Weekly News Digest for Legal Career Professionals

Each week NALP provides a summary of news articles of interest to legal career professionals.

For news in the public interest arena, see the news digest from Samuel Halpert, NALP's Director of Public Service Initiatives, at www.psjd.org.

April 12, 2024

    Top Stories

  1. "At 18%, Law Firm Associate Attrition Rate Continues 2-Year Decline," 04.10.24.
    The NALP Foundation's Update on Associate Attrition was released this week, and The American Lawyer reports on the data, which shows that overall associate attrition rates fell but the attrition rate for associates of color remained significantly higher.

    1. "Overall hiring has now returned to pre-pandemic levels, with firms also increasing their rehiring of former associates," 04.10.24.
      Read the NALP Foundation's press release here.

    2. "Associate Hiring And Attrition Fell In '23 For 2nd Straight Year," 04.10.24.
      Law360 also reports on this story. (Subscription required.)

    3. "It's a quick goodbye for many departing associates, new NALP Foundation report finds," 04.11.24.
      ABA Journal has more. (Subscription required.)

  2. "AI Discrimination Will Be Enforcement Target, Agencies Say," 04.05.24.
    "Companies increasingly rely on artificial intelligence to make decisions about individuals, from choosing job applicants to setting mortgage rates," reports Bloomberg Law, and now federal agencies "are doubling down on enforcement commitments" related to those decisions.

    1. "AI Revolution in Employment Tools Surfaces Risks for Businesses," 04.12.24.
      Bloomberg Law takes a deep dive into some of the ways artificial intelligence tools can display bias and how employers should work to mitigate the related risks.

  3. Law Schools/Higher Education

  4. "Biden makes another pitch for student loan relief, but challenges loom," 04.09.24.
    "President Biden on Monday laid out plans to forgive some or all student loans for more than 30 million Americans, trying to expand on his administration's work to reduce debt burdens but offering a narrower path for forgiveness than a plan struck down by the Supreme Court last year," reports The Washington Post.

    1. "Biden administration cancels another $7.4 billion in student loans," 04.12.24.
      And a follow-up story from the Post says, "the Biden administration is announcing another round of loan cancellation through existing debt relief programs."

  5. "Saskatchewan government boosts practical learning at University of Saskatchewan College of Law," 04.09.24.
    Canadian Lawyer reports, "Saskatchewan has announced a $100,000 funding initiative to enhance practical learning opportunities for University of Saskatchewan College of Law students."

    1. "Saskatchewan expanding law student placements in name of access to justice," 04.10.24.
      Law360 Canada also picks up this story.

  6. "U.S. News' law school rankings are out, with fewer big moves," 04.09.24.
    Reuters reports on this year's release of law school rankings.

    1. "The 2024-2025 USNWR law school rankings: methodology tweaks may help entrench elite schools, but elite schools see reputation decline among lawyers and judges," 04.08.24.
      The Excess of Democracy blog examines some of the changes to the U.S. News methodology and opines, "Tougher times are coming to graduating law classes in the very near future. And you don't want to be preparing for the storm in the middle of it. Law schools should be in the process of adding to their career development offices — in fact, I'd say, as a rule of thumb, doubling the size."

    2. "Commentary On The 2024-25 U.S. News Law School Rankings," 04.10.24.
      For those who want to read more, TaxProf Blog has a roundup of opinion pieces on this topic.

    3. "After setbacks, U.S. News law school rankings show signs of waning influence," 04.12.24.
      Reuters reports that web traffic to the leaked U.S. News law school rankings fell this year, "the latest hint that the influence of U.S. News' law school rankings is waning following a widespread boycott by schools that began in 2022 and a series of data errors that plagued the rollout of the 2023 list."

    4. "A 'Bad Look'?: Legal Ed Professionals Weigh In on US News Rankings Methodology," 04.12.24.
      Law.com's Christine Charnosky shares thoughts from some people in the industry.

  7. Law Firms

  8. "As Partners Retire, Shifting Clients and Compensation Is Delicate," 04.12.24.
    A consultant from Major, Lindsey & Africa, writing for Bloomberg Law, outlines considerations for law firm succession planning, including planning for client transitions and the "delicate dance" of compensation for the junior and senior lawyers.

  9. "Identify Future Leaders, Open Lines of Communication and Do It With Time to Spare: A Succession Planning Primer," 04.09.24.
    The American Lawyer explores issues surrounding succession planning for law firms, noting that generational differences are a contributing factor, and advises, "One of the solutions [is] developing and screening for leadership skills early on during an attorney's tenure with the firm, as well as at different milestones, such as when an attorney first makes partner."

  10. "Elite New York Law Firms Outperformed Market, as Firms Invested in Both Equity, Nonequity Tiers," 04.08.24.
    The American Lawyer reports, "Leaning on more mid-market M&A deals, as well as big-ticket litigation and restructuring fees, elite New York law firms recovered from a slow 2022 and, as a whole, bested the legal market in 2023. The New York group outperformed on demand, productivity and revenue percentage growth, according to Citi figures and American Lawyer's own internal data."

    1. "An Early Look: The 2024 Am Law 200 Financials," 04.09.24.
      Check this feed at The American Lawyer for all of their law firm financial coverage.

  11. Employment Market/Return to Office

  12. "Law Firms Slowed Pace Of Hiring In First Quarter of 2024," 04.11.24.
    Law360 reports, "Despite a modest recovery in the latter half of last year, law firm lateral recruitment tapered off once again in the first quarter of 2024, with the hiring of associate candidates dropping the most during the period, according to Firm Prospects LLC." (Subscription required.)

  13. "Time to Move Past the Term 'Nonlawyer' as Legal Industry Evolves," 04.11.24.
    Bloomberg Law columnist David Lat interviews Olga Mack and Damien Riehl about their recent petition to stop using the term "non-lawyer."

    1. "The Law Firm Disrupted: A Fight Over Names That Just Won't Seem To End," 04.11.24.
      Dan Packel, author of Law.com's The Law Firm Disrupted column, weighs in on the debate around "non-lawyers," arguing "with pride, not profits at stake, I expect scores of licensed lawyers to dig in against any sort of regulatory change focused on labels and terminology for workers in the legal industry who lack law degrees."

  14. "7 Pieces of Advice for Mid-Level Associates," 04.09.24.
    An associate writing for Daily Report shares advice for junior and mid-level associates.

  15. "In Partner Hiring, Business Plans Become 'Litmus Test' For Government Hires," 04.09.24.
    "When searching for lateral partners to hire, law firms are putting much more weight on candidates' business plans, particularly government attorneys who are transitioning to private practice, according to recruiters for firms," reports The National Law Journal.

  16. "We need more lawyers!" 04.09.24.
    Jordan Furlong contemplates paraprofessionals, legal reform, and access to justice and concludes, "We need more lawyers. We need more from lawyers."

  17. "Sexual harassment persists in the legal profession," 04.05.24.
    This op-ed at Canadian Lawyer asserts, "A multi-level approach is needed to move the needle on workplace sexual harassment in the legal profession," and outlines the roles of regulators, law firm leadership, and individual lawyers.

  18. "Rethinking Mandatory Retirement Age: A Win-Win for Lawyers and Law Firms?" 04.04.24.
    This op-ed at Law.com argues that it's time for law firms to rethink mandatory retirement and provides a list of "starting points for a deeper conversation about creating a more adaptable, inclusive, and forward-thinking environment within law firms."

  19. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

  20. "Gen Z workers can take criticism. You're just phrasing it wrong," 04.10.24.
    "Your youngest colleagues may be the newest to the workplace, but they have clear expectations about how they would like to receive feedback: It should be timely, collaborative, empathetic and balanced. But if you wait weeks or months to address an issue, fix their mistakes without a conversation or focus only on what went wrong, they just might leave to find a workplace that connects with them better," according to The Washington Post.

  21. "Lawyer, Mother and the Dark Night of the Soul: What We Are Doing to Women at Law Firms," 04.10.24.
    The author of this op-ed at Law.com International reflects on her experience as a lawyer and new mother: "Though this is my story, all the other data points of women who disproportionately leave law firms have their own. The common thread we share is believing our firms when they said they were committed to keeping us. Why do we keep doing this to women at law firms?"

  22. "Gender Pay Gap: Elite UK Firms Show Little to No Improvement," 04.09.24.
    "The gender pay gaps at several of the U.K.'s elite law firms have widened across key metrics, with reports for 2023 revealing little to no improvement over the last 12 months," according to Law.com International.

  23. "Federal Race Data Revamp Gives EEOC More Precise Worker Insights," 04.09.24.
    Bloomberg Law takes a closer look at the implications of the EEOC's recently finalized new race and ethnicity categories.

  24. "Why Lawsuits Against Campus Antisemitism May Succeed," 04.05.24.
    Bloomberg Law's On the Merits podcast discusses "civil rights lawsuits from students who say the schools allow, or at least don't counter, a culture on campus of pervasive antisemitism."

  25. "Discrimination lawsuit prompts Wisconsin Bar to modify diversity program," 04.05.24.
    Reuters reports, "The State Bar of Wisconsin has modified the parameters of a diversity program for law students after a conservative legal advocacy group sued in December, claiming the program discriminates based on race."

  26. "10 Ways Employers Can Mitigate Risk When Disciplining Employees With Protected Status," 04.05.24.
    A lawyer writing for Daily Report outlines "several steps companies can take proactively…to ensure the business keeps running smoothly while effectively determining how best to discipline a protected employee."

  27. "'Tough year' for gender equality, says LEAF ahead of annual Evening for Equality event," 04.03.24.
    Law Times reports that the Women's Legal Education & Action Fund (LEAF) will be celebrating Equality Day on April 17 but notes, "it has been a 'tough year, overall' for the gender equality movement."

