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.

February 14, 2020

  1. "Will Coronavirus Crisis Trigger an Enrollment Crisis?," 02.13.20.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "U.S. colleges could see a major enrollment pipeline cut off this fall if the coronavirus epidemic persists." ("As the number of students from China studying in the U.S. grew rapidly, fueled by a big increase in tuition-paying undergraduates, colleges and universities grew reliant on them to balance their budgets…the global public health crisis precipitated by an outbreak of a new coronavirus, COVID-19, in China — and the imposition of travel restrictions barring entry to the U.S. of most foreign nationals who have traveled to China within the last 14 days — threatens student flows.")

  2. "Growing Federal Subsidies for Graduate Loan Debt," 02.13.20.
    Inside Higher Ed reports that "almost half of federal student loans are being repaid through more generous income-driven repayment plans, new data show, with 80 percent of government subsidies now going to graduate student borrowers."

  3. "7 Reasons Law Firms Fail at Lateral Hiring," 02.12.20.
    Two consultants, writing for The American Lawyer, identify everything that's wrong with how law firms currently approach lateral hiring.

  4. "Corporate Legal Departments Slow to Adopt Artificial Intelligence Contract Analysis Tools," 02.12.20.
    Corporate Counsel reports that according to new survey results, "a surprising number of corporate legal departments have yet to embrace AI as a tool to analyze and manage contract data."

  5. "The Next Generation of Legal Services Delivery," 02.12.20.
    Adam Beschloss, writing for Corporate Counsel, argues that mature Alternative Legal Service Providers have become indispensable partners in tackling large-scale, complex legal operations challenges.

  6. "Law Firms Posted Impressive Growth in 2019, Citi Survey Finds," 02.11.20.
    Gretta Rusanow, writing for The American Lawyer, reports that year-end Citi law firm financial data show that "last year may not have matched 2018's performance, but 2019 was a year of solid growth for the legal industry…[with] revenue growth of 5.3% driven largely by lawyer billing rate growth of 4.5%, as demand increased by 1.1%." ("There were, however, two factors that dampened revenue growth in 2019: a slight drop in realization and a longer collection cycle…[W]e saw continued consolidation [and] dispersion [with] the majority of firms (58%) reporting demand growth, but with 42% of firms seeing a demand decline during 2019, it remains a challenging environment for many firms.")

  7. "How a Wilson Sonsini Partner Died From Drug Use and No One Saw It Coming," 02.11.20.
    The American Lawyer reports that the wife of a Wilson Sonsini partner who died from drug use has written a new book, Smacked: A Story of White-Collar Ambition, Addiction and Tragedy, detailing the facts that led to her husband's death.

  8. "More Women Are Making Partner. So What About the Men?," 02.11.20.
    Vivia Chen, writing for The American Lawyer, tackles the notion of the "woman's work" and writes that "no matter how many women are leading prestigious law reviews and entering Big Law, eventually they'll face the burden of responsibilities on the home front."

  9. "Law School Fights for Survival Amid University Closure," 02.11.20.
    Law.com reports that "Concordia University School of Law is on the brink of shutting down, a collapse that would make it one of seven non-elite law schools to close or merge in recent years…[after the] parent university of the Boise, Idaho, law school — Concordia University in Portland, Oregon — announced plans Monday to close at the end the spring semester as a result of shrinking enrollment and mounting debt."

    1. "Another law school seeks acquisition, after parent university announces closure plan," 02.11.20.
      The ABA Journal also reports on this development: "Concordia University School of Law, a Boise, Idaho, institution with new ABA accreditation, had a 100% bar passage rate for its class of 2016, but its future as of Monday is unknown, following the announcement that its parent school, the Concordia University campus in Portland, Oregon, is closing."

  10. "Why Are More Late-Career Laterals Leaving the Only Firm They've Ever Known?," 02.10.20.
    The American Lawyer writes that "fueled by slowly separating partnerships, mandatory retirement and the desire to write one last successful chapter in a storied career, more and more partners are becoming late-career laterals and leaving the only firms they've ever known after decades in the same place."

  11. "ABA and SoFi offer student loan debt relief through new contest," 02.10.20.
    The ABA Journal reports that the ABA and SoFi have announced that they are accepting applications for their new Student Loan Relief Scholarship Contest — the grand prize winner will receive $30,000, the first runner-up will receive $15,000, and the second runner-up will receive $5,000 to put toward their student loan debt.

  12. "The Legal Function Reimagined: A Closer Look At The ACC 2020 Chief Legal Officers Survey," 02.10.20.
    Forbes reports on the results of the Association of Corporate Counsel's 2020 edition of its Chief Legal Officers Survey, writing that its findings "foreshadow changing expectations of all lawyers and allied legal professionals."

  13. "First Harvard, Now Yale. Law Students Want Paul Weiss to #DropExxon," 02.07.20.
    Law.com reports that "students from two of the county's most elite law schools have banded together to launch a national campaign to pressure Paul Weiss to drop ExxonMobil as a client."

    1. "Paul Weiss Targeted, This Time by NYU Law Students," 02.12.20.
      Law.com reports that "thirty students from New York University School of Law disrupted a Paul Weiss recruiting event Tuesday evening."

  14. "Texas university moves to fire its president over law school admissions scandal," 02.07.20.
    The ABA Journal reports that the regents at Texas Southern University have moved to fire the university president after an admissions scandal at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law where an assistant law dean has been accused of taking a $14,000 payoff for facilitating a scholarship and fraudulent admission for a law student, facilitating a fraudulent transfer application for a second student, and providing false LSAT information to the ABA.

  15. "One Year Later: Has the General Counsel Open Letter on Diversity Had an Impact?," 02.07.20.
    The American Lawyer follows up a year after more than 170 general counsel signed an open letter demanding that law firms field more diverse teams, concluding that "the legal profession's progress in the past year has been limited."

  16. "Experts say 23% of lawyers' work can be automated — law schools are trying to stay ahead of the curve," 02.07.20.
    CNBC reports that "McKinsey estimates that 23% of work done by lawyers can be automated by existing technology."

  17. "Legal industry gains 4,500 jobs in January," 02.07.20.
    The ABA Journal reports that according to the latest numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "the legal services sector gained 4,500 jobs in January, with total employment surpassing the previous 10-year high set in November."

  18. "Three Things You Can Do Today to Become a Better Lawyer," 02.07.20.
    A former Am Law 200 partner, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, provides three concrete steps people can take to make themselves better lawyers.

  19. Law Firm Year-End Financial Reporting:
    1. "Covington, Playing the Long Game, Closes In on $1.2B in Revenue," 02.13.20.
      (American Lawyer: Revenue up 6.3%, PPP up 3.9%)

    2. "Holland & Knight's Revenues Break a Billion Dollars," 02.13.20.
      (American Lawyer: Revenue up 12.2%, PPP up 10%)

    3. "Akin Gump Continues 10-Year Revenue Climb as Partner Profits Jump," 02.13.20.
      (American Lawyer: Revenue up 5.9%, PPP up 8.2%)

    4. "Kilpatrick Boosted Revenue, Profit in 'Best Year Ever'," 02.13.20.
      (Daily Report: Revenue up 6.3%, PPP up 9.7%)

    5. "Cooley Caps 10-Year Growth Streak With Big Revenue Boost, Big Hires," 02.12.20.
      (The Recorder: Revenue up 8.4%, PPP up 6.4%)

    6. "Cadwalader Sees Another Profit Hike, Amid Strategic Focus on Financial Industry," 02.11.20.
      (New York Law Journal: Revenue up 9.1%, PPP up 11%)

    7. "Patterson Belknap Boosts Revenue Amid Litigation Gains, Management Focus," 02.11.20.
      (New York Law Journal: Revenue up 10.4%, PPP up 8.8%)

