Each week NALP's Executive Director, James Leipold, provides a summary of news articles of interest to legal career professionals. Read past issues here.
For news in the public interest arena, see the news digest from Samuel Halpert, NALP's Director of Public Service Initiatives, at www.psjd.org.
January 19, 2018
1. "Improving Workplace Culture, One Review at a Time," 01.22.18.
The New Yorker writes about the growing role that the site Glassdoor is playing for job-seekers and the employers that hire them (the article reports that Glassdoor is the second most popular jobs website after Indeed).
2. "Law Firm Lateral Hiring Off to Active Start in 2018," 01.18.18.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that Pennsylvania law firms have already seen aggressive lateral hiring in the new year.
3. "Global In-House Leaders Turn to Smaller Firms for Lower Costs, Better Service, Survey Finds," 01.18.18.
The American Lawyer reports on new survey research that finds "In-house teams at large global companies are three times more dissatisfied with the larger law firms than small but innovative ones."
4. "Your 2018 Slightly Unconventional Career Goal Guide," 01.18.18.
Julie Brush, the Lawyer Whisperer, writing for The Recorder, provides career advice for the new year, including a call for more inner reflection and some self-assessment. (We look forward to hearing from Brush at NALP's Recruiting Summit in NYC next week!)
5. "Buffalo Law Students See Puerto Rico as Defining Moment in Their Legal Education," 01.18.18.
The New York Law Journal reports on a six-credit course at Buffalo that "immerses students in topics such as disaster relief, climate justice and foreclosure prevention…[and students] then take a 10-day trip to Puerto Rico to work as supervised attorneys and return home to write about the legal obstacles for the island's most vulnerable residents."
6. "Millennials Get 'Bad Rap,' NJ Firms Say (But Seriously, Put Down the Phone)," 01.18.18.
The New Jersey Law Journal takes a look at the match between millennial lawyers and midsize law firms in New Jersey.
7. "Interested in Law School? Click Here," 01.17.18.
Law.com reports that "the Law School Admission Council and the Association of American Law Schools are launching a new website and social media campaign that will make the case for getting a law degree."
8. "Touro Law Offers New York's First Hybrid JD," 01.17.18.
The New York Law Journal reports that Touro has launched a FlexTime JD program that combines online learning and weekend study and can be completed in just under four years.
9. "Millennial Lawyers Explain Why They Flock to New York's Midsize Firms," 01.17.18.
The New York Law Journal reports that "the leaders of New York's midsize law firms say they are uniquely suited to give millennials meaningful work, recognition for their accomplishments and a better work/life balance."
10. "Male Clients Disfavor Women Partners," 01.17.18.
Vivia Chen, writing for The American Lawyer, reports that a recent survey by Acritas finds that male clients still favor male partners.
11. "Law Grads Have Grown Skeptical of a JD's Value," 01.16.18.
Law.com reports that "a new survey reveals major differences in the way pre-recession and post-recession law graduates view the benefits of their education."
a. "AccessLex And Gallup Release National Study On The Long-Term Outcomes Of A Law Degree," 01.17.18.
The TaxProf Blog also reports on this new study, "Examining Value, Measuring Engagement: A National Study of the Long-Term Outcomes of a Law Degree." (You can find a copy of the report here.)
b. "Less than half of recent law grads had 'good jobs' waiting after graduation, report says," 01.16.17.
And more on this from the ABA Journal.
12. "Law Schools Under the Microscope," 01.16.18.
Inside Higher Ed takes a deep dive into the world of post-recession legal education, noting that "After enjoying an enrollment surge in the first decade of the new century, many law schools have more recently struggled mightily amid a dearth of jobs for young lawyers, dwindling student interest, worries schools were encouraging students to take on high debts they would struggle to repay, and intense criticism that many schools had been admitting students who never had the academic chops necessary to become practicing lawyers. At the same time, the accreditation world has been grinding toward greater transparency, placing some institutions under an unwelcome harsh light."
13. "Updated Analysis Of Law School Attrition Data — 2018," 01.16.18.
Jerry Organ, writing for the TaxProf Blog, provides updated analysis of the most recent law school attrition data released by the ABA, noting in particular that "average overall first-year attrition rates continue to increase…[and] academic attrition rates increase as law school median LSAT decreases."
a. "Is sweet spot for avoiding academic attrition at law schools a median LSAT of at least 150?," 01.16.18.
The ABA Journal reports on Organ's analysis of the 509 attrition data, noting that "among ABA-accredited law schools with median LSAT scores above 150, academic attrition has recently decreased, but there's been an increase at schools with median LSAT scores below 150."
14. "This is where all the unemployed lawyers go to cry," 01.16.18.
The Outline reports on the "Vale of Tears," "an epic thread on the Top-Law-Schools forum that chronicles the lawyer unemployment crisis."
15. "Group Pushes For New Texas Public Law School In El Paso," 01.15.18.
The TaxProf Blog reports that a group is fighting to bring a new law school to Texas. Ugh.
16. "Seton Hall's Innovative Weekend JD Program," 01.13.18.
The TaxProf Blog reports that Seton Hall has changed the structure of their part-time program from an evening program to a weekend program.
17. "Declining productivity costs law firms an average of more than $74K per lawyer, report says," 01.12.18.
The ABA Journal, reporting on last week's release of the annual State of the Legal Market report put out by Georgetown and Thomson Reuters, notes that "the average lawyer today is billing 156 fewer hours annually than at the start of 2007."
18. "A Rekindled Interest in Law," 01.12.18.
The Chronicle of Higher Education interviews Kellye Testy, the new president and chief executive of the Law School Admission Council, noting that "she described signs that the outlook for many law schools may be improving."
19. "The Law Firm Disrupted: PwC Will Take Your Client's Call Now," 01.12.18.
Law.com reports that the global accounting giants continue to expand into legal services.
20. "New Year, Same Old Pressures for Smaller Law Firms," 01.12.18.
The New York Law Journal reports that consolidation pressures continue to drive mergers and dissolutions among small law firms in New York.
21. "How to Succeed in Business? Do Less," 01.12.18.
This Wall Street Journal article says that "Most top performers in business have one thing in common: They accept fewer tasks and then obsess over getting them right." (Subscription required.)
22. "How Small and Midsize Law Firms Survived the Big Law Salary Hikes," 01.11.18.
A VP at Robert Half, writing for Law.com, looks at how smaller firms are faring in the aftermath of the large law firm associate salary jump.
Prior digests for past weeks are provided below for reference; some articles may no longer be offered online or may have moved to different URLs than the links shown here.
January 12, 2018
1. "New Report Warns of a 'Wake-Up Call' for Stagnant Law Firms," 01.10.18.
The American Lawyer reports on the findings of the latest annual report on the legal industry released by the Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute and the Center for the Study of the Legal Profession at the Georgetown University Law Center, a report that finds "most lawyers overestimate the strength of the current market for law firm services, and that is partly why Big Law has for years failed to respond to client demands for efficiency." A copy of the report can be found here.
2. "Legal Sector Posts Modest Job Gains in December," 01.10.18.
The American Lawyer reports that the US legal services industry added 600 jobs in December, leaving the sector still roughly 50,000 jobs short of where it was before the recession.
3. "For Law Schools and the AALS, Technology and Access to Justice Become Priorities," 01.10.18.
Legaltech News reports on the proceedings at the Association of American Law Schools annual meeting that was held last week in San Diego.
a. "Proposed Changes to Student Loans Worry Law School Association's New President," 01.04.17.
Law.com also reports on last week's AALS conference in San Diego, speaking with incoming AALS President Wendy Purdue.
4. "That's What Ze Said," 01.09.18.
An excellent New York Times op-ed by Jennifer Finney Boylan about identity and pronouns, and treating one's fellow human beings with love.
5. "ABA Hits Back Against Cooley Law School in Accreditation Suit," 01.09.18.