  28. Mental Health/Well-Being

  29. "A Lawyer Dies. Is Big Law To Blame?" 04.09.24.
    A recent blog post by Vivia Chen shares her thoughts on the intersection of mental health, heavy workload, motherhood, and depression in the wake of Vanessa Ford's death.

  30. "Empowering lawyers returning to practice," 04.08.24.
    CBA/ABC National reports on "Returnity YYC, a Calgary program designed for lawyers in Calgary on parental leave (maternity, paternity or adoption)."

  31. "Law firms told to introduce 'trigger warnings' amid growing fears for the mental health of lawyers working from 9am to 11pm in the City," 04.08.24.
    The U.K.'s Daily Mail reports, "Some lawyers in the City work more than 3,000 hours a year, which is equivalent to an 11.5-hour day for five days a week or an eight-hour day every day," and notes that the chairman of the City of London Law Society suggested such extreme hours should cause alarm among law firm leaders.

  32. "How I Deal With Stress: A Clifford Chance Partner on Feeling Overwhelmed and Accepting Help," 04.08.24.
    The next interview in the series on mental health and coping with stress from Law.com International.

    1. "How I Deal With Stress: A Sidley Partner on Personal Tragedy and Preparing for Fatherhood," 04.11.24.
      In this installment, "Sidley's Max Savoie talks about the value of to-do lists, getting counselling and switching off."

  33. Technology

  34. "Technology makes it easy for lawyers to work across borders: regulations should too," 04.11.24.
    This post on The Conversation argues that technology is making borders and transnational legal practice regulations obsolete.

  35. "Could Gen AI Be a 'Pivotal Moment' for the Legal Aid Market?" 04.10.24.
    Legaltech News reports, "The legal aid community is actively exploring the use cases for generative AI, and these could differ from what Big Law has been experimenting with over the last year or so."

  36. "Lawyers Say Technology Improves Employee Satisfaction. So Why Are Firms Slow to Modernize?" 04.09.24.
    A new study reported in Legaltech News shows, "more law firm respondents at high-tech firms said they were highly satisfied overall (74%) than those at mid- or low-tech firms (51%). The same held true when considering whether employees were highly likely to stay at their jobs at high-tech vs. mid- or low-tech firms (73% vs. 61%) and highly likely to recommend their organization (75% vs. 53%)."

  37. "AI in Employment Law: Balancing Innovation, Bias, and Legal Compliance," 04.08.24.
    "The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in employment decisions is rapidly advancing, offering employers a wealth of tools for recruitment and hiring. However, beneath the surface of its promising streamlined processes and enhanced decision-making lies a potential minefield of discrimination claims," reports The Recorder.

  38. "The AI Revolution Is Here. Who Will Be the Winners and Losers in Legal Services?" 04.08.24.
    Corporate Counsel reports, "Legal tech vendors, alternative service providers and law firms are all vying for in-house counsel's attention, and the winners in the legal field will be those who figure out how to put [AI technology] to the best use for those clients."

  39. "Is AI racially biased? Study finds chatbots treat Black-sounding names differently," 04.05.24.
    USA Today reports, "A recent paper from researchers at Stanford Law School found 'significant disparities across names associated with race and gender' from chatbots like OpenAI's ChatGPT 4 and Google AI's PaLM-2. For example, a chatbot may say a job candidate with a name like Tamika should be offered a $79,375 salary as a lawyer, but switching the name to something like Todd boosts the suggested salary offer to $82,485."

April 5, 2024

    Top Stories

  1. "Law student diversity, especially at top schools, shrank after affirmative action bans, study finds," 04.01.24.
    "Racial diversity among law students declined by as much as 17% in the wake of state affirmative action bans over the past 28 years, a new study has found, with a reduction of up to 47% at top law schools," reports Reuters.

    1. "Affirmative Action And Racial Diversity In U.S. Law Schools, 1980-2021," 03.29.24.
      TaxProf Blog also highlights this study.

    2. "Law School Diversity Dips Amid Affirmative Action Bans," 04.01.24.
      Law360 reports, "Racial diversity among U.S. law school students has dropped by as much as 17% following affirmative action bans in 12 states over the past 28 years, with the biggest reduction in minority shares at the country's top-ranked schools, according to a new study." (Subscription required.)

  2. "Anxiety Is Now the Top Mental Health Issue in the Workplace," 04.03.24.
    The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) shares data from mental health provider ComPsych that indicates, "anxiety [is] the No. 1 presenting issue reported by U.S. workers, topping depression, stress, relationship issues, family issues, addiction and grief."

  3. Law Schools/Higher Education

  4. "Bar exam data bodes well for February pass rates, after a two-year slump," 04.03.24.
    Reuters reports, "Early data from the February bar exam suggests that pass rates will increase and the attorney licensing test has stabilized after several years of volatility attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic."

  5. "Government Expands Student Placement Opportunities at University of Saskatchewan College of Law," 04.03.24.
    Education News Canada reports, "The Government of Saskatchewan is investing $100,000 in new practical learning placements for students at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law. The funding will help support students if they work in different communities for the term of their placements."

  6. "Support for ABA Proposal to Accredit Fully Online Law Schools Wanes," 04.01.24.
    "What appeared to be overwhelming support for the American Bar Association's proposal to allow fully online law schools to become eligible for provisional and full ABA approval significantly shifted at the eleventh hour," according to Law.com.

    1. "Law deans oppose proposal to accredit online law schools," 04.02.24.
      Reuters picks up the story: "Deans from 26 law schools have asked the American Bar Association to pull back on a proposal to extend its seal of approval to fully online law schools, saying more employment and bar pass data for graduates of online and hybrid programs is needed before making the change."

  7. Law Firms

  8. "Amid lagging associate hires, why these law firms bucked the trend," 04.03.24.
    Jenna Greene at Reuters looks at NALP's recent lateral hiring research and examines which firms did NOT decrease lateral hiring.

  9. "With High Interest in Law Firm Acquisitions, 'A Likely Uptick' in Mergers Underway," 04.01.24.
    The American Lawyer reports, "Law firm mergers have accelerated in 2024, as law firm interest in smaller-firm acquisitions remains high, and major cross-border combinations remain on the table this year, according to a new report."

    1. "Law firm merger pace picks up in early 2024," 04.02.24.
      Reuters also has this story, noting a 25% increase in the number of law firm mergers in the first quarter of 2024 as compared with the same time last year.

  10. "Ballooning Nonequity Tiers Will Require Law Firms to Manage Ranks Closely," 04.01.24.
    The American Lawyer reports, "there are risks from a bloated nonequity tier, observers say, while law firms need to be careful with how they communicate with partners in the nonequity ranks."

  11. Employment Market

  12. "Knowing Recruiters' Ins and Outs Enhances Legal Job Searches," 04.04.24.
    A recruiter writing for Bloomberg Law provides tips for lawyers on how to work with recruiters, including "the role they play, the types of engagements companies and firms use, and how to interact with and evaluate recruiters."

  13. "Canadian Lawyer partners with legal associations to survey legal graduates," 04.03.24.
    Canadian Lawyer announces it "has joined forces with the Canadian Lawyer's Association, South Asian Bar Association, Criminal Lawyers Association, Toronto Lawyers Association, Hellenic Canadian Lawyers' Association and Young Women in Law for the NextGen Lawyers Survey."

  14. "Petitioners Seek to Remove 'Non-Lawyer' From ABA Vocabulary. Lively Discussion Ensues," 04.03.24.
    The American Lawyer reports on a petition (and surrounding discussion) posted on LinkedIn that calls for removing the term "non-lawyer" from ABA model rules.

  15. "Government Lawyers, Particularly at DOJ, Are 'Flooding' the Job Market," 04.03.24.
    "Justice Department lawyers are flooding the job market, trying to land coveted roles at large law firms, according to recruiters and firm leaders, amid a presidential election year that could change government leadership," reports The National Law Journal.

  16. "General Counsel Commit to 50% Pro Bono Target to Increase In-House Involvement," 04.02.24.
    "General counsel from some of the U.K.'s largest companies, including Coca Cola, and GSK have signed a pledge aiming for 50% pro bono engagement across their teams by 2026," according to Law.com International.

  17. "Understaffing, Budget Cuts Continue to Roil In-House Legal Teams," 04.02.24.
    Bloomberg Law reports, "In-house legal teams continue to face growing responsibility and declining budgets, according to a report Tuesday from Axiom."

    1. "Excessive Workloads Are Boosting In-House Turnover, Creating 'Snowball Effect'," 04.03.24.
      Corporate Counsel also picks up this story, noting, "Ninety-six percent of the 300 U.S. general counsel surveyed…said they had their legal department budgets cut going into this year, leaving them either very or extremely concerned that they won't be able to invest in the talent they need."

  18. "What Becomes of Laid-Off (and Retooled) Associates?" 03.29.24.
    A partner at Major, Lindsey & Africa, writing for The American Lawyer, notes, "In conversations I've had with associates, I have never heard morale be as low as it is right now," and shares advice on whether and how associates should retool their practices.

  19. Return to Office

  20. "The Law Firm Disrupted: Getting a Head Start on the Office of the Future," 04.04.24.
    Law.com's Law Firm Disrupted column considers the status of in-office vs. remote work and asks, "what should those firms that want to be the 'winners' be doing right now? How to ensure the spaces of the future meet the test for emerging modes of getting work done?"

  21. "In-Office Work Requirements Vary Across Southeast Am Law 200 Firms," 04.04.24.
    Daily Report examines how in-office work policies are evolving in Big Law firms in the Southeast.