    8. "Revenue Dips at Locke Lord, RPL Up Slightly, as Head Count Declines," 02.11.20.
      (Texas Lawyer: Revenue down 3.1%, PPP down 9.7%)

    9. "Orrick's Partner Profits Break $2 Million, Firm Posts Double-Digit Revenue Growth," 02.10.20.
      (American Lawyer: Revenue up 10.8%, PPP up 14.3%)

    10. "Partner Profits Hit $3M at King & Spalding After Decade of Growth," 02.07.20.
      (Daily Report: Revenue up 6.1%, PPP up 5.4%)

    11. "Dechert Grows Revenue by 11%, PEP by 10% in 'Exceptional' Year," 02.07.20.
      (Legal Intelligencer: Revenue up 11.1%, PPP up 10%)

    12. "Growing Brownstein Boosts Revenue as Lobbying Stays Strong," 02.07.20.
      (American Lawyer: Revenue up 10.2%, PPP up 3.8%)

    13. "Early Reports: The 2020 Am Law 100/200 Firm Financials," 02.12.20.
      In advance of its publication of the Am Law 100 and Am Law 200 reports, The American Lawyer is keeping a running list of its reporting on how Big Law fared in 2019.

    Past News Digest Issues

    February 7, 2020

    1. "Training for nonlawyers to provide legal advice will start in Arizona in the fall," 02.06.20.
      The ABA Journal reports that "the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law has started a two-year pilot project that licenses a small group of nonlawyers to give limited legal advice on civil matters stemming from domestic violence."

    2. "Phila. Employers Can't Ask Job Seekers About Salary History, Appeals Court Rules," 02.06.20.
      The Legal Intelligencer reports that "a federal appeals court on Thursday handed down a big win for equal pay advocates by ruling that a Philadelphia ordinance that prohibits employers from asking job candidates about wage history is not unconstitutional."

    3. "New Civility Standards for NY Lawyers Are About 'Being All That You Can Be,' Andrew Oringer Says," 02.06.20.
      The New York Law Journal reports on the New York court system's newly adopted Standards of Civility that "set forth principles of behavior to which the bar, the bench and court employees should aspire."

    4. "Is Guaranteed Compensation a Savvy Lateral Lure or an Unnecessary Risk?," 02.06.20.
      The American Lawyer takes up the thorny practice of guaranteed comp packages for high profile lateral partners, looking at the pros and cons on the controversial practice.

    5. "Law firm culture and the 'war for talent'," 02.06.20.
      Jordan Furlong, writing for his Law21 blog, takes on the so-called war for talent, and provides advice for strategically winning that war.

    6. "Enough Is Enough: Black Millennials Are Fed Up," 02.06.20.
      Vivia Chen, writing for The American Lawyer, comments on a new report from the nonprofit Center for Talent Innovation, "Being Black in Corporate America," which documents the low levels of Black representation among Fortune 500 CEOs, senior-level executives and managers; Chen concludes that "Black professionals find solace in neither corporate America nor Big Law."

    7. "Technology Trends That Will Affect the Legal Profession in 2020," 02.06.20.
      A Miami law firm lawyer, writing for the Daily Business Review, discusses five tech trends that will impact the legal profession this year — data-driven analytics, artificial intelligence, blockchain platforms, automated workflows and collaboration tools.

    8. "The Art of the Deal: The Transformation of the Lateral Recruiting Industry," 02.05.20.
      The American Lawyer takes a look at the many ways that "legal placement has been transformed by technology and changing workplace norms."

    9. "Bar Groups Line Up Against 'Dangerous Changes' to Lawyer Regulation," 02.05.20.
      The New York Law Journal reports that state bar leaders are mounting opposition to a proposal before the American Bar Association that would encourage states to consider "new approaches" in the practice of law, fearful that its adoption could lead to outside investment of law firms and nonlawyers practicing law.

    10. "Axiom Bolsters Flexible Attorney Network With Bliss Lawyers Deal," 02.05.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that "flexible legal staffing provider Axiom on Wednesday announced the acquisition of Bliss Lawyers, expanding the company's workforce to approximately 2,400 attorneys on the heels of a recent investment from private equity firm Permira."

    11. "Nixon Peabody Becomes Last Member of Big Law Diversity 'Laboratory'," 02.04.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that "Nixon Peabody was selected to be the fifth and final firm to join Diversity Lab's Move the Needle Fund, a $5 million "laboratory" for research initiatives and programs designed to address the lack of diversity in the legal profession."

    12. "Discussion Between Firms and Clients Is Key to Diversity," 02.04.20.
      Corporate Counsel reports on the proceedings at a panel at ALM's Legalweek conference in New York where in-house counsel discussed how clients can best foster greater diversity at the law firms they work with.

      1. "'How Do You Get People to Care?' Firm Leaders, Experts Discuss Mental Health at LegalWeek 2020," 02.04.20.
        The American Lawyer also reports on Legalweek proceedings, here covering a panel discussion on law firm mental health culture and the stigma associated with depression, alcohol abuse, and anxiety.

      2. "Seeking Pay Equity? Management Diversity, Transparency Are Key," 02.04.20.
        And The American Lawyer has more on the proceedings at Legalweek, where the message was delivered that "diversifying leadership is the most meaningful change a company can make toward eliminating gender and racial inequity."

      3. "How to 'Optimize' Your Legal Career—So You Can Eventually Change It," 02.05.20.
        The American Lawyer reports on a Legalweek panel during which David Lat spoke about the rise of nontraditional legal careers.

      4. "For Law Firms, Automation Could Be the Key to Millennials' Heart," 02.06.20.
        And LegalTech News covers a session at Legalweek where panelists talked about how bots can be used to help automate some legal tasks — and one panelist opined that this might be a good thing because "millennials are less willing to engage in repetitive tasks."

        1. "'Lawbots to handle a quarter of internal corporate legal requests by 2023," 02.03.20.
          Related, Staffing Industry Analysts' Daily News reports that Gartner Inc., a research and advisory firm, predicts that 33% of corporate legal departments by 2023 will have a dedicated legal technology expert in place to support increased use of automation.

    13. "Lawyers Continue to Use Free Counseling at Higher Rate," 02.04.20.
      The Daily Report writes that the number of lawyers taking advantage of the State Bar of Georgia's free, confidential counseling service continues to rise ("the free service includes counselors available 24/7 by phone, up to six prepaid clinical sessions per calendar year and a referral program for assistance with such issues as child care, elder care and finances").

    14. "Rethinking Old Messages To Support Better Mental Health," 02.04.20.
      A law firm practice group chair, writing for the New York Law Journal, writes that "to truly address the root causes of why lawyers are depressed, stressed, anxious and less than fulfilled professionally, there must be fundamental structural and transformative change throughout our profession."

    15. "Four Ways to Help Your College Student Grow Up," 02.04.20.
      The director of family engagement at Barnard College, writing for The New York Times, advises against intervening unnecessarily in the lives of college-age children and suggests a number of "ways to support young people as they learn to speak up for themselves, solve their own problems and make important decisions."

    16. "Why Mentoring Programs Fail (And How to Fix Them)," 02.04.20.
      This post from Slaw talks about what's wrong with mentoring programs, and how to fix them.

    17. "The Lateral Integration Process Has Gotten a Facelift as Firms Search for a Leg Up," 02.04.20.
      The American Lawyer takes a look at how lateral partner integration programs have evolved.

    18. "Student Loan Relief for Disabled Vets," 02.04.20.
      Inside Higher Ed reports that "the federal government plans to forgive hundreds of millions of dollars in outstanding loan debt for roughly 25,000 disabled veterans in July."

    19. "Mental Health Care 2.0: What's Next in Healing Minds and Bodies of Legal Professionals?," 02.03.20.
      The chief human resources officer at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, writing for The Recorder, writes about wellness initiatives at her firm, including the launch of a partnership with a digital health care provider.