Law.com reports that "the ABA's newly filed motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit brought by the Michigan-based law school highlights a series of problems at the school, from falling Law School Admission Test scores among the students it enrolls to plummeting bar pass rates among its graduates."
6. "North Carolina Central, Arizona Summit found out of compliance with ABA accreditation standards," 01.08.18.
The ABA Journal reports that "the ABA's Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar recently notified two law schools — North Carolina Central University School of Law and Arizona Summit Law School — that they were not in compliance with specific accreditation standards."
a. "ABA Finds Appalachian, Arizona Summit & North Carolina Central Law Schools Out Of Compliance With Accreditation Standards," 01.09.18.
More on this from the TaxProf Blog.
7. "Next Steps in the Federal Judiciary's Me Too Moment," 01.08.18.
Two former federal law clerks, writing for The National Law Journal, provide an update on the letter that a group of current and former clerks sent to the federal judiciary recommending changes in policy and procedure surrounding the way claims of sexual harassment are handled.
8. "Brooklyn Law School Holds Boot Camp," 01.08.18.
The New York Law Journal reports that Brooklyn Law School offers students a business boot camp that "offers instruction on developing a business plan, reading financial statements, valuing assets, raising capital and meeting business goals."
9. "Slight Gains — The Struggles of the African-American Female Attorney," 01.05.18.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that "African-American female associates are making gains at a slower pace than their diverse colleagues."
10. "2017 Law Grads Provided $82 Million in Pro Bono Work," 01.05.18.
Law.com reports that "law students who graduated in 2017 performed more than 3.39 million hours of pro bono work while on campus, which equates to nearly $82 million in free legal services."
11. "Want to Reduce Your Drinking and Get Healthier? Slow and Steady Does It," 01.04.18.
Patrick Krill, writing for Law.com, provides tips on how lawyers can cut back on alcohol consumption and improve well-being.
12. "Differentiation in the New Legal Marketplace and Why It Matters," 01.02.18.
A good piece in Forbes that explains why differentiation is going to be increasingly important for law firms that want to succeed in the new marketplace.
13. "Law in 2018: It's looking a little 'Hunger Games' out there," 12.29.17.
Crain's Chicago Business reports that amidst "the slow-growth environment [that] has created a hyper-competitive market…[law firms can] expect a new year with more law firm mergers, more pressure from clients, shrinking headcounts and more attention — and dollars — for cybersecurity."
14. "No more talk — let's see action: Despite high ambitions, people of colour and indigenous peoples struggle to receive advocacy," 12.27.17.
Ritu Bhasin, writing for the Canadian HR Reporter, reports on a new study called Sponsor Effect: Canada, on the important role that sponsorship can play in advancing careers across cultures and genders.
January 5, 2018
1. "How Will Generation X Lead Big Law?," 01.04.18.
Lauren Still Rikleen, writing for The American Lawyer, tackles the question "How will Xers lead as law firms face an onslaught of competitive challenges, increased client demands, and a retention crisis that threatens their institutional sustainability?"
2. "The Law Firm Disrupted: A Big Change for 2018?," 01.04.18.
The American Lawyer's Law Firm Disrupted column suggests that 2018 may see the growing collaboration or even union between traditional law firms and alternative legal services providers.
3. "Embracing Artificial Intelligence at Your Law Firm," 01.04.18.
Legaltech News outlines three best practices for convincing lawyers of the benefits of adopting AI in the legal profession (namely, making the case for "technology as an opportunity rather than a threat").
4. "The Growth of Law School Online Master's Programs," 01.04.17.
The TaxProf Blog chronicles the rise on online non-JD enrollment and urges other law schools to expand in this area: "law schools should definitely seek to develop online Master's programs at this time."
5. "After a Record 2017, No Signs of Law Firm Merger Mania Slowing," 01.03.18.
The American Lawyer reports that according to the latest data from Altman Weil, "a new record for law firm mergers was set last year at 102, marking a 12 percent increase from the previous record, 91, set in 2015."
6. "What, Me Worry? Some Law Firm Leaders See Rosy 2018 Ahead," 01.03.18.
The American Lawyer reports that leaders from at least two of the largest Am Law 100 firms are optimistic about 2018.
7. "14 Law Schools With Attrition Rates >20% May Fail Accreditation Standard 501(b) (Admitting Students Capable of Passing the Bar)," 01.03.18.
Law prof Brian Tamanaha, as reported here in the TaxProf Blog, has compiled a list of 14 law schools whose 509 data show that they have 1L attrition rates that create a presumption under the standard that they are not admitting applicants who appear capable of satisfactorily completing the program of legal education and being admitted to the bar.
8. "AI Goes To Law School — In China," 01.03.18.
Legaltech News reports that "Peking University Law School will partner with cloud-based analytics tool Gridsum to launch a center to examine possibilities for AI in China's legal system."
9. "Not a Bunch of Hooey: Stress-Management Techniques for Lawyers," 01.03.18.
A wellness consultant who works with Big Law attorneys, writing here for Law.com, provides some "simple, scientifically proven ways to manage stress that can take as little as one minute each day."
10. "As Flow of Foreign Students Wanes, US Universities Feel the Sting," 01.02.18.
The New York Times reports that "just as many universities believed that the financial wreckage left by the 2008 recession was behind them, campuses across the country have been forced to make new rounds of cuts, this time brought on, in large part, by a loss of international students."
11. "AI and Big Data Could Power a New War on Poverty," 01.01.17.
The New York Times explores artificial intelligence's potential benefits to society, including as a tool to help fight poverty and promote economic stability.
12. "Chief Justice Roberts says courts will examine protections against sexual harassment," 12.31.17.
The Washington Post reports that "Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. announced an initiative Sunday to ensure there are proper procedures in place to protect law clerks and other court employees from sexual harassment."
a. "Chief Justice Roberts' Year-End Report: Judiciary 'Not Immune' from Sexual Harassment," 01.03.18.
More on this from The National Law Journal.
December 29, 2017
1. "How California Law Schools Fared on July 2017 Bar Exam," 12.28.17.
The Recorder reports on the school-specific bar pass numbers released by the California state bar.
2. "Mental Health and Law Students: Addressing the Issue One Step at a Time," 12.28.17.
This Slaw post from the Council of Canadian Law Deans reports on the implementation of a pilot project in Ontario designed to tackle first-year students' stress and anxiety.
3. "Business Schools Now Teaching #MeToo, NFL Protests and Trump," 12.25.17.
The New York Times reports that "as topics like sexual harassment dominate the national conversation and chief executives weigh in on the ethical and social issues of the day, business schools around the country are hastily reshaping their curriculums with case studies ripped straight from the headlines."
4. "Nearly 700 Law Clerks Tell Judiciary to Reform Sexual Harassment Procedures," 12.22.17.
The National Law Journal reports that "nearly 700 law clerks, organized over the past few days by four women who had never met, are calling on top judicial officials to change how they handle sexual harassment in the workplace." You can view the letter here.
5. "The Law Firm Disrupted: A Ground-Up Change Management Approach," 12.22.17.
The Law.com Disruption column makes the case that law firm associates should be empowered to help their firms adapt to changing markets.
6. "Biglaw Firm Gets With The Times And Makes Big Changes To Parental Leave Policy," 12.21.17.
Above the Law reports that "Skadden now offers a gender-neutral [parental leave] policy that provides all new parents, regardless of caregiver status, with 12 weeks of paid leave."
7. "UC Irvine School of Law Gets New Dean," 12.21.17.
The Recorder reports that L. Song Richardson has been named dean of the University of California, Irvine School of Law: "With Richardson's appointment, she becomes the only woman of color currently leading a Top 30 law school."
8. "Behind Big Law's Wall of Silence on Sexual Misconduct," 12.20.17.
The first in a series of articles from The American Lawyer examining the problem of sexual harassment and misconduct in the legal industry: "Woman after woman interviewed for this story said they had to ignore or shrug off unwanted comments and conduct at their firms out of concern that speaking out could harm their careers."