  22. "Still Don't Want to Go Anywhere? Business Development for Those Who Are Remote(ly Interested)," 04.01.24.
    This Daily Report op-ed provides advice on how lawyers who are working remotely can still work on business development.

  23. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

  24. "Unseen struggle: Foreign lawyers' journey to the Canadian bar," 04.03.24.
    Law360 Canada examines the difficulties foreign lawyers have in qualifying to practice law in Canada.

  25. "Dean Danielle Conway Encourages Women Leaders: 'Do Not Change Who You Are'," 04.03.24.
    The last story in Law.com's series for Women's History Month profiles Danielle M. Conway, Dean of Penn State Dickinson Law.

  26. "5 Best Practices For Firms Designing DEI Programs," 04.03.24.
    "Nikki Lewis Simon, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at Greenberg Traurig, discusses best practices — and some pitfalls to avoid — for law firms looking to build programs aimed at driving inclusion in the workplace," at Law360. (Subscription required.)

  27. "After DEI Ban, UT-Austin Eliminates a Division and Lays Off Its Former Diversity Staff," 04.02.24.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education reports, "The University of Texas at Austin announced on Tuesday that it was closing its Division of Campus and Community Engagement and laying off an unspecified number of people who had been working in DEI-related roles." (Subscription required.)

  28. "#MeToo in legal profession," 04.02.24.
    This op-ed at Law360 argues, "There is no one correct response to sexual harassment or sexual violence. But belittling the lawyers brave enough to speak up and stand against it sure is a lousy one."

  29. "States Clash With First Amendment on DEI, Captive Audience Laws," 04.01.24.
    Bloomberg Law examines the intersection of the First Amendment with diversity, equity, and inclusion programs at private employers.

  30. "Woman-owned, majority Native law firm launches in Grand Rapids," 03.29.24.
    Crain's Grand Rapids Business reports on the formation of a new law firm by an indigenous woman.

  31. "Promoting 'Comfortable Diversity' Can Impact Firms' Bottom Lines," 03.29.24.
    This episode of Law.com's Legal Speak podcast features Chanel T. Rowe, of Johnson & Johnson, speaking on "why she thinks promoting 'comfortable diversity' can improve firms' bottom lines and how she's helping level the legal playing field."

  32. "Suggested Corporate DE&I Activities and Best Practices for National Arab American Heritage Month," 03.25.24.
    The Arab America Foundation has published a list of suggested activities for celebrating Arab American Heritage Month, which is celebrated in April.

  33. Mental Health/Well-Being

  34. "How to Recognize and Fight Imposter Syndrome as a New Lawyer," 04.04.24.
    An associate, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, shares her experience with imposter syndrome and provides tips on working to overcome it.

  35. "How I Deal With Stress: A Travers Smith Partner on Reaching 'Breaking Point'," 04.04.24.
    The second article in a series on mental health at Law.com International interviews another law firm partner on how he handles stress.

  36. "'We're Literally Dying': Addressing Mental Health in the Legal Profession Needs to Start in Law School," 04.04.24.
    Law.com reports, "Nearly 10% of students begin law school depressed, which climbs to 40% by the time they graduate, according to data published by the Dave Nee Foundation. These mental health problems follow students into their careers, with lawyers holding the record for being the most frequently depressed occupation in the United States."

    1. "Ahead of the Curve: Should Alcohol Use Have a Trigger Warning?" 04.04.24.
      In this follow-up column, Law.com's Christine Charnosky reflects on what she learned about alcohol use in law school and beyond.

  37. "Lawyers must unplug, adjust expectations to boost mental health: Law(yer) Strong's Tamara McCaffrey," 04.01.24.
    Canadian Lawyer reports, "In a profession that has long glorified hard work but has recently added the burden of technologically enabled round-the-clock availability, lawyers must recalibrate expectations to improve mental health, says Tamara McCaffrey, program director at Law(yer) Strong Inc."

  38. "Vanessa Ford: We Can't Afford to Lose You," 04.01.24.
    This op-ed at The Legal Intelligencer reflects on the death of Vanessa Ford and contends, "Associates will attempt to model what partners do, rather than what they say. The profession must do better than this."

  39. Technology

  40. "ANALYSIS: Legal Workers Use AI for Research, Despite Red Flags," 04.04.24.
    Bloomberg Law analyzes data on how lawyers are using generative artificial intelligence.

  41. "Business Schools Are Going All In on AI," 04.03.24.
    The Wall Street Journal reports, "Top business schools are pushing M.B.A. candidates and undergraduates to use artificial intelligence as a second brain. Students are eager for the instruction as employers increasingly hire talent with AI skills."

  42. "Education in the Age of Gen AI: Experiential Training Is Essential for Success," 03.29.24.
    This op-ed at Legaltech News argues, "Generative AI's ultimate impact on the delivery of legal services is already in motion. To meet it, the legal industry must embrace practical training now, which will not only be driven by AI, but also extend to AI itself."

March 29, 2024

    Top Stories

  1. "Firms Put the Brakes on Lateral Hiring in 2023 — Falling 35% From 2022," 03.27.24.
    The lateral hiring market showed continued signs of a course correction in 2023, with lateral lawyer hiring down 35% overall, following 2022's decline of 11.5%, according to the latest analyses from NALP's 2023 Lateral Hiring Survey, which was released this week. You can read the press release and additional analysis here.

    1. "Lateral hiring at law firms hits lowest level since 2010, NALP report finds," 03.27.24. (Reuters)

    2. "Law Firm Hiring Plummets 35% Amid Layoffs, Slow Demand," 03.27.24. (Bloomberg Law)

    3. "For second year in a row, law firms pull back on lateral hiring of lawyers," 03.27.24. (ABA Journal. Subscription required.)

    4. "Lateral Hiring Plummets As Post-COVID Talent Wars Cease," 03.27.24. (Law360. Subscription required.)

    5. "Pittsburgh law firms see pandemic trend play out as lateral hires dropped 35% nationally," 03.27.24. (Pittsburgh Business Times. Subscription required.)

    6. "Lateral Movement Has Slowed Across the Board, Especially in Florida," 03.28.24. (Daily Business Review)

    7. "The Law Firm Disrupted: Are Big Law's Remote Lawyers a Vanishing Species?" 03.28.24. (Law.com)

    8. "Biglaw Associate Hiring Plunges By 43%, Officially Ending The Lateral Party," 03.28.24. (Above the Law)

  2. Law Schools/Higher Education

  3. "ABA Proposal Regarding Accreditation of Fully Online Law Schools Receives Overwhelming Support From Commenters," 03.25.24.
    Law.com reports, "The American Bar Association has garnered dozens of pages of comments, largely in support, regarding a proposal to allow fully online law schools to become eligible for provisional and full ABA approval."

  4. "The Chaos of Compliance," 03.22.24.
    "It's proving difficult to get a clear picture of what the new state laws restricting diversity, equity, and inclusion work at public colleges are actually doing to campuses," reports The Chronicle of Higher Education. (Subscription required.)

  5. Law Firms

  6. "'I Took The Plunge': How A Risk Paid Off For One Associate," 03.27.24.
    Law360 reports, "When she was a third-year associate, Cohen Ziffer Frenchman & McKenna LLP hiring partner Meredith Elkins got a call from the head of her firm presenting her with an opportunity to take on a secondment with one of the firm's biggest clients."

  7. "How Senior Associates Can Build Their Books Of Business," 03.27.24.
    Law360 reports, "As associates grow into their positions, there can come a point at which they realize that mastering the art of the legal brief or the deposition is not enough: They also need to learn how to attract and retain clients." (Subscription required.)

  8. "An Early Look: The 2024 Am Law 200 Financials," 03.28.24.
    The American Lawyer has a compilation of their industry financial reporting here.

  9. "Build a culture of investment in your law firm partnership," 03.27.24.
    Jordan Furlong offers his opinion on why law firms have a hard time changing or modernizing their practices and outlines steps to "develop and sustain a culture of investment within your law firm's partnership."

  10. "New Reed Smith pay structure sorts associates into 'the A squad and the B squad,' blog says," 03.26.24.
    ABA Journal reports, "Reed Smith has confirmed that it is changing the compensation structure for associates, but it's not getting into specifics after a leaked memo said the law firm was creating two tiers of associate pay based on billable hours." (Subscription required.)

  11. "Latham & Watkins Grows Bonus Pool With 15% of Profits, as Firms Seek Flexibility to Reward Top Earners," 03.26.24.
    The American Lawyer reports, "While Latham has been gradually expanding its bonus pool, other firms have reallocated the value of share points to reach similar ends."

  12. "Realization Rates Keep Falling in the Am Law 200. But Does That Matter?" 03.25.24.
    The American Lawyer reports that law firm realization rates are down but "no one seems terribly concerned about failing to collect as much of their firm's standard rates as they could in previous years. While some firm leaders pointed to market factors such as economic uncertainty, most indicated that declining realization rates were a price they were happy to pay in exchange for several years of strong rate increases."

  13. "More Big Law Firms Are Crossing Financial Milestones. How Much Do They Care?" 03.22.24.
    The American Lawyer reports that some firms have recently reached new financial milestones but many of the firm leaders say, "while they naturally pay attention to top-line markers, they're more often concerned with per-lawyer or per-partner thresholds, which mean more to their own talent as well as those who may be in the market. They also emphasized long-term trajectory over annual targets."

  14. "Embracing innovation: Nonlawyers should be allowed to own Ontario law firms," 03.21.24.
    This op-ed at Law360 Canada argues that nonlawyer ownership of law firms would increase innovation, improve access to justice, and help with succession planning.