    20. "Law Student Debt And Career Choices," 02.03.20.
      The TaxProf Blog highlights a new law review article that "examines the student loan crisis with a particular emphasis on its salience for law school graduates [and looks at how] rates and amounts of borrowing to attend law school impact law students differentially on the basis of their endowed characteristics, such as race and parental education."

    21. "I Performed at the Super Bowl. You Might Have Missed Me.," 02.03.20.
      Christine Sun Kim, who performed the national anthem and "America the Beautiful" in American Sign Language at the opening of the Super Bowl on Sunday, writing here for The New York Times, reflects thoughtfully on her frustration over the failure of Fox Sports to broadcast her performance.

    22. "Simplifying Public Service Loan Forgiveness," 02.03.20.
      Inside Higher Ed reports that "the U.S. Department of Education signaled it will make it easier to apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness after the application process has faced criticism for being too unwieldy."

    23. "If a Recession Is Looming, the Laterals Report Shows Firms Aren't Changing Their Ways," 02.03.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that more than 3,100 Big Law partners moved laterally between October 2018 and October 2019, noting that "the total figure is 14.5% higher than last year's lateral total of 2,754."

    24. "Women Are Dominating in Complex Compliance Roles," 02.03.20.
      Corporate Counsel reports that "U.S. Labor Department statistics over the past 20 years show that compliance is one of the fastest-growing professions for women."

    25. "Coronavirus Closes China to the World, Straining Global Economy," 02.03.20.
      The Wall Street Journal reports that the coronavirus outbreak "has disrupted world-wide trade and supply chains, depressed asset prices, and forced multinational businesses to make hard decisions with limited information." (Subscription required.)

      1. "Virus threatens U.S. companies' supply of Chinese-made parts and materials," 02.02.20.
        The Washington Post reports that "the battle to contain the Chinese coronavirus threatens to cut off U.S. companies from parts and materials they need to produce iPhones, automobiles and appliances and drugs to treat medical conditions including Alzheimer's disease, high blood pressure and malaria."

      2. "What travelers should know about face masks amid growing coronavirus concerns," 02.02.20.
        The Washington Post provides the low down on masks: "[The] CDC does not currently recommend the use of face masks among the general public…Is it bad? No. It's not like it's harmful. But will it completely protect you? No. The best thing you can do is wash your hands frequently — with water and antibacterial soap for at least 20 seconds."

    26. "Oregon Law School Will Waive LSAT For Oregon Undergrads With 3.5 UGPA, 85th Percentile SAT (1290) / ACT (27)," 02.02.20.
      The TaxProf Blog reports that "University of Oregon students with a 3.5 GPA upon graduation and an SAT or ACT score in the top 85th percentile will not be required to take the Law School Admissions Test to apply to the UO School of Law."

    27. "Limited Practice Experiments: The Educational Piece of the Puzzle," 02.02.20.
      As more and more jurisdictions take up the question of whether to license alternative legal services providers (aka limited license legal services providers, or allied legal professionals) Dan Rodriguez, writing for the Legal Evolution blog, takes up the question of what sort of education these "non-lawyer" legal professionals should have, and who should provide it.

    28. "Law Firms Are Failing Work-Life Balance in the March for Gender Equality, Ginsburg Says," 01.31.20.
      The National Law Journal reports that "Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Thursday said work-life balance remains elusive in achieving gender equality, and she blamed firms that have not yet been sufficiently accommodating."

    29. "How the 'Innovation Tournament in Law' Is Changing the Industry," 01.31.20.
      The American Lawyer speaks with Michele DeStefano, founder and executive director of Law Without Walls, about how law firms can get lawyers and staff to buy into change: "We are witnessing innovation on almost every legal dimension, including how legal services are priced, packaged, sourced and delivered."

    30. "Half of Legal Departments Do Not Have Anyone Dedicated to Legal Operations," 01.31.20.
      Corporate Counsel reports that "according to the recent Association of Corporate Counsel's 2020 Chief Legal Officers Survey, 46% of top company lawyers indicated they do not have any legal operations professionals with another 24% having one professional."

    31. "Creating a Diverse and Welcoming Legal Department: A Q&A With Ironclad's Chris Young," 01.30.20.
      Corporate Counsel speaks with Chris Young, general counsel of Ironclad Inc., about "what goes into creating a rewarding legal department, the importance of legal operations, and diversity and inclusion."

    32. "One Attorney's Struggle With Addiction Shines Light on Deeper Problem," 01.29.20.
      Dena Lefkowitz interviews Laurie J. Besden, executive director of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, for The Legal Intelligencer, to talk about her personal story of addiction and recovery and the work she now does to support lawyers and law students struggling with substance use and mental health disorders.

    January 31, 2020

    1. "Cooley Adds Mental Health Benefits in Expanded Wellness Push," 01.30.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that "in an expansion of its mental health initiatives, Cooley announced a new partnership Thursday to provide holistic, personalized mental health resources to its attorneys and staff. [The new partnership will] provide attorneys and staff with personalized mental and emotional support at no cost."

    2. "The Intersection of Ethics and Well-Being," 01.30.20.
      This Slaw post chronicles the development of the lawyer well-being movement from 2018 and concludes that despite great efforts by law firms and regulators, much more still needs to be done to reduce mental health and substance use disorders and improve the well-being of lawyers, judges and law students.

    3. "'Boalt Hall' Is Officially Banished From Berkeley Law," 01.30.20.
      The Recorder reports that "workers stripped the Boalt Hall sign from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law's main building Thursday, ending a nearly three-year debate over how to address the law school's onetime namesake-the 19th century judge and attorney John Henry Boalt, who is best known for his enthusiastic support of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the country's first immigration ban targeting a specific racial group."

    4. "California May Allow 100% Online State-Accredited Law Schools," 01.30.20.
      The TaxProf Blog reports that "a recent rule change by the State Bar of California will allow state-accredited law schools to teach JD programs entirely over the internet."

    5. "Law Deans Implore Federal Judges to Follow Clerk Hiring Plan," 01.29.20.
      Law.com reports that "deans from 11 of the most prestigious law schools in the country have banded together to implore federal judges to participate in a fledgling clerk hiring plan-now entering its second year."

    6. "Political Turmoil Fueling Law School Demand," 01.29.20.
      Law.com reports that "84% of the 101 law school admission officials recently surveyed by Kaplan Test Prep said that the current political climate was a significant factor in the 3% increase in applicants during the previous admissions cycle."

    7. "Syracuse Is Second Law School To Launch 3L Away Option," 01.29.20.
      The TaxProf Blog reports that "starting with the Class of 2023, students in Syracuse University College of Law's residential J.D. program will have the option of spending their third year entirely off-campus while still taking courses from College of Law faculty."

    8. "Women, Minority and LGBTQ+ Attorneys Still Struggle to Rise Within Law Firms," 01.28.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that "progress on diversity and inclusion at major law firms has failed to advance into the partnership ranks, largely because many career-enhancing opportunities, such as origination credit and a firm's non-billable activities, aren't meaningfully tracked, according to a study by legal diversity organizations Diversity Lab and ChIP."

    9. "As Clients Demand More Than Ever, How Can Lawyers and Firms Respond?," 02.28.20.
      The American Lawyer's Young Lawyer Editorial Board suggests ways to bridge the gap between client expectations and law firm efforts.

    10. "How to Avoid the Coronavirus? Wash Your Hands," 01.28.20.
      The editor-in-chief of Kaiser Health News, writing for The New York Times, argues that the best defense against the coronavirus outbreak is to frequently wash your hands.

