of deprioritizing associate development and well-being…the pressures of the pandemic are beginning to endanger any recent progress made on that front."

  30. "Election Day Becomes a Holiday at More Big Firms, but Will It Stick?," 09.07.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Crowell & Moring and Stroock & Stroock & Lavan have joined a growing list of Big Law firms giving their employees paid time off to participate in the 2020 U.S. elections."

  31. "Hogan Lovells Makes Some Lawyers Whole, Restoring Pay Retroactive to June," 09.04.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Hogan Lovells will reverse pay cuts for U.S. associates that were instituted on June 1, with the restoration retroactive to that date, effectively making the associates whole for that three-month period."

  32. "Troutman Pepper, Ending Pay Cuts, Hopes to Repay Withheld Comp," 09.04.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "two months after its merger became effective during the pandemic, Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders told its lawyers and staff some good news Friday: pay cuts are ending, and the firm still intends to repay the cut amount by the end of the year."

  33. "Jobs Report: US Economy Adds 1.4 Million Jobs, Legal Adds … Nothing," 09.04.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "while the U.S. economy overall added 1.4 million jobs in August, buoyed by almost 250,000 temporary census workers that will be laid off at month's end, the legal vertical added exactly zero jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly jobs report."


  34. International Law Firms

  35. "HSF Allows Partners, All Staff To Work Remotely 40% Of Time," 09.11.20.
    Law.com international reports that "Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has become one of the latest international law firms to expand its remote working policy in light of changes to the industry's working habits amid the COVID-19 pandemic."

  36. "Six Months On: How Africa's Lawyers Are Coping In the Pandemic," 09.09.20.
    Law.com International reports on the impact of the pandemic on law firms in Africa, including the hardest hit in South Africa that have been subjected to the five-month hard lockdown.

  37. "The Top 25 Firms With the Most LGBTQ+ Lawyers," 09.08.20.
    Law.com International provides a ranking of the top 25 firms with the biggest proportion of lawyers identifying as LGBTQ+ in the U.K.


  38. Higher Education

  39. "Analysis: Students of Color Less Likely to Have Paid Internships," 09.10.20.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "Black students are more likely to be in unpaid internships and participated in more unpaid internships than their white peers, according to new research from the National Association of Colleges and Employers."


September 4, 2020


    The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

  1. "Applicants Sitting For Online Georgia Bar Exam Must Sign Liability Waiver Releasing Any Potential Claims Against ExamSoft And Bar," 09.03.20.
    The TaxProf Blog reports that "applicants planning to sit for the October 5-6 online Georgia bar exam must sign a liability waiver releasing any claims they may have against ExamSoft, the Georgia bar, and the state of Georgia."

  2. "Small Cohort of July Bar Exam Takers Post Impressive Gains on the MBE," 09.02.20.
    Law.com reports that while the test-taking cohort was smaller, "the average score on the Multistate Bar Exam [administered in July]…shot up five points for those who took the bar in July as compared to July 2019, according to the National Conference of Bar Examiners."

    1. "Why did the average scaled score for the July multistate bar exam improve?," 09.02.20.
      The ABA Journal reports that the mean scaled score for the July 2020 multistate bar exam is 146.1, compared to 141.1 in July 2019, and provides speculation that "people had more time to study this summer-thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic."

    2. "The Few, The Proud, The July 2020 Multistate Bar Exam Survivors: Average Score Hits All-Time High, 88% Fewer Takers," 09.03.20.
      More on this from the TaxProf Blog.

  3. "Are Online Bar Exams Feasible and Fair? Software Testing Group Isn't So Sure," 09.02.20.
    Law.com reports that "a national software testing organization has identified several potential technical problems with the online bar exams that many states are planning to administer in October."

  4. "State Bar Posts Draft Rules for Provisional Licensing Program," 09.02.20.
    The Recorder reports that "California's state bar is asking for public comments on a proposed provisional licensing program that will allow recent law school graduates to practice law temporarily without taking the bar exam." (The state bar has published a six-page draft rule laying out what will be required.)

  5. "Lawmakers Ask Justices to Retroactively Apply New Lowered Bar Exam Passing Score," 09.01.20.
    The Recorder reports that "state lawmakers early Tuesday called on California's Supreme Court to reconsider its decision not to apply a new, lower passing score on the bar exam retroactively."


  6. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  7. "In Bostock's Wake, Look for More Diversity Training, Sex Bias Cases and LGBT Workers Living Openly," 09.03.20.
    Two law firm lawyers, writing for the Daily Report, provide guidance in the wake of the Bostock decision that protects employees who have been discriminated against because of sexual orientation or gender identity: "Diversity training becomes more important as employers adjust to the ruling. It's time to update handbooks and reset policies—not time to cut the training budget. In addition to training, employers will have to actively police and immediately stop negative and derogatory behavior to set and enforce a new standard and cultural modification."

  8. "More Minority, Women General Counsel at Top US Companies Than Ever Before," 08.31.20.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "the population of minority and women general counsel for top U.S. companies grew in 2019 to the highest number that the Minority Corporate Counsel Association has recorded in the past 15 years."

    1. "The Table in the Boardroom: Ways to Increase Diversity," 09.01.20.
      In this commentary piece in Corporate Counsel, a former GC to several Silicon Valley startup offers three suggestions for increasing diversity on a board of directors or an advisory board.

  9. "How Ropes & Gray Hit 31% Female Partners: Its Women's Group Is Not Just For Mommies.," 08.31.20.
    Vivia Chen, writing for Law.com, reports that at a handful of major Am Law 100 firms, women are cracking the 25% female equity partner ceiling.


  10. Mental Health/Remote Work/Remote Learning

  11. "Get Comfortable at Home: Big Firms Plan to Allow Remote Work for Rest of Year," 09.03.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that a majority of law firms expect to allow work from home through the end of the calendar year, but expect to have lawyers back in the office sometime in 2021.

  12. "Six Months Into the New Normal, What Do Lawyers Miss, and
    What's Improved?
    ," 09.03.20.
    The Daily Report speaks with lawyers who are six months into the pandemic-induced remote work posture: "Lawyers reported overwhelmingly that they miss people—especially colleagues with whom they plot strategy, share lunch and exchange ideas, handshakes and hugs. As for improvements, lawyers praised videoconferences for depositions and simple court matters as saving countless hours."

  13. "To Improve Lawyer Well-Being, Let's First Specify the Problem," 09.03.20.
    A clinical psychologist and consultant to law firms on wellbeing and health, writing for the New York Law Journal, writes about "the importance of establishing a contemporaneous process for identifying the organization-specific dynamics (i.e. the problem) that contribute to stigma, isolation, incivility, lack of control…[and concludes that] with the problem identified, legal employers would then be armed with the knowledge they need to properly target the problem and deliver lasting, effective, well-being solutions for their workforce."

  14. "How to Set Up School at Home for Students of All Ages," 09.01.20.
    This piece in The Wall Street Journal offers advice for setting up successful at-home learning environments for students in elementary school, middle school, high school, and college. (Subscription required.)

  15. "In Back-to-School Shuffle, Junior Partner Moms at a Crossroads," 08.31.20.
    Law.com takes a look at the pressure the ongoing remote work posture and remote schooling is putting on women partners who are also raising children.

  16. "How to Stay Focused While Working From Home," 08.30.20.
    The Wall Street Journal writes that as the pandemic and remote working drag on, "continuing to stay focused has become more challenging," and provides advice from experts on ways to boost concentration. (Subscription required.)


  17. Law Schools and Law Students

  18. "Interning in a Pandemic: Overcoming Challenges and Lessons Learned," 09.02.20.
    Two law students, writing here for The Legal Intelligencer, recount their virtual summer internship experiences with law firms.

  19. "One student's career journey into legal tech," 08.20.20.
    This Legal Evolution blog post a 2019 law grad charts his course to a post-graduation job with a technology startup.


  20. Law Firms and Lawyers (North America)

  21. "Skadden Trims Staff Ranks Across US Offices," 09.03.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom is the latest firm to lay off staff, joining several other Big Law firms that have downsized their staffing levels amid the pandemic."

  22. "Nixon Peabody Makes Another Round of Layoffs While Restoring Some Staff Pay," 09.03.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Nixon Peabody confirmed on Thursday that it is laying off staff while also restoring some pay cuts for those still at the firm, joining a growing list of Big Law firms making the dual moves."

  23. "More Cuts Coming as Firms Slim Down to Keep Partner Pockets Full," 09.02.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that following layoffs at three Am Law 100 firms this week, "legal industry watchers anticipate further reductions to attorneys and staff as firms use the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to tighten up their operations."

  24. "More lawyers are embracing the gig economy while working remotely, experts say," 09.02.20.
    ITbusiness in Canada reports that "the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is fueling an increasingly active gig economy within the legal industry."

  25. "What Is the Future of Lawyers' Jobs?," 09.02.20.
    This Slaw post argues that tomorrow's lawyers will need to look beyond traditional legal jobs.

  26. "Layoffs Hit Two Am Law 100 Firms," 09.01.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Baker McKenzie and Davis Wright Tremaine announced layoffs on Tuesday while also confirming plans to roll back some pay cuts."

  27. "Can Law Firms Fix the Leadership Gap Before It's Too Late?," 09.01.20.
    The managing editor of The American Lawyer writes that most law firms lack adequate leadership training and development programs.

  28. "Arrested Development: Younger Associates Are Taking Longer to Develop," 08.31.20.
    According to The American Lawyer, "[among younger attorneys] practice leaders are noticing a trend of delayed full utilization, often brought about by lack of opportunity and direct mentorship."

  29. "Fisher Phillips Reverses Pay Cuts for Lawyers and Staff," 08.31.20.
    The Daily Report writes that Atlanta-based Fisher Phillips has fully restored pay for its salaried lawyers and staff.

  30. "Hogan Lovells, Littler Mendelson Join Firms Making Nov. 3 a Paid Day Off," 08.31.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Hogan Lovells and Littler Mendelson, have recently made public announcements that their respective firms will allow for paid time off on Nov. 3 for employees to vote or take part in other civic-minded activity aimed at raising voter turnout."

  31. "What Are Your Associates Really Thinking? Young Lawyers' Brutally Honest Advice to Their Firms," 08.31.20.
    The American Lawyer shares some of the candid responses obtained during its recent Midlevel Associates Survey.

  32. "Kilpatrick Townsend Restores Pay for Attorneys and Staff," 08.28.20.
    The Daily Report reports that "Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton is one of the latest firms to restore pay cuts that it instituted in April in anticipation of further economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic."

  33. "Firms That Keep Pay Cuts in Place May Lose Ground in Hiring Market," 08.28.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "firms that have taken a conservative approach to finances as they steer through the pandemic, by keeping austerity measures firmly in place, may be viewed less favorably by potential lateral hires or law students than competitors that imposed no cuts or that quickly restored pay once their actual revenue beat forecasts."

  34. "What's Behind Some Pushing to Get Back to the Office?," 08.28.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "factors such as gender, location and even politics can play a role in how motivated attorneys and staff are to actually be in the office."

  35. "Arizona OKs Outside Ownership of Law Firms," 08.28.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Arizona is set to become the first jurisdiction in the United States to allow outside ownership of law firms, after the state's Supreme Court voted this week to eliminate rules prohibiting fee sharing."

    1. "Arizona's Ownership Rules Have Major Implications for Consumer Law, the Big Four, Lit Funders and More," 09.01.20.
      This piece in The American Lawyer looks ahead to the possible implications of the regulatory changes that have been made in Arizona: "In eliminating restrictions on outside ownership of law firms starting in January, the state's Supreme Court could pave the way for a proliferation of new legal businesses looking to assist individuals with needs like wills, divorces and real estate transfers."

    2. "Why AZ's 'Legal Paraprofessional' Push Could Lead to Major Shift in Legal Market," 09.02.20.
      More from The American Lawyer on the regulatory changes in Arizona: "While a comparatively small legal market, Arizona's push to allow nonlawyers to practice law could open the door for larger, more influential markets to do the same."

  36. "The Future of the Firm Beyond COVID-19," 08.28.20.
    This New Jersey Law Journal piece from an architect and a designer who work with law firms takes a look at the future of the law firm office space, noting that only 10% of U.S. lawyers say they want to work from home full-time.


  37. International Law Firms

  38. "Squire Latest Law Firm Set to Make UK Cuts," 09.04.20.
    Law.com International reports that "Squire Patton Boggs is the latest law firm to announce U.K. specific cuts to its workforce…[noting that] the cuts will affect administrative staff only."

  39. "Law Firm Office Returns: How Countries of the World Compare," 08.31.20.
    Law.com International breaks down which countries are nearing a return to the office, and which are encouraging remote working.

  40. "'A Game Changer': Industry Reacts to Linklaters' 50% Remote Working Rule," 08.28.20.
    Law.com International reports that "partners across the U.K. legal industry have [had mixed reactions] to a new agile working policy brought in by Linklaters, which will let the firm's staff—including partners—work remotely for up to 50% of the time beyond COVID-19."


  41. Higher Education

  42. "Court Bars U. of California From Using ACT and SAT for Fall-2021 Admissions," 09.01.20.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "a California judge on Monday granted a preliminary injunction immediately barring the University of California system from using the ACT and SAT…[after] plaintiffs cited state and federal disability laws in arguing that disabled students' access to standardized tests is 'either impossible or impaired' because of disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic." (Subscription required.)

    1. "U of California Barred From Considering SAT/ACT Scores," 09.02.20.
      More on this from Inside Higher Ed.

  43. "The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Making College Students Question the Price of Their Education," 08.28.20.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that college students across the country are pushing back against the tuition and fees being charged by colleges and universities that are offering online learning this semester instead of in-person classes. (Subscription required.)

  44. "College Is Everywhere Now," 08.28.20.
    This much circulated New York Times article reports that some college students are choosing to attend their remote classes not from their parents' homes or their campus apartments, but from exotic and far-flung places, often banding together to rent group homes in places such as Hawaii and Montana. (Privileged people are going to do privileged things…)



August 28, 2020


    The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

  1. "Note the New Date for the Florida Bar Exam," 08.26.20.
    The Daily Business Review reports that "the Florida Board of Bar Examiners has rescheduled the bar exam for Oct. 13, with allowances that permit testing to potentially continue until Oct. 14 for candidates receiving test accommodations."

  2. "New York Tries to Reassure Test Takers About Online Bar Exam," 08.26.20.
    Bloomberg Law reports that "the New York Board of Law Examiners is trying to allay concerns that the many strict rules surrounding the state's online bar exam in early October are navigable, and won't result in false allegations of cheating."

  3. "Public Interest Organizations Back Diploma Privilege for Law Grads," 08.20.20.
    Law.com reports that "more than 125 public interest law organizations…sent a letter to the National Conference of Bar Examiners and the 30 jurisdictions that are planning either for in-person bar exams next month or online October exams, asking them to adopt an emergency diploma privilege that would enable law graduates to be licensed without taking the bar exam."

  4. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  5. "Black Female Lawyers on Confronting Racism at Work: 'You Don't Have Time to Get Angry'," 08.25.20.
    The Connecticut Law Tribune speaks with the managing partner of McCarter & English and the executive director of Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity in Connecticut, both Black women, about new initiatives that are underway to combat racism in the profession.