  15. Employment Market/Return to Office

  16. "Mentorship Must-Haves: The Secrets to Mentor-Mentee Relationships That Last," 03.28.24.
    The Young Lawyer Editorial Board at The Legal Intelligencer points out that "mentor-mentee relationships have struggled to redefine themselves in the new era of workplace flexibility" and outlines the qualities they are looking for in a mentor.

  17. "US judge acknowledges 'problems' after clerk alleges abusive workplace," 03.27.24.
    "A federal judge has agreed to receive counseling and training about workplace conduct after acknowledging 'significant problems' raised by a law clerk who accused the judge of abusing and harassing his chamber's staff," reports Reuters.

  18. "Freshfields the Latest to Move to 4 Days in US Offices," 03.27.24.
    The American Lawyer reports that Freshfields joins several other Big Law firms that are requiring lawyers and staff to work in the office four days a week.

  19. "Nonequity Partner Growth Kicks Into High Gear," 03.26.24.
    Law.com reports, "Last year saw a 'staggering' jump in the number of law firm leaders who said they wanted to increase their nonequity tier going forward, according to one industry analysis. Now it's clear many of the biggest Big Law players are following through, with several Am Law 100 firms growing their income partner ranks by double-digit percentages in 2023, according to early reporting on the Am Law 200 financials."

  20. "Regional West Coast Firms See Modest Gross Revenue Increases, as Equity Partner Tiers Contract," 03.26.24.
    The Recorder reports that some Second Hundred firms on the West coast have seen their partnership ranks decrease and also a boost in their revenue in 2023.

  21. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

  22. "Leave These Harmful Narratives Behind to Advance Women in Law," 03.29.24.
    A lawyer writing for Bloomberg Law examines and rebuts some common assumptions about women in the legal profession.

  23. "U.S. updates how it classifies people by race, ethnicity for first time in decades," 03.28.24.
    The Washington Post reports, "The U.S. Office of Management and Budget announced Thursday it would combine questions about race and ethnicity on federal forms and encourage people to select multiple options if applicable. The government also will add 'Middle Eastern or North African' (MENA) as a new category for the combined question, which will include seven total choices."

  24. "Female Attorney Pay Remains Skewed, and Law Firms Must Step Up," 03.28.24.
    Two lawyers writing for Bloomberg Law examine data on women in the law and argue, "Among firm leadership, men are still largely making the policies, deciding compensation, and determining advancement. They now have an opportunity to shift the status quo toward inclusion."

  25. "By The Numbers: Diversity Of California Attorneys Grows," 03.27.24.
    Law360 reports, "Female and minority attorneys have made big gains in California over the past few decades, but white attorneys still make up nearly two-thirds of all lawyers in the highly diverse Golden State, according to a new report by the State Bar of California."

  26. "California shows gains in minority lawyers, but numbers lag far behind general population," 03.26.24.
    "California admitted a record high proportion of women and minority lawyers in 2023, but the state's lawyer rolls remain significantly whiter than its adult population, according to a study by the State Bar of California released on Monday," reports Reuters.

  27. "Law student's suit alleges Chicago Bears didn't hire him as 'legal diversity fellow' because he is white man," 03.25.24.
    ABA Journal reports, "A first-year student at the DePaul University College of Law in Chicago claims in a lawsuit that the Chicago Bears football team refused to consider him for a 'legal diversity fellow' position because he is a white man." (Subscription required.)

  28. "The Slackers Are Running the Joint — Gen X Law Firm Leaders and Their Impact," 03.22.24.
    A consultant, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, argues that "The role of Gen X lawyer leaders in law firm strategy is pivotal. They bring their entrepreneurial mindset and forward-thinking vision, steering their constituents toward modernization while preserving the core values that underpin the practice of law."

  29. "Illinois federal judges rescind diversity policies after conservatives complain," 03.22.24.
    Reuters reports, "Three federal judges in Illinois have rescinded policies giving women and minority lawyers early in their careers more opportunities to argue cases in court that had become the subject of misconduct complaints by two conservative legal groups."

  30. "Women Attys Navigate Shifting Expectations Over Makeup," 03.22.24.
    Law360 reports, "Some women attorneys say makeup helps them feel more polished and confident at work, but they acknowledge that the desire to express themselves this way is often dictated by the legal industry's idea of what's appropriate, forcing them to navigate ever-shifting expectations in a field once shaped by men." (Subscription required.)

  31. Mental Health/Well-Being

  32. "'Puppy Yoga is Not a Wellbeing Strategy': Are Law Firms Doing Enough on Mental Health?" 03.28.24.
    Law.com International asked 20 London law firms about their well-being programs and whether there was more that law firms could do to support the mental health of lawyers.

  33. "How I Deal With Stress: Top Partners Open Up," 03.27.24.
    Law.com International interviews two partners about how they deal with the stress of the job.

  34. "In-House Counsel Experiencing Increase in Stress and Anxiety, Canadian Survey Finds," 03.24.24.
    Law.com International reports, "At a time when mental health in the legal profession is in the spotlight, 50% of respondents in a Canadian survey of in-house counsel say they have experienced an increase in anxiety and stress over the last year."

  35. Technology

  36. "Education in the Age of Gen AI: The Old Way of Training Law Firm Associates 'Just Doesn't Work'," 03.28.24.
    This op-ed at Legaltech News considers what impact generative AI will have on low-level legal work and asks, "How do we most effectively and expeditiously develop talent to the point where a young lawyer is additive to the lower-level work at which the machines increasingly excel?"

  37. "Using AI to Improve DEI Outcomes in the Workplace," 03.22.24.
    A lawyer writing for New York Law Journal advises, "employers are tasked with carefully considering the blind spots of AI and the legal and cultural risks if they are not careful to avoid perpetuating biases and unfair outcomes in the workplace by closely monitoring and regularly auditing AI tools for unintended outcomes."

March 22, 2024

    Top Stories

  1. "Washington Becomes Second State to Adopt Alternative Pathways to the Bar," 03.15.24.
    Law.com reports, "Washington became the second state to offer alternative pathways to the bar on Friday, with the Washington Supreme Court ruling to adopt six alternatives proposed by the Washington Bar Licensure Task Force."

    1. "Washington adopts new lawyer licensing paths as other states mull bar exam bypasses," 03.18.24.
      Karen Sloan at Reuters reports on this story.

    2. "This state is creating a way to skip the bar exam and making it easier to pass for those who take it," 03.18.24.
      ABA Journal also reports. (Subscription required.)

  2. "Bonuses With Strings Attached Play Role in Partner Retention," 03.19.24.
    "In today's competitive lateral market, as rainmaking partners constantly field offers from higher-paying firms, bonuses structured as forgivable loans have become an important tool for partner retention at some firms," reports The American Lawyer.

  3. Law Schools/Higher Education

  4. "U.S. News law school rankings release date set, methodology changes expected," 03.19.24.
    Reuters reports, "Rankings watchers expect that U.S. News will modify its formula to make it more difficult for people to use publicly available American Bar Association data to forecast the results months before the official list comes out and to reduce volatility in schools' rankings."

    1. "US News Law School Rankings Shrouded in Mystery," 03.21.24.
      Law.com has more on this.

  5. "Revamped bar exam gains traction as three more states sign on," 03.18.24.
    Reuters provides details on the 17 jurisdictions that have indicated they will adopt the NextGen bar exam.

  6. "Revisiting the bar exam," 03.14.24
    A lawyer writing for Law360 Canada argues that the barrister and solicitor examinations in Ontario "are not properly testing the competency levels of incoming students" and should be reformed.

  7. "Amid animal-related family law reform push, TMU launching pet law legal clinic," 03.13.24.
    Law Times reports, "As BC legal reform breaks new ground in the family law's treatment of pets, the Lincoln Alexander School of Law at Toronto Metropolitan University has launched a new legal clinic for pet parents in the Greater Toronto Area."

  8. Law Firms

  9. "Lateral Hire Success: How to Measure It," 03.18.24.
    A consultant for Major, Lindsey & Africa, writing for The American Lawyer, provides suggestions on how to measure the success of a lateral partner hire from the perspective of the firm and of the lawyer.

  10. "As Law Firms Keep Scaling, Leader Exits Are Seemingly Becoming More Common and Filling Those Roles Is an Increasing Challenge," 03.15.24.
    The Recorder looks at some of the recent managing partner exits and reports, "The pressure of managing a firm may be increasing, and some firms are trying different approaches to help avoid stress."

  11. "Law firm BCLP cuts dozens of staffers in latest layoffs," 03.15.24.
    Reuters reports, "Transatlantic law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner has laid off around 50 employees, a spokesperson told Reuters on Friday, marking the second time the firm has cut professional staff members in less than a year."

  12. Employment Market/Return to Office

  13. "Raising Concerns on Long-Term Strategies, Midsize Law Firms Remain Stagnant on RTO," 03.20.24.
    Law.com Pro Mid-Market outlines some of the return-to-office experiences of mid-size firms, reporting, "Complicating the process of bringing attorneys back to the office…is a combination of cultural concerns and incentives, lack of uniformity across practices, and a need for leadership to encourage younger attorneys to return to office by example."

  14. "Virtual Work is Convenient and Omnipresent. Is it Stunting Young Lawyers' Development?" 03.19.24.
    Daily Business Review reports that some law firm leaders are struggling with "providing the future leaders of the legal industry with proper guidance. Because a lot of young attorneys have become accustomed to remote work, some are struggling to adapt when work takes them beyond a computer screen and into an actual courtroom."