    11. "Dentons Seals Double Merger Deals in US, Putting New Strategy to the Test," 01.27.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that "Dentons on Monday announced it had officially combined with Indianapolis-based Bingham Greenebaum Doll and Pittsburgh-based Cohen & Grigsby, taking its first steps to become what it calls the first truly national U.S. firm."

    12. "Reflections from a parallel universe," 01.27.20.
      Jordan Furlong shares an excerpt from the foreword he's written for Jack Newton's new book The Client-Centered Law Firm: How to Succeed in an Experience-Driven World, which, Furlong says, is "terrific."

    13. "Online Learning And The Future Of Legal Education," 01.27.20.
      The TaxProf Blog highlights a new law review article that looks at the ways that "law professors are consistently using interactive and engaging online learning tools to enhance their courses" and posits a new way forward for legal education that could solve some of its most intractable problems.

    14. "DC Bar Eyes Revamping Law Firm Ownership Rules," 01.24.20.
      The American Lawyer reports that the DC Bar is evaluating whether or not to allow the licensing of alternative business structures to provide some legal services.

    15. "US Bank's GC Urges Firms to Think More Aggressively on Diversity," 01.24.20.
      The American Lawyer speaks with James Chosy, general counsel of US Bank, about testing new ways to improve diversity both in law departments and law firms.

    16. "How Women Are Rising Up in IP Law," 01.24.20.
      The Recorder speaks with "Marilyn Hall Patel, the former chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, and her former law clerk Katherine Helm, now an IP life sciences partner at Dechert in New York, to discuss the state of women in IP law."

    17. "'It Was a Constant, Daily Stressor': This Law Grad Got $221K in Student Loans Wiped Out. Who's Next?," 01.24.20.
      "Kevin Rosenberg, a 2004 graduate of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, who, pro se, recently convinced the chief bankruptcy judge of New York's Southern District to discharge more than $200,000 of his student loan debt, talks with Law.com legal education editor Karen Sloan about the decision that's making waves in the bankruptcy world" in this Law.com podcast.

    18. "Court Cites Student Loans As Reason To Deny Bar Admission To New Lawyer," 01.23.20.
      Forbes reports that in a recent case, student loan debt played a major role in the Ohio Board of Bar Commissioners denying a candidate admission to the Ohio bar to practice law as an attorney there.

      1. "Ohio bar applicant with 'extreme' school debt runs into potential character and fitness issues," 01.30.20.
        More on this from the ABA Journal.

    19. Law Firm Year-End Financial Reporting:
      1. "Morrison & Foerster Posts Double-Digit Revenue Growth," 01.29.20.
        The American Lawyer reports that "Morrison & Foerster reported a double-digit increase in gross revenue, aided by strong growth in the firm's new Boston and Miami offices." (Revenue up 10%, PPP up 3.3%)

      January 24, 2020

      1. "Despite Stable Enrollment, Law Schools Continue To Shed Full-Time Faculty," 01.23.20.
        The TaxProf Blog reports that despite the fact that law school enrollment has improved slightly over the last few years, new ABA data reveal that law schools continue to shrink their faculty headcount: "Law schools dropped from 10,226 full-time faculty (this figure includes all full-time positions, regardless of faculty status) in 2017 to 9470 in 2019, a 7% decline in two years."

      2. "Why you should insist on diversity in your law practice," 01.23.20.
        The managing partner of a women-owned virtual law firm, writing for the ABA Journal, writes about what it means to insist on diversity: "It should be about making strategic and pragmatic changes that level the playing field and address ingrained biases in how work gets done."

      3. "Cash-Strapped and Hungry, Law Students Turn to School Food Pantries," 01.22.20.
        Law.com reports that "at least four law schools in the past year have opened up food pantries for students…joining a growing number of law campuses already helping students put food on the table."

      4. "Millennial Lawyers Demand Mobility. Are Law Firms Ready to Provide It?," 01.22.20.
        An AI entrepreneur, writing for the Texas Lawyer, provides advice for law firms that want to get more serious about enabling their lawyers to work more effectively as remote workers.

      5. "How Lawyers Are Fighting Mounting Employer Troubles From H-1B Immigration Changes," 01.22.20.
        Corporate Counsel reports that changes to the H-1B temporary non-immigrant work visa rules, regulations, and processes are causing problems for all sorts of employers: "Rising rejection rates for initial temporary work permits and renewals, combined with proposed drastic fee increases, new electronic registration procedures and huge backlogs at U.S. immigration services, are causing grief for employers relying on the programs for highly skilled workers."

      6. "NALP: 2019 Report On Diversity In U.S. Law Firms," 01.22.20.
        The TaxProf Blog highlights the recent release of NALP's 2019 Report on Diversity in US Law Firms. If you missed it, you can find the report here.

      7. "As the World Burns, Law Firms Are Responding With Climate-Focused Practices,"01.22.20.
        The American Lawyer reports that "U.S. law firms are…creating…environmental practice groups to do climate-specific work and building teams specifically focused on helping entities have a measured, positive impact on the climate."

      8. "What's Behind a Wave of Healthier, Faster Law Firm Combinations?," 01.22.20.
        The American Lawyer analyses the current law firm merger market, noting that recent combinations suggest the current consolidation is no longer being driven by the bailout of law firms in financial trouble.

      9. "Veteran Law Firm Well-Being Pros Offer Tips on Building Programs, Getting Buy-In," 01.22.20.
        The Recorder reports on the proceedings at a conference on emotional well-being in the legal profession that was held in San Francisco on Tuesday.

      10. "Big Law Again Tops Big Business for LGBTQ Equality, Report Says," 01.21.20.
        The American Lawyer reports that "more law firms than ever before earned perfect scores in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's latest Corporate Equality Index?—130 out of 164 participants in 2020…[proof that] Big Law continues to improve how it supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employees."

      11. "Women Hold Editor-in-Chief Positions at the 16 Most Elite Law Reviews," 01.21.20.
        Law.com reports that "for the first time ever, female law students sit atop of the mastheads of the flagship law reviews at each of the top 16 law schools in the country, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report."

      12. "Big Tuition Hikes Loom at University of California's 4 Law Schools," 01.21.20.
        The Recorder reports that "the University of California Board of Regents is set to vote Jan. 22 on proposed tuition increases at the four law schools within its system."

      13. "Why the .Law Domain May Become a Necessity for Firms," 01.21.20.
        On the heels of the Wiley rebranding launch last week, LegalTech News reports that the move to the .law domain "will likely become a necessity as law firms attempt to assure clients' potential cybersecurity concerns and rebrand themselves."

      14. "Georgia Legal Accelerator Launches With Class of 16," 01.21.20.
        The Daily Report writes about the launch of the inaugural class of the new Georgia Legal Accelerator, a project designed to support law firm startups.

      15. "Baker McKenzie Is Tops Again in Global Legal Brand Rankings," 01.21.20.
        The American Lawyer reports that "Baker McKenzie once again topped legal market research company Acritas' latest ranking of global legal brands, and the firm has managed to grow its lead."

      16. "Judicial Council Orders Courts to Draft New Anti-Harassment Workplace Policies," 01.17.20.
        The Recorder reports that California's Judicial Council has issued new mandatory "anti-harassment policies that detail how courthouse employees can file complaints, including those accusing presiding judges and top court executives of wrongdoing."

      17. "Solving the inclusion conundrum: Reflections on equity, inclusion and making change in the legal profession," 01.17.20.
        A third-year law student at UC Berkeley, writing for the Daily Journal, reflects on what it takes to make real change in a profession and tradition that is steeped in eliteness and exclusivity.

      18. "With Your Law Firm's Help or Not, Here's a Path to Mental and Physical Health," 01.17.20.
        A doctor from a functional medicine practice, writing for Law.com, writes about the three foundational pillars of health for driven professionals. (This is the second in a series of articles on mental health struggles in the legal profession.)