  6. "A Personal Priority: Ford Motor Co. Takes A Hands-On, Multifaceted Approach to Driving Diversity," 08.25.20.
    Corporate Counsel takes a look at how Bradley M. Gayton, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel, Ford Motor Co., has made diversity a personal priority.

  7. "Why They Left: Black Lawyers on Why Big Law Can't Keep Them Around," 08.24.20.
    The American Lawyer spoke with several Black lawyers who left large law firms: "[They] described…the challenges they encountered, even while acknowledging that new opportunities played an important role in drawing them away from their firms, whether toward a nonprofit, an in-house legal department or a new firm. Faced with a lack of mentorship, or an unattainable promotion to partner, or cultural isolation, they joined the scores of Black attorneys who leave Big Law each year."

  8. "Black Firm Leaders Drive Big Law Social Justice Efforts," 08.24.20.
    Bloomberg Law reports that "Big Law firms led by Black chairmen, managing partners or presidents are backing up their efforts on social justice and anti-racism with their money and their time."

  9. "Diversity and Inclusion Meets Virtual Lawyering," 08.24.20.
    This letter to the editor in the New York Law Journal argues that in addition to evaluating the amount of office space needed to practice law in the new normal, "the pandemic…presents an opportunity for law firms to concomitantly look afresh at how they address diversity and inclusion."

  10. "'We Want a Movement, Not a Moment': Despite Skepticism, Law Firms Haven't Relented on Racial Justice," 08.21.20.
    Law.com reports that so far "the country's biggest law firms have not relented on their efforts to promote racial justice…using a combination of financial contributions, direct action and internal programs to push for progress."

  11. Law Schools and Law Students

  12. "Ohio Law Schools Explore Merger," 08.28.20.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "the University of Akron and Cleveland State University announced Thursday they will explore a merger between their two law schools, the University of Akron School of Law and the Cleveland Marshall College of Law."

  13. "The Value Of A Law Degree By College Major: $45,000 Humanities/$29,000 STEM Per Year For Life," 08.26.20.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a new Journal of Legal Education article by two law professors that estimates the increase in earnings from a law degree relative to a bachelor's degree for graduates who majored in different fields in college.

  14. "Purdue, Two Other Online Law Schools Receive California Accreditation," 08.26.20.
    The TaxProf Blog reports that "on Friday, California accreditation was given to three online law schools — the Concord Law School at Purdue University Global, the Northwestern California University School of Law and the St. Francis Law School."

  15. "2 law schools dinged for bar pass standard are now found to be in compliance," 08.25.20.
    The ABA Journal reports that "of the 10 law schools to receive public notice in May that they were out of compliance with Standard 316, Florida Coastal School of Law and the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law are the first to demonstrate compliance."

  16. "ABA Legal Ed council addresses reporting requirements amid law schools' COVID-19 concerns," 08.17.20.
    The ABA Journal reports that at its recent Council meeting, "the ABA's Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar [agreed to] review fewer law school files with individual student information for purposes of employment outcomes reporting…[and] the section has established a committee to address reporting bar exam pass rates [as a result of delayed bar exams]."

  17. Law Firms and Lawyers (North America)

  18. "Fly-Fishing and All-Night Layovers: How McGuireWoods Got Face-to-Face With Summer Associates Despite COVID Challenges," 08.27.20.
    The American Lawyer reports on the McGuireWoods hybrid in-person and virtual summer program: "McGuireWoods believed face-to-face interaction was crucial for the summer experience, especially as many law students were already dealing with isolation after their semesters abruptly went remote."

  19. "The Pandemic Gives Young Lawyers a Chance to Reconsider Their Career Path," 08.26.20.
    The American Lawyer's Young Lawyer Editorial Board writes that "young attorneys, during and after the pandemic, should evaluate their current position and consider whether their practice area or firm is likely one to survive and thrive in the coming years, and whether the pandemic period is a time for reflection or even a shift away from practice."

  20. "As Big Firms Get Ready for First-Year Associates, Concerns Remain Over Training, Retention," 08.25.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "law firm leaders and legal industry observers said they don't expect a three-month delay to have much impact on associates' career development or law firms' workflow…but the changes for first-year associates in 2020 raise longer-term concerns about how well firms will be able to train and instill firm culture in new associates working from home and whether that could affect associate retention in the long run."

  21. "What Are the Chances of First-Year Associate Cancellations?," 08.25.20.
    The American Lawyer suggests that "a concern is percolating among deferred first-year associates: Will their offers get rescinded amid the economic chaos this year?," but then reports that "firm leaders and legal industry observers say they do not expect 2020 first-year associate classes to be canceled."

  22. "Overcoming the Next Big Hurdle for Remote Law Firms: Efficiency," 08.25.20.
    The CEO of a legal technology consultancy, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, writes that "as many law firms and their corporate clients continue to work remotely, they need to increase efficiency in this nontraditional environment," and suggests a few places to begin.

  23. "Utah Broke the Lawyer Fee-Sharing Mold. Now Other States Watch With Interest," 08.25.20.
    Legaltech News reports that "reform advocates said they are seeing growing momentum for regulatory change in the wake of Utah's recent development and a widening access-to-justice gap."

  24. "Inside Virus-Era Supreme Court: How Clerks Adjusted to New Reality," 08.25.20.
    The National Law Journal speaks with a clerk who recently completed his term with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch about how the pandemic and remote working changed the rituals and routines of the Court and its workers.

  25. "In a Remote Environment, Talent Development Is Fraught With Risks," 08.25.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that many months into the pandemic crisis, law firms are now tacking "complex questions around safety and equity…[including] how firms are going to train, coach and develop their talent in an effective and equitable manner at a time when the circumstances of their dispersed workforces are both inconvenient and inconsistent."

  26. "'It Will Never Be the Same': Why Greenberg Traurig's Co-President Wants to Get Back to the Office," 08.25.20.
    Brad Kaufman, co-president and global chairman of professional development and integration for Greenberg Traurig, writing for The American Lawyer, writes about what he misses about in-person working, and why he thinks remote work will never replace working in his office with his colleagues.

  27. "The 2020 Midlevel Associates Survey: The Rankings," 08.24.20.
    The American Lawyer publishes the results of its annual Midlevel Associates Survey, finding that, in general early-career lawyers are as satisfied as ever with their law firms.

    1. "As They Navigate the Pandemic, Midlevel Associates Say Law Firm Transparency Is Paramount," 08.24.20.
      According to The American Lawyer, its Midlevel Associates Survey confirms that "early-career attorneys are increasingly satisfied with the openness of firm leadership, how firms communicate about making the partnership, and the opportunity to build relationships with partners."

    2. "Work-Life Balance Remains a Top Concern for Associates," 08.24.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that its Midlevel Associates Survey shows that "millennial associates place a higher value on personal time than their Gen-X and baby boomer predecessors, and they value workplaces that give the green light for time off to recharge and refresh."

    3. "When It Comes to Tech, Associates Say Firms Lack Touch," 08.24.20.
      The American Lawyer's Midlevel Associates Survey also reveals that midlevel associates overwhelmingly want their firms to make better investments in tech.

  28. "Holland & Knight, Stoel Rives Partially Restore COVID Pay Cuts," 08.24.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "two more Am Law 200 firms have announced that they will partially restore pay cuts to attorneys and staff made earlier this year: Holland & Knight and Stoel Rives."

  29. "Big Law Firms Are Forcing Out More Unproductive Partners as Recession Stalls Profits," 08.21.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "Am Law 100 firms are shedding unproductive partners to feed more money to high performers and prevent other firms from poaching their most valuable talent."

  30. International Law Firms

  31. "Reed Smith Cuts 19 London Roles Including Lawyers," 08.26.20.
    Law.com International reports that "Reed Smith has cut 19 roles in its London office…[including] 13 lawyers and six professional services staff."

  32. "Linklaters To Allow Partners, Staff To Work Remotely Up To 50% Of Time," 08.25.20.
    Law.com International reports that "Linklaters has enacted a new global agile working policy…[that] will allow lawyers and employees — including partners — to work remotely for up to 20-50% of their time."

  33. "Kennedys To Pay Out Salary Increases and Bonuses After COVID-19 Delay," 08.24.20.
    Law.com International reports that "U.K. Top 50 law firm Kennedys has announced it will pay out salary increases and bonuses across its global network after freezing salary reviews earlier this year amid the coronavirus lockdown."

  34. "Nearly Half Of Legal Workers Are 'Dreading Going Back To The Workplace'," 08.21.20.
    Law.com International reports that "almost half of the U.K.'s legal workforce is anxious about returning to the office following the lifting of the coronavirus lockdown, according to a survey looking into the impact of remote working on the sector."

  35. Corporate Counsel/Legal Operations/Legal Technology

  36. "Diversity Lab Announces Mansfield Rule-Certified Legal Departments," 08.27.20.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "Diversity Lab announced Thursday that 19 of the 22 legal departments that signed on to the pilot version of the Mansfield Rule: Legal Department Edition have been Mansfield-certified."

  37. "GCs Looking for Jobs Post-Pandemic Should Flex Cybersecurity and Crisis Management Muscles," 08.20.20.
    Corporate Counsel reports that the pandemic challenges may ultimately be good for the careers of in-house lawyers: "The good news is that the experience of successfully weathering those [COVID related] storms could give in-house counsel a much needed boost to the next rung on the career ladder."

  38. Higher Education

  39. "Cases Spike at Universities Nationally," 08.26.20.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that many of the colleges and universities that have brought students back for in-person classes are now seeing outbreaks of COVID-19 among students, noting that "many of the most visible and serious outbreaks are in the Southeast United States."

    1. "Universities sound alarm as coronavirus cases emerge just days into classes — 530 at one campus," 08.25.20.
      More on the from The Washington Post: "colleges and universities that brought students back to campus are expressing alarm about coronavirus infections emerging as classes have barely started, raising the possibility everyone could be sent home."

    2. "Tracking Coronavirus Cases at U.S. Colleges and Universities," 08.26.20.
      The New York Times provides this searchable list and infographic that tracks the number of COVID-19 cases at individual colleges and universities across the U.S.

  40. "Justice Department increasing attacks on affirmative action in college admissions," 08.23.20.
    The Boston Globe reports that "the US Justice Department's recent complaint that Yale University discriminated against Asian American and white applicants in its admissions process opens a new front in the Trump administration's fight against affirmative action in college admissions…signaling the administration is expanding its attack against longstanding policies aimed at increasing diversity on campuses."

  41. "A Detailed Look at the Downside of California's Ban on Affirmative Action," 08.21.20.
    The New York Times reports on the results of new research evaluating the impact of the ban on racial preferences in admission to the California's public universities: "A comprehensive study released Friday finds that by nearly every measure, the ban has harmed Black and Hispanic students, decreasing their number in the University of California system while reducing their odds of finishing college, going to graduate school and earning a high salary. At the same time, the policy didn't appear to greatly benefit the white and Asian-American students who took their place."



August 21, 2020


    Top Stories

  1. "Chapel Hill and Notre Dame Are Just the Beginning," 08.19.20.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education writes that based on the experiences of UNC and Notre Dame this week, "learning in person this fall may be harder to pull off than some college leaders anticipated." (Subscription required.)

    1. "Michigan State, Notre Dame Back Off From Fall Reopening Plans," 08.19.20.
      Inside Higher Ed reports that "the University of Notre Dame announced Tuesday afternoon it was suspending in-person classes for almost 12,000 students, moving undergraduate classes to remote instruction for two weeks while keeping students on campus and giving leaders a chance to reassess plans and a rising coronavirus infection rate [and] at virtually the same time Michigan State University asked undergraduates who had planned to live in residence halls to stay home and announced that it will transition classes planned for in-person instruction to remote formats."

    2. "After Only One Week, Chapel Hill Abandons In-Person Fall Semester," 08.17.20.
      The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Monday suddenly pulled the plug on its in-person fall semester, bowing to concerns about rapidly spreading Covid-19 infection both on and off campus." (Subscription required.)

    3. "Outbreaks Drive U.N.C. Chapel Hill Online After a Week of Classes," 08.17.20.
      More on this from The New York Times.

    4. "UNC Pulls the Plug on In-Person Fall. Will Other Campuses Follow?," 08.17.20.
      The Chronicle of Higher Education writes that "UNC's quick switch online is a jarring about-face, and may portend grim news for other campuses that have chosen to open for in-person activities amid high coronavirus infection rates around the country." (Subscription required.)

  2. "What I Learned on My Summer Internship: How to Work Alone," 08.18.20.
    The Wall Street Journal reports on the experience of college and high school students who had virtual summer internships in 2020: "What might be the strangest summer internship season ever is winding up for teenagers and college students around the country. Many spent their entire internships working remotely from childhood bedrooms. Others…showed up at mostly deserted office campuses. It wasn't all bad, for some it meant rare face time with the only other people around—the CEOs." (Subscription required.)

    1. "Law Students Overcome Hurdles During COVID-19 Pandemic," 08.18.20.
      Two summer associates, writing for the Daily Business Review, "discuss their experience working remotely during the most pivotal summer of their early legal careers."

    2. "Lessons Learned From the Year of the Virtual Summers," 08.14.20.
      The American Lawyer provides a debrief on lessons learned from this summer's virtual summer associate programs.


  3. The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

  4. "Record Registrations for California's Online October Bar Exam," 08.19.20.
    The Recorder reports that "a record 12,000 would-be lawyers have registered to take California's October bar exam, even as uncertainty continues to swirl around the novel online test."

  5. "Software provider pulls out of remotely proctored bar exams because of technology concerns," 08.18.20.
    The ABA Journal reports that according to the leader of one of the companies that was to provide technology for remote bar exams, "there hasn't been sufficient development time or product testing for the technology."

  6. "'The Test Is Being Prioritized Over Graduates.' New York's Bar Plan Slammed by Examinees and Lawmakers," 08.18.20.
    The New York Law Journal reports on the proceedings at a virtual roundtable panel discussion about the state's lawyer licensing test held on Tuesday that involved recent law graduates, legal educators, and state lawmakers.

  7. "Florida Postpones Online Bar Exam Two Days Before the Test," 08.17.20.
    The Daily Business Review reports that "Florida has postponed the online bar exam it was due to administer Wednesday, citing technical problems."

    1. "Florida Postpones Bar Exam Three Days Before Online Test Due To Technology Failure, Announces Supervised Practice Program," 08.17.20.
      More on this from the TaxProf Blog.

    2. "Fla. Board of Bar Examiners' Inability to Structure a Sensible Bar Exam Is Indefensible," 08.17.20.
      A law firm partner, writing for the Daily Business Review, is critical of the Florida Board of Bar Examiners' handling of decisions about the state's bar exam administration during the pandemic.

    3. "Florida's Aug. 19 Online Bar Exam In Jeopardy As Software Crashes; Deans, Legislators Demand Plan B," 08.15.20.
      And the TaxProf Blog provides the backstory.

  8. "Hogan Partners, Law Deans Push for D.C. Diploma Privilege," 08.13.20.
    Bloomberg Law reports on a growing push for diploma privilege in D.C.