  15. "Law Firm and In-House Recruiting Are Very Different: Here's How," 03.15.24.
    In his column at The American Lawyer, Dan Binstock explains the difference between recruiting for law firm positions and for in-house positions and provides tips for lawyers who are interested in moving in-house.

  16. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

  17. "Law Firms Boost Diversity Defenses After Conservative Backlash," 03.22.24.
    Bloomberg Law reports on data from a new Leopard Solutions report showing a drop in hiring of diverse candidates for entry-level and lateral positions over the last year, but also shows, "About 57% of reported summer 2023 first-year law students were diversity fellows, up from 55% in recent years."

  18. "Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signs sweeping law that prohibits diversity, equity, and inclusion at public schools and universities," 03.20.24.
    CNN reports on the latest state legislation prohibiting DEI initiatives.

  19. "A Pioneer Amid Adversity, Kellye Testy Leads by Example," 03.19.24.
    Law.com profiles Kellye Testy, president and CEO of the Law School Admission Council, as part of their series on first female law deans.

  20. "EEOC Official Flags 'Overblown' Takes On Admissions Ruling," 03.19.24.
    Law360 reports, "The U.S. Supreme Court's blockbuster decision that race-conscious university admissions policies are unconstitutional doesn't apply to the 'vast majority' of private employers' diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Vice Chair Jocelyn Samuels said Tuesday."

  21. "Law Firms Need to Be Aware of Neurodivergence Trend," 03.19.24.
    Bloomberg Law's On the Merits podcast looks at recent statistics on neurodiversity among law students and what law firms need to know.

  22. "'Your Kind': Minority Lawyers Are Having a Frank Conversation on LinkedIn," 03.18.24.
    Law.com reports on a series of LinkedIn posts related to diversity that are generating discussion in the legal industry.

  23. "'Tip of the Iceberg': Appellate Ruling Provides Roadmap for Bias Suits Over DEI Training," 03.18.24.
    The National Law Journal reports, "The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued one of the first appellate rulings last week addressing claims that diversity training created a hostile work environment — and employment lawyers say the opinion provides a roadmap for a flood of expected similar claims."

  24. "No Box to Check: When the Census Doesn't Reflect You," 02.25.24.
    In a story we missed last month, The New York Times reports on a proposed new census category for those "with roots in the Middle East and North Africa, often abbreviated as MENA."

  25. Mental Health/Well-Being

  26. "Who Is Responsible for Protecting Lawyers' Mental Health?" 03.21.24.
    The American Lawyer reflects on the sources of human happiness and unhappiness, noting that "firms are nothing but a collection of lawyers who have all of the same flaws and fears as the firm's individual associates, counsels and partners" and encouraging lawyers to "[let] go of outcome-based goals on a regular basis."

  27. "Working in Law is Stressful, Here Are a Few Things You Can Do," 03.20.24.
    Law.com International provides tips for self-care, reminding us that shifting law firm cultures and changing our own habits and behaviors is hard work.

  28. "Employers should focus on proactive steps on mental health, not just legal requirements: lawyer," 03.18.24.
    Law Times reports, "Employers should take proactive measures, even if they are not legally required, to prevent mental health issues from igniting legal liability in the workplace, says employment lawyer Eduard Matei."

  29. "PEP Talk: The Am Law 100's Quiet Boost," 03.17.24.
    This editorial at Law.com International examines the relationship between rising partner profits and mental health, noting, "There are a number of ways law firms can increase revenue — they can bill more hours, and they can raise rates, to name two. But these management moves come at a cost. As we now know all too well, that cost can result in an existential threat to the mental health of partners, associates and staff."

  30. Technology

  31. "AI can narrow justice gap, but women lawyers slower to adopt it, Berkeley study shows," 03.21.24.
    Karen Sloan at Reuters looks at a recent study from Berkeley Law that showed "Overall, 21% of the legal aid attorneys surveyed said they were already using AI. But the study found a significant gender gap in the adoption of AI tools — a notable finding given that 75% of legal aid attorneys are women. Among the survey respondents, men were three times as likely as women to already be using AI in their work. That usage gap dissolved after lawyers were given access to AI through the study, however. The report recommends AI companies and legal services organizations be proactive in encouraging attorneys, especially women, to use the technology."

  32. "Joshua Lenon at Clio says Canadian lawyers are slow to adopt tech, but big changes are coming soon," 03.19.24.
    Canadian Lawyer's podcast talks with Joshua Lenon, lawyer in residence and data protection officer at Clio, about "his role at the legal tech company, legal ethics, innovation, access to justice, privacy, data protection, artificial intelligence, and the Canadian legal market."

  33. "KPMG Looks to Beat Big Law at AI by Leveraging Size and Capital," 03.18.24.
    Bloomberg Law reports, "The Big Four consultancy plans to invest 'tens of millions of dollars' to help corporate legal departments streamline operations, including implementing generative AI, said Stuart Fuller, KPMG's head of legal services, in an interview. The technology eventually will 'take away part of the core business model' for law firms by handling tasks usually assigned to junior lawyers, he said."

  34. "Is AI coming for your job?," 03.18.24.
    Precedent Magazine contemplates the question of AI from all sides.

March 15, 2024

    Top Stories

  1. "Drop in Demand for New Talent at Law Firms Results in Softest Recruiting Cycle since the Great Recession," 03.12.24.
    This week NALP released Perspectives on 2023 Law Student Recruiting, which reveals a drop in demand for new lawyers, creating the softest recruiting cycle since the Great Recession and a challenging job market for students. Find the press release and the full report here.

    1. "Law firm summer associate recruiting hits 11-year low in 2023," 03.12.24. (Reuters)

    2. "Flush with incoming associates, law firms pulled back on 2024 summer associate hiring, rivaling Great Recession levels," 03.12.24. (ABA Journal)

    3. "Biglaw's Summer Associate Recruitment Cycle Is The Worst Since The Great Recession," 03.12.24. (Above Law)

    4. "Facing Overcapacity, Law Firms Made Fewer Offers for 2024 Summer Associates," 03.12.24. (The American Lawyer)

    5. "Firms Trimmed Entry-Level Hiring Amid Demand Shifts In 2023," 03.12.24. (Law360)

  2. Law Schools/Higher Education

  3. "ABA Bar Passage Data Report Comes With New Terminology," 03.12.24.
    Law.com reports, "When the American Bar Association released its annual report with bar passage data, it showed that the passage rates haven't changed much, but some terminology had. Instead of 'diploma privilege,' the ABA was now using 'alternate pathways.' While the terms are not interchangeable, diploma privilege was absorbed into the alternate pathways category, according to the ABA."

  4. "New bar passage stats show several law schools below ABA cutoff," 03.11.24.
    New ABA data shows that "90.40% of 2021 graduates who sat for a bar exam passed it within two years of graduation, which is slightly lower than the 91.85% two-year bar pass rate for 2020 graduates," reports ABA Journal, with seven law schools falling below the required 75% two-year ultimate pass rate. (Subscription required.)

  5. "First-time bar exam pass rate ticked up in 2023 while racial gaps persist," 03.11.24.
    Reuters reports, "More than 79% of U.S. law school graduates who took the bar exam for the first time in 2023 passed, according to new data released on Monday by the American Bar Association."

  6. Law Firms

  7. "The Law Firm Disrupted: Who Would Want to Manage a Big Firm Anyway?" 03.14.24.
    Law.com's Law Firm Disrupted column explores "two conflicting imperatives — managing a firm to higher productivity in an increasingly competitive environment, while recognizing that the next generation of lawyers aren't necessarily on board with self-sacrifice for the benefit of the institution, even if it also accrues to their wallets."

  8. "Anticipating Transactional Rebound, Am Law 50 Steps Up Partner Hiring in Early 2024," 03.12.24.
    The American Lawyer reports, "In the first two months of 2024, lateral partner hiring in the Am Law 50 has already surpassed the same periods in 2022 and 2023, especially in corporate practices, where firms are seeking to get ahead of a return in transactional activity."

  9. "Allow your firm's culture to change," 03.13.24.
    Jordan Furlong examines how law firm culture is formed and changed, arguing, "Core values do not depend on which generation happens to be running the show at any given time. Values outlive culture. You should allow your firm's culture to shift and ripple and flow as times change and its people change."

  10. Employment Market/Return to Office

  11. "US law firm office leasing soared to record high in 2023," 03.14.24.
    "U.S. law firms leased a record total amount of office space in 2023, commercial real estate brokerage Cushman & Wakefield said on Thursday, signaling the legal industry's relative bullishness on in-person work since the pandemic," reports Reuters.

  12. "In-house counsel salary survey shows 'robust' and 'active' market, says recruiter," 03.13.24.
    Lexpert reports, "A new in-house counsel salary survey from ZSA Legal Recruitment and Counselwell shows there is a premium for in-office work, and British Columbia is the most lucrative province for in-house roles."

  13. "Annual CCCA survey reveals key trends and challenges for Canadian in-house legal sector," 03.13.24.
    The Canadian Corporate Counsel Association (CCCA) and Mondaq released findings of the third annual Canadian In-House Counsel Survey, reports Lexpert, with results showing hyrbid work models have become the norm, demand for in-house legal services is growing, and stress and anxiety levels are rising, among other findings.

  14. "Let's Do Lunch!" 03.13.24.
    This editorial at Law.com reminds us that "Lunch used to be where business was done" and looks at how that has changed since COVID and remote work.

  15. "What best prepares you for the practice of law?" 03.10.24.
    The National Jurist reports on the NALP Foundation's Law School Alumni Employment and Satisfaction study.