9. "How did some law schools increase first-time pass rates by at least 10 points in 2017?," 12.20.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "based on information from states that release law schools' individual bar exam pass rates, at least eight schools saw first-time pass increases of 10 points or greater between the July 2016 and July 2017 bar exams."
10. "The 3 Technologies that Redefined Legal in 2017," 12.20.17.
Legaltech News reports that artificial intelligence, the internet of things, and blockchain are the technologies that most changed the legal landscape in 2017.
11. "Newly Amended Law Clerk Handbook Affirms Harassment Complaints Are Permitted," 12.19.17.
The National Law Journal reports that "the handbook for federal law clerks was revised Monday to make it clear that they and other judicial employees can make complaints about sexual harassment without fear of violating the judiciary's code of confidentiality."
12. "Some schools flagged by ABA this year have not raised admissions standards, latest data indicates," 12.19.17.
The ABA Journal reports on a blog post written by law prof Barry Frakt that uses the newly released law school 509 data to show that many of the schools cited for non-compliance with the accreditation standards have not yet come into compliance. (You can read Frakt's blog post on The Faculty Lounge blog here.)
13. "Break the law firm business model," 12.19.17.
The latest from Jordan Furlong at Law21: he provides as succinct a summary of why we are where we are as one could hope for — essentially, innovations reduce time and effort, yet the law firm business model is based on rewarding time and effort. ("It's no wonder innovation is anathema within most law firms: it's antithetical to the law firm's foundational business premise. The true barrier to law firm innovation is the firm's ironclad insistence on measuring value — both external to the client and internal within the firm — on the basis of lawyers' time and effort.")
14. "Graduate Students Escaped Tax Increases, but They Still Feel a Target on Their Backs," 12.19.17.
The New York Times reports that while the final tax bill that was signed into law spared graduate students from changes that had threatened to both tax stipends and remove the tax credit for student loan interest, the proposed rewrite of the Higher Education Act promised for later this year holds other threats, like capping the amount of money that graduate students can borrow from federal loan programs and eliminating public service loan forgiveness.
15. "The 2017 Law School Transfer Market," 12.18.17.
Jerry Organ, writing for the TaxProf Blog, analyzes the law school transfer numbers based on the release of the schools' Standard 509 Reports, noting that the transfer market is largely flat, and absent transfers from Charlotte, Whittier, and Indiana Tech, all of which have announced closure, the transfer volume would actually come in at the lowest level in several years — the post also reports the schools with the largest number of transfer students.
16. "Northwestern to offer online version of Master of Science in Law degree," 12.18.17.
The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin reports that "Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law will soon offer a Master of Science in Law degree online." (Subscription required.)
17. "Law School Enrollment Edges Up, with Surprise Spike in Non-JD Programs," 12.15.17.
Law.com reports on new enrollment data released by the ABA this week that shows enrollment in JD programs dipped by a further 0.7 percent this year, but those studying for LL.M. or masters degrees, or enrolled in certificate programs, grew by 20.5 percent compared with last year. ("There were 37,398 new first-year students in fall 2017, a gain of 291 students or 0.8 percent compared with last year.")
a. "Law school enrollment shows loss and gain — both slight," 12.15.17.
And the ABA Journal also reports on the official law school enrollment figures for the Fall 2017 term that were released by the ABA, noting a small further decline in JD enrollment and a large jump in non-JD enrollment as schools seek alternative revenue to offset the loss of JD tuition. (You can read the ABA's 2017 Standard 509 Information Report Data Overview, including the data on Fall 2017 enrollment, here.)
18. "Despite Slight Gains, Study Finds Women and Minorities Still Underrepresented at Law Firms," 12.15.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "A new report on diversity in U.S. law firms published Friday by the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) found that despite slight increases in their ranks in 2017, the number of women and African-Americans at the associate level is still below pre-recession figures."
a. "Representation of Women and African-Americans Among Law Firm Associates Increases Slightly but Remains Below Pre-recession Levels," 12.15.17.
You can read the NALP press release here. And you can download the full NALP 2017 Report on Diversity in US Law Firms here.
b. "Percentage of women and minorities at law firms increased slightly in 2017, NALP report says," 12.15.17.
More on this from the ABA Journal.
19. "Law School Is Hot Again as Politics Piques Interest," 12.15.17.
Sara Randazzo, writing for The Wall Street Journal, reports that "The number of people applying to law school for next fall is up nearly 12% compared with the same period a year earlier, and around 14% more applications have been submitted, according to the Law School Admission Council." (Subscription required.)
20. "Here's How One Managing Partner Approaches Lateral Hiring," 12.15.17.
The Daily Report profiles Nelson Mullins Atlanta office managing partner Michael Hollingsworth and the approach he takes to lateral hiring.
21. "Ryerson law school proposal approved by federation," 12.14.17.
Canadian Lawyer reports that "the federation of Law Societies of Canada has granted preliminary approval to Ryerson University's proposed new law school." ("Ryerson says its proposed law school will offer graduates a new kind of program, one that is more focused on innovation than existing law schools.")
December 15, 2017
1. "For Blacks in Boston, A Power Outage," 12.15.17.
A searing article in The Boston Globe about how "blacks still find themselves shut out of the insular world of Massachusetts' powerbrokers." ("The data showed fewer than 1 percent of law partners in Boston law firms last year were black.")
2. "In 2018, Law Firms Will Face Greater Challenges Than Slow Growth," 12.14.17.
The National Law Journal reports on the publication of the Citi Private Bank 2018 Client Advisory that suggests slow growth, dispersion, and volatility will continue to be the norm for the sector. A copy of the report itself can be found here.
3. "A Looming Asteroid For Law Schools: Proposed $28,500 Annual Federal Loan Cap," 12.14.17.
This post on the TaxProf Blog responds to the Inside Higher Ed article immediately below that reports the proposed cap on federal loans for non-medical graduate and professional students: "If it passes…there would be an immediate crisis in funding law school."
a. "Reversal on Graduate Lending," 12.11.17.
Inside Higher Ed reports that the proposed legislation to update the Higher Education Act that is currently making its way through Congress would cap annual borrowing amounts for grad students under federal loan programs, and would change the income-driven repayment options and eliminate Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
4. "5 Legal Tips for a Safe and Happy Office Party," 12.14.17.
Corporate Counsel offers advice for safe and happy holiday parties.
a. "From Ho, Ho, Ho to No, No, No! Office Parties Feel the Chill," 12.08.17.
The New York Times reports that "Holiday gatherings have become toned-down affairs as executives respond to demands to cut costs, improve company morale and, this year, address sexual harassment in the workplace."
5. "Some Charlotte School of Law students wrongly denied discharge of federal loans, NC AG's office says," 12.14.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "dozens of former Charlotte School of Law students who were on approved leaves of absence when the law school closed in August were improperly denied closed-school loan discharge, according to the North Carolina attorney general's office."
6. "The Law Firm Disrupted: A Hitch in a 'New Law' Business Model," 12.14.17.
Law.com's The Law Firm Disrupted column suggests there are some inherent weaknesses in the virtual law firm model, including vulnerabilities to group departures and spin-offs, and points to some recent examples to make the case.
7. "Nearly 5 Million Americans in Default on Student Loans," 12.13.17.
The Wall Street Journal reports that according to new data from the Education Department, "the number of Americans severely behind on payments on federal student loans [has doubled] from four years ago, despite a historically long stretch of US job creation and steady economic growth."
a. "Growing Number of Borrowers Are in Default," 12.14.17.
More on this from Inside Higher Ed.
8. "Troubled Law School Loses Restraining Order Bid Against ABA Over Admissions Practices," 12.13.17.
The National Law Journal reports that a federal judge has denied a bid by Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School to block the ABA from posting a noncompliance letter about the school's admissions practices.
a. "Cooley Law School loses request for temporary restraining order in lawsuit against ABA," 12.13.17.
More on this from the ABA Journal.
b. "Federal Court Chides Western Michigan-Thomas Cooley Law School For Seeking TRO To Block ABA's Release Of Letter On School's Noncompliance With Accreditation Standards," 12.14.17.