  9. "Law Professors Ask ABA to Shelve Bar Passage Rule During Pandemic," 08.13.20.
    Law.com reports that "a law professor group has renewed calls for the American Bar Association to suspend enforcement of its bar passage standard for law schools, arguing that the bar exam is in disarray amid COVID-19 and that schools should not be held to the same measures during the pandemic."


  10. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  11. "Law firms to turn anti-racism alliance into nonprofit," 08.21.20.
    Reuters reports that "backers of a nationwide initiative by law firms, launched in the wake of George Floyd's death, to tackle systemic racism in the law are drafting paperwork to formalize it into an industry-funded nonprofit: The Law Firm Antiracism Alliance."

  12. "Miller Canfield, Debevoise Announce New Diversity and Inclusion Leaders," 08.20.20.
    Law.com reports that "Miller Canfield and Debevoise & Plimpton have each announced they are making some changes to their efforts around diversity and inclusion, with Miller Canfield promoting Michelle Crockett to be the firm's first chief diversity officer and Debevoise hiring former Hogan Lovells director of inclusion Leslie Richards-Yellen as its new director of diversity and inclusion."

  13. "The 2020 A-List: Female Equity Partner Scorecard," 08.20.20.
    The American Lawyer publishes its ranking of AmLaw 200 firms based on female equity partner percentage.

  14. "For Women, Leaving Big Law for a Midsize Firm Doesn't Mean Settling," 08.20.20.
    The newly elected managing partner of a midsize law firm, writing for The American Lawyer, argues that "Big Law would be wise to take a lesson from smaller, nimbler and more inclusive practices that welcome women and encourage them to take leadership and management roles."

  15. "Promoting Social Justice May Bolster Law Firm Recruiting," 08.18.20.
    The Legal Intelligencer writes that "law firms that put social justice in the forefront will be most likely to attract diverse talent, since many law students say social justice work should be essential as lawyers."

  16. "Despite Diversity Efforts, Fewer Than 10% of MDL Leadership Posts Are Going to Attorneys Who Are Not White," 08.17.20.
    Law.com reports that data gathered by ALM shows very little ethnic diversity among multidistrict litigation plaintiffs' leadership teams: "only 5% of appointments, on average, went to lawyers who identified as nonwhite in MDLs created from 2016 through 2019. About 4% of attorneys, on average, had undetermined ethnicity in the data, but, even when accounting for that factor, 91% were white."


  17. Mental Health and Remote Work/Remote Learning

  18. "Mental Health: The First Step Is To Talk About It," 08.20.20.
    The president of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, writing for the New York Law Journal, urges lawyers to be more open about their own mental health struggles and those of the lawyers around them.

  19. "Remote School Is Now a Marathon, Not a Sprint. How Will Firms Support Parents?," 08.19.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that law firms face a higher burden in supporting parents who will continue to have children at home doing remote schooling in the fall and winter.

  20. "Lawyers Are Not Uniquely Unhappy, But They Abuse Alcohol At Very High Rates," 08.19.20.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a new article in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies that finds that "contrary to the conventional wisdom, lawyers are not particularly unhappy. Indeed, they suffer rates of mental illness much lower than the general population. Lawyer mental health is not significantly different than the mental health of similarly-educated professionals, such as doctors and dentists…[but] rates of problematic alcohol use among lawyers, however, are high, even when compared to the general population."

  21. "Students Reporting Depression and Anxiety at Higher Rates," 08.19.20.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "about one-third of undergraduate, graduate and professional school students screened during the summer were found to have depression or anxiety, or both, which is a higher rate than seen in years past, according to a new report by the Student Experience in the Research University, or SERU, Consortium."

  22. "'The volume has been turned up on everything': Pandemic places alarming pressure on transgender mental health," 08.18.20.
    The Washington Post reports that "even as the coronavirus has upended lives throughout the country, it has taken a deep toll on the transgender community, a population that has long struggled with higher rates of mental illness and poor medical care because of discrimination and abuse."


  23. Law Schools and Law Students

  24. "Atlanta's John Marshall Names Gatewood as First African American Dean," 08.20.20.
    According to the Daily Report, "Atlanta's John Marshall Law School has named Jace Gatewood its permanent dean after appointing him interim dean on Jan. 1…Gatewood is the law school's first African American dean since its founding in 1933."

  25. "Cooley Law School to Close Campus in Grand Rapids," 08.19.20.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "Western Michigan University's Cooley Law School will close its Grand Rapids campus to right-size the school's infrastructure by consolidating all of its Michigan campuses into one central location in Lansing, Michigan, the state capital."

    1. "Cooley Law School will close another campus; 'not really enough students to make it work,' dean says," 08.19.20.
      The ABA Journal also reports on this development. ("The announcement comes a year after the law school announced closure of its Auburn Hills, Michigan, campus. The school also has a campus in Tampa Bay, Florida. Cooley Law School was once the largest law school in the nation, with nearly 4,000 students in 2010. The number had dropped to 1,156 students in fall 2019.")

    2. "Cooley Law School to Shutter a Second Campus in as Many Years," 08.18.20.
      More on this from Law.com.

  26. "Law Prof Hiring Is Down 50% This Year," 08.18.20.
    The TaxProf Blog reports that according to Brian Leiter, only 32 law schools have listed open tenure-track/tenured faculty positions in the initial AALS Faculty Appointments Register, down over 50% from last year.

  27. "Florida State Board Of Trustees Condemns Name On Law School Building," 08.18.20.
    The TaxProf Blog reports that "the Florida State University Board of Trustees is calling on the state legislature to change the name of its law school building," which is currently named after a Florida Supreme Court Justice who "openly defied the US Supreme Court in steadfastly resisting the racial integration of Florida's public law schools."

  28. "Albany, Columbia Law Deans Offer Insider Knowledge to Prospective Students," 08.18.20.
    Law.com and the New York Law Journal report on a new six-part online discussion series for prospective law students featuring deans from USC, Albany, Columbia, Colorado, Georgia, and Oregon.

  29. "New Mexico Law School Grapples With Aftermath Of Cyberattack As Classes Begin," 08.17.20.
    The TaxProf Blog reports that a cyberattack against the University of New Mexico School of Law is still causing havoc even as classes are set to begin this week.

  30. "Organ: Net Law School Tuition Trends Revisited," 08.17.20.
    Jerry Organ, writing for the TaxProf Blog, provides "analysis of net tuition trends through the 2018-19 academic year, highlighting that law schools still have not regained much pricing power yet." (Net tuition is an approximation of the tuition per student after accounting for scholarships.)

  31. "What is an excellent legal education? Answers based on data," 08.16.20.
    Evan Parker, writing for the Legal Evolution Blog, works with LSSSE data visualizations to make the case for data-driven education assessment.

  32. "Idaho Law School Accepts 110 Transfer Students, Hires 6 Faculty, From Closed Concordia Law School," 08.16.20.
    The TaxProf Blog reports that following the closure of Concordia Law School, the University of Idaho College of Law will absorb some of the closed law school's faculty and students.

  33. "Law in the Time of COVID: How UC Irvine Law's Dean Is Making It Work (From Home)," 08.13.20.
    University of California, Irvine School of Law Dean L. Song Richardson, with Law.com's Karen Sloan, "shares how she spends a typical day working from home, and how she finds time to unwind when home and work have merged."


  34. Law Firms and Lawyers (North America)

  35. "More Firms Are Partially Restoring Pay, but Full Salaries May Wait Until 2021," 08.20.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "about a dozen Am Law 200 firms have now restored — at least partially — their compensation for partners, lawyers and staff."

    1. "Reed Smith Partially Walks Back Pay Cuts for Lawyers, Staff," 08.19.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that "Reed Smith is the latest firm to announce it will partially restore some compensation to partners and staff, starting next month."

    2. "Fox Rothschild Rescinds Key Austerity Measures Implemented Due to COVID-19," 08.19.20.
      The Legal Intelligencer reports that "Fox Rothschild is rescinding some of its key austerity measures implemented in the spring to mitigate the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic."

    3. "Sheppard Mullin, Katten Roll Back Pay Cuts," 08.18.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that "Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton and Katten Muchin Rosenman are the two latest Big Law firms to roll back parts of their austerity measures enacted due to the pandemic, joining a series of other firms that have recently done the same."

  36. "Despite the Coronavirus, Law Firms Grew Revenue in the First Half," 08.18.20.
    Jeff Grossman and Gretta Rusanow from Citi Private Bank's Law Firm Group, writing for The American Lawyer, report that despite the pandemic, law firm financial results for the first six months of the year were very good "as a result of the strong rate and revenue growth we saw in the first quarter, the focus on collection of strong first-quarter inventory levels, and expense curtailment across the industry."

    1. "Texas Firms Lagged the Industry in Flat First Half, but Expense Cuts Cushioned the Blow," 08.20.20.
      The Texas Lawyer reports that "law firms in the Texas region fared worse than those in most other regions during the first six months of 2020, according to a mid-year report from Citi Private Bank's Law Firm Group."

  37. "Associates Are Getting Squeezed, but Not Like During the Great Recession," 08.18.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "while associates are losing out on work to partners, dealing with pay cuts and not getting as much face time with partners…the situation isn't as dire as it was during the Great Recession…in part because of the lessons firms learned from that period."

  38. "As Election Day Nears, Law Firms Offer Paid Time Off to Boost Turnout," 08.18.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that a growing number of law firms will be giving paid time off for employees on Election Day.

  39. "The 2020 A-List: Meet the Firms Hot on the Heels of the Top Tier," 08.18.20.
    The American Lawyer publishes its A-List runners up — the A-List ranks firms based on both financial and social factors, including diversity, gender equity, associate satisfaction, pro bono contributions and revenue per lawyer.

  40. "After COVID-19 Hiring Slowdown, Lateral Moves Pick Up in August," 08.14.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "after an initial slowdown in Big Law lateral moves at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, hiring in August remains active."

  41. "Utah Justices Give OK to 'Regulatory Sandbox'," 08.14.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that Utah's Supreme Court has approved a pilot program that would allow nonlawyers to provide certain legal services.

    1. "Utah embraces nonlawyer ownership of law firms as part of broad reforms," 08.14.20.
      More on this from the ABA Journal: "The Utah Supreme Court has unanimously approved a slate of reforms that allow for nonlawyer ownership or investment in law firms and permit legal services providers to try new ways of serving clients during a two-year pilot period."


  42. International Law Firms

  43. "BLM Set To Close Two Offices and Cut An Additional 89 Roles," 08.19.20.
    Law.com International reports that "BLM is set to close two of its offices and has launched another redundancy consultation, its third in a year, as the U.K. firm continues to reshape how it operates."

  44. "How South Africa's Law Firms Are Preparing for the Post-COVID Era," 08.18.20.
    Law.com International reports that "the pandemic has forced South Africa's major law firms to reinvent themselves, with many firms hinting at smaller offices and greater efficiencies."

  45. "'You Must Give Up Your Office If You Are Not In': Freshfields' New Policy in Remote-Work Age," 08.14.20.
    Law.com International and LegalTech News report that Freshfield's decision to downsize its London footprint has led to the implementation of "an 'office release system' which means someone else can use your office if you are working remotely."

  46. "COVID-19 Tests Law Firm Culture in Latin America," 08.14.20.
    Law.com International reports that "Latin America has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, challenging law firms to rethink the way they work in a region accustomed to long lunches and warm handshakes."


  47. Corporate Counsel/Legal Operations/Legal Technology

  48. "What Recession? Most In-House Counsel Aren't Worried About Losing Their Jobs," 08.18.20.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "a surprising number of in-house counsel feel insulated from the job losses that have occurred as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic and related financial crisis, according to a new survey from the Association of Corporate Counsel."


  49. Higher Education

  50. "S&P Report Anticipates Weakened Enrollments, Likely Revenue Loss," 08.19.20.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that: "Colleges across the board will see lower enrollments this fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report from S&P Global Ratings shows. As a result, net tuition and auxiliary revenue will likely decline."

  51. "Colleges should rethink using standardized test scores for admissions, major counselors' group says," 08.19.20.
    The Boston Globe reports that a task force of the National Association for College Admission Counseling has called upon colleges and universities to rethink their use of standardized test scores as a factor in admissions during and after the coronavirus pandemic, saying that "relying on standardized test scores may exacerbate inequities in admissions."

  52. "As Colleges Move Classes Online, Families Rebel Against the Cost," 08.15.20.
    The New York Times reports that "incensed at paying face-to-face prices for education that is increasingly online, students and their parents are demanding tuition rebates, increased financial aid, reduced fees and leaves of absences to compensate for what they feel will be a diminished college experience."



August 14, 2020


    Top Stories

  1. "Law School Grads Hit 12-Year Employment High Before Pandemic," 08.12.20.
    Bloomberg Law reports on the release of NALP's employment and salary outcomes findings for the Class of 2019: "The last law school graduating class before the coronavirus pandemic notched a near record high employment rate, a new report found, but it warned that the virus is likely to squelch similar outcomes in the coming years."

    1. "Pandemic poised to wipe out recession rebound in law grad hiring, associate pay," 08.12.20.
      More on this from Reuters: "Employment rates and pay for recent law school graduates were just starting to surpass their pre-2008 recession levels in 2019, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Association for Law Placement — progress that could be erased by the economic carnage of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020."

    2. "New Lawyer Salaries Crept Up in 2019, but COVID-19 Is Likely to Stymie More Increases," 08.12.20.
      Law.com also has this story: "It took a decade, but the median starting salary among those who graduated law school in 2019 finally eclipsed the $72,000 high mark held by the class of 2009—which were the last to enjoy a relatively strong employment market before the 2008 recession sent things into a tailspin."

    3. "Salaries and job rates up for 2019 law grads, reaching highest point since Great Recession," 08.12.20.
      The ABA Journal also reports on the latest NALP employment and salary findings.

    4. "Record-Breaking Employment Rate For Law School Class Of 2019 Stopped Dead In Its Tracks By Pandemic," 08.12.20.
      And finally, Above the Law weighs in with its take on the new employment numbers.

    5. "Historic Salary Highs For Recent Law School Graduates," 08.13.20.
      And Above the Law takes note of the new historically high salary figures measured by NALP for the Class of 2019.

    6. "Class of 2019 Attains Highest Employment Rate in 12 Years as Uncertainty Looms for Class of 2020," 08.12.20.
      You can find the NALP press release, the Selected Findings Report, the National Summary Report for the Class of 2019, and a recording of Tuesday's webinar presentation on the new employment outcomes findings here.

  2. "Justice Dept. Accuses Yale of Discrimination in Application Process," 08.13.20.
    The New York Times reports that "the Justice Department on Thursday accused Yale University of violating federal civil rights law by discriminating against Asian-American and white applicants, an escalation of the Trump administration's moves against race-based admissions policies at elite universities."

    1. "Justice Department accuses Yale of illegal bias against White, Asian American applicants in admissions," 08.13.20.
      The Washington Post reports that "the Justice Department declared Thursday that a two-year investigation of Yale University's admissions has found that the Ivy League school illegally discriminates against White and Asian American applicants in the highly competitive process of choosing an undergraduate class."