    1. "By The Numbers: Why Associates Stay At Their Firms," 03.08.24.
      "After a flood of associates left their firms in search of greener pastures as part of the 'talent wars' of the early 2020s, the National Association for Law Placement [Foundation] wanted to know what made other early-career attorneys decide instead to stay put. Here, Law360 Pulse takes a look at how compensation, work-life balance, and a dozen other factors helped play a role." (Subscription required.)

  16. "Big Law Recruiting Firms Merge, Aiming to Form 'One-Stop Shop for the Am Law 20'," 03.08.24.
    Big Law recruiting firms "Johnson Downie and Lippman Jungers have joined forces in a bid to dominate the profession's top lateral partner moves," reports The American Lawyer.

  17. "After COVID Office Cuts, Firms Will Do 'More With Less'," 03.08.24.
    Law360 reports, "Things are settling back into place in the legal office space market after the great upheavals caused by COVID-19, with most law firms now focused on making the best use of their existing space after a round of pandemic-era downsizing, according to a new survey." (Subscription required.)

  18. "Military Spouses Are Untapped Pool Of Attorney Talent," 03.08.24.
    "Service members' spouses in the legal profession present a massive well of untapped talent, though balancing a law career with their families' service to the country can be challenging, attorneys working in and with this community tell Law360 Pulse." (Subscription required.)

  19. "US legal jobs returned to near-record high in February, Labor Dept says," 03.08.24.
    Reuters reports, "The U.S. legal services sector added 2,700 jobs in February, resuming an upward trajectory after dipping at the start of the year, according to U.S. Labor Department data released on Friday."

  20. "ANALYSIS: More Law Students Into Public Interest but Firms Win," 03.08.24.
    Bloomberg Law reports on data from their most recent Law School Preparedness Survey that shows that one-fourth of law students aspire to practice in the public interest but that only 1% of practicing attorneys currently do so. You can view infographics related to this survey here.

    1. "24% of law students expect to work in public service, survey says," 03.13.24.
      ABA Journal has more. (Subscription required.)

  21. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

  22. "Radha Curpen at Bennett Jones LLP on how law firms should understand intersectionality," 03.12.24.
    This episode of the CL Talks podcast at Canadian Lawyer's features Radha Curpen speaking on "diversity, equity and inclusion in law and how intersectionality fits within that framework."

  23. "Another Bite at the Apple: Neuroinclusion as a Way to Lead the Diversity Challenge," 03.08.24.
    This op-ed at The Legal Intelligencer provides tips for making the legal hiring process and the profession more open and inclusive for neurodivergent individuals.

  24. Mental Health/Well-Being

  25. "I Left the Big Law Work-Life Balance Trap and Found Integration," 03.15.24.
    A lawyer writing for Bloomberg Law describes why and how he left Big Law and concludes, "Finding ways to make professional life align with your values, goals, and personal objectives — however that may look for you — is worth it."

  26. "A Journey to Wellness Begins With Changes in Law Firm Culture," 03.14.24.
    A lawyer and recovering alcoholic writes about his experiences, the role of long working hours, high stress, and socializing based around alcohol, and the more recent changes in law firm culture to put more emphasis on well-being.

  27. "Mental Health: Who Has The Power to Change the System?" 03.10.24.
    Law.com International's Editor-in-Chief, following up on last week's opinion piece about mental health in the legal profession, outlines several groups he sees as responsible for the existing culture of the profession and who might be drivers of change, including law firm leaders, managers, junior lawyers, and clients.

  28. "Reports: Canadian firms 'successful' but lawyers face mental well-being, efficiency challenges," 03.07.24.
    Law360 Canada reports, "Most Canadian lawyers believe their organizations are generally successful, but face challenges in the form of safeguarding lawyer mental well-being and improving internal efficiency, according to reports by the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) and the Thomson Reuters Institute." (Subscription required.)

  29. Technology

  30. "New Lie-Detecting AI for Job Interviews Risks Violating Old Laws," 03.15.24.
    Bloomberg Law outlines the legal issues around the use of artificial intelligence in the interview process, including "broader concerns over whether software that claims to evaluate candidates' integrity is illegal, and perhaps even discriminatory."

  31. "AI Detection Study Finds ChatGPT Outputs Likely to Contain Some Form of Plagiarism," 03.13.24.
    Legaltech News interviews the author of a recent study that showed "about 60% of OpenAI's GPT-3.5 model outputs contained 'some form of plagiarized content,' with 45.7% of all outputs containing 'identical text.'"

  32. "Midsize Law Firms Are Testing Different AI Approaches to Compete With Big Law," 03.13.24.
    Daily Business Review reports, "As the profile of generative artificial intelligence continues to rise, many firms are being careful how they deploy the technology and even how they talk about it publicly. But as some midsize firms see potential in AI helping them compete against Big Law, they are approaching it head on."

  33. "The fate of billable hours is in the hands of artificial intelligence," 03.12.24.
    ABA Journal reports, "If AI is capable of doing tasks in seconds that once took hours or days, then law firms are faced with a dilemma: continue depending on that timer, which will be cut significantly; or find alternative billing methods that account for the tasks done, rather than the time that it takes to do them." (Subscription required.)

  34. "AI, the Billable Hour and Improving Client Service," 03.08.24.
    In an op-ed at Law.com, a consultant writes, "I believe AI could be best utilized not to eliminate associate-level work, but to enhance how legal work is delivered and enable partners and associates to spend more time improving the quality and timeliness of the legal work."

  35. "How Tech Is Helping Fuel the Rise of the Mid-Market," 03.08.24.
    The Law.com Barometer newsletter explores the benefits of new technology for midsize law firms in the competition for both clients and talent, noting, "In decades past, the move from Big Law to midsize firms often meant choosing between quality of work or quality of life. Now, midsize firms are competing for complex cases and major clients, while also offering the same quality of life they were always known for, if not better."

March 8, 2024

    Top Stories

  1. "Surveys reveal key challenges for law firms and government lawyers in Canada," 03.06.24.
    CBA/ABC National shares results from the inaugural State of the Canadian Law Firm Market report that show "the need for law firms to adapt, innovate, and prioritize their most valuable asset: their legal professionals."

    1. "Law firm survey finds misalignment between idea of success and firms' planning and metrics," 03.06.24.
      Canadian Lawyer also picks up this story, noting that the report found that "the definition of success among law firms is not always aligned with how they measure and plan for it or their assessment of goals and risks."

  2. "Yale's Heather Gerken Aims to Pave the Way for Women in Leadership," 02.29.24.
    For Women's History Month, Law.com profiles female law deans, starting with Heather Gerken, the first female dean at Yale Law School.

    1. "Arkansas Law Dean 'Thrilled' That Many Women of Color Have Succeeded Her," 03.07.24.
      The second article in this series interviews Cynthia Nance, the first Black woman dean at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville School of Law.

  3. Law Schools/Higher Education

  4. "LSAT alternative JD-Next teams up with Themis Bar Review as part of Aspen deal," 03.07.24.
    "The test prep company that owns Themis Bar Review has acquired legal textbook and study aid firm Aspen Publishing, which operates the new alternative law school admissions program JD-Next," reports Reuters.

  5. "ABA Approves Golden Gate University Law's Teach-Out Plan," 03.07.24.
    The Recorder reports, "The American Bar Association approved Golden Gate University School of Law's teach-out plan weeks after several current students and the school's alumni association filed suit against the institution for breach of contract and seven other counts, including the appointment of a receiver, due to the school sunsetting its J.D. program at the end of this academic year."

  6. "ABA Approves Charleston Law's Request to Become Nonprofit," 03.07.24.
    "The American Bar Association has approved the Charleston School of Law's request to convert to a nonprofit school, leaving only one for-profit ABA-accredited law school," according to Daily Report.

  7. "Toronto Metropolitan University announces new home for Lincoln Alexander School of Law," 03.06.24.
    Law Times reports, "The Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) has officially announced that its Lincoln Alexander School of Law will relocate to a new home…. Scheduled to take possession in 2025, the university plans to renovate the property to serve the expanding needs of the law school."

  8. "Ian Holloway, UCalgary law's dean, on why he put aside tradition to design a new curriculum," 03.05.24.
    Canadian Lawyer profiles the outgoing dean of UCalgary Law and his approach to designing his law school's curriculum.

  9. "LSAT writing section gets a revamp ahead of changes in scoring," 03.05.24.
    Reuters reports on LSAC's announcement that it will "start scoring the writing section sometime after the upcoming testing cycle, which begins in August and ends in the summer of 2025. The writing section is currently unscored but is provided to law schools."

  10. "First new US law school since 2017 gets ABA provisional approval," 03.04.24.
    "The American Bar Association has granted provisional accreditation to the Jacksonville University College of Law, making it the first new U.S. law school to gain that distinction since 2017," reports Reuters.

  11. "80% Through Fall 2024 Law School Admissions Season: Applicants Are Up +5.1%, With Smallest Increase In White Males," 03.04.24.
    TaxProf Blog examines LSAC admissions data.

  12. Law Firms

  13. "Why 'Growth for Growth's Sake' May Actually Help Law Firms," 03.06.24.
    The American Lawyer reports, "with a spate of lateral partner and group moves at Am Law 200 firms in new and key locations over the last two weeks, firms appear to be doing what they can to keep pace in what's been dubbed the 'Great Growth Race,' an Am Law 200 competition that's causing them to be more aggressive in expanding market share with lateral hires while also honing their strategy."

  14. "The Firms Charging Into Secondary Cities As BigLaw Retreats," 03.06.24.
    Law360 reports, "While top-tier firms have recently tapered their migration to secondary legal markets, firm leaders and recruiters say these locations continue to hold appeal for mid-tier firms, citing advantages such as lower expenses and competitive billing rates." (Subscription required.)