      19. "Hogan Lovells Teams Up With Elevate for New US Document Review Center," 01.17.20.
        The American Lawyer reports that "Hogan Lovells announced Friday that it has opened a new center in Phoenix focused on document review services."

      20. "Moody's: Slow Student Loan Repayment Driving High Balances, Bringing Social, Credit Implications," 01.17.20.
        Inside Higher Ed reports that according to a new report from Moody's Investors Services, "slow repayments have become the most important contributor to rising student loan balances…[noting that] just 51 percent of all federal borrowers with repayment obligations beginning in 2010-12 had made progress cutting outstanding balances five years later."

      January 17, 2020

      1. "Harvard Law Students Protest Paul Weiss Over Exxon Ties," 01.16.20.
        Law.com reports that "a group of 30 first-year [Harvard] law students on Wednesday disrupted a recruiting reception hosted by Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, which has been representing the oil giant in a series of lawsuits tied to climate change."

      2. "Duane Morris, NY-Based Satterlee Stephens To Merge in February," 01.16.20.
        The American Lawyer reports that "Duane Morris and Satterlee Stephens, a 65-attorney New York firm, have confirmed plans to merge, anticipating a combination by Feb. 1, [and noting that] the combined firm will have annual gross revenue of at least $530 million."

      3. "ROSS Founder on Why Law Needs to be 'Re-regulated'," 01.16.20.
        The American Lawyer speaks with co-founder of AI tool ROSS Intelligence, Andrew Arruda, on why he thinks the profession should be regulated in a different way: "Non-JDs should no longer be barred from ownership of law firms, and similarly, non-JDs should not be barred from the provisioning of some legal services. In reality, this has already partially occurred through the encroachment of global consulting firms into legal services."

      4. "Many Nonprofit College Programs Would Fail Gainful Test," 01.16.20.
        Inside Higher Ed reports that "data in a new online tool raise questions about how well public and nonprofit colleges and universities are doing in helping students earn enough to repay their debt."

      5. "Reed Smith Takes Aim at Mental Health 'Stigma' with New Task Force," 01.15.20.
        The American Lawyer reports that "Reed Smith has launched a new task force for attorneys and staff to focus on mental health issues."

      6. "Wiley Rein Drops 'Rein,' Adds New Look and Moves to .Law Domain," 01.15.20.
        The American Lawyer reports that Washington, D.C.-based Wiley Rein has adopted the shorter name Wiley as part of a broader rebranding effort that includes migrating to the relatively new .law domain.

      7. "Student Legal Clinics in Limbo as Divisional Court Strikes Down Student Fee Policy, Province Appeals," 01.15.20.
        Slaw reports that an Ontario court decision to allow college and university students to opt out of some fees has imperiled funding for the student legal clinics in Ontario's law schools.

      8. "Law Firm Mergers and Acquisitions: How They Are Reshaping the American Law Firm," 01.16.20.
        A professor from Columbia Law School, writing for the New York Law Journal, argues that at a time when "law firm mergers are peaking, but the number of equity partners is either stagnating or has actually declined… we are witnessing a transition — for better or worse — from the old 'Cravath model' to the new 'K&E model,' which runs not as a 'band of brothers,' but as a small team of entrepreneurs."

      9. "Technology Is Limiting the Depth of Lawyer-Client Relationships," 01.16.20.
        This op-ed in The American Lawyer argues that lawyers' increased reliance on technology has dramatically reduced "the face-to-face contact that once built strong professional relationships" between lawyers and their clients.

      10. "College Pays Off, College Board Finds," 01.15.20.
        Inside Higher Ed reports on a new report from the College Board that finds "the median annual earnings for bachelor's degree holders (with no advanced degree) who worked full-time in 2018 was $24,900 more than wages of their peers who held only high school credentials."

      11. "Lateral Partner Survey Casts Doubt on Compensation as King," 01.14.20.
        The American Lawyer reports that according to the most recent results from Major, Lindsey & Africa's lateral partner survey, "partners seem to place compensation quite low on their priority list when deciding where to go when making a lateral move."

      12. "Competition for Law Dean Jobs Heats Up," 01.14.20.
        Law.com reports that "now that the legal education market is on the rebound, the competition for getting a deanship is stiffer."

      13. "The Case For Millennials Working Flexibly," 01.14.20.
        A millennial lawyer from the UK, writing for Legal Week, makes the case for flexible work schedules for lawyers and enumerates three benefits of flexible working for the employer.

      14. "Inequity in Graduate Student Borrowing," 01.14.20.
        Inside Higher Ed reports that the Center for American Progress has released new research findings that show a much higher percentage of black students borrow federal loans for graduate school than white students do (80% versus 56%, and that black students borrow 25% more than white students.

      15. "3 law students launch food pantry to help feed hungry classmates," 01.14.20.
        The ABA Journal reports that "three law students at the University of Hawaii's law school are launching a food pantry to help classmates who are going hungry."

      16. "Corporate Counsel Women of Color, Hogan Lovells Partner to Advance Diversity Goals," 01.14.20.
        Corporate Counsel reports that "Corporate Counsel Women of Color and Hogan Lovells have teamed up to support the 4,500-member global bar organization in its goal to elevate programming dedicated to women of color in-house and firm lawyers."

      17. "Liberal Arts Pay Off in the Long Run," 01.14.20.
        Inside Higher Ed reports that new research shows that after 40 years, liberal arts institutions bring a higher return on investment than most colleges.

      18. "More Law Firm Leaders Wary of 2020 as Confidence Levels Dip," 01.13.20.
        The American Lawyer reports that in its latest survey of law firm leaders' confidence, Citi Private Bank's Law Firm Group found law firm leaders' confidence levels flagging.

      19. "ABA Approves Thomas Jefferson Law School's Teach-Out Plan," 01.13.20.
        The TaxProf Blog reports that the ABA Council has approved the teach-out plan submitted by the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, allowing it to complete the education of any currently enrolled students through the end of the 2023 spring term.

        1. "Under teach-out plan, Thomas Jefferson law school has ABA accreditation for 3 more years," 01.13.20.
          More on this from the ABA Journal.

      20. "New Year…New Career? When to Make the Jump," 01.13.20.
        The American Lawyer's Young Lawyer Editorial Board weighs in on the process and considerations when considering a lateral move.

      21. "Atrium Retreats From Legal Services in Sudden 'Restructuring'," 01.13.20.
        The American Lawyer reports that Silicon Valley-based alternative legal services provider Atrium has announced that it will be eliminating the jobs of most of its lawyers as it restructures and shifts away from legal services.

        1. "Company that promised to revolutionize legal services confirms layoffs of most of its legal staff," 01.14.20.
          More on the Atrium restructuring from the ABA Journal.

      22. "Law Firms Need to Develop Attorneys Into Better Managers. Here's How to Do It.," 01.10.20.
        The American Lawyer's Young Lawyer Editorial Board, writing in The American Lawyer, offers advice for law firms about how to "approach the selection and development of managers in new ways."

      23. "Women Overtake Men as Majority of U.S. Workforce," 01.10.20.
        The Wall Street Journal reports that "women held more U.S. jobs than men in December for the first time in nearly a decade, a development that likely reflects the future of the American workforce." (Subscription required.)

        1. "Women Now Hold More Jobs Than Men In The U.S. Workforce," 01.13.20.
          More on this from Forbes.

      24. "'Ian Was No Different From You': Wife Says Legal Marketer's Suicide Is a Lesson in Addressing Mental Health Challenges," 01.10.20.
        This first column in a new a series from Law.com focused on how to change perceptions of mental health challenges is written by a physician whose husband died by suicide and provides advice about what lawyers can do to improve and protect their mental health.