    2. "Justice Department v. Yale," 08.14.20.
      Inside Higher Ed reports that "the Justice Department told Yale University Thursday that it had to change its admissions policies to no longer consider race and ethnicity because of violations of Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act."

    3. "Justice Department Accuses Yale of Racial Discrimination in Admissions. But What About the Evidence?," 08.13.20.
      The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "the U.S. Justice Department on Thursday said that Yale University had discriminated against white and Asian American applicants for admission, violating federal civil-rights law. Race, the department said, is the "determinative factor" in hundreds of the institution's admissions decisions each year…[but notes that] the Justice Department's announcement almost certainly does not signal the end of race-conscious admissions programs as we know them…nor does it necessarily mean that Yale is in the wrong." (Subscription required.)

    4. "Yale Discriminated by Race in Undergraduate Admissions, Justice Department Says," 08.13.20.
      The Wall Street Journal reports that "the Justice Department said Yale University has discriminated against Asian-American and white applicants, issuing its findings roughly two years after opening an investigation into the school's admissions practices." (Subscription required.)


  3. The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

  4. "In lieu of an in-person UBE, some jurisdictions with online bar have reciprocity agreements," 08.13.20.
    The ABA Journal reports that absent the Uniform Bar Exam, a development that was providing growing portability for bar exam results, individual states are having to craft state-by-state reciprocity agreements to allow for the portability of the new emergency measure online bar exams that are being offered in many jurisdictions.

  5. "'I Understand the Anxiety and the Anger,' Says Top Bar Exam Official," 08.13.20.
    Speaking with Karen Sloan from Law.com, "National Conference of Bar Examiners President Judith Gundersen shares her thoughts on how the current bar exam cycle is going, whether online exams are feasible, and how the diploma privilege movement is changing the conversation."

  6. "Test-takers express safety concerns, fears from in-person bar exam-including lack of masks, unclean bathrooms," 08.10.20.
    The ABA Journal reports on widespread student fears and anxiety about taking in-person bar exams during the pandemic.

  7. "Pennsylvania High Court Rejects Calls for Diploma Privilege," 08.10.20.
    The Legal Intelligencer reports that "the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has formally rejected calls from law deans, recent law graduates and the state's largest bar associations to adopt an emergency diploma privilege amid the COVID-19 pandemic."

  8. "California Justices Won't Retroactively Lower Bar Exam Passing Score," 08.10.20.
    The Recorder reports that "California's Supreme Court said Monday it will not retroactively apply the lower passing score on the bar exam despite pleas to do so from hundreds of law school deans, graduates and state lawmakers."

  9. "Law School Deans, Recent Graduates Urge Maryland To Be Fifth State To Adopt Diploma Privilege During COVID-19," 08.10.20.
    The TaxProf Blog reports that "Maryland law school deans and recent graduates are calling on the state's highest court to waive the bar exam for new lawyers, citing concerns from the COVID-19 pandemic."

  10. "Fla. Bar Exam Software Sows Chaos For Grads," 08.10.20.
    Law360 reports that "a group of law graduates asked the Florida Supreme Court for help Monday as they deal with data security breaches, overheated computers and malfunctioning facial recognition features in the remote bar exam software that will be used for the online Florida bar exam scheduled for Aug. 19."

    1. "Test-Takers Say Florida's Online Bar Exam Is a Disaster Waiting to Happen," 08.11.20.
      More on this from the Daily Business Review.


  11. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  12. "3 Ways Law Firms Can Guard Diversity Gains During Crisis," 08.13.20.
    This piece in Law360 offers "three concrete steps managing partners can take to show true leadership on equity."

  13. "Eliminating Unconscious Bias in Legal Starts With an In-House Job Description," 08.12.20.
    Corporate Counsel writes that "eliminating unconscious bias and getting more diverse candidate slates for in-house attorney positions begins in the description of a job posting."

  14. "Racism's Hidden Toll," 08.11.20.
    This New York Times op-ed highlights the grim fact that even before COVID-19, "Black people died at higher age-adjusted rates than white people from nine of the top 15 causes of death, [and] Black people are three times more likely than white people to contract the coronavirus, six times more likely to be hospitalized as a result and twice as likely to die of Covid-19." (With helpful but startling infographics)

  15. "Diversity in ADR: Time for Another Uncomfortable Conversation," 08.10.20.
    This Law.com column makes the point that only about 4% of alternative dispute resolution professionals are people of color.


  16. Mental Health and Remote Work/Remote Learning

  17. "I Started Khan Academy. We Can Still Avoid an Education Catastrophe.," 08.13.20.
    The founder of Khan Academy, writing for The New York Times, provides concrete advice about how to improve online teaching and learning.

  18. "Admit It, You Do Laundry During Work Video Calls," 08.12.20.
    This Wall Street Journal piece assesses the current state of our work lives: "More than five months into the pandemic, people are dropping their online facades on Zoom. Exhausted by days jam-packed with online meetings, many are giving up the pretense of a boundary between work and private lives. Instead, they are seizing on videoconferences as chunks of time to also garden, walk the dog, watch TV and exercise." (Subscription required.)

  19. "Coronavirus Turmoil Raises Depression Risks in Young Adults," 08.10.20.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that social isolation and vanished opportunities caused by Covid-19 bring a mental-health toll for those on the cusp of careers and adulthood: "The pandemic and its economic fallout are taking a toll on the mental health of many Americans. But the burden is perhaps greatest for those on the brink of adulthood, young people who are often seeing their dreams of careers, romances and adventures dashed." (Subscription required.)


  20. Law Schools and Law Students

  21. "Three Tenured Professors Request New Mexico Law School To Delay Tomorrow's Start Of On-Ground Classes Due To COVID-19 And Cyber Attack," 08.11.20.
    The TaxProf Blog reports that "a group of tenure track School of Law professors at the University of New Mexico have formally requested a delay in the start of the fall semester."


  22. Law Firms and Lawyers (North America)

  23. "Partners' Gain Is Associates' Pain as Hours Move Upstream,"08.13.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "law firm partners are taking a larger share of available work during the pandemic, driven by client demand and anxiety about billable hours, and associates are paying the price."

  24. "Already Out of the Office, Talent Flocks to Distributed Firms," 08.12.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that with most lawyers now working remotely, the appeal of working for "distributed" or virtual law firms is growing, as is the share of work going to these lower cost legal services providers.

  25. "Call It a Crisis: Law Firms Need to Quickly Respond to Needs of Working Parents," 08.12.20.
    Two coaches from Volta, writing for The American Lawyer, provide a list of five concrete things that law firms can do to support working parents during this crisis.

  26. "Navigating an Uncertain Legal Market," 08.12.20.
    Writing for the New York Law Journal, an attorney who started her career when the legal market was devastated by the Great Recession offers "advice to young attorneys who are navigating today's challenging hiring sector and law students who are looking ahead to an uncertain future."

  27. "Overall Demand Down for Big Law, But Rate Growth Hits All-Time High. Why?," 08.10.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "the overall demand for legal services dropped 5.9% from the same point last year, marking the largest drop in year-over-year quarterly demand since 2009, according to [data] from Thomson Reuters…but within that drop, the average rate billed jumped up 5.2%."

  28. "Recession Highs: How Some Firms Are Ahead in 2020," 08.10.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "the pandemic and current recession are further dividing the legal industry, as some large firms have struggled to meet their budget this year while others are doing better than last year."

  29. "Susman Godfrey Elects First Woman Managing Partner," 08.10.20.
    The Texas Lawyer reports that "filling a role open with the death of Susman Godfrey founder and managing partner Stephen Susman, the Houston-based trial firm selected Los Angeles partner Kalpana Srinivasan as a managing partner to serve alongside longtime managing partner Neal Manne."

  30. "Firm Leaders Find More Frequent, Transparent Communication Key During Pandemic," 08.10.20
    The American Lawyer reports that the many changes brought about by the current pandemic mean that managing partners must be "even more frequent, open and empathetic in communicating with the rest of the firm."

  31. "Legal Job Growth Sputters as COVID-19 Resurgence Dampens Outlook," 08.07.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "the legal sector, comprised of attorneys, paralegals, legal secretaries and others who make their living in the law, saw a loss of 64,000 jobs in the April report [from the Bureau of Labor Statistics] as the industry was hit hard by pandemic related layoffs and austerity measures."

  32. "For Big Law's Working Moms, Pandemic Could Have a Silver Lining…Seriously!," 08.07.20.
    Law.com speaks with Quinn Emanuel partner Maaren Shah who says that "business development activities that previously disadvantaged women are being replaced by new ways of connecting with clients that level the playing field." (Podcast)


  33. International Law Firms

  34. "DLA Piper Global Revenue Jumps 8.5% to Hit £2.1B," 08.11.20.
    Law.com International reports that "DLA Piper grew its global revenues by 8.5% in the last financial year to hit £2.1 billion, while its non-U.S. business revenue surpassed the £1 billion mark for the first time."

  35. "Pandemic Crisis Shows 'US Firms Have a Better Culture Than UK Rivals'," 08.11.20.
    Law.com International reports that the COVID-19 pandemic response has challenged the conventional wisdom that UK law firms have a better culture than US law firms.


  36. Higher Education

  37. "August Wave of Campus Reopening Reversals," 08.12.20.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "hundreds of colleges have reversed or altered their reopening plans in the past several weeks after taking stock of COVID-19 testing availability, student and faculty safety concerns, state regulations and the worsening public health crisis."


August 7, 2020


    Top Story

  1. "Law Schools That Planned to Return to Campus in Fall Are Reversing Course," 08.05.20.
    Law.com reports that a growing number of law schools are announcing that they will be entirely online in the fall: "At least 32 law schools—or about a sixth of the law campuses accredited by the American Bar Association—have thus far announced that they will be entirely online for the fall semester."


  2. The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

  3. "Nevada Pushes Forward With Online Bar Exam Next Week, Despite Mounting Concerns," 08.06.20.
    Law.com reports that "Nevada is moving ahead with its planned online bar exam Aug. 11 and 12, despite pleas from law graduates to adopt an emergency diploma privilege."

  4. "Bar Exams' Facial Recognition Deployment Is Heightening Test Takers' Anxiety," 08.05.20.
    Legaltech News reports that "the implementation of facial recognition technology in Michigan's and California's bar exam has added another layer of anxiety as accuracy, fairness and privacy concerns creep into test takers' minds."

  5. "Ditch In-Person Bar Exams During Pandemic, ABA Says," 08.04.20.
    Law.com reports that "the ABA's House of Delegates on Tuesday adopted a resolution urging jurisdictions to find alternative ways to license new attorneys until the pandemic subsides, such as supervised practice program, remote bar exams, and emergency diploma privileges."

    1. "States should postpone in-person bar exams during COVID-19 pandemic, ABA House says," 08.04.20.
      More on this from the ABA Journal.

    2. "ABA Votes 64%-36% To Urge States To Ditch In-Person Bar Exams During COVID-19," 08.05.20.
      And even more on this from the TaxProf Blog.

  6. "Texas Lifts Tampon Ban At Bar Exam," 08.04.20.
    The TaxProf Blog reports that "pausing a practice that critics called retrograde and discriminatory, the state's board of law examiners said in late July that test takers will be allowed to bring feminine hygiene products in clear plastic bags with them to the grueling, multiday exam that's needed to obtain a law license." (Really? This should not have to be a headline.)

  7. "Movement Builds For Diploma Privilege In California, Connecticut, D.C., Pennsylvania," 07.31.20.
    The TaxProf Blog publishes an open letter from law school deans calling for broader implementation of the diploma privilege.

  8. "Passing the Bar Exam May Not Be Required for New Pa. Lawyers," 07.30.20.
    The Legal Intelligencer reports that "the Pennsylvania Bar Association Board of Governors is asking the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and Board of Law Examiners to offer a diploma privilege to certain 2020 law school graduates because of the coronavirus."


  9. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

  10. "LGBTQIA-Diversity in the Workplace in a Post-'Bostock' World," 08.04.20.
    A law firm partner, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, provides analysis of the Supreme Court's recent landmark decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, that held that an employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

  11. "Slowly at First, Then in Rapid Course: LGBTQ Rights Rulings in the Decade Since 'Perry v. Schwarzenegger'," 08.04.20.
    A law firm partner, writing for The Recorder, reviews LGBTQ civil rights advances made over the last decade, and highlights some of the work still to be done.

  12. "Curb Your Enthusiasm for Diversity. (Or You Could Be Sued)," 08.04.20.
    Vivia Chen, writing for The American Lawyer, highlights a novel piece of litigation brought "by a shareholder of Oracle Corporation [alleging] that Oracle's failure to appoint racially diverse directors and officers—while making public statements avowing a commitment to racial diversity—constitutes securities fraud."

  13. "150 Deans Ask ABA To Require Law Schools To Provide Anti-Bias Training To Students," 08.02.20.
    The TaxProf Blog reports that a majority of U.S. law school deans have joined a letter calling on the ABA to consider enacting a requirement that every law school must provide training and education of its students with regard to bias, cultural awareness, and anti-racist practices.

  14. "'We Have to Succeed': Law Firm AntiRacism Alliance Holds First Summit," 07.31.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "the Law Firm Anti-Racism Alliance, which now boasts north of 240 participating firms, held its first summit, virtually, looking to put tactical reality to the strategic task of changing the way our institutions deal with racial inequality, an issue that some institutions have in fact perpetuated."


  15. Mental Health and Remote Work

  16. "Zooming Into the Future: Tips to Improve One's Appearance at Online Meetings," 08.06.20.
    A law firm managing partner, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, writes that preparing for trial now includes taking steps to improve your appearance on a virtual platform.

  17. "We've Hit a Pandemic Wall," 08.05.20.
    This New York Times column reports that new data show Americans are suffering from record levels of mental distress: "According to the National Center for Health Statistics, roughly one in 12 American adults reported symptoms of an anxiety disorder at this time last year; now it's more than one in three. Last week, the Kaiser Family Foundation released a tracking poll showing that for the first time, a majority of American adults — 53 percent — believes that the pandemic is taking a toll on their mental health. This number climbs to 68 percent if you look solely at African-Americans."

  18. "Remote work really does mean longer days - and more meetings," 08.04.20.
    The Washington Post reports that according to a working paper published Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research, "the average workday lengthened by 48.5 minutes in the weeks following stay-at-home orders and lockdowns, and the number of meetings increased by 13 percent."


  19. Law Schools and Law Students

  20. "South Dakota Is 24th Law School To Receive A Naming Gift ($12.5 Million)," 08.05.20.
    The TaxProf Blog reports that the University of South Dakota's law school will take on the name of the University of South Dakota Knudson School of Law as the result of a $12.5 million gift, more than doubling the size of the school's endowment.

    1. "$12.5 Million Donation Leads to Law School Renaming," 08.04.20.
      Law.com also has this story.

  21. "Penn State Law Prof: Faculty Should Put Aside Their Scholarship And Devote 100% Of Their Time To Teaching This Fall," 08.04.20.
    The TaxProf Blog highlights a piece in Karen Sloan's recent Ahead of the Curve newsletter in which she focuses on arguments being made by a professor from Pennsylvania State University Law School that law faculty ought to put aside their scholarship next semester in order to concentrate fully on teaching.