  15. "Struggling With Succession Planning, Midsize Law Firms Consider Compensation Strategies," 03.05.24.
    Law.com Pro Mid-Market explores issues surrounding succession planning in mid-size firms.

  16. Employment Market

  17. "Adaptability Is a Must for Lawyers to Ascend the Career Ladder," 03.08.24.
    At Bloomberg Law, "Fringe Professional Development's Katie Aldrich explains how a mindset of continual growth and adaptability can help attorneys succeed as they move from associate to partner."

  18. "Tips for Transforming Outlooks (and Maybe Even Outcomes) for Junior Transactional Attorneys," 03.07.24.
    A young lawyer, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, shares his experience and offers advice for new transactional lawyers who are learning the profession.

  19. "Perkins Coie Fourth US Firm to Shutter China Office in 8 Months," 03.04.24.
    Law.com International reports on U.S. law firms closing offices in China.

  20. "Disciplinary Board Proposes Mandatory Succession Planning for Pa. Lawyers," 03.01.24.
    "The Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board is proposing a new rule that will require attorneys to have written succession plans under the Rules of Professional Conduct," according to The Legal Intelligencer.

  21. Return to Office

  22. "Law Firm Leaders Want Lawyers to Spend More Time in the Office, But With Less Space," 03.08.24.
    The American Lawyer looks at the tension law firms are facing between their desire to optimize their real estate portfolios and also their lawyers' time in the office.

  23. "'We Believe There's a Purpose to Being in the Office': Dechert Grows San Francisco Footprint Via Sublease," 03.06.24.
    The Recorder reports on Dechert's new, larger office space.

  24. "Kilpatrick Plans Move to Smaller NY Office, Embracing 'Modern Law Firm Work Environment,'" 03.05.24.
    "Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton will considerably downsize its New York City office when it moves this fall to a newly renovated office designed for more collaboration space and fewer dedicated offices," according to New York Law Journal.

  25. "Navigating the shift: Is remote work fading away?" 02.29.24.
    Law360 reports, "Given the growing number of companies, including tech giants like Facebook and Google, calling their employees back to the office, the debate over the end of remote work has become prominent. Unfortunately, the issue of whether employers possess the authority to enforce such returns isn't black and white, rendering it a complex topic to address."

  26. "Corner Offices Are Out; Collaboration Is In. Say Hello to the New Law Firm," 02.27.24.
    The New York Times explores some of the changes law firms are making to their office spaces.

  27. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

  28. "Workplace DEI Programs Have a Path Forward in Face of Backlash," 03.07.24.
    Two lawyers from Democracy Forward, writing for Bloomberg Law, provide recommendations for "what companies can do to navigate resistance to diversity, equity, and inclusion programs."

  29. "Divided 2nd Circuit Adopts 'Real Name' Test for Associational Standing," 03.06.24.
    The National Law Journal reports, "A unanimous U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Wednesday upheld the dismissal of a challenge to a Pfizer diversity fellowship on Wednesday, finding the advocacy group alleging the program was discriminatory lacked standing to sue."

  30. "Number Of Women In Mid-Law Partner Classes Stays Stagnant," 03.05.24.
    Law360 reports, "The percentage of female attorneys in this year's partnership classes among Mid-Law firms remained constant, with experts saying that although midsize and regional firms tend to do better than their BigLaw cousins, work remains to be done if firms are to reach gender parity among their partner ranks." (Subscription required.)

  31. "Women in Law Summit to help lawyers 'write the story of their own career journey:' Karima Kanan," 03.05.24.
    Canadian Lawyer reports on their upcoming Women in Law Summit.

  32. "Business Is Booming for DEI Lawyers as Firms Ask 'What's Legal?'" 03.05.24.
    Bloomberg Law interviews experts on the impact of last summer's SCOTUS affirmative action ruling, what programs are at risk, and what is legal.

  33. "Why a Lack of Black Representation in the Legal Industry Should Concern the Entire Profession," 03.05.24.
    This Law.com Legal Speak podcast episode speaks to Marlon Hill of Weiss Serota Helfman Cole + Bierman on "why he thinks Black History Month can be an opportunity to learn about how we can do better and make better policy."

  34. Mental Health/Well-Being

  35. "Defusing the Always-On Time Bomb: Cultivating a Culture of Responsiveness Without Sacrificing Sanity," 03.04.24.
    Tracy LaLonde, writing for Law.com, looks at lawyer work-life balance and asks, "how do you strike a balance? How do you meet these high expectations while mitigating the pressure to always be accessible?"

  36. "Vanessa Ford Reminded Us That Law Firm Culture Is Still Toxic. Why Does It Survive?" 03.03.24.
    In response to the suicide of prominent U.K. lawyer Vanessa Ford, this editorial at Law.com International examines the "toxic culture" of law firms across the world and asserts, "It's clear that after all the ink and conversations devoted to what we often refer to as 'law firm culture,' not much has changed — or at least not enough. Issues surrounding work-life balance, women in the legal profession, heavy alcohol consumption among lawyers, working (or not working) from home, the stresses created by the billable hour, and more, are still as problematic as ever — perhaps more so in our post-COVID world. To be sure, the legal community has made efforts to address some of these issues. But for every step forward, it seems to take two steps back."

    1. "The Dangers of Calling Law's Most Serious Problems 'Industry-Wide Issues,'" 03.06.24.
      There has been quite a bit of reflection on Vanessa Ford's death, including this editorial at Law.com International which asks who is responsible for law firm culture and concludes, "law firm leaders talk about it as an industry issue, but not really theirs. Because the moment you 'zoom out' and attribute what has occurred within your firm to an industry or societal problem, it suddenly becomes everyone's problem — and ultimately no-one's."

  37. Technology

  38. "How law students are learning about AI," 03.11.24.
    CBA/ABC National profiles some students in the Conflict Analytics Lab at Queen's University, a program that helps law students learn how to use generative AI and other innovations.

  39. "The Law Firm Disrupted: Orrick, Reed Smith and Dechert Make Time to Get Comfortable With AI," 03.07.24.
    Law.com's Law Firm Disrupted column this week explores the idea of giving billable hour credit to associates for working on "innovation projects."

  40. "In 'Ultra-Dynamic' AI Environment, More Law Firms Are Launching Devoted Teams," 03.07.24.
    The American Lawyer reports that a number of law firms have announced AI practice and strategy teams lately, "with firm leaders pointing to increased client interest, a surge of AI-related cases hitting courts, a dynamic environment and an overall push toward an 'innovation economy' that has also led to a run on IP talent, for example."

  41. "Law Firms Aren't Behind the Generative AI Adoption Curve — Yet," 03.07.24.
    Roy Strom at Bloomberg Law looks at data on AI adoption and reports, "There's no guarantee law firms will succeed in adopting AI tools. And it will no doubt present challenges to law firms' hourly billing model. But they're at least off to a decent start relative to the rest of the business world."

  42. "Law Firms and ALSPs Share the Same Destiny," 03.06.24.
    This op-ed at Legaltech News predicts that, with the advent of generative AI, "law firms and Alternative Legal Service Providers ('ALSPs') are going to converge under a technological strategy that ALSPs are already leveraging."

  43. "Artificial intelligence hallucinations in legal research may become a thing of the past," 02.23.24.
    Canadian Lawyer explores developments in generative AI technology.

March 1, 2024

    Top Stories

  1. "Has Big Law Finally Returned to a Point of 'Normalcy'?" 02.26.24.
    The American Lawyer reports, "A return to profit growth and a more normal baseline for other drivers of profitability in 2023, coupled with fresh optimism for a transactional rebound in 2024, have firm leaders and industry observers in recent weeks gesturing toward an idea that's often eluded them since at least the string of COVID shutdowns around this time in 2020: 'normalcy'."

  2. "No Longer Just an HR Matter, DEI Expands to Law Firm Operations," 02.26.24.
    The Legal Intelligencer reports, "the role of DEI professionals in Big Law is growing to include not just concerns surrounding talent but also operations and office space. DEI professionals should be — and are now often asked — to weigh in on multiple facets of firm operations, whether it's office decorations, parking and seating arrangements, legal industry observers say."

  3. Law Schools/Higher Education

  4. "Ahead of the Curve: Dissecting the ABA's Current and Proposed Diversity Standard," 02.29.24.
    In the Law.com Ahead of the Curve column, Christine Charnosky shares her thoughts on the current and proposed ABA Standard 206 on diversity and inclusion.

  5. "Bush: The FTC Needs To Intervene In Law School Rankings," 02.27.24.
    TaxProf blog highlights this blog post from The Sling that argues that the Federal Trade Commission should address the U.S. News law school rankings.

  6. "Bar-Takers See Accommodation Gap For Periods, Lactation," 02.26.24.
    Law360 reports, "As would-be lawyers prepare to take the bar exam, testing accommodations for those who menstruate or lactate will vary by jurisdiction. In recent years, there's been a reckoning on state bar policies that affect women and transgender test-takers, but advocates say there's more to be done." (Subscription required.)

  7. "NCBE Field Tests NextGen Bar Exam, Creates Family Law Content Scope Panel," 02.26.24.
    Law.com reports that the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) recently held its first field test for the NextGen Bar exam.

  8. Law Firms

  9. "As Big Law Moves in, Native Firms Have Advantages in Battle for Clients and Talent," 02.29.24.
    Daily Report discusses the advantages of smaller, local firms in emerging markets, noting, "Despite increasing competition from Big Law firms in emerging markets, native law firms have advantages such as nimbleness and market familiarity if they choose to compete for talent and clients."