And more from Paul Caron at TaxProf Blog on this: "the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan has denied the TRO in a blistering opinion."
9. "Amid Law Firm Merger Boom, 'Transformational' Talks on the Rise," 12.13.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that "an ever-increasing number of large law firms are entertaining merger discussions."
10. "There's No Shortcut to Legal Operations Maturity," 12.13.17.
Legaltech News reports on the results of the 2017 Law Department Operations Survey, noting that "most survey respondents feel their law department operations in general are quite mature."
11. "These 7 law schools may be the most underrated," 12.13.17.
The ABA Journal reports on a new study that ranks law schools based on undergraduate grade point average and Law School Admission Test scores. A copy of the Alabama Law Review article about the study can be found here.
12. "Kent Syverud And Dan Rodriguez On The GRE/LSAT Debate," 12.13.17.
Kent Syverud, Chancellor and President of Syracuse and former dean at the Vanderbilt and Wash U law schools, and Dan Rodriguez, the dean at the law school at Northwestern, both longtime leaders in legal education circles, sparred publicly over the GRE/LSAT debate this week; the TaxProf Blog has published the correspondence.
13. "Gains for Female Students in MBA Programs," 12.13.17.
Inside Higher Ed reports that "MBA programs, in which male students have long been in the majority, are making progress in enrolling greater numbers of women."
14. "New Study Predicts More Uncertainty, Hot Lateral Market in 2018," 12.12.17.
The American Lawyer reports that a new study from Major, Lindsey & Africa predicts industry volatility and continued pressure on law firms to drive costs down and efficiency and productivity up.
15. "When Judges Prey on Clerks," 12.12.17.
A strong op-ed in The New York Times from a Penn State law prof who writes that "if there are credible reports that a judge's chambers are not safe for our graduates, professors should band together, refuse to send our students to that judge and publicly explain why."
16. "Competition Among LPO Providers Is About to Enter a New and Intense Phase," 12.12.17.
The American Lawyer reports that competition among legal process outsourcers is about to heat up as that market continues to evolve, and makes some predictions about how the competition is likely to shake out.
17. "Should a Resume Be One Page?," 12.12.17.
Julie Brush, writing for The Recorder, says that there is no rule that a resume must fit on one page, and provides good advice for evaluating resume content.
18. "Sexual Harassment Cases Show the Ineffectiveness of Going to HR," 12.12.17.
The New York Times reports on "the complicated role that human resources departments play in harassment cases."
a. "Sexual Harassment Training Doesn't Work. But Some Things Do.," 12.11.17.
The New York Times Upshot column looks at the research surrounding sexual harassment training in the workplace and concludes: "Training is essential but not enough, researchers say. To actually prevent harassment, companies need to create a culture in which women are treated as equals and employees treat one another with respect."
19. "Shut Out: SCOTUS Law Clerks Still Mostly White and Male," 12.11.17.
The National Law Journal reports that "Since 2005…85 percent of all [SCOTUS] law clerks have been white. Only 20 of the 487 clerks hired by the justices were African-American, and nine were Hispanic."
a. "SCOTUS Clerks: The Law School Pipeline," 12.11.17.
The National Law Journal reports that "50 percent of all Supreme Court law clerks in the past 13 years graduated from either Harvard or Yale."
b. "Justice Thomas Ventures Beyond Elite Schools to Fill Clerkship Posts," 12.11.17.
The National Law Journal reports that Justice Clarence Thomas "has hired from 23 different law schools since 2005, with one-third of his clerks coming from schools outside the Top 10 on the US News and World Report rankings."
c. "Stanford No. 3 Among Supreme Court Feeder Schools," 12.12.17.
The Recorder reports that "Stanford Law School has had the third-highest number of alumni land clerkships at the US Supreme Court during Chief Justice John Roberts' tenure."
d. "How Columbia and NYU Law Schools Position Graduates for US Supreme Court Clerkships," 12.12.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that "in the New York market, Columbia and NYU law schools have become a pipeline to the Supreme Court."
e. "How Jones Day Cornered the Market on SCOTUS Clerks," 12.12.17.
The American Lawyer reports on the unprecedented number of former US Supreme Court clerks hired by Jones Day.
f. "Lessons From Long-Shot SCOTUS Clerks: Work Hard, Stand Out, Stay Grounded," 12.12.17.
Karen Sloan, writing for Law.com, profiles four "unlikely SCOTUS clerks to provide a glimpse of how hard work, happenstance, and well-placed mentors can pave a nontraditional path to the US Supreme Court."
20. "Boutiques Aim to 'Blow the Lid Off' With Associate Bonuses," 12.11.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "nationwide…boutique law firms have…announced associate bonuses equaling or exceeding those offered at Cravath, Swaine & Moore."
21. "When Law Firms See an Upside in Moving Downmarket," 12.11.17.
The second in a series of articles from The Legal Intelligencer about how law firms fit into the middle market.
22. "Lawyer contractors on the rise," 12.11.17.
Canadian Lawyer reports that "law firms are increasingly looking to hire lawyers on a contract or temporary basis."
23. "ABA is 'greatly concerned' about low percentage of female and minority US attorney candidates," 12.11.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "ABA President Hilarie Bass has sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions that asks him to urge senators proposing US attorney candidates to take diversity into account."
24. "To Adopt Legal Tech, Lawyers Need to Start Thinking Like Entrepreneurs," 12.11.17.
This piece in Legaltech News makes the case that "this disruptive age…requires lawyers to increasingly act more like disruptive entrepreneurs, shifting away from [their] traditional mindset."
25. "Law society to widen scope of family law," 12.11.17.
Canada's Law Times reports that the Law Society of Upper Canada will open some parts of family law to paralegals, creating a new license for paralegals that would train them on some aspects of family law.
26. "Wildfires Wreak Havoc on Los Angeles Lawyers, Law Schools," 12.08.17.
The Recorder reports that law schools, law firms and lawyers in the Los Angeles area have been affected by the wildfires and the resultant mandatory evacuations, power outages, and other complications.
27. "The limited license legal technician is the way of the future of law," 12.08.17.
One of the co-founders of Evolve Law, writing for the ABA Journal, makes the case that the Washington State Bar Association's Limited License Legal Technician program (the only paraprofessional program of its kind, fully operational, within the United States) is the way forward for providing both access to justice and ordinary people access to legal services.
28. "Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law Will Accept GRE," 12.08.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that "the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law became the fourth law school in New York to announce it was accepting the Graduate Record Exam in addition to LSAT scores for applicants in 2018."
29. "Why Is Law Firm Innovation Failing? How to Push for Success," 12.08.17.
This article from The Legal Intelligencer takes a look at the state of law firm innovation.
30. "Legal Jobs Up in November," 12.08.17.
The American Lawyer reports that the latest USBLS numbers show that the US legal industry gained 600 jobs in November, a number that still leaves the sector with about 50,000 fewer jobs than the pre-recession high measured in 2007.
31. "NY Law Schools See Early Rise in Applications," 12.07.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that New York law schools are enjoying their share of the national rise in the number of law school applications and law school applicants.
32. "What Does 'Weinstein Effect' Mean for Law Firms Facing Gender Discrimination Claims?," 12.07.17.
The American Lawyer reports that law firms find themselves suddenly under heightened scrutiny as they contend with "the reputational and legal risks associated with a potential claim of sexual misconduct or gender discrimination."
33. "Millennials See Paternity Leave as a Priority," 11.28.17.
The New York Times reports that research suggests millennials value parental leave more than earlier generations and that many industries are engaging in "an arms race to provide the best parental leave benefits for fathers as well as mothers."
December 8, 2017
1. "Big Law Looks On as 'New Law' Gets Closer to Clients," 12.07.17.