  22. "Law schools should have flexibility in responding to 'extraordinary circumstances,' ABA House of Delegates says," 08.03.20.
    The ABA Journal reports that the ABA House of Delegates this week approved revisions to the ABA Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools that were submitted by the council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar authorizing the council to adopt emergency policies and procedures in response to "extraordinary circumstances" under which meeting the standards would constitute an extreme hardship for law schools.

  23. "Phillips: Which Law Schools Will Thrive (46), Survive (65), Struggle (23), Or Perish (18) In The Age Of COVID-19?," 07.31.20.
    The TaxProf Blog has a law professor's predictions about which law schools will close as a result of the pandemic interruption.


  24. Law Firms and Lawyers (North America)

  25. "The Pandemic Is Pushing-and Preventing-Law Firm Innovation," 08.06.20.
    Legaltech News reports that "innovation is picking up momentum in law firms across the country as attorneys struggle to adapt to the ongoing business impact of the COVID-19 pandemic…[but] law firms may be too busy to fully take advantage of the potential window of opportunity being presented."

  26. "The 2020 A-List: Amid Upheaval, Firms Focus on Finding Balance," 08.05.20.
    The American Lawyer publishes its annual ranking of law firms based on revenue, but also cultural markers like pro bono work, associate satisfaction, racial diversity and gender diversity among the equity partnership.

  27. "Big Firms in Strong Position to Fight for Broader Lease Protections, Experts Say," 08.04.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "law firms have been seeking rent relief at a slightly higher rate than other commercial tenants this year…with many firms and tenants negotiating temporary abatements in exchange for longer leases or heftier payments in 2021 and 2021."

  28. "Big Firms Seek Out Finance Laterals in 'Opportunistic' Hiring During Recession," 08.03.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that "even as demand for laterals has fallen in recent months, several big firms have continued hiring in certain finance practices as clients seek more credit arrangements and transactions during the recession."


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

  30. "Legal Departments Are Spending too Much Time on Unplanned COVID-19 Work," 08.06.20.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "almost 70% of in-house legal and compliance officers are having a hard time juggling mostly unplanned and urgent work in the COVID-19 economy."

  31. "Corporate Legal Departments Forge Ahead With Spending Amid Coronavirus Outbreak," 08.06.20.
    Corporate Counsel reports that "despite the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic crash, the majority of corporate legal departments are not planning to dial back spending and expect to continue to use outside counsel just as much as they did before the novel coronavirus outbreak."

  32. "Breaking Tradition: How New Law is Challenging Big Law," 08.05.20.
    Law.com has a special report on this rapidly growing segment of the legal services market, with a collection of related articles, some of which are gathered here.

    1. "What Is New Law? The Definition Can Be Broad, but It's All About Value," 08.05.20.
      (Law.com)

    2. "ALSPs Are Still More Threat Than Partner to Law Firms," 08.05.20.
      (Law.com)

    3. "Law Firms Must Learn How to Collaborate With ALSPs—Clients Are Waiting," 08.05.20.
      (Law.com)

    4. "Why ALSPs Are In a 'Unique Position' to Aid Today's Legal Departments," 08.05.20.
      (Law.com)

    5. "Law Firms and Outside Legal Service Providers Have Begun to 'Meet in the Middle'," 08.05.20.
      (Law.com)


  33. International Law Firms

  34. "UK-Based Virtual Firm Launches in US With Grand Plans," 08.06.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that the U.K.-based virtual law firm 360 Business Law, a new-model, low-cost law firm that prioritizes subscription-based services, and a creature of the U.K.'s 2007 Legal Services Act, currently has lawyers in over 60 countries and has ambitious plans to have lawyers in all 50 US states.

  35. "Middle East M&A Fell 45% in First Half of 2020," 08.05.20.
    Law.com International reports that "there was a marked fall in Middle East-related mergers and acquisitions activity in the first half of 2020."

  36. "Law Firms and Other Businesses in Melbourne to Close After Virus Spike," 08.04.20.
    Law.com International reports that "law firm offices in Melbourne will remain closed for at least six more weeks after the government said they will have to close starting Wednesday due to a second wave of COVID-19 infections."


  37. Higher Education

  38. "At Harvard, other elite colleges, more students deferring their first year," 08.06.20.
    The Boston Globe reports that "twenty percent of Harvard first-year students are opting to defer their admission, the school announced Thursday, as students decide to take a gap year rather than start their elite education online amid the COVID-19 pandemic."

  39. "University Of North Carolina Faculty Tell Students It Is Not Safe To Return To Campus, Prepare Class Action Lawsuit To Prevent Planned August 10 Reopening," 08.03.20.
    The TaxProf Blog reports that according to Newsweek, "tenured faculty members at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) told undergraduate students in an open letter not to return to campus this fall because of coronavirus concerns, the latest move in the debate over reopening schools."

  40. "Covid Tests and Quarantines: Colleges Brace for an Uncertain Fall," 08.02.20.
    The New York Times reports that the challenges facing colleges that will reopen this fall are daunting: "It will be a hugely complex and costly endeavor requiring far more than just the reconfiguring of dorm rooms and cafeterias and the construction of annexes and tent classrooms to increase social distancing. It also crucially involves the creation of testing programs capable of serving communities the size of small cities and the enforcement of codes of conduct among students not eager to be policed."

  41. "Tide Turns on Fall Reopenings," 07.31.20.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that many universities are reversing previously announced plans for reopening their campuses in the fall.

  42. "Syracuse University Faces New Class Action Lawsuit From Student Seeking Tuition Refund," 07.31.20.
    The New York Law Journal reports that "another student has filed a class action lawsuit against Syracuse University, seeking a tuition refund after the institution suspended in-person classes due to the coronavirus pandemic…seeking a proportional return of tuition and mandatory fees for the spring and summer semester this year, along with any future semesters where the university is closed and operates with online distance learning."

  43. "Covid-19 Prompted Purdue University to Shut Its M.B.A. Program. More Closures Are Expected.," 07.29.20.
    The Wall Street Journal reports that "several U.S. business schools [including Purdue University's Krannert School of Management in Indiana] have closed their struggling full-time M.B.A. programs in recent months, and the coronavirus outbreak may endanger more." (Subscription required.)





  44. July 31, 2020

    Top Story

    1. "Will the COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally remake the legal industry?," 08.01.20.
      This ABA Journal feature story from the August issue of the magazine explores some of the many ways that the COVID-19 pandemic will likely produce great transformation in the legal profession.


    2. The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

    3. "Colorado Bar Exam Taker Tests Positive for COVID-19, Prompting Warnings," 07.30.20.
      Law.com reports that "a person who sat for Colorado's in-person bar exam this week has tested positive for COVID-19, and officials are urging those who took the test in the same room to closely monitor themselves for coronavirus symptoms."

    4. "Should We Raze the Bar? No-We Should Make It Better!," 07.29.20.
      A former law school dean, writing for the New York Law Journal, writes that "adjustments and improvements in the way new attorneys are admitted to the bar are feasible and now urgently needed."

    5. "Is It Time to Let Go of the Bar Exam?," 07.28.20.
      A law firm lawyer, writing for The Recorder, makes the case for getting rid of the bar exam.

      1. "The Pandemic Is Proving the Bar Exam Is Unjust and Unnecessary," 07.23.20.
        This piece in Slate also makes the case for getting rid of the bar exam, arguing that it is a "relic of a racist club…one of the many racialized gatekeeping mechanisms into the practice of law."

    6. "Will Lowering Bar Exam Cut Score Produce More Black And Latino California Lawyers?," 07.28.20.
      The TaxProf Blog highlights an LA Times piece that asks whether the recent decision by the California Supreme Court to lower the passing score for that state's bar exam will lead to an increased number of Black and Latino people practicing law in California.

    7. "First Online Bar Exam Marred by Tech Problems," 07.28.20.
      Law.com reports that "the first-ever online bar exam got off to a rocky start Tuesday, as some people taking Michigan's test were unable to log into a portion of the test."

      1. "Michigan Blames Cyberattack for Online Bar Exam Woes, While Indiana Moves to Exam Via Email," 07.29.20.
        Law.com reports that according to the vendor that administered the test, the temporary disruption to Michigan's online bar exam Tuesday was the result of a cyberattack. (Meanwhile, "the Indiana Supreme Court announced Wednesday that the remote bar exam it plans to give Aug. 4 will be open book and delivered via email after remote administration software it initially planned to use failed tests.")

    8. "Indiana and Nevada Postpone Bar Exams, Raising Questions About Feasibility of Online Tests," 07.27.20.
      Law.com reports that last Friday Nevada and Indiana both postponed online bar exams that were to have taken place this week, citing software problems associated with an outside vendor facilitating both tests.

      1. "Indiana, Nevada Delay Online Bar Exam Due To Technology Snafu FOUR DAYS BEFORE EXAM," 07.25.20.
        More on this from the TaxProf Blog.

    9. "Open Book Essays, Camera Requirement Highlight Georgia Online Bar Exam Details," 07.27.20.
      The Daily Report spoke with Georgia bar admissions Director Heidi Faenza about that state's online exam, a test that will include "three open book essay questions concerning Georgia law, meaning applicants will be able to refer to paper books and paper notes." ("Another wrinkle to the exam rules is that all candidates must use a computer that has a camera or connect to a separate online camera.")

    10. "NY Chief Judge Says Online Bar Exam Is 'Sound Alternative'," 07.27.20.
      The New York Law Journal reports on comments made by New York Chief Judge Janet DiFiore about New York's upcoming online bar exam: "While the October online testing option may not be a perfect solution, we believe that it is a sound alternative that best serves everyone's [interest] at this unprecedented time of extraordinary stress and uncertainty for the law school class of 2020."

    11. "Epic Fail: How Bar Examiners Screwed The Law School Class 2020," 07.26.20.
      The TaxProf Blog highlights a forthcoming law review article that is critical of "the reactive handling of the pandemic crisis as it relates to bar exam administration."

    12. "Lower Bar Exam Passing Score Retroactively, Law Deans and Students Urge," 07.24.20.
      The Recorder reports that "California law school deans and more than 100 alumni have asked the state Supreme Court to make the newly lowered passing score on the bar exam retroactive."

    13. "Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Ohio Shift To Online Bar Exam," 07.24.20.
      The TaxProf Blog reports that five additional jurisdictions recently made decisions to go forward with online bar exams.


    14. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

    15. "Canadian Firms Join Pledge to Fight Anti-Black Racism," 07.29.20.
      Law.com International reports that "Canadian law firms are joining over 200 companies across Canada in acknowledging anti-Black systemic racism within their institutions and committing to dismantling it through a pledge called the Black North Initiative."

    16. "It's Gotten Better to Be LGBTQ in Big Law, but Struggles Remain," 07.29.20.
      Bloomberg Law speaks with LGBTQ attorneys from Big Law and across the legal profession about the tremendous progress that has been made towards inclusion in the last several decades and about the many barriers that still remain.

    17. "'White, white, white. Then there's me.' A Black lawyer shares her experiences," 07.27.20.
      A staff attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services, writing for The Boston Globe, shares her experiences as one of the few Black lawyers to appear at Housing Court proceedings in that city.


    18. ABA Annual Meeting Proceedings

    19. "ABA Resolution Calls on States to Pull The Plug on In-Person Bar Exams Amid Pandemic," 07.30.20.
      Law.com reports that the ABA House of Delegates is considering an emergency resolution that would urge states to abandon plans for any future in-person bar exams during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    20. "New Lawyers Put Off Kids, Home Ownership Due to Crushing Student Debt," 07.28.20.
      Law.com reports that new survey research rolled out at the ABA's virtual annual meeting this week "quantifies the widespread impact that educational debt is having on the life decisions they make, from the jobs they take to whether and when they start a family."

    21. "ABA Report Shines Spotlight on Legal Deserts," 07.28.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that the ABA has released its second Profile of the Legal Profession report, calling attention to the uneven distribution of lawyers across the United States: "Out of over 3,100 counties and their equivalents nationwide, 52 lack a single lawyer. Nearly 1,300 have fewer than one lawyer per 1,000 residents. Compare this to national average of four lawyers per 1,000 residents, or New York City, home to 14 lawyers per 1,000 residents."

    22. "2020 state of the profession report shows dearth of lawyers in rural areas, attorney debt struggles," 07.28.20.
      More on the 2020 ABA Profile of the Legal Profession from the ABA Journal.


    23. Law Schools and Law Students

    24. "Ooops! LSAT Scores Lost Amid Tech Failure," 07.30.20.
      Law.com reports that "a glitch with the online version of the Law School Admission Test this month caused the answers of about 140 test takers to get lost, leaving them without a score."

    25. "Fellow 2020 Law School Graduates: Now Is the Time to Get Involved," 07.28.20.
      Three members of the Class of 2020 at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, writing for the New York Law Journal, make a plea to their fellow graduates to get involved in their communities, and to look for opportunities to make a difference.

    26. "Law school admissions are more flexible for entering 1Ls, survey says; is a class size change expected?," 07.28.20.
      The ABA Journal reports that according to a survey of admissions officers, "law schools expect to see entering first-year classes in fall 2020 to be about the same size as last year, despite COVID-19 concerns."

      1. "Law Schools Expect Enrollment to Remain Steady Amid COVID-19," 07.28.20.
        More on this from Law.com: "Most law schools are expecting the same number of new students to start this fall, and some even anticipate an increase."

    27. "LSAT Profiles Of Matriculants And Law Schools, 2010-2019," 07.27.20.
      Jerry Organ, writing for the Tax Prof Blog/Legal Whiteboard, updates his ongoing analyses of enrollment trends to look at how the composition of the entering class of matriculants based on LSAT scores evolved between 2010 and 2019 (with some super fun and insightful tables and graphs).

    28. "Legal Education's Biggest Annual Event Will Be Virtual in 2021," 07.27.20.
      Law.com reports that "the Association of American Law Schools on Monday officially announced that its annual meeting, which was to be held Jan. 5 to 9 in San Francisco, will be virtual instead of in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic."

    29. "Fall LL.M. enrollment expected to plummet, bruising law school finances," 07.22.20.
      Thomson Reuters reports that many law schools are expecting "a dropoff in Master of Laws student enrollment this fall that will leave the schools with fewer tuition dollars to tide them over through 2020."


    30. Law Firms and Lawyers (North America)

    31. "Ogletree Adds $10K Bonus for Associates Hitting 1,700 Hours This Year," 07.30.20.
      According to the Daily Report, "Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart is offering its associates and counsel an additional $10,000 performance bonus this year to recognize exceptional work during the COVID-19 pandemic, but pay cuts made in May are still in effect."

    32. "Baker Botts, Cadwalader to Restore COVID-19 Pay Cuts," 07.30.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that "Am Law 100 firms Baker Botts and Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft are restoring pay cuts they imposed a few months ago as the economy turned south due to the COVID-19 pandemic."

    33. "From Six Months to Six Weeks: Lateral Hiring Is Speeding Up," 07.29.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that because of the inability to easily travel and a growing comfort with virtual meetings, the amount of time it takes to bring a lateral partner on board is contracting, sometimes to as little as six weeks.