      25. "Tear Down the Window-Dressing: Big Law Policies That Actually Support Women," 01.10.20.
        In this Law.com podcast, "reporter Dylan Jackson talks with Michelle Browning Coughlin, a partner at Wyatt Tarrant & Combs who is also the founder of MothersEsquire, a nonprofit group focused on advancing women in the legal profession...[about research from] ALM Intelligence and American Bar Association, which found a huge gender divide when it comes to lawyers' satisfaction with their firms' operations and policies for women's advancement."

      26. "Starting Out: Boston on $50K a Year," 12.20.19.
        As part of a series on millennial workers, The Wall Street Journal profiles a recent law school graduate who earns $52,000 working as the research director for the Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy for the Massachusetts House of Representatives. (Subscription required.)

      January 10, 2020

      1. "Law Grad's $221K Loan Discharge Has Bankruptcy Bar Buzzing," 01.09.20.
        Law.com reports that "Bankruptcy experts are buzzing over an unusual decision issued Jan. 7 by Chief Judge Cecelia Morris of U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York that enables law grad Kevin Jared Rosenberg to discharge the $221,000 loan debt he acquired as an undergraduate at the University of Arizona and later at the Cardozo School of Law. The win by Rosenberg, who represented himself in the matter, flies in the face of conventional wisdom that says student loan debt is all but impossible to shed in bankruptcy."

        1. "Law grad wins discharge of his student debt in opinion criticizing 'punitive standards'," 01.09.20.
          More on this from the ABA Journal: "In what is being described as a 'stunning' decision, a bankruptcy judge has ruled that a 2004 graduate of Yeshiva University's Cardozo Law School may erase more than $220,000 in student loan debt."

        2. "Bankruptcy Judge Discharges Law School Loans — Brief Moment Of Sanity Before Appeal," 01.09.20.
          And Above the Law has the story as well, making the point that this decision will almost certainly be appealed.

      2. "Troutman Sanders, Pepper Hamilton Vote to Seal Merger Deal," 01.09.20.
        The American Lawyer reports that "Troutman Sanders and Pepper Hamilton have officially agreed to merge, the firms announced Thursday, creating a new 1,100-lawyer giant with offices in 23 locations."

      3. "'Change Frightens Us All:' Utah Justice Himonas on Why Deregulation, Innovation Still the Path Forward for Law," 01.09.20.
        The American Lawyer speaks with Utah Supreme Court Justice Deno Himonas on what he and others have been doing in Utah to deregulate law firm ownership rules.

        1. "5 Forces Pushing for Nonlawyer Ownership of Firms in the U.S.," 01.03.20.
          Legaltech News reports on the forces pushing for changes in the U.S. legal business model, including initiatives in California, Utah, Arizona and Illinois to allow those without a Juris Doctor to have an ownership stake in law firms.

      4. "A better bar exam? Law profs weigh in on whether test accurately measures skills required for law practice," 01.08.20.
        The ABA Journal provides a thorough overview of much of the recent and ongoing research in a variety of settings on possible ways to change and improve the current bar exam.

      5. "Law School Dean's $5 Million Retirement Payout," 01.08.20.
        Inside Higher Ed reports that John O'Brien, longstanding dean of New England Law, will receive a retirement package worth at least $5.3 million when he steps down later this year.

      6. "Can Better Negotiation Help Women Lawyers Shrink the Gender Pay Gap?," 01.08.20.
        This piece in the Daily Report suggests that gender differences in negotiation tactics may contribute to the gender pay gap in the legal industry.

      7. "What will lawyers do now?," 01.07.20.
        Jordan Furlong, writing for Law21, provides an excerpt from a longer piece he wrote for Modern Law Magazine in the UK, writing about what lawyers will do in the new legal economy: "The unexpected gift to lawyers of the new legal economy is this: Losing our old tasks will liberate us to find new purpose. Lawyers' future will be limited only by our imagination, ambition, and compassion. We can forge the legal profession we truly want, not the crumbling legacy institution that was bequeathed to us." (Note that Jordan Furlong will be the Friday plenary speaker at NALP's 2020 Annual Education Conference in Montreal.)

      8. "No, I'm Not the Court Reporter: Tips for Tackling Implicit Bias," 01.07.20.
        An assistant GC and a litigation partner, writing for the New York Law Journal, write about "tactics we have observed and/or employed when we have encountered bias, and…offer attorneys from all backgrounds techniques for challenging current industry standards, supporting their diverse colleagues when it counts the most, and fostering a more inclusive environment."

      9. "Class Of 2019 Law Grads Contributed $111 Million Of Pro Bono Legal Services," 01.07.20.
        The TaxProf Blog reports that according to the AALS, "in fall of 2019, 105 law schools reported that 19,885 law students in the class of 2019 contributed 4,384,871.31 hours in legal services as part of their legal education, an average of 220.5 hours per student."

      10. "'Revolutionary Changes' Coming to Legal Industry, Report Finds," 01.06.20.
        The American Lawyer notes that a new report issued by the Center on Ethics and the Legal Profession at Georgetown University Law Center, Thomson Reuters' Legal Executive Institute and Peer Monitor, documents dramatic changes happening in the legal market and suggests that more dramatic change is on the way for the industry. (You can download the full report here.)

      11. "Elite Law Firms Are Quietly Outsourcing High-Value Functions. How Far Will They Go?," 01.06.20.
        The American Lawyer reports that "Big Law is outsourcing a growing number of high-value departments, often shedding administrative and operations employees in the process."

      12. "Justice or Rock Star? Law Profs Go Wild for Ginsburg," 01.06.20.
        Karen Sloan, writing for Law.com, reports on "judicial rock star and cultural icon" U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's remarks at the Association of American Law Schools' annual meeting in DC this past weekend.

        1. "Incoming AALS President: Legal Education Is On an Upswing," 12.31.19.
          Karen Sloan, writing for Law.com, speaks with incoming AALS President, Dean Darby Dickerson about the state of legal education at the beginning of 2020.

        2. "Changes to US News Law School Rankings Met With Skepticism," 01.08.20.
          In other news from the AALS conference last weekend, Karen Sloan, writing for Law.com, reports that professors attending the conference raised concerns about planned changes announced by US News &World Report's law school rankings, including a controversial measure of law faculty scholarly impact.

        3. "The Luddite Lawyer 2020: AALS Panel Examines Attorney Technology Competence," 01.08.20.
          And Legaltech News reports on an AALS panel on the lawyer duty of technology competence — now an ethical requirement in many jurisdictions.

      13. "Outstanding Student Loan Portfolio Now Tops $1.5 Trillion," 01.06.20.
        Inside Higher Ed reports that "the outstanding portfolio on federal student loans is now $1.51 trillion, according to data released by the Education Department."

      14. "The Simple Guide to Legal Innovation," 01.05.20.
        The Legal Evolution blog posts an excerpt from Lucy Bassli's new book, A Simple Guide to Legal Innovation.

      15. "I am Harvard Law's first deafblind graduate. Here's what college is like for students with disabilities," 01.04.20.
        Haben Girma, writing for CNBC, talks about her experiences as Harvard Law School's first deafblind graduate. (Note that Haben Girma will be the Thursday plenary speaker at NALP's 2020 Annual Education Conference in Montreal.)

      16. "The Law School Crash: What's worse than a decade of financial turmoil? Not learning from it," 01.03.20.
        Writing for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Benjamin Barton, professor of law at the University of Tennessee, provides this adapted excerpt of his new book, Fixing Law Schools: From Collapse to Trump Bump and Beyond. (Subscription required.)

      17. "Ensuring Your Legal Department's D&I Strategy Should Not Be an Afterthought," 01.03.20.
        A board member of the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, provides a "three-step process [that] can take your D&I efforts from ad hoc and unstructured to strategic as long as your legal department is willing to align, strategize and take action."