The American Lawyer suggests that the deal between UnitedLex and DXC Technology to essentially outsource the corporation's in-house legal department is a Kodak moment for the legal industry, marking a historic break with the past as new law begins to replace old law in very real ways.
a. "UnitedLex to Support Bulk of DXC Technology's In-House Department," 12.05.17.
Corporate Counsel reports that United-Lex will essentially take over the bulk of the in-house responsibilities of a large corporation in what is being called "the largest-ever managed services transaction in the legal industry."
2. "Law School Applications on the Rise," 12.07.17.
Law.com reports that "as of Dec. 1, the number of law school applicants was up by 12 percent…compared with this time last year, while the number of applications was up by 15 percent."
a. "NY Law Schools See Early Rise in Applications," 12.07.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that New York law schools are experiencing a rise in applications.
3. "Law Schools Say: Please Come, No LSAT Required," 12.07.17.
The Wall Street Journal reports on the rise in the number of law schools that will accept the GRE in lieu of the LSAT — at least 14 law schools by their count.
a. "Touting Diverse Career Backgrounds, Brooklyn Law Says It Will Accept GRE Scores," 12.06.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that "with a nod to students from sciences, engineering, medicine and technology backgrounds, Brooklyn Law School announced on Tuesday that it will soon begin accepting Graduate Record Exam scores from applicants to the school."
4. "Banning Laptops in Law School Classes?," 12.06.17.
This Slaw post argues that laptops should probably be banned in law school classrooms in order to enhance learning, and should perhaps be banned in courtrooms as well.
5. "'Many' Sedgwick Lawyers to Join UK Law Firm in New Year," 12.05.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "a team of San Francisco-based Sedgwick lawyers…will be joining the US arm of insurance-focused British firm Clyde & Co on Jan. 1."
6. "Moody's Downgrades Higher Ed's Outlook From 'Stable' to 'Negative'," 12.05.17.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that Moody's cited financial strains and uncertainty over federal policy changes in downgrading its outlook for higher education from stable to negative.
7. "Do Mergers Increase Profitability?," 12.05.17.
The American Lawyer says the answer is yes, but not for the reasons that most people think.
8. "Middle Market Proves Top Prospect for Many Am Law Firms," 12.04.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "a number of law firms have doubled down on their commitment to the middle market…businesses with $50 million to $500 million in annual revenue…clients who want deep relationships with their lawyers more than a big brand-name firm."
9. "Time for graduated licensing for lawyers," 12.04.17.
Canada's Law Times calls for graduated licensing for lawyers in Ontario, calling for three different tiers of licensing that would reflect different levels of experience within the different areas of the law.
10. "Students From UPenn, Other Elite Law Schools Vow to Combat Mental Health Suffering on Campuses," 12.01.17.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that "the student leaders from 13 of the nation's top law schools have pledged to broaden mental health initiatives on their campuses and to fight the stigma of seeking treatment."
11. "With Rise of Startup Culture, Millennials Are Moving In-House," 12.01.17.
Corporate Counsel reports that the fast paced, hands-on work at innovative startups is pulling more lawyers in-house straight out of law school, especially in Silicon Valley.
12. "No, Really. Compliance Is Fun. And It's Good For Business.," 12.01.17.
A Chief Compliance Officer writing for the Daily Report makes the case for compliance being a rich and satisfying career, and an area of expertise that helps support the mission of the organization.
13. "AI Will Transform the Economy, But How Much, and How Soon?,"11.30.17.
The New York Times takes a look at new research to try to understand the likely trajectory, reach and influence of the AI boom and concludes: "It can probably do less right now than you think. But it will eventually do more than you probably think, in more places than you probably think, and will probably evolve faster than powerful technologies have in the past."
14. "The Law Firm Disrupted: A Big Law Leader Sees Tech as a Threat," 11.30.17.
The American Lawyer speaks with Winston & Strawn chairman Thomas Fitzgerald about "the threat technology poses to the future of the Big Law business model, and how to respond to the competition created by alternative legal service providers."
15. "We Need to Talk About Dog-Whistle Diversity," 11.29.17.
A good piece on diversity from Time magazine: "Though the companies are increasing the headcount of multicultural employees, they are missing what researchers call effective diversity management, or the inclusion piece."
November 17, 2017
1. "ABA works to address attorney substance abuse and mental health disorders," December 2017.
From the December issue of the ABA Journal magazine, ABA President Hilarie Bass writes about the recommendations in the new report from the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, "The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change."
2. "GC Compensation Is Up, as the Gender Pay Gap Lives On," 11.30.17.
Corporate Counsel reports on the results of the 2017 In-House Counsel Compensation Survey from MLA, noting that general counsel saw overall pay increase 9.6% over the last year, but that there continues to be a gender pay gap at all levels in legal departments.
3. "Bay Area Hits Diversity Milestone With 100 Asian-American GCs, But More Work Remains," 11.30.17.
The Recorder reports that "Six years ago, there were about 30 Asian-American general counsel in the Bay Area. Now, there are more than 100."
4. "Black Female Lawyers Face the Double Jeopardy of Racial and Gender Stereotyping," 11.29.17.
Vivia Chen, writing for The American Lawyer, reports that "according to a new Harvard Law School study of black alumni, male black alums were more likely to be partners than their female counterparts…and far more likely to have leadership roles."
5. "Valpo Law seeks new way forward amid 'severe financial challenges'," 11.29.17.
The Indiana Lawyer has more on the status of Valparaiso Law School, which has announced that it will not admit students for the fall of 2018, and is considering affiliating with another law school or relocating to another geographic region.
6. "Can the GRE Cure What Ails Law Schools?," 11.29.17.
Law.com reports that what is driving law schools to adopt the GRE as an alternative admissions test is not just more applications, but "a potential to improve not only the gender, racial and ethnic mix of law students, but also broader metrics such as socioeconomic status, educational background and professional experience."
7. "ABA voices opposition to elimination of school loan interest deduction in Tax Cuts and Jobs Act," 11.29.17.
The ABA Journal reports that the director of the ABA's government affairs office has written to the chairs of the House Committee on Ways and Means, and the US Senate Committee on Finance, urging that the student loan interest deductions be kept in place.
8. "After ABA Sanction, John Marshall Dean Says School Is Committed to Improve Bar-Pass Rate," 12.28.17.
The Daily Report reports that the Dean of Atlanta's John Marshall Law School is committed to both improving the school's bar passage rate and preserving the school's historic mission of serving the legal needs of the community.
9. "Taking One for the Team: Companies Foster Collaboration," 11.28.17.
This Wall Street Journal story about the importance of collaboration in the business setting says that "employers in most industries are trying to foster employee collaboration across departments to help them react more rapidly to changes in their markets…[and] teaming employees with diverse backgrounds also tends to produce better ideas and decisions."
10. "Should I Include My GPA on My Resume?," 11.28.17.
Julie Brush, writing for The Recorder, says that "employers who hire legal professionals do not expect a candidate's numerical GPA to be included on the resume."
11. "Bonus Season Begins as Cravath Again Sets the Stage," 11.27.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that Cravath, Swaine & Moore has announced year-end bonuses on a scale with last year, and additional firms are following suit.
a. "Cravath announces bonuses that repeat last year's amounts; other firms follow suit," 11.28.17.
More from the ABA Journal on the 2017 law firm associate bonus season.
b. "Bonuses Come With Billable Hours Catch at Some Law Firms," 11.29.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that "some firms are setting billable hour requirements for bonuses this year."
12. "The legal profession is diversifying. But not at the top.," 11.271.7.
The Washington Post reports on the latest research from the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, that finds, among other things, "African American attorneys make up a slightly smaller percentage at law firms now — 3 percent — than they did a decade ago."
13. "Bryan Cave, BLP Merger Talks Move Forward With Deloitte," 11.27.17.
The American Lawyer reports that Deloitte has been retained to advise Bryan Cave and Berwin Leighton Paisner on their proposed merger.
14. "At Midsize Firms, It Pays to Give Millennials a Voice," 11.27.17.
The American Lawyer reports that regional and midsize firms are evolving to accommodate the generational shift.