    34. "'The Last Straw': The Pandemic Is Accelerating Known Need to Cut Admins," 07.29.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that law firms are increasingly rethinking the need for legal administrative assistants.

    35. "Sullivan & Cromwell Staff Layoffs Reveal 'Moral' Struggle Facing Many Firms," 07.28.20.
      The American Lawyer writes that "what happened at Sullivan & Cromwell may in fact be a bellwether for cuts to come…[and suggests that] administrative staff head count will go down for many firms in the upcoming months, but it is unfair to suggest that this is strictly a COVID-19 issue."

    36. "For Law Firms, Technology Replaces Real Estate," 07.28.20.
      This piece in Legaltech News argues that successful law firms will invest in technology and let go of real estate as they move past the pandemic.

    37. "Open, Not Stealth, Layoffs the Way to Go With Current Generation of Associates," 07.27.20.
      Hugh Simons, writing for The American Lawyer, urges law firms that will need to let lawyers go in the coming months to do so openly, arguing that "stealth layoffs…cause profound and lasting damage to the respect associates have for partners and firm leaders, with consequent impact on motivation and loyalty."

    38. "On Appeals: The Surprising Humanity of Remote Work," 07.24.20.
      A law firm lawyer, writing for The Recorder, writes that "the pandemic has provided an opportunity to think about new ways of doing legal work and gain insight into some of the legal traditions that perhaps no longer serve us."

    39. "Climbing a Shaky Career Ladder: Rookie Lawyers Learn It's Hard to Plan in a Pandemic," 07.24.20.
      Law.com talks with a recent law grad and a 3L "about the adjustments they've had to make since the coronavirus outbreak and the pandemic's impact on their career outlooks." (Podcast)


    40. Corporate Counsel/Legal Operations/ Legal Technology

    41. "'Not a Lot of Jobs Out There': In-House Hiring Continues, but Competition Is Fierce," 07.29.20.
      Corporate Counsel reports that the coronavirus pandemic has slowed in-house hiring, with an increasing number of corporations turning to contract lawyers to fill lower-level positions.


    42. Higher Education

    43. "Undergraduates approach new school year with hope — and uncertainty," 07.28.20.
      The Washington Post reports that students across the country are facing great uncertainty as colleges and universities make plans for fall and then change them as they try to figure out how, when, and whether to return to campus-based teaching and learning.

    44. "As Students Flock to Gap-Year Programs, College Enrollments Could Suffer," 07.28.20.
      The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that interest in gap-year programs is skyrocketing as more and more prospective college students rethink their plans for fall. (Subscription required.)

    45. "ICE Says Newly Enrolling International Students Can't Come to U.S. if Classes Fully Online," 07.24.20.
      The Wall Street Journal reports that "U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said on Friday that newly enrolling international students won't be allowed to come to the U.S. if their courses will be taught entirely online." (Subscription required.)

      1. "New International Students Barred From All-Online Classes," 07.27.20.
        More on this from Inside Higher Ed.




    July 24, 2020


      Top Stories

    1. "New York to Hold Online Bar Exam," 07.23.20.
      The New York Law Journal reports that "the New York Court of Appeals on Thursday announced it would administer the state bar exam remotely on October 5 and 6 as a one-time, emergency option."

      1. "New York and Illinois join others moving to October online bar exam; another jurisdiction grants diploma privilege," 07.23.20.
        More on this from the ABA Journal.

    2. "Illinois and Ohio Move Bar Exam Online as Reciprocity Gains Traction," 07.23.20.
      According to The National Law Journal, "Many states that are now administering an online bar exam in October are making reciprocity deals with each other, meaning test takers can transfer their scores for admission in multiple states. But California-the single-largest bar exam jurisdiction to commit to giving the Oct. 5 and 6 online exam-is not offering reciprocity to other online bar takers, said a spokeswoman for the State Bar of California."


    3. (More on) The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

    4. "Louisiana Joins The Diploma Privilege Party, Will Let Law Grads Skip Bar Exam," 07.22.20.
      Law.com reports that "Louisiana has become the fourth jurisdiction to adopt an emergency diploma privilege that will enable recent law graduates to skip the bar exam."

    5. "Hundreds of New York Law Professors Endorse Emergency Diploma Privilege," 07.22.20.
      The New York Law Journal reports that "more than 300 law school professors…sent a letter to New York State Court of Appeals Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and several key state law makers endorsing a temporary diploma privilege that would allow law graduates to bypass the bar exam amid the COVID-19 pandemic."

      1. "New York Law Deans Back Diploma Privilege After Bar Exam Cancellation," 07.20.20.
        The New York Law Journal reports that "the deans of all 15 law schools in New York have joined the push for an emergency diploma privilege that would let recent graduates become licensed without taking the bar exam."

      2. "Diploma Privilege Proposal Is 'Deeply Flawed'," 07.21.20.
        The former president of the New York State Bar Association, writing for the New York Law Journal, argues that "the proposal for diploma privilege is deeply flawed, misguided and should not be considered."

    6. "Law School Grad: California Bar Exam Decision Is a 'Hurtful Half-Measure'," 07.22.20.
      A 2020 graduate of UC Hastings College of the Law and past president of Hastings' Black Law Student Association, writing for The Recorder, criticizes the California Supreme Court's decision about that state's bar exam, writing that "the court and the California Bar have set us up for failure."

    7. "Virus Forces Georgia Bar Exam to Shift From In-Person to Online," 07.20.20.
      According to the Daily Report, "the coronavirus crisis prompted the Supreme Court of Georgia Monday to cancel the in-person Georgia bar exam scheduled for September and replace it with an online exam administered Oct. 5-6."

      1. "Another state cancels September bar exam and replaces it with online test over COVID-19 concerns," 07.21.20.
        More on the Georgia bar exam changes from the ABA Journal.

      2. "As Bar Exam Goes Online, GSU Law Prof Offers More Ideas on Licensure," 07.23.20.
        A law professor at Georgia State University College of Law speaks with the Daily Report about her concerns over an online bar exam.

    8. "Remote Bar Exams Are A Terrible And Dangerous Idea," 07.20.20.
      In this TaxProf Blog piece, a GW 2020 law grad, argues that concerns about privacy, security, and technology glitches with online bar exams are too great, and that jurisdictions should implement emergency diploma privilege's instead.

    9. "Over A Dozen States Push Ahead With In-Person July Bar Exam Despite COVID-19," 07.19.20.
      The TaxProf Blog provides an updated map from the NCBE with jurisdiction by jurisdiction bar exam plans as of July 17.

    10. "Coronavirus Pandemic Creates Bar Exam Chaos," 07.17.20.
      Sara Randazzo (welcome back), writing for The Wall Street Journal, reports on the bar exam turmoil across the country that the coronavirus pandemic has caused: "As some states prepare to hold in-person exams this month, and others plan for delayed or online tests, a groundswell of support is building to abolish this year's test altogether." (Subscription required.)


    11. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

    12. "Black Students Have Less Access to Selective Public Colleges Now Than 20 Years Ago, Report Finds," 07.21.20.
      The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "Black students have less access to the most selective public colleges in the United States than they did 20 years ago, according to a report released on Tuesday by the Education Trust." (Subscription required.)

    13. "Six Steps to Getting Out from Under the Covers Regarding Diversity & Inclusion," 07.21.20.
      In this piece in JD Supra the author makes the case that self-reflection and allyship are important tools to help improve diversity in the local community and in the legal world.

    14. "Leading the Way for Social Change: A Prolonged and Focused Path," 07.20.20.
      A law firm Partner at Bilzin Sumberg in Miami who is co-chair of his firms diversity committee, writing for the Daily Business Review, writes that "the most important way(s) to improve diversity within the legal industry is for law firms (and businesses) to do a better job at recruiting and retaining diverse attorneys long-term," and highlights several successful pipeline programs, including NALP's partnership with Street Law.

    15. "Big or Small Firm-Here's What Works to Improve Diversity," 07.20.20.
      The founder of a minority-owned boutique litigation and bankruptcy law firm, writing for the Daily Business Review, writes that "Big Law's focus on diversity and inclusion may be capturing all the attention, but smaller firms and boutiques have long led the way on these issues," and suggests a list of six things that work to improve diversity and inclusion regardless of the size of the firm.

    16. "State Bar Survey: California's Lawyers Don't Reflect State's Diversity," 07.20.20.
      The Recorder reports that "white men comprise 42% of active California lawyers, and they are more likely to occupy executive positions in the private sector and be satisfied in the legal workplace than colleagues who are women and racial minorities, according to a report released Monday by the state bar."

    17. "Philadelphia ACC Chapter Continued Diversity In-House Internship Despite COVID-19," 07.20.20.
      Corporate Counsel writes about the Philadelphia ACC chapter's Diversity Corporate Summer Internship Program, now in its 13th year despite mild setbacks caused by the new coronavirus.

    18. "Why are there still so few Black lawyers on Bay Street?," 07.17.20.
      The Globe and Mail in Toronto spoke with dozens of Black lawyers and those from other diverse backgrounds about their experiences at Bay Street firms and analyzed available diversity data on Bay Street firms noting that Black lawyers make up less than 1 per cent of partners at top firms.

    19. "The Black Lawyer's Burden: Calling Out Racism," 07.17.20.
      Vivia Chen, writing for The American Lawyer, works though the highlights of a Harvard Business Review article that "offers a roadmap on how Blacks can broach racism in the workplace."

    20. "Diversity and Inclusion: What Your Law Firm Can Do," 07.17.20.
      This New Jersey Law Journal piece makes the case that "a true diversity and inclusion initiative…takes a sustained commitment to change that focuses on removing systemic disadvantages."


    21. Mental Health/Remote Working/Remote Learning

    22. "Zoom and Gloom: Lawyers Getting Fatigue from Endless Video Calls," 07.22.20.
      Law.com International reports that lawyers complain of suffering from "Zoom fatigue" as the industry continues to encourage remote working.


    23. Law Schools and Law Students

    24. "Rodriguez: Law Schools Are Still In Denial About Fall 2020," 07.20.20.
      Dan Rodriguez, writing for the PrawfsBlog, argues that it is folly for law schools to attempt to open for any sort of in-person classes in August, arguing that "our students and faculty deserve better."

    25. "What can we learn from medical field's experience with competency-based education?," 07.19.20.
      Neil Hamilton, writing for the Legal Evolution blog, argues that legal education has a lot to learn from the medical field's experience with competency-based education.

      1. "Aligning Law School Curriculum With Law Firm Needs," 07.21.20.
        The TaxProf Blog has more on Neil Hamilton's work here.


    26. Law Firms and Lawyers (North America)

    27. "Multiple Staff at Sullivan & Cromwell Laid Off, Sources Say," 07.24.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that "Wall Street firm Sullivan & Cromwell has laid off multiple staff in several departments in recent months, according to six sources…the layoffs number up to about 50 staff members over the past three months."

    28. "Law Firms Deferring First-Year Associates Eye Legal Aid Positions for Fall," 07.23.20.
      The Daily Report writes that Atlanta's largest firms have pushed back the start dates for their first-year associates to January and are considering secondment plans for first-years in the fall, including to legal aid groups.

    29. "Law Firms Feel Waves Made by Bar Exam Changes," 07.22.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that "big firms are preparing to make adjustments as a result of the latest cancellations of in-person bar examinations, such as pushing back start dates and implementing study leaves when Class of 2020 graduates can finally take the bar exam."

    30. "Some Big Firms Are Walking Back Earlier Pay Cuts," 07.22.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that "while some firms are anticipating further financial hardship, others have recently walked back some austerity measures, reflecting the pandemic's uneven effects on the legal industry."

      1. "Partner distributions resume at some law firms amid coronavirus crisis," 07.22.20.
        The ABA Journal reports that "at least two large law firms are resuming partner distributions after trimming them in response to the COVID-19 pandemic."

    31. "Career Development for the Young Lawyer During COVID-19," 07.22.20.
      A recent law grad, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, provides some pandemic-era career development advice for young lawyers.

    32. "Chicago Bar Task Force Recs Steer Clear of Outside Ownership in Law Firms," 07.22.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that "a Chicago Bar Association task force focused on reforms to the profession released on Wednesday recommendations that include allowing lawyers to partner with intermediary organizations to handle business tasks and connect to consumers, but the group stopped short of endorsing outside ownership of law firms."

    33. "Recruiting & Hiring in Uncertain Times," 07.21.20.
      A law firm legal talent and recruiting manager, writing for the New York Law Journal, writes that because legal recruiting has been turned upside-down by COVID, "we now have the opportunity to rebuild, from the ground up, better systems and practices not only in our own lives, but in the structure and operations of our firms."

    34. "Demand Falls for Lateral Partners and Associates, With 'Slowdown and Hesitation' in Hiring," 07.17.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that "many law firms have slowed down lateral partner and associate hiring, all the while instituting pay cuts for employees."

    35. "Clio legal data shows legal work and lawyer optimism recovering from pandemic lows," 07.16.20.
      The Canadian Lawyer reports on new survey data from Clio that shows a steady improvement in legal business and rising optimism among practitioners. ("While the number of new legal matters fell off a cliff in April and May, June saw a resurgence which lasted throughout the month. The data also show that expansion in caseloads is being felt across practice areas.")


    36. International Law Firms

    37. "Freshfields Revenue Growth Lags, PEP Dips As Firm Adds Further US Heft," 07.22.20.
      Law.com International reports that "Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer's revenue growth slowed during the 2019/20 financial year, the firm has announced, while it has continued its recent U.S. growth push." (Revenue up 3%, PPP down 1%)

    38. "Dentons UK, Middle East Revenue Drops As Firm Reviews UK Real Estate Needs," 07.22.20.
      Law.com International reports that "Dentons' revenues in the U.K. and Middle East have fallen by 4%, with the firm citing 'challenging trading conditions' during the final month of the 2019/20 financial year."

    39. "Clifford Chance Hits Record Revenue, Besting A&O and Linklaters," 07.21.20.
      Law.com International reports that "Clifford Chance hit record revenue of £1.8 billion in its most recent financial year, the firm has announced, topping Magic Circle rivals Allen & Overy and Linklaters." (Revenue up 6%, PPP up 5%)

    40. "Ashurst PEP Falls Amid Muted Revenue Growth," 07.21.20.
      Law.com International reports that "Ashurst's financial growth during the 2019/20 financial year was significantly muted compared to its standout growth in recent years, with revenue marginally nudging up by 0.5% and its profits per equity partner falling." (PPP down 7%)

    41. "Top 50 UK Firm Looks to Cut Up To 80 Jobs," 07.20.20.
      Law.com International reports that "U.K. Top 50 law firm Freeths has launched a consultation that could result in the loss of around 80 roles as a result of the coronavirus pandemic." ("The firm said in a statement on Monday that the proposed job cuts will be split more or less evenly between lawyers and support staff and will affect people across the firm's 13 U.K. offices.")


    42. Higher Education

    43. "Minority, Low-Income Freshmen Not Filling Out FAFSA," 07.24.20.
      Inside Higher Ed reports new research shows that "low-income students and minority students are not putting down deposits at the same rates as previous years, and those that are depositing are not submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at the same rates as previous years…Black students are overrepresented in not making deposits."