      18. "An Update on the Ethics of Lateral Movement," 01.03.20.
        This column in the New York Law Journal examines the new ABA guidance on the ethics of lateral lawyer movement, noting that the guidance offers "a roadmap for what lawyers and law firms can and cannot do in these circumstances."

      19. "ABA 509 Report Data: 19 Law Schools Increased Their 25th, 50th, And 75th LSAT And GPA," 01.03.20.
        The TaxProf Blog reprints some of Mike Spivey's in-depth analysis of the 2019 ABA 509 admissions data, noting that both median LSAT and median GPA rose for the most recent entering class. (You can find Spivey's full analysis of the data, including the finding that 73% of law students receive scholarships, up from 49% in 2012, here.)

      20. "AI Fears Subside: Most See Fundamental Change, but Not Job Loss," 01.03.20.
        Legaltech News reports that "a new Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning report published last week by the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) indicates that while law firms may be expecting AI to yield fundamental change within the industry, lawyers shouldn't count on a significant portion of the work they perform being replaced by software."

      January 3, 2020

      1. "Free Textbooks for Law Students," 01.03.20.
        Inside Higher Ed reports that "legal scholars are increasingly adopting and creating free textbooks in an attempt to increase affordability for students…. Faculty members at the New York University School of Law have taken matters into their own hands by publishing their own textbooks at no cost to students."

      2. "Pressed for Progress: Clients Expect Firms to Meet Their Demands for Talent in 2020," 01.02.20.
        The American Lawyer reports that "clients will continue to push the pace of progress at law firms in the new year, urging them to diversify their ranks and, in turn, find new methods to recruit the right lawyers."

      3. "Diversity and Tech Skills Drive Winners of $10k Legal Education Prize," 01.02.20.
        Legaltech News reports on the dual winners of Wolters Kluwer's second annual Leading Edge Prize for Education.

      4. "Fall 2020 Law School Applicants Down 1%, But Surge 11% In The Highest LSAT Bands (165+) As 2019 Draws To A Close," 12.31.19.
        The TaxProf Blog reports on the latest LSAT test-taker volume and law school applicant volume.

      5. "Another Path for Public Service: Pro Bono in Big Law," 12.31.19.
        A Big Law pro bono director, writing for the New York Law Journal, makes the case for the "great opportunities to do enormously powerful public interest work in large private firms."

      6. "New Report Shows Depression and Anxiety Are Prevalent at Harvard Law," 12.30.19.
        Law.com reports that the results of a survey released in late December show that about 60% of Harvard Law students show some signs of depression, and 54% show signs of anxiety.

      7. "The financial costs for firms when women and minority lawyers leave," 12.20.19.
        The ABA Journal speaks with Ripa Rashid, the managing director of Culture at Work, who says that "when senior associates leave large law firms before making partner, it costs approximately $2 million per piece." (Podcast)

      8. "Syracuse Launches Nation's First Online Joint JD/MBA Degree," 10.26.19.
        The TaxProf Blog reports that "Syracuse University College of Law has announced the launch of the nation's first online joint JD/MBA degree program, in partnership with Syracuse University's Martin J. Whitman School of Management."

      9. "Employers and LGBT Community Waiting for 2020 Supreme Court Decisions," 12.24.19.
        A law firm partner from Miami, writing for the Daily Business Review, writes about the highly anticipated US Supreme Court decisions in three cases that will determine whether discrimination based upon gender identity and sexual orientation is covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: "While a ruling is expected in the new year, should the court's decisions determine that sexual orientation and gender identity are not covered under Title VII, any future amendment to Title VII to cover sexual orientation and gender identity would be left to Congress."

      10. "Hispanic Attorneys Continue to Be the Least Represented Minority Group in Washington," 12.23.19.
        The American Lawyer reports that "Hispanic attorneys have made little progress breaking into the upper echelons of the Washington, D.C., legal market in the last decade, accounting for just 2% of federal and Big Law partners in the D.C. area, according to a recently published report…by the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia."

      11. "Debevoise Sticks With Lockstep Partner Pay After Compensation Review," 12.23.19.
        The American Lawyer reports that "amid constant pressure on elite law firms to offer competitive pay to high-performing lawyers, partners of at least two prominent New York-based lockstep firms weighed changes to their compensation models in the last year."

      12. "Survey: Canadian Legal Departments and Law Firms Expected to Increase Hiring in 2020," 12.23.19.
        Corporate Counsel reports that "a majority of companies and law firms in Canada plan on hiring additional attorneys in the next six months, according to a survey published by employment agency Robert Half International earlier this month."

      13. "Busy Season for Law Firm Mergers Sets Stage for 2020," 12.22.19.
        The American Lawyer reviews the 2019 law firm merger market and predicts a robust law firm merger market for 2020.

      14. "Colleges Agree to Allow Increased Competition for Applicants," 12.21.19.
        The New York Times reports that the US Department of Justice and the National Association of College Admission Counselors have reached an agreement to settle antitrust accusations: "The agreement brings to a close a two-year investigation into the association's code of ethics by the Justice Department's antitrust division, which enforces laws governing fair consumer and competitive market practices. In a complaint, the Justice Department maintained that the organization's recruitment standards violated antitrust laws because they 'substantially reduced competition among colleges for college applicants and potential transfer students and deprived these consumers of the benefits.'"

        1. "Justice Department Files Antitrust Case and Simultaneous Settlement Requiring Elimination of Anticompetitive College Recruiting Restraints," 12.12.19.
          According to the Justice Department press release about the consent decree: "Under the decree, NACAC is required to remove three anticompetitive rules from its Code of Ethics and Professional Practices (CEPP), which broadly regulates how its college members conduct their admissions process. While trade associations and standards-setting organizations can and often do promote rules and standards that benefit the market as a whole, they cannot do so at the cost of competition."

      15. "Discrimination and Power Imbalances Plague Canada's Lawyer Training Process," 12.20.19.
        The American Lawyer reports that "critics are calling for a reform to the articling process in Canada, or for its replacement altogether," and takes a deep dive into the many challenges facing the traditional system of lawyer preparation in Canada.

      16. "Innovation Is Key to Remaining Relevant in the Canadian Legal Market," 12.20.19.
        The chair of Blake, Cassels & Graydon, writing for The American Lawyer, examines the "benefits for lawyers and clients…when new technologies are deployed intelligently, with an eye to the growing pressure that clients are facing to deliver more with less."

      17. "ABA Approves Western State Law School Accreditation," 12.20.19.
        The TaxProf Blog reports that the ABA has granted continuing accreditation to Western State College of Law under its new ownership; the law school is now a part of Westcliff University.

      18. "Has the Master's Degree Bubble Burst?," 12.20.19.
        Inside Higher Ed reports that the rapid growth of new master's degree programs at US colleges and universities has slowed considerably as demand growth has not matched expectations and projections.

      19. "A third of the gender pay gap can be explained by schmoozing between men and their male bosses," 12.19.19.
        Quartz reports that "a new study…finds that men's careers advance faster than those of their female counterparts when they have a male boss, a phenomenon that the researchers said could explain one-third of the gender pay gap."

      December 20, 2019

      1. "The Benefits Of Greater Transparency In Reporting Of Law Graduate Employment Outcomes," 12.19.19.
        A very good TaxProf Blog post by Jerry Organ on the virtues of transparency in law school employment outcomes reporting and the many ways that NALP supports that effort and US News muddies the waters.

      2. "Secondments Put Winston & Strawn Associates at the DA's Table," 12.19.19.
        The American Lawyer reports that Winston & Strawn is placing fifth- and sixth-year associates with district or state's attorneys in Illinois and Texas as part of a novel secondment program.

      3. "Want to Work at This Firm? First Take This Psychological Test," 12.18.19.
        The American Lawyer takes a look at Thomson Hine's use of a psychological assessment (lateral hires and those coming straight out of law school are asked to take the test) as part of their hiring process.