15. "Vast Majority of NY Law Schools Improve Bar Exam Passing Rates," 11.27.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that "graduates of 12 of the state's 15 law schools passed the New York bar exam in July 2017 at higher rates than their classmates did a year earlier." ("Overall, 86% of first-time test takers made the grade, an improvement of 4 percentage points from July 2016.")
16. "What 2017's Trends Can mean for Big Law in 2018," 11.26.17.
The American Lawyer identifies key industry trends it expects to intensify in 2018, among them, mounting gender discrimination lawsuits, ongoing law firm mergers and consolidation, high lateral volume focused on practice group movement, ever more technology, and more non-JDs in C-suite management positions.
17. "The Rise and Fall of a Law-School Empire Fueled by Federal Loans," 11.24.17.
A good, and sobering, article in The Wall Street Journal about the rise and fall of the three InfiLaw System law schools. (Subscription required.)
a. "Report: For-Profit Looking to Sell 2 Law Schools," 11.29.17.
And Inside Higher Ed takes note of the WSJ story, noting that "for-profit law school chain InfiLaw is looking to sell its two remaining law programs."
18. "Why Law Firms Should Already Be Embracing the Mobile Workforce," 11.22.17.
The Legal Intelligencer writes that law firms that are reluctant to embrace work-from-home policies need to understand that "the average worker who has the ability to work from home is not only more engaged but is often more productive."
19. "Millennials Keep Atlanta's Largest Law Firms on the Ball," 11.22.17.
The Daily Report reports that law firms in Atlanta "are providing more training and mentoring to advance millennials' lawyering and business development skills [and] are taking millennials' viewpoint into account on everything from office redesign to new legal technologies, and they are creating more flexible workplaces."
20. "Laptops Are Great. But Not During a Lecture or a Meeting.," 11.22.17.
The New York Times reports that "a growing body of evidence shows that over all, college students learn less when they use computers or tablets during lectures," and suggests that laptops hurt productivity in all kinds of workplaces.
21. "alt.legal: Law Schools Can, Should, And Must Teach Innovation," 11.22.17.
Above the Law speaks with Dan Linna, the technology and innovation guru at Michigan State's law school who is the Director of LegalRnD at the Center for Legal Services Innovation there.
22. "How to Get Out of a Job Rut," 11.22.17.
Julie Brush, writing for The Recorder, has career advice for those who have been in a job for a long time.
23. "10 Law Schools Sanctioned by ABA for Lax Admissions," 11.21.17.
The National Law Journal reports that "the American Bar Association has publicly disciplined 10 law schools since August 2016 for enrolling students that it says are unlikely to graduate and pass the bar."
24. "As More Partners Depart, Sedgwick Confirms Plans to Close," 11.21.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "San Francisco-based Sedgwick will be shuttering its operations in early January."
a. "Sedgwick announces it is closing in January," 11.21.17.
More on this from the ABA Journal.
b. "Duane Morris Takes Sedgwick Employment Group, With More to Come," 11.28.17.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that "nearly a dozen employment lawyers from soon-to-close Sedgwick are joining Duane Morris' San Francisco office, and additional Sedgwick lawyers may soon follow."
25. "UC Hastings Law to Add AI, Startup Tech Courses," 11.21.17.
Legaltech News reports that "UC Hastings College of the Law recently announced its new course offerings…including two new courses centering on technology and its potential applications to the law…'Using Artificial Intelligence in Legal Practice,' and 'Legal Tech Startup Skills'," both of which are part of the school's new innovation hub, LexLab.
26. "Berkeley Law Offering a Realistic Taste of Patent Practice," 11.21.17.
The Recorder reports that two prominent IP litigators are teaching an advanced patent litigation course at Berkeley that will have students drafting and arguing petitions for inter partes review.
27. "GSU Names Hensel as Law School Dean," 11.21.17.
The Daily Report reports that Georgia State University College of Law "has named Wendy Hensel, who has been serving as interim dean for the past four and a half months, as the law school's new leader."
28. "Harvard Faces DOJ Probe Over Affirmative-Action Policies," 11.21.17.
The Wall Street Journal reports that "the Justice Department has opened an investigation into the use of race in Harvard University's admissions practices and has accused the university of failing to cooperate with the probe."
a. "Justice Department opens Harvard admissions probe, threatens to sue for documents," 11.21.17.
The ABA Journal also reports on this story: "The Justice Department is investigating whether Harvard's admissions policies violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which bans discrimination in programs receiving federal funding." (An underlying suit contends that Harvard discriminates by limiting the number of Asian-Americans admitted to the university.)
b. "Justice Dept. Says Harvard Is Not Complying With Probe on Race in Admissions," 11.21.17.
More on this from The Chronicle of Higher Education.
29. "The Millennial Influence," 11.21.17.
A good post in Slaw on "a new report from The Action Group on Access to Justice…Millennials, Technology and Access to Justice in Ontario was released in October in an effort to help answer questions [like] Why would Ontario Millennials seek justice through technology? Are Ontario Millennials ready for disruptive services in the justice sector?"
30. "University of Illinois at Chicago reveals 'preliminary discussions' to add John Marshall Law School," 11.20.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "the University of Illinois at Chicago revealed on Monday that it has been in 'preliminary discussions' with the John Marshall Law School to explore absorbing it into the university."
a. "UIC may absorb John Marshall Law School," 11.20.17.
Crain's Chicago Business broke this story last week.
b. "Law School May Join U Illinois at Chicago," 11.22.17.
And more on this from Inside Higher Ed.
31. "Husch Blackwell Layoffs Hit Partner, Counsel Ranks," 11.20.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "Kansas City, Missouri-based Husch Blackwell confirmed Monday that it is letting go of about 40 lawyers, roughly 4 percent of the Am Law 100 firm's head count."
a. "Husch Blackwell cuts about 40 lawyers through layoffs and retirements," 11.20.17.
More on this story from the ABA Journal.
32. "Cooley Law School has it 'exactly backward' and students deserve to know the truth, ABA filing says," 11.20.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "the American Bar Association decision that Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School was 'significantly out of compliance' with an accreditation standard regarding admissions was final and not subject to further appeal, the association argued Friday in a response brief to Cooley Law's motion for a temporary restraining order to seal the finding."
33. "3 More Law Schools Will Accept GRE, Not Just LSAT," 11.20.17.
Inside Higher Ed reports that the law schools at St. John's University, Texas A&M University, and Wake Forest University will all begin accepting the GRE for admission purposes.
34. "Orrick Labs to Build Law Firm Technology In-House," 11.20.17.
Legaltech News reports that "Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has launched Orrick Labs, an in-house technology incubator tasked with developing efficiency for the firm."
35. "Legal ops moves to role of in-house quarterback," 11.20.17.
Canadian Lawyer speaks with Richard Steward, BMO Financial Group's deputy general counsel and chief operating officer with their legal, corporate & compliance group, about the coming of age of Legal Ops.
36. "Ropes & Gray's Next Chair Will Be a Woman," 11.20.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "Ropes & Gray has selected corporate partner Julie Jones to become the firm's first-ever chairwoman."
37. "Why In-House Counsel Have Made LGBTQ Inclusion a Priority," 11.20.17.
In the wake of the publication of HRC's 2018 Corporate Equality Index, Corporate Counsel speaks with "several in-house attorneys from top-ranked companies about why and how they've focused on making their workplaces LGBTQ-friendly."
38. "The Decline of the PeopleLaw Sector," 11.19.17.
The latest from Bill Henderson's Legal Evolution blog, wherein he uses some new data to support what he says is an obvious truth: "Our legal system as it pertains to ordinary people is unraveling."
39. "When Unpaid Student Loan Bills Mean You Can No Longer Work," 11.18.17.
The New York Times reports that "in 19 states, government agencies can seize state-issued professional licenses from residents who default on their educational debts…[and] another state suspends driver's licenses." ("Public records requests by The New York Times identified at least 8,700 cases in which licenses were taken away or put at risk of suspension in recent years, although that tally almost certainly understates the true number.")