    44. "Rebates and Reversals," 07.24.20.
      Inside Higher Ed reports that as more and more college and university campuses have begun to announce on-line only learning for the fall semester, "many have also announced they will be discounting tuition or slashing fees for those studying at home."

      1. "Georgetown University to offer tuition breaks for many undergraduates this fall," 07.21.20.
        The Washington Post reports that "Georgetown University announced Tuesday that it will offer tuition discounts to many undergraduate students starting classes in August." ("Students who are not invited to live on campus, which includes most upperclassmen, will receive a 10 percent cut in tuition totaling about $2,800, officials said.")

    45. "Democrats Push Bill Allowing Student Loans to Be Absolved in Bankruptcy," 07.23.20.
      The Wall Street Journal reports that "Democratic Senators introduced a bill Thursday that would allow people to cancel student-loan debt in bankruptcy if they can show income loss tied to economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic." (Subscription required.)

    46. "Reopening plans at UC Berkeley, other campuses fall apart amid coronavirus surge," 07.21.20.
      The Los Angeles Times reports that "UC Berkeley and UC Merced had hoped to open Aug. 26 with a mix of online, in-person and hybrid classes but this week reversed course and announced they would begin the semester with fully remote instruction amid a pandemic surge." ("The UC reversals follow other decisions to do likewise by several California campuses, including USC, Pomona College and Occidental College. Nationally, the proportion of colleges and universities planning for in-person classes has declined from about two-thirds in May to about half today, according to more than 1,200 campus plans reviewed by The Chronicle of Higher Education.")

    47. "Colleges Hoped for an In-Person Fall. Now the Dream Is Crumbling.," 07.20.20.
      The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that several prominent campuses that had announced plans to reopen for in-person classes in the fall are now reversing course. (Subscription required.)

    48. "A Year of Chaos and Flexibility," 07.20.20.
      Inside Higher Ed reports that undergraduate recruiting models have been thrown into chaos by the coronavirus pandemic, with most colleges resorting to hosting virtual events but worry that this will disadvantage many low-income students who rely on phones for access to the internet.

    49. "Which Of The 436 Universities Ranked BY U.S. News Will Thrive, Survive, Struggle, Or Perish In The Age Of COVID-19?," 07.18.20.
      This piece on the TaxProf Blog attempts to predict which colleges and universities are most vulnerable to closing as a result of the pandemic, and identifies 84 institutions that it deems "lower value" and "more vulnerable" and therefore most likely to close their doors.

    50. "For First-Generation Students, a Disappearing 'College Experience' Could Have Grave Consequences," 07.17.20.
      The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "as the coronavirus whittles away all signs of normalcy on campuses nationwide, first-generation students and their advocates say their education may be endangered." (Subscription required.)


    July 17, 2020

      Top Stories

    1. "Incoming Law Firm Associates Unsure When Their Jobs Will Start," 07.15.20.
      Law.com reports on new NALP survey research that shows that "half of law firm offices don't have an official start date for their incoming associates." ("And among the offices that have set start dates, 62% won't welcome their new lawyers until January 2021.")

      1. "Law grads have had job offers rescinded at 49% of surveyed law schools," 07.16.20.
        The ABA Journal reports that "law grads have had employment offers rescinded at 49% of the law schools surveyed by the National Association for Law Placement."

      2. "Law Firm Associates Don't Know When Their Jobs Will Start, And Some Have Had Offers Rescinded," 07.16.20.
        Above the Law weighs in on the new NALP survey research.

      3. "Pandemic Clobbers Job Starts for Law Graduates," 07.15.20.
        Bloomberg Law also reports on the new NALP survey research.

      4. "Delays, uncertainty loom for first-year lawyers," 07.15.20.
        And Reuters reviews the new survey research as well.

      5. You can read the full report on the survey findings and watch NALP's Director of Research, Danielle Taylor, talk about the results, here.


    2. The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

    3. "California Sets Online-Only Bar Exam for October, Permanently Lowers Passing Score," 07.16.20.
      The Recorder reports that "California's Supreme Court on Thursday evening rewrote plans for the state's fall bar exam, cancelling the in-person test set for September, setting a two-day online test in October and authorizing a provisional licensing plan that will allow law school graduates to temporarily practice law without passing the test." ("Additionally, the court ordered that the score needed to pass the test — a figure known as the cut score-be permanently reduced from 145 to 139. The previous cut score was the second highest in the nation and regularly resulted in thousands of law school graduates failing a test that they would have passed under other states' scoring rules.")

    4. "New York Cancels September Bar Exam Without Alternative Test in Place," 07.16.20.
      The New York Law Journal reports that "the New York Court of Appeals on Thursday announced the planned Sept. 9 and 10 in-person exam will not happen."

      1. You can read the Court of Appeals order here: Bar Examination & Temporary Practice Order Update — July 16, 2020

    5. "Louisiana backs out of in-person and remote July bar exams, and New Jersey cancels as well," 07.15.20.
      The ABA Journal reports that "instead of following a May plan to shorten the Louisiana bar exam from three days to one, and offer it in person and online, the state announced Wednesday that both July tests will be canceled."

    6. "Tennessee Switches From On-Ground To Online Bar Exam," 07.14.20.
      The TaxProf Blog reports that "the Tennessee Supreme Court today ordered the cancellation of the Uniform Bar Examination in Tennessee scheduled for September 30-October 1, 2020, citing the current trajectory of the Covid-19 pandemic."

    7. "'Diploma Privilege,' Temporary Licenses Spice Up Bar Exam Prep This Summer," 07.14.20.
      The Daily Report writes that "recent law school graduates in Georgia are sweating through a summer of uncertainty-preparing for an already-postponed bar exam while some press bar authorities for full licensure without having to take the test at all."

    8. "Why this pandemic is a good time to stop forcing prospective lawyers to take bar exams," 07.13.20.
      This Washington Post piece "takes an in-depth look at the problems with giving in-person bar exams during the pandemic and, more broadly, about whether it makes sense to retain the exam system."

    9. "July 2020 Bar Exam Chaos Deepens: Nine Ten States (And DC) Issue Announcements," 07.12.20.
      The TaxProf Blog reports that Arkansas, District of Columbia, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia have all made bar exam announcements within the last week.


    10. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

    11. "Curing the Corporate Racism Pandemic — 5 Actions for Companies to Take Now," 07.15.20.
      The co-founders of the Black General Counsel 2025 Initiative, writing for Corporate Counsel, make "five S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound) actions to address and eliminate bias."

    12. "LGBTQ+ lawyers and attorneys with disabilities report prevalent discrimination, ABA study says," 07.15.20.
      The ABA Journal reports that "nearly 40% of lawyers who identify as having disabilities and/or as LGBTQ+ report experiencing discrimination, harassment and bias in the workplace, according to a new national study by the ABA and Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University."

    13. "In a Time of Reckoning on Racism, Silence Is No Longer an Option," 07.13.20.
      Jeremiah A. DeBerry, a partner and the director of diversity and inclusion at Mayer Brown, writing for The American Lawyer, reflects on the "debilitating" effects of anti-Black racism and the need for everyone to come together for change.

    14. "Black Students Demand 'Institutional Change' At George Washington Law School," 07.13.20.
      The TaxProf Blog reports that "the Black Law Students Association launched a petition Tuesday calling for institutional change related to diversity, equality and inclusion at GW Law…the petition includes demands to make changes to the curriculum, increase diversity in academic journals, law clinics, faculty and students and make Juneteenth a holiday on the school's academic calendar."


    15. Mental Health/Remote Working/Remote Learning

    16. "Husch Blackwell Takes Lessons from Pandemic to Launch Virtual 'Office'," 07.14.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that "Husch Blackwell has opened its 21st office-a virtual space called The Link, comprised of 50 lawyers and staff from eight brick-and-mortar offices in a move that transforms the firm's approach to how it uses technology and views office space."

    17. "College Students Have Been Stressed Out During the Pandemic. Here's How It's Affected Their Mental Health.," 07.13.20.
      The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that new research from the Healthy Minds Network and the American College Health Association shows that depression among students is rising since the start of the pandemic. (Subscription required.)

      1. "Pandemic Hurts Student Mental Health," 07.13.20.
        More on this from Inside Higher Ed: "Sixty percent of college students say the pandemic has made it harder to access mental health care, even as financial stresses and prevalence of depression increased among them."

    18. "Mental Resilience Can Help You Through the Coronavirus Pandemic; Here's How to Build It.," 07.13.20.
      The Wall Street Journal speaks with Rick Hanson, a clinical psychologist and author of the 2018 book, "Resilient," about "how we can build our resilience in challenging times." (Subscription required.)


    19. Law Schools and Law Students

    20. "State Department Says Students From Europe Are Exempt From Coronavirus Travel Ban," 07.16.20.
      The Wall Street Journal reports that "foreign students coming from Europe…are exempt from the Trump administration's various travel bans imposed during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a memo the State Department sent to Congress on Thursday." (Subscription required.)

    21. "Law Schools Say ICE's Shifting Student Visa Rules Created Unnecessary Chaos," 07.15.20.
      Law.com reports that "legal educators…say the now-rescinded rule diverted time and attention away from planning for the fall semester and working through the changes they need to make in order to operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic."

      1. "U.S. Rescinds Plan to Strip Visas From International Students in Online Classes," 07.14.20.
        The New York Times reports that "the Trump administration on Tuesday bowed to snowballing opposition from universities, Silicon Valley and 20 states and abandoned a plan to strip international college students of their visas if they did not attend at least some classes in person."

      2. "Big Law Rushed to Sue Over ICE's Policy for International Students During COVID. Now Trump Officials Are Dropping It.," 07.14.20.
        The National Law Journal reports that "the Trump administration is nationally rescinding guidance that would have required international students to leave the United States if their coursework was held entirely online this upcoming fall during the COVID-19 pandemic, after the policy was heavily challenged in several federal courts."

      3. "Trump administration backs off plan requiring international students to take face-to-face classes," 07.14.20.
        More on this from The Washington Post.

    22. "Law Schools See Late Applicant Boost After Spring COVID-19 Slowdown," 07.14.20.
      Law.com reports that "the national law school applicant pool has recovered from its pandemic-induced slump, thanks to a surge in applications over the past six weeks." (Applicants are up more than 3% from two years ago.)

      1. "Law School Applicants Are Up 0.1%, With Biggest Increases Among Southeast, 165-180 LSATs, And Those Who Declined To Reveal Their Ethnicity," 07.13.20.
        The TaxProf Blog provides details on the (small) rise in law school applicants.

    23. "The Law Of Law School: The Essential Guide For First-Year Law Students," 07.14.20.
      The TaxProf Blog highlights a new book that sets out to decode the law school experience for first-year students: "This book is perfect for the soon-to-be law school student or the current 1L and speaks to the growing number of first-generation law students in America."


    24. Law Firms and Lawyers (North America)

    25. "Necessity Begets Innovation: How Law Firms Adapted to Virtual Summer Associate Plans," 07.16.20.
      The Daily Report speaks with several Atlanta law firms about their virtual summer programs.

    26. "Pay Cuts, Layoffs, and More: How Law Firms Are Managing the Pandemic," 07.16.20.
      The ALM staff continue to update The American Lawyer's running "firm-by-firm guide to how law firms are protecting their bottom lines from the economic fallout of the coronavirus."

    27. "Private Equity Firms Look to Cut Legal Spend Amid Downturn," 07.15.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that "private equity firms in the U.S. and U.K. are looking to cut their legal bills in the coming year, according to a survey of in-house counsel that bodes ill for one of the legal industry's most lucrative practice areas."

    28. "A 2nd Wave of Potential Layoffs Looms Over Law Firms' 3rd Quarter," 07.14.20.
      The American Lawyer, citing interviews with law firm leaders and legal market observers, reports that "conditions are ripe for a possible second wave of austerity measures to sweep through the legal industry."

    29. "High-Rate Work Went to the Largest Law Firms Last Year, but Discounts Are Now Rising," 07.14.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that "large law firms continued to dominate high-rate work last year, but as clients reexamine their relationships during the pandemic in 2020, law firms have been heavily discounting, according to a new report based on law firm invoices."

    30. "Big Firm Offices in New York Ballooned Before 2020 Cost-Cutting Started," 07.13.20.
      The New York Law Journal publishes its annual NYLJ 100 ranking of New York Law firms by lawyer headcount, noting that "before the coronavirus pandemic triggered high unemployment, many law firms were rapidly increasing their New York ranks, adding legions of lawyers in the state." (You can find the full NYLJ 100 report here.)

    31. "The Path Forward for Law Firms in the Post-COVID World," 07.10.20.
      The leader of one of the new-model firms, writing for The Recorder, makes "recommendations on what changes firms can make to survive and thrive in a post-COVID world."


    32. International Law Firms

    33. "Australia's Large Firms Stick To The Law Graduate Hiring Playbook-for Now," 07.16.20.
      Law.com International reports that "the largest firms in Australia are planning to continue hiring graduates to ensure a strong pipeline of legal talent, even as the COVID-19 crisis endures." ("Most large firms say they will continue with their hiring plans for 2021, and many anticipate a similar amount of graduate hires for 2022.")

    34. "Allen & Overy Posts Drop in Profits and PEP," 07.16.20.
      Law.com International reports that "Allen & Overy has posted a decline in profits and average profit per equity partner in its results announcement for the last financial year."

    35. "Linklaters Profits and PEP Fall as Revenue Dips Behind A&O," 07.16.20.
      Law.com International reports that "Linklaters has posted drops in profit per equity partner (PEP) and profits in its results for the 2019/20 financial year, following Magic Circle rival Allen & Overy in the trend."

    36. "BCLP To Cut 40 In London, Keep Global Pay Trim and Close Beijing Base," 07.15.20.
      Law.com International reports that "Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) is set to cut lawyer and staff positions across its global business, as well as keep pay cuts introduced earlier this year, as it takes further steps to weather the COVID-19 business disruption."

    37. "Clifford Chance Sets Global Gender, Diversity Targets," 07.13.20.
      Bloomberg Law reports that "Clifford Chance announced sweeping targets for increasing the number of female, LGBT, and minority ethnicity attorneys among its ranks worldwide."


    38. Corporate Counsel/Legal Operations/ Legal Technology

    39. "5 Ways That Corporate Legal Departments Are Trying to Save Costs Post-COVID-19," 07.16.20.
      Corporate Counsel takes "a look at five ways corporate legal departments are trying to save on costs post-COVID-19."


    40. Higher Education

    41. "Coronavirus Tests Role of Higher Education as Recession Buffer," 07.12.20.
      The Wall Street Journal reports that while "in past recessions, the U.S. higher education system has served as a buffer of sorts by absorbing unemployed workers, the peculiarities of the coronavirus-induced recession present obstacles to colleges playing a similar role this time around." (Subscription required.)

    42. "Colleges Fear COVID-19 Spread, Class Actions Over Tuition When Welcoming Back Students," 07.10.20.
      Corporate Counsel reports that "in-house counsel at [colleges and universities] that have chosen to bring students back to campus full-time need to worry about furthering the spread of the new coronavirus and class action litigation over refunds for tuition, housing and service fees."