      4. "How to Hit the 'No' Button (And Keep Your Law Job!)," 12.18.19.
        Patrick Krill, writing for Law.com, writes about the importance of setting boundaries and saying no in order to guard and protect mental health.

      5. "Law Schools ABA 509 Disclosures Reports 2019 (Stats + Graphs)," 12.18.19.
        The Associates Mind blog provides analysis and some amazing infographics on the law school ABA 509 disclosures that were released by the ABA last week.

        1. "Law school 1L JD enrollment falls slightly as non-JD enrollment reaches all-time highs," 12.12.19.
          Derek Muller, writing for the Excess of Democracy blog, also parses the ABA 509 enrollment data and provides some helpful infographics: "The 2019 law school enrollment figures…show a slightly worse first-year JD enrollment and continued soaring growth in non-JD enrollment. About 15% of law school enrollees, 1 in 7, are not enrolled in a JD program."

        2. "Fall Enrollments Still on the Decline," 12.16.19.
          More on the 509 data from Inside Higher Ed, reporting that "higher education enrollments for fall 2019 declined for the eighth consecutive year."

      6. "To Court a Secretive Donor, Law Deans at George Mason Blasted Climate Scientists and Their Own Accreditor," 12.18.19.
        The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that: "Leaders of George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School, which has been criticized for its ties to conservative donors, have spent years courting a wealthy Chicago philanthropist who has steered money toward organizations that promote skepticism of climate change or finance conservative and libertarian journalism on college campuses." (Subscription required.)

      7. "NALP Report Details Slow Progress on Law Firm Diversity," 12.17.19.
        Law.com reports on the release of NALP's 2019 Report on Diversity in US Law Firms, noting that "it took a decade, but the percentage of black associates at law firms in the United States has finally returned to its pre-recession level."

        1. "Percentage of black associates in large firms finally tops 2009 level, but not by much," 12.18.19.
          The ABA Journal also reports on the new NALP diversity report.

        2. "Representation of Black or African-American Associates Eclipses Pre-Recession Levels for the First Time Despite Slow Overall Progress," 12.18.19.
          You can read the full NALP report on diversity and the press release here.

        3. "NALP report shows slow progress for law firm gender, racial diversity," 12.19.19.
          And Reuters has the story as well.

      8. "Faegre, Drinker Biddle Vote to Combine in 'Merger of Equals'," 12.17.19.
        The American Lawyer reports that "Minneapolis-based Faegre Baker Daniels and Philadelphia-based Drinker Biddle & Reath have voted to join forces after lengthy merger talks." ("The merger, which is set to become official Feb. 1, will create an Am Law 50 firm with more than 1,300 lawyers and consultants across 22 locations in the U.S., U.K. and China.')

      9. "Career confessions of an atypical law school graduate," 12.17.19.
        A nice piece in the ABA Journal from a law school graduate who took a nontraditional pathway after graduation: "I want to join the chorus of voices pushing lawyers to expand their potential and embrace nontraditional, path-breaking opportunities."

      10. "Memphis Law School Cuts Its Out-of-State Tuition By 25% (To $24,000)," 12.17.19.
        The TaxProf Blog reports that according to the Memphis Business Journal: "On Dec. 4, the University of Memphis Board of Trustees approved a plan to lower the college's out-of-state tuition by 25%, which will move yearly costs for non-Tennessee residents from $31,076 to $24,008. The decision gives it the most affordable out-of-state law school tuition in Tennessee, and one of the five cheapest out-of-state law school tuitions in the country, according to the U of M."

      11. "Supporting Diversity & Inclusion Through Mentorship: A Q&A With FDIC's Arleas Upton Kea," 12.17.19.
        Corporate Counsel speaks with the chief operating officer and deputy to the chairman of the FDIC (she was the first woman of color in the FDIC's legal department and is now the deputy chairman and chief operating officer) about the importance of having a mentor and the FDIC's mentorship programs.

      12. "LSSSE: New Research Provides Insight Into Women's Experiences In Law School," 12.17.19.
        The TaxProf Blog reports on the findings of the newly released 2019 Law School Survey of Student Engagement, which focuses this year on the experience of women in law school.

      13. "Atlanta's John Marshall sees some success with ABA legal ed section," 12.16.19.
        The ABA Journal reports that "Atlanta's John Marshall Law School has had its probation removed, and its application to convert to a nonprofit was accepted, according to notice posted by the council of the ABA's Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar."

      14. "Donna E. Young appointed founding dean of Faculty of Law," 12.16.19.
        Ryerson University announces the appointment of Donna E. Young as the founding dean of Ryerson University's Faculty of Law. (Professor Young is currently the President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy at the Albany Law School.)

      15. "Once Again, University of Texas Law Accused of Underpaying Women," 12.16.19.
        Law.com reports that a professor from the University of Texas School of Law has "sued the school in federal court…claiming she is paid significantly less than men on the faculty with comparable experience…[and alleging that] tenured female faculty members at the law school earned, on average, $20,000 less than tenured men during the past three years."

      16. "Make Your Job Application Robot-Proof," 12.16.19.
        The Wall Street Journal provides information and advice about navigating AI driven applicant-screening and tracking systems when applying for a job. (Subscription required.)

      17. "New Kind of Student Loan Gains Major Support. Is There a Downside?," 12.16.19.
        The New York Times writes about Income Share Agreements, a new financial instrument being promoted by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos: "Students agree to pay a certain percentage of their earnings for a fixed period. If they make more, they pay more. If they make less, they pay less. Students with high earnings could end up paying back the equivalent of a loan with a high interest rate. Students with meager earnings could pay back less than the original principal."

        1. "Federal Loans and ISAs," 12.16.19.
          More on this from Inside Higher Ed: "The U.S. Department of Education is poised to create an experimental program through which a limited number of colleges would take on students' federal loan debt, with students then repaying the institution for the loan balance, potentially based on their future earnings…the experiment would enable federal loans to be paid off through a form of income-share agreement, where students agree to pay a certain percentage of their future income over a set period of time in exchange for funding of their educational program expenses."

      18. "Since 2013, Fewer Americans Think College Is Important," 12.16.19.
        Inside Higher Ed reports that "according to a new Gallup poll, about half of Americans consider a college education very important, but the percentage of those that agree with the sentiment has decreased since 2013…the poll found that 51 percent of adults in the U.S. believe that a college education is 'very important.' This is down from 70 percent in 2013."

      19. "ABA again says no to Florida Coastal's nonprofit application and makes noncompliance finding," 12.13.19.
        The ABA Journal reports that "Florida Coastal School of Law is out of compliance with two sections of Standard 202, which deals with program resources, according to a public notice posted by the council of the ABA's Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar…[and] the council again denied the law school's substantive change application to convert to a nonprofit law school."

      20. "How Law Schools Fared on California's July 2019 Bar Exam," 12.13.19.
        The Recorder reports the school specific pass rates for the most recent California bar exam.

      21. "Checks and Balances: Former AG Holder, Zynga GC Phillips Talk Collaboration in Diversity," 12.13.19.
        The Recorder speaks with Covington & Burling's Eric Holder and Zynga's chief legal officer Phuong Phillips about their experiences as minority lawyers.

      22. "What I Wish I Knew When I Began My Law Career," 12.11.19.
        Members of the Young Lawyer Editorial Board, writing here for The Legal Intelligencer, "share some practical advice that they would have given to themselves when they were attorneys entering the workforce."

      23. "Bay Street is handing out raises to articling students at a frenzied pace," 12.03.19.
        Precedent Magazine in Canada reports that "over the past two years, a wave of salary hikes has swept across Bay Street…[with] the new market leader, Davies, increasing its student compensation to $2,250 [per week]."

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