40. "California Bar Exam Ends 3-Year Slide, As Nearly Half Pass July Sitting," 11.17.17.
The Recorder reports that "the percentage of prospective lawyers who passed California's July bar exam crept upward to 49.6 percent, ending a three-year skid in scores marked last year by the lowest pass rate — 43 percent — in three decades." ("The success rate for graduates of American Bar Association-approved law schools in California rose from 62 percent in July 2016 to 70 percent this year."
a. "California sees increase in pass rates for July 2017 despite denying requests to lower cut score," 11.20.17.
And the ABA Journal reports on this story as well.
b. "UC Hastings Law Dean Calls Bar Exam Failure for Top Schools 'Unconscionable'," 11.20.17.
The Recorder reports that despite the small overall rise in the pass rate for the July bar exam in California, UC Hastings Dean David Faigman remains critical of the California Supreme Court for not lowering the state's cut score.
41. "UC Berkeley Law Tackles Blockchain with New Interdisciplinary Course," 11.17.17.
Legaltech News reports that "University of California, Berkeley School of Law this spring will offer an interdisciplinary course, 'Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, and the Future of Technology, Business and Law,' that will explore some of the potential uses and concerns around blockchain technology," and will be open to students from the law school, business school, and the undergraduate engineering department.
42. "EDI and Duke Law Partner on 'Advanced eDiscovery' Curriculum," 11.17.17.
Legaltech News reports that Duke Law School and the non-profit Electronic Discovery Institute have announced an 'Advanced eDiscovery' curriculum "aimed at legal and other professionals seeking deep mastery of eDiscovery strategy and best practices in litigation."
43. "Introducing the Law Firm Disrupted," 11.17.17.
Law.com introduces a new weekly column about law firm disruption and the biggest challenges and opportunities facing law firms today — here Roy Strom predicts, among other things, that "Silicon Valley will try to replace lawyers, but that will take a long time if it happens on a meaningful scale."
44. "This Australian AI Aims to Be a 'Law Firm Without Lawyers'," 11.17.17.
Legaltech News reports that an Australian legal tech startup has rolled out a "Law Firm Without Lawyers" service — essentially a chatbot that answers legal questions and provides legal documents at a shopping complex in northern Australia.
45. "After Trump's election, more students consider law school, hoping to make a difference," 11.17.17.
And finally, the Chicago Tribune reports on the rise in the number of LSAT test-takers.
November 17, 2017
1. "Wells Fargo Report Shows Legal Market Stalled in Third Quarter," 11.16.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "the legal market took a turn for the worse in the third quarter of the year, according to a report released Thursday by Wells Fargo & Co."
2. "Valparaiso law school told by board to not admit first-year students in 2018," 11.16.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "the Valparaiso University board of directors has voted to suspend the admission of first-year students at the law school for the fall of 2018."
a. "Valparaiso Law School Suspends Admissions," 11.16.17.
More on this from The Wall Street Journal: "This year's incoming class had just 29 full-time students, down from 206 in 2013." (Subscription required.)
b. "Law School Won't Admit New Students," 11.17.17.
More on this from Inside Higher Ed: "…the university is going to seek to merge its law school with that of another institution, or to move the law school to another part of the country, where it might attract more students."
c. "ABA removes accreditation censure for Valparaiso School of Law," 11.14.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "a public censure given to Valparaiso University School of Law for not being in compliance with admissions standards has been removed by the Council of the ABA's Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar."
3. "Cooley Law seeks TRO to prevent ABA from releasing accreditation findings," 11.16.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School has filed a federal lawsuit against the American Bar Association, alleging that a letter made public about the school's accreditation compliance violates the Higher Education Act and common law due process."
4. "CLOC Survey Shows Legal Departments Still Spending More Externally," 11.16.17.
Corporate Counsel reports that "a survey released this week by the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium…[reveals] that a large percentage of the legal budget still goes to external legal costs."
5. "Calls for Tougher Oversight of For-Profit Law School," 11.15.17.
Inside Higher Ed reports that that all three of the law schools run by InfiLaw have struggled to maintain compliance with ABA admission and bar passage standards for accreditation, and Department of Education gainful employment ratings that evaluate the debt-to-earnings ratios of the schools' graduates.
6. "ABA places Thomas Jefferson School of Law on probation," 11.15.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "Thomas Jefferson School of Law has been placed on probation by the Council of the ABA's Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar."
7. Survey: Law Departments' Legal Spend Stabilizing," 11.15.17.
Corporate Counsel reports that the HBR 2017 Law Department Survey shows that "law departments bulked up staff numbers this past year, while total legal spending began to stabilize."
8. "Lights, Camera, Action at UCLA Law for Documentary Film Clinic," 11.15.17.
The Recorder reports that the law school at UCLA "will be offering free legal assistance to independent filmmakers at its new Documentary Film Legal Clinic, opening spring semester."
9. "Dentons, in Latest Growth Bid, Launches In-House Consulting Service," 11.15.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "Dentons announced on Wednesday the formation of a consulting service…staffed by more than 50 former general counsel…that will help corporate law departments adopt technology and legal project management; select outside counsel; and mentor new general counsel."
10. "Succession Still a Struggle for Law Firms, States New Study," 11.15.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "a new survey by ALM Legal Intelligence finds that a third of law firms don't have succession plans for leadership or client relations."
11. "Why are women lawyers leaving the profession mid-career? ABA initiative hopes to answer the question," 11.15.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "an ABA initiative to study why women are leaving the profession mid-career kicked off last week with a summit at Harvard Law School."
12. "A Deep Dive Into Axiom," 11.15.17.
In his Legal Evolution blog Bill Henderson writes that "Axiom has become the leading exemplar of the NewLaw sector," and explains why that is so by looking at Axiom's founding values and evolving business model.
13. "Wisconsin considers law school loan repayment for lawyers willing to represent rural clients," 11.14.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "Wisconsin lawmakers are considering a bill that would pay up to $20,000 annually toward attorneys' school loans, providing they practice in remotely populated areas of the state and take court-appointed cases."
14. "How to Line Up the Best References Before a Job Search," 11.14.17.
More good advice from Julie Brush, writing for The Recorder, on how best to solicit references before you need them.
15. "For Alternative Providers, Your Biggest Client Is Their Biggest Opportunity,"11.14.17.
The American Lawyer reports that new research from CLOC shows that "the largest companies are the most receptive to using new ways to solve their legal problems."
16. "Northwestern Law School, ROSS Intelligence Move Forward with AI Partnership," 11.14.17.
Legaltech News reports that "Northwestern University's Pritzker School of Law and Ross Intelligence are moving forward with a partnership that will let students use new technology [artificial intelligence] in classrooms and public interest activities."
17. "No Pain, No Gain for Law Firms as Client Demands Get More Extreme," 11.14.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "with demand still slack and competition among top firms fiercer than ever, corporate clients are finding new ways to exploit their advantage."
18. "State Bar Incubator's First Batch of Lawyers Leaves the Nest," 11.14.17.
The Daily Report reviews the State Bar of Georgia's innovative incubator program as the first class of its lawyers moves on — the program is a collaborative effort by the state bar and its five law schools.
19. "Following 'Mansfield Rule' Popularity, Diversity Lab Touts 2 New Hackathons," 10.13.17.
The American Lawyer reports that following the "success of the 2016 Women in Law Hackathon that produced the widely implemented Mansfield Rule, the Diversity Lab, an organization dedicated to closing the gender diversity gap in the legal profession, is poised to announce this week that it will be holding two new hackathon sessions in 2018."
20. "Showing Better 2017 Financial Results Just Got a Little Tougher," 11.13.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "Law firms'…revenue growth decelerated from the first half of the year," according to new data from Citi Private Bank.
21. "Unhappy Hour: Law Firms' Drinking Culture Amplifies Sexual Harassment Problems," 11.13.17.