    July 10, 2020

    Top Stories

    1. "U.S. to Force Out Foreign Students Taking Classes Fully Online," 07.07.20.
      The New York Times reports that "The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency said it would not allow holders of student visas to remain in the country if their school was fully online for the fall. Those students must transfer or leave the country, or they potentially face deportation proceedings, according to the announcement."

      1. "Law Schools Scramble to Retain Foreign Students Amid ICE Online Education Ban," 07.08.20.
        Law.com reports on the impact of the new ICE policy on law schools: "Virtually every corner of higher education has been roiled in recent days by the unexpected changes to ICE's Student Exchange Visitor Program, and law school administrators are similarly grappling with how best to accommodate their international students. They are also concerned that the new regulations will further depress the number of foreign students who want to enroll at a U.S. law school in the fall."

      2. "Harvard and MIT Sue Trump Administration Over Rules Barring Online Study for International Students," 07.08.20.
        The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration, seeking to pre-empt enforcement of a controversial rule that would bar international students from studying at colleges that opt for online-only instruction this fall." (Subscription required.)

        1. "Harvard, MIT Sue Trump Administration Over ICE Online Education Ban," 07.09.20.
          More on this development from the New York Law Journal.

      3. "Universities slam Trump administration rules barring international students," 07.07.20.
        The Boston Globe reports that "colleges and universities are in furious upheaval in the wake of strict, unexpected rules announced this week by the Trump administration that would bar hundreds of thousands of international students from studying in the United States this fall."

      4. "The Cruelty of ICE's Guidance for International Students," 07.07.20.
        A college president, writing for The Chronicle of Higher Education, rails against the ICE decision: "Many colleges are likely to be forced this fall into the Sophie's choice of moving online to protect public health and chasing away their international students, or keeping those students and making more people sick. Worse, international students might be forced to choose between their health and their education." (Subscription required.)

      5. "'Maybe I Shouldn't Have Come': U.S. Visa Changes Leave Students in Limbo," 07.09.20.
        The New York Times takes a look at the dire predicament facing many international students studying in the US, "notably those whose home countries are embroiled in conflict or have communications technologies that are insufficient for online learning — the decision has the potential to disrupt their lives and drastically alter their futures."


    2. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Racial Justice

    3. "'Help Do Justice': Big Law Commits to Litigation Fight Against Racist Policing," 07.09.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that "a new round of Big Law firms and legal clinics are committing to a new ACLU project aimed at creating a wave of civil litigation in Louisiana to fight racism in policing, positioning the program to begin filing complaints in spring 2021."

    4. "Baker McKenzie Appoints Global Race and Ethnicity Task Force, Set to Review Recruitment Policies," 07.08.20.
      Law.com International reports that "Baker McKenzie has formed a new global race and ethnicity task force [that] will work across the firm's 77 worldwide offices to help implement and operate programs advancing racial and ethnic diversity."

    5. "Yes, Cravath Still Has Zero Black Partners," 07.07.20.
      Vivia Chen, writing for The American Lawyer, laments the fact that "there are still major firms in this land where you can't find one Black partner roaming the halls, no matter how hard you look."

    6. "'Small Acts of Courage': Hershey General Counsel Damien Atkins on Driving Diversity," 07.07.20.
      Corporate Counsel speaks with Damien Atkins, general counsel for The Hershey Co., about the murder of George Floyd, Black Lives Matter and how to drive change as an in-house leader.

    7. "In-House Counsel Need to Ensure Diversity & Inclusion Program Opens Up Applicant Pool," 07.06.20.
      Corporate Counsel reports on the tension sometimes created by the confusion between affirmative action and diversity and inclusion initiatives.

    8. "Slaughters, Freshfields Commit To Exit Interviews, Other Steps In New Race Pledge," 07.06.20.
      Law.com International reports that the Magic Circle and 12 other firms have signed the pledge designed to improve the career prospects of ethnic minority lawyers, noting that the pledge is designed to combat the career obstacles faced by Black, Asian and minority ethnic lawyers.

    9. "The Struggle to Create Authentic Diversity & Inclusion Cultures and How to Reengineer for Results," 07.02.20.
      A consultant who provides business development training for senior associates navigating partnership candidacy, writing for The Recorder, tackles the question of "why the legal industry is still woefully behind in its ability to retain and promote a broad array of talent, particularly lawyers of color."


    10. The Bar Exam and Law Grad Licensing

    11. "Pennsylvania and Kentucky Bar Exams Replaced by October Online Test," 07.09.20.
      Law.com reports that both Pennsylvania and Kentucky have canceled plans for in-person bar exams and will instead offer online tests: "Pennsylvania and Kentucky become the sixth and seventh jurisdictions, respectively, to scrap plans for an in-person test in either July or September, as bar examiners scramble to find alternative ways to deliver the licensing test safely."

      1. "Pennsylvania Is Fourth State To Recently Switch From On-Ground To Online Bar Exam," 07.09.20.
        More on the Pennsylvania bar exam plans from the TaxProf Blog.

    12. "Recent Law Grads Call on California Trustees to Scrap Bar Exam," 07.07.20.
      Bloomberg Law reports that "dozens of recent law school grads addressed the California Bar's Board of Trustees during a three-hour Zoom meeting July 7, during which many expressed strong feelings about what they considered to be an overly costly bar exam preparation process that discriminates against poorer students and, disproportionately, puts test takers of color at a disadvantage."

    13. "Proposed Bill Would Grant Emergency Diploma Privilege in New York," 07.07.20.
      The New York Law Journal reports that legislation was introduced in New York on Monday that would create an emergency diploma privilege in that state.

    14. "Texas Is Third State In A Week To Switch From On-Ground To Online Bar Exam," 07.06.20.
      The TaxProf Blog reports that the Supreme Court of Texas has canceled the July 2020 in-person Texas Bar Exam and will administer an in-person Texas Bar Exam on September 9-10, 2020, subject to guidance from public health authorities, and will also administer an on-line Texas Bar Exam on October 5-6, 2020.

    15. "Supreme Court temporarily amends rule to allow new law school grads to work at private firms," 07.06.20.
      The Star Courier in Illinois reports that "Chief Justice Anne M. Burke and the Illinois Supreme Court announced last week the amendment of Rule 711(g), which will temporarily expand the class of employers eligible to supervise new law school graduates to include private law firms and other for-profit entities."

      1. "Illinois Provides Temporary Practice License For New Law School Graduates," 07.05.20.
        More on this from the TaxProf Blog.

    16. "July 2020 Bar Exam Chaos: 50 States, 14 Different Approaches," 07.05.20.
      The TaxProf Blog provides an update from the NCBE on July 2020 bar exam status by jurisdiction (as of July 2, 2020).

    17. "Law School Deans Lobby California Court for Diploma Privilege in Virus Era," 07.02.20.
      The Recorder reports that "California's law school deans on Thursday pleaded with state Supreme Court justices and state bar leaders to skip the fall bar exam and grant diploma privilege to candidates for the 2020 test."

      1. "California Law School Deans Report On July 2 Meeting With State Supreme Court And Bar," 07.05.20.
        The TaxProf Blog shares an update from the California law school deans on their July 2 meeting with members of the California Supreme Court and representatives from the California State Bar.

    18. "Florida And Massachusetts Switch From On-Ground To Online Bar Exams," 07.02.20.
      The TaxProf Blog reports that Florida and Massachusetts will offer online bar exams.


    19. Mental Health/Remote Working/Remote Learning

    20. "For Lawyer-Parents, the Pandemic Risks Creating a 'Lost Generation of Associates'," 07.09.20.
      This piece in The American Lawyer argues that "law firms will need to manage associates who have children at home differently and recognize the reality of the situation without creating a second class of corporate citizens."

    21. "Students of Color Are Not OK. Here's How Colleges Can Support Them.," 07.06.20.
      The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "as the pandemic and the racial-injustice crisis continue to take a toll on Black people and other marginalized groups, colleges face a newfound urgency to support the mental health of students of color."(Subscription required.)

    22. "Is the Five-Day Office Week Over?," 07.02.20.
      The New York Times reports that new data suggest "the future is likely to be workweeks split between office and home."

    23. "In the Covid-19 Economy, You Can Have a Kid or a Job. You Can't Have Both.," 07.02.20.
      This piece in The New York Times paints a vivid picture of the dilemma parents are facing who have to choose between taking care of their families and keeping their jobs.


    24. Law Schools and Law Students

    25. "UNH Law School Faculty Votes To Drop Franklin Pierce Name," 07.09.20.
      The TaxProf blog reports that "the faculty of the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law have voted to support the removal of "Franklin Pierce" from the law school's name."

    26. "USC Law School Shifts From In-Person/Hybrid To Predominantly Online Teaching In Fall 2020," 07.09.20.
      The TaxProf Blog reports that USC Law School will be moving to an online teaching model for the fall semester.

    27. "Florida A&M Law School Reverses Plan For Hybrid Fall Semester, Shifts To 100% Online," 07.07.20.
      The TaxProf Blog reports that "students will attend classes remotely at the Florida A&M University College of Law during the fall, a change Monday from its original plan."

    28. "79% Of Faculty Vote To Strip Robert E. Lee's Name From Washington & Lee University," 07.07.20.
      The TaxProf Blog reports that "Washington and Lee University faculty passed a motion to remove Robert E. Lee from the name of the small liberal arts college in Lexington. The motion — the first time for W&L faculty to make such a recommendation — will be sent to the board of trustees."

    29. "Cultivating Grit In Law Students," 07.06.20.
      The TaxProf Blog highlights a new law review article that "illustrates why grit is a concept worth examining in legal education [and] argues that cultivating grit in law students is a pedagogical goal worth pursuing in legal education in order to improve student learning and promote student success."

    30. "Pepperdine Caruso Law Names Inaugural Assistant Dean Of Student Life, Diversity, And Belonging," 07.06.20.
      The TaxProf Blog reports that Pepperdine Caruso Law has appointed Chalak Richards, who served as Assistant Dean of Career Development from 2018-2020, as the first Assistant Dean of Student Life, Diversity, and Belonging.

    31. "UC-Hastings Law School Goes 100% Online In Fall 2020," 07.02.20.
      The TaxProf Blog reports that UC-Hastings Law School has announced that it will be entirely online in the fall.


    32. Law Firms and Lawyers (North America)

    33. "With PPP Money Dwindling and Cases Rising, 'Substantial Uncertainty' Remains for Firms," 07.09.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that "law firms have been relieved that the COVID-19 pandemic has not been as financially catastrophic for the industry as predicted in March, but the coming months will bring more uncertainty for firms and the broader economy as Paycheck Protection Program loans run out and coronavirus cases continue to rise in the United States."

    34. "Associates are considering moves to smaller markets, legal recruiters say," 07.09.20.
      The ABA Journal reports that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, "associates in New York and other large cities are considering moves to smaller legal markets that would be less costly and closer to family."

    35. "Firms Are Designing New Offices With COVID-19 in Mind," 07.07.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that "with law firms forced to make changes to their offices to keep lawyers and staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, those in the process of designing new spaces are rethinking their plans."

    36. "The Great Recession Diverted Lawyers to Public Interest Work. Will the Pandemic Do the Same?," 07.06.20.
      The American Lawyer questions whether a new generation of lawyers who were headed for private practice may end up doing public interest work instead.

    37. "The 2020 Pro Bono Scorecard: The National Rankings," 07.06.20.
      The American Lawyer publishes its annual Pro Bono Scorecard ranking the Am Law 200 based on their pro bono score for work performed by U.S.-based lawyers, noting that "Jenner & Block sits atop this year's scorecard."

      1. "Law Firms Are Collaborating With the Competition to Maximize Pro Bono Impact," 07.06.20.
        The American Lawyer reports that "rather than focusing on pro bono hours and cases handled, firms are targeting broader issues they can address, and partnering with their competition to do so."

    38. "June Jobs Report: Legal Adds 7,500 Jobs, but Murky Future Awaits," 07.02.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the legal sector added 7,500 jobs in June, double the job advances from May after an April crash.


    39. International Law Firm News

    40. "Baker McKenzie UK Top Pay Surges To £3.4M," 07.09.20.
      Law.com International reports that "Baker McKenzie's highest earner took home £3.4 million in the year ending in June 2019, the firm's limited liability partnership (LLP) accounts have revealed." ("The figure is £1.1 million higher than the amount the previous year's highest earner received.")

    41. "Watson Farley Latest to Cut London Positions," 07.09.20.
      Law.com International reports that "Watson Farley & Williams has begun a consultation round to cut legal PA roles in its London office, the firm said in a statement on Thursday."

    42. "Asia Pacific M&A Activity Drops in First Half of 2020, Hits Lowest Level Since 2013," 07.08.20.
      Law.com International reports that "Asia Pacific mergers and acquisitions activity continued on a downward trajectory in the second quarter of this year as COVID impacts lingered, making the slowest first half since 2013."

    43. "Half of UK Law Leaders Expect To Cut Staff Headcount This Year, Poll Finds," 07.07.20.
      Law.com International report that according to new survey findings, "around half of law firm leaders in the U.K. expect to decrease staff headcount over the coming year."

    44. "LGBT+ Legal Networks Gain Foothold in France," 07.06.20.
      Law.com International reports that, following in the footsteps of US and UK law firms, a group of lawyers and law firms in France has launched the Paris LGBT+ Network.


    45. PPP Loans and the Legal Industry

    46. "Dozens of Big Law Firms Received Millions in PPP Loan Funds," 07.06.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that according to recipient data released by the Small Business Association on Monday, "more than three dozen Am Law 200 firms—and scores of other law firms across the country—have received paycheck protection loans."

    47. "Big Law Firms Got Millions of Dollars to Preserve Payroll. Some Made Cuts Anyway," 07.07.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that "several of the Am Law 200 firms that received multi-million dollar loans from the Paycheck Protection Program cut salaries or jobs this year anyway."

      1. "Hughes Hubbard Lays Off Attorneys and Staff After Receiving PPP Loan," 07.07.20.
        The American Lawyer reports that "Hughes Hubbard & Reed-an AmLaw 200 firm that received a multimillion-dollar paycheck protection loan from the Small Business Administration-has laid off an undisclosed number of its attorneys and staff, according to firm statements Tuesday."

    48. "A Dozen Legal Education Entities Snagged PPP Loans, Including LSAT Maker." 07.07.20.
      Law.com reports that "several major legal education organizations and 10 stand-alone law schools received forgivable emergency loans of $150,000 or more from the Small Business Administration, newly released data show." ("The Law School Admission Council received the largest loan among legal education entities, listed between $5 million and $10 million.")


    49. Higher Education

    50. "Colleges Plan to Reopen Campuses, but for Just Some Students at a Time," 07.06.20.
      The New York Times reports that "with the coronavirus still raging and the fall semester approaching, colleges and universities are telling large segments of their student populations to stay home….In order to achieve social distancing, many colleges are saying they will allow only 40 to 60 percent of their students to return to campus and live in the college residence halls at any one time, often divided by class year."

    51. "Colleges Face Rising Revolt by Professors," 07.03.20.
      The New York Times reports that "thousands of instructors at American colleges and universities have told administrators in recent days that they are unwilling to resume in-person classes because of the pandemic."

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