Patrick Krill, writing for Law.com, argues that "free-flowing booze is certainly a risk-factor for inciting behavior that can range from mildly annoying and inappropriate to wholly outrageous and legally actionable." (Watch for an article on lawyer well-being from Patrick Krill and his colleague Paula Davis-Laack in the February issue of NALP's PD Quarterly.)
22. "New International Enrollments Decline," 11.13.17.
Inside Higher Ed reports that "after years of growth, enrollments of international students at American universities started to flatten in fall 2016, and a downward trend in new enrollments appears to be accelerating this academic year."
23. "Small Law Firms Gather to Get Advice of Their Own," 11.13.17.
The New York Law Journal reports on the proceedings of the 14th annual small law firm symposium of the New York City Bar Association.
24. "LSAT-Takers Trending Up Following 5-Year Plunge. Why?," 11.10.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "LSAT numbers have seen modest single-digit gains in the last two testing years, following a five-year decline in which the number of LSAT test-takers dropped by nearly 41 percent."
25. "'A Wake Up Call' for Companies in Weinstein, Spacey Scandals," 11.10.17.
Corporate Counsel reports that legal fallout from recent high profile sexual harassment and assault allegations is affecting companies and their general counsel across the country.
a. "The Workplace After Harvey Weinstein: Harassment Scandals Prompts Rapid Changes," 11.10.17.
The Wall Street Journal reports that "sexual misconduct claims in Hollywood and beyond have prompted firms to scrutinize how employees work together." (Subscription required.)
26. "New Rivalries Emerge as Law Firms Race to Innovate," 11.10.17.
The American Lawyer reports that law firms and alternative legal services providers are racing to harness technology to help clients navigate EU privacy regulations, and looks at new technology developments at Orrick, DLA, Hogan, and Axiom, among others.
27. "Why Millennial Lawyers Aren't Flocking to Top Pa. Cities," 11.10.17.
The Legal Intelligencer reports that "young lawyers are less plentiful in Pennsylvania's big cities than in many other metro areas."
28. "Law Firm's Internship Program Offers Military Veterans a Career Stepping Stone," 11.09.17.
The New York Law Journal takes a look at a veteran's internship program at Hughes Hubbard & Reed, now in its second year, aimed at helping veterans transition out of the military and into the private sector.
29. "alt.legal: Diffusing Innovation In The Law, The Amazing Work of Bill Henderson," 11.08.17.
This piece from Thomson Reuters published by Above the Law argues that "Bill has thought more deeply about legal innovation than anyone out there."
November 10, 2017
1. "Percentage of New Women Partners Rising Slowly; Still Low Compared to Men," 11.09.17.
The American Lawyer reports that "a record number of women made partner in 2017, but female attorneys still lag far behind their male counterparts in promotions to partnership, according to a new report by the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance."
2. "Big Law Outpaces Big Biz for LGBTQ Equality," 11.09.17.
The American Lawyer reports that according to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's latest Corporate Equality Index findings, "the country's biggest law firms continue to outpace corporate America in their level of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employees." ("Of the 160 large firms that participated in this year's [CEI]…127 received perfect scores, up from 112 last year.")
3. "Texas law school serving at-risk students achieves 59% bar pass rate," 11.09.17.
The ABA Journal reports that "the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law, which opened in 2014 to help students with lower admission credentials gain law licenses, had a 59.3 percent pass rate for the July 2017 Texas bar exam, its first graduating class."
4. "ABA Summit Examines Why Seasoned Women Are Leaving the Law," 11.08.17.
The American Lawyer reports that the ABA's Long-Term Careers for Women in Law initiative held its initial event at Harvard this week, "where heads of law firms and legal departments attempted to disentangle the riddle as to why seasoned female lawyers are leaving the law."
5. "Most In-House Law Departments Spend 'Inefficiently,' Study Says," 11.08.17.
The American Lawyer reports on new research that suggests "six out of 10 in-house law departments allocate their legal spend inefficiently."
6. "St. John's University School of Law Announces It Will Take GRE Scores," 11.08.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that "St. John's University School of Law announced Wednesday that it will accept Graduate Record Exam scores for its JD program starting with applicants for the Fall 2018 class."
7. "Think Your Law School Is 'Innovative?' This Professor Has a Ranking System," 11.07.17.
Legaltech News reports that Michigan State University has developed a ranking system for innovative law schools.
a. "Michigan State institute tracks law school innovation," 11.07.17.
The ABA Journal has more on the Law School Innovation Index that was launched by Michigan State University last week.
8. "Lawmakers ask Dept. of Ed to extend student loan discharge for Charlotte School of Law students," 11.07.17.
The ABA Journal reports that members of Congress from North Carolina have written to US Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to ask that students enrolled in Charlotte School of Law between December 2016 and August 2017 have their federal student loans discharged under a provision that requires exceptional circumstances.
9. "Should You Ask for a Raise After an Interim Title Bump?," 11.07.17.
Good advice as always from Julie Brush, writing for The Recorder, on the question of whether an interim promotion (in this case Interim GC) merits a request for more money.
10. "Bar Report Details Lag in Pay and Partnerships for Women, Minorities," 11.06.17.
The New York Law Journal reports on the release of the New York City Bar Association's latest diversity benchmarking report, which shows "frustratingly slow" progress for women and minority lawyers when it comes to partnership and top earnings.
11. "Where the Millennials Are: Tracking the Generations in Big Law," 11.06.17.
The American Lawyer reports that data collected by ALM Intelligence show that millennials now outnumber lawyers from GenX and baby boomers in Big Law.
a. "This generational group is the largest in BigLaw," 11.08.17.
More on the mounting wave of millennials in BigLaw from the ABA Journal.
12. "LSAT Test-Takers Continue To Surge, With 10.7% Increase In Sept/Oct Following June's 19.8%," 11.06.17.
The TaxProf Blog reports that the number of LSAT test-takers has risen over both of the last two test administrations in this cycle, the largest increase since 2009-2010.
13. "PPP Growth at US Top 10 Outpaces UK Rivals by 50 Percent Over 5 Years as Earnings Gap Widens," 11.06.17.
The American Lawyer reports that new research shows "partner profits at the top 10 US firms growing by roughly 50 percent more than their equivalent UK rivals over the last five years."
14. "Black on Bay Street: Hadiya Roderique had it all. But still could not fit in," 11.04.17.
A former BigLaw associate in Canada, writing for The Globe and Mail, tells her story of not fitting in as a person of colour on Bay Street.
15. "Suffolk Law Launches 'Legal Innovation & Technology' Program for Legal Professionals," 11.03.17.
Legaltech News reports that "Suffolk University Law School this week announced the launch of an online certificate program in 'Legal Innovation and Technology' designed to help legal professionals think more broadly about potential applications of technology in law practice."
16. "NY Employers Take Note: Paid Family Leave Benefits Law Becomes Effective Jan. 1st," 11.03.17.
The New York Law Journal reports that on January 1, 2018, the New York Paid Family Leave Benefits Law takes effect, imposing new or unfamiliar obligations on New York employers.
17. "Legal Industry Loses 1,100 Jobs in October," 11.03.17.
The American Lawyer reports that the latest USBLS stats show that "the legal services sector dropped 1,100 jobs in October as the overall US economy posted jobs gains." ("Generally the monthly reports since June 2013 have shown between 1.12 million people and 1.13 million people employed in the legal industry — a range that's about 50,000 fewer jobs than the pre-recession high in 2007.")
18. "GRE or LSAT? Council's Latest Move Could Nix Tests Altogether," 11.03.17.
Law.com reports that at its meeting last weekend, the Council of the ABA's Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has accepted a recommendation to do away with the standard that requires a standardized admissions test.
a. "ABA Legal Ed council revisits admissions test requirement, tables bar exam standard," 11.06.17.
More on the ABA Council meeting outcomes from last week from the ABA Journal.
b. "ABA Backs Testing Choices on Law Admissions," 11.07.17.
And even more on this from Inside Higher Ed.