  10. "Linklaters Veers Towards 3-Gate Lockstep System in Latest Talent Push," 02.27.24.
    "Linklaters is considering adding a third gate to its lockstep that would enable it to better reward younger top performers," reports Law.com International.

  11. "'Detached': Why Big Law May Rethink Its Focus on Productivity," 02.27.24.
    The American Lawyer reports, "law firm productivity may be evolving with the rise of technology that's allowed (or forced) lawyers to pack more work into less time, a greater openness toward alternative fee arrangements, and a broader profitability push that's improved leverage. Now, there may be even greater emphasis on the profitability of a practice, not just hours."

  12. "An Early Look: The 2024 Am Law 200 Financials," 02.26.24.
    The American Lawyer compiles law firm financial results.

  13. "Small firm hiring deserves greater scrutiny," 02.23.24.
    A law professor writing for ABA Journal shares some of her students' experiences with small law firms and argues that law schools and state bars should monitor smaller firms for dubious hiring and recruiting practices. (Subscription required.)

  14. "3 Common Barriers As Law Firms Embrace Upward Reviews," 02.23.24.
    "Upward reviews, in which associates provide feedback on partners' performance as their managers, have become increasingly popular in the legal industry in recent years, but according to consultants who help implement them, the potential upsides can be muted if firms fail to avoid some common mistakes," according to Law360. (Subscription required.)

  15. "These Are The Hottest Trends In Law Firm Design," 02.23.24.
    From Law360: "Out with the law library and in with Zoom rooms? Law360 Pulse recently talked to architects and legal employers to find out what the biggest trends are in law firm design." (Subscription required.)

  16. "Is BigLaw Ready To Talk About Its Bullying Problem?" 02.20.24.
    Law360 reports, "The legal community exploded into debate recently after a Black associate's lawsuit accusing her former BigLaw employer of discrimination excerpted an excoriating email from a partner that some online deemed unacceptable and bullying, and others said was simply a fact of BigLaw life." (Subscription required.)

  17. Employment Market/Return to Office

  18. "As law firm office space shrinks, natural light is in and 'capacious' corner offices are gone," 02.29.24.
    ABA Journal examines trends in new office spaces, noting, "New offices often emphasize natural light and may incorporate glass doors instead of wood, audio and video technology, plenty of electrical outlets, air filtration, acoustics and better artificial lighting." (Subscription required.)

  19. "Law firm managers struggling to fill roles as demand for lawyers continues: recruiter report," 02.29.24.
    Canadian Lawyer reports, "Law firms are struggling to find skilled talent, and managers say they plan to hire more contractors in 2024, according to the latest data from recruiting agency Robert Half Canada. The report says lawyers and other legal professionals remain in high demand in Canada."

  20. "'Inactive' Junior Lawyers in Redundancy Firing Line, Market Specialists Say," 02.29.24.
    "Industry watchers are predicting that law firms will increasingly examine 'utilisation rates' to identify potential cuts in their junior ranks," reports Law.com International.

  21. "OK, Boomer! Tackling the Attorney Generation Gap," 02.28.24.
    The New Jersey Law Journal Young Lawyers Advisory Board examines differences among the four generations currently in the workplace and offers tips for each generation on working with the others.

  22. "New Group Aims To Help Attys Meet Middle Class Legal Needs," 02.23.24.
    Law360 reports, "For middle-class Americans who may make too much money to qualify for legal aid services, affording an attorney to assist with civil matters like divorces and estate planning can still be a financial impossibility. The recently launched Above The Line Network, however, is on a mission to promote cost-conscious lawyering models to put legal services within economic reach for a big and underserved middle market."

  23. "Career Websites Face Emerging Role as Salary Transparency Cops," 02.23.24.
    Bloomberg Law takes a deep dive into recently enacted laws surrounding wage transparency and what enforcement might look like.

  24. "US Law Firm Leasing on Upswing in 2023, Hitting Highest Mark Since 2019," 02.23.24.
    The American Lawyer reports that U.S. law firm leasing is up and that "regardless of whether firms stayed put or moved with their new lease in 2023, 43.6% expanded their space, compared with 28.5% in 2022. For the year, 56% of leases signed were to stay in place, compared with only 33.9% the year before."

  25. "'Literally Nothing Walkable': Why Gibson Dunn Moved to Downtown Palo Alto," 02.20.24.
    The Recorder examines what lawyers and law firms are looking for in office space and shares what Gibson Dunn has done to lure more lawyers into the office: "With the future of work uncertain amid COVID-19, [firm leaders] began looking for a new location that would both justify the commute and magnify the benefits of in-person collaboration. Must-haves included proximity to public transit as well as restaurants and coffee shops where informal relationships could develop."

  26. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

  27. "Taking Stock of the Gender of Judges on State and Federal Appeals Courts," 02.29.24.
    The AmLaw Litigation Daily takes a deep dive into research on gender diversity in the judiciary.

  28. "We're doing DEI wrong," 02.27.24.
    This op-ed at Business Insider argues, "For decades, most companies have been reactive on DEI, often responding only after some lasting damage had already been done. This approach is rarely sustainable. "

  29. "Mandated Gender Pay Gap Disclosures Just Took Effect For This Nation — Here's What It Means For Law Firms," 02.27.24.
    The American Lawyer examines newly published data on the gender pay gap in Australia, noting that "Women continue to outweigh men in the legal profession but lag in pay."

  30. "SCOTUS Declines to Intervene in Affirmative Action Admissions Case," 02.26.24.
    "It seems the U.S. Supreme Court might be taking a one-and-done approach when it comes to ruling on affirmative action in admissions, but that could be a positive thing for law schools," according to Law.com.

  31. "Anti-DEI Legislation Moves Forward in Alabama," 02.23.24.
    Inside Higher Ed examines the recently-passed Alabama bill that bans "diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives at certain public institutions in Alabama — including colleges and universities."

  32. Mental Health/Well-Being

  33. "Strategies for a healthy workplace environment: Proactive measures against bullying," 02.26.24.
    This op-ed at Law360 Canada argues that "Employers have the responsibility of ensuring the safety and well-being of staff, which includes taking proactive steps to address bullying and harassment."

  34. Technology

  35. "Lex Mundi's latest report reveals GenAI's impact on the legal sector," 02.28.24.
    Canadian Lawyer examines a recent Lex Mundi report titled "Opening Pandora's Box: Early Implications of Generative AI for Corporate Legal Management," which "suggests that GenAI heralds a new era of disruption, potentially surpassing previous technological shifts in its impact on legal services delivery and operations."

  36. "Don't Wait Up: Lack of Expertise, Talent Holding Back Generative AI in Legal Industry," 02.29.24.
    Legaltech News reports on a recent survey in which legal professionals from law firms, legal departments, and government agencies responded on which factors are hindering AI adoption in their organizations: "Asked what is preventing them from using generative AI, slightly over 36% of respondents cited their legal teams' limited, or nonexistent, expertise in leveraging the technology, while around 34% pointed to either limited resources or generative AI's potential for hallucinations. What's more, slightly over 27% cited a lack of the 'right tech talent' to support generative AI implementations, while around 20% said either that the risks outweigh the benefits or that they're first waiting for broader industry adoption."

  37. "AI Use in Law Practice Needs Common Sense, Not More Court Rules," 02.28.24.
    Bloomberg Law columnist David Lat argues, "At this early stage, lawyers and judges have only a limited sense of how AI will affect the practice of law or the enterprise of judging. It would therefore be wise to pause and gather more data before taking action."

  38. "Could Generative AI help solve the law's access dilemma?" 02.27.24.
    Jordan Furlong discusses the competing priorities of legal regulators to balance quality and accessibility and asserts that, despite the questions surrounding the technology, "I believe Generative AI is the first legitimate candidate we've ever seen for potentially resolving the accessibility/reliability conundrum in legal services."

  39. "New website will let law clerks judge their judges," 02.24.24.
    The Washington Post reports on a new database that "will allow young lawyers to review the judges they worked for and give law students a way to learn which judges have good — or bad — reputations as employers."

  40. "Hungry for Career Advice, Employees Turn to GenAI for Career Info," 02.23.24.
    SHRM (the Society for Human Resource Management) shares data on where members of Generation Z are seeking career advice, noting that many are turning to generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) tools in the absence of advice from their managers.

February 23, 2024

    Top Stories

  1. "ABA says law schools still need approval for alternative admissions program," 02.22.24.
    "The American Bar Association on Thursday declined to grant full approval to JD-Next, rejecting a proposal to put the alternative law school admissions program on par with the LSAT and the GRE," reports Reuters.

    1. "JD-Next Exam Garners Comments Raising Concerns Over Validity, Accessibility," 02.21.24.
      If you're interested in reading about the comments that were submitted on this proposal, Law.com reports, "Nearly two dozen comments have been received regarding the JD-Next exam, ranging from concerns about the test's validity and reliability to whether it accommodates examinees with disabilities, but many support its use including numerous Black and Native American professionals."

  2. "Is it a crime?" 02.19.24.
    CBA/ABC National delves into Canada's new law against wage-fixing and what it means for law firms and law students.

  3. Law Schools/Higher Education

  4. "ABA Weighing Diversity Standard Revisions in Light of SCOTUS Ruling," 02.22.24.
    Law.com reports that the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar will consider amendments to Standard 206 that "would include changing the standard title from 'Diversity and Inclusion' to 'Access to Legal Education and the Profession,' and shifting the overall focus of the verbiage away from underrepresented groups and more toward providing access to 'all persons.'"

  5. "Universities' Competing Free Speech Obligations Need Untangling," 02.22.24.
    A lawyer writing at Bloomberg Law takes a close look at the conflicting obligations that public universities have to protect free speech and eliminate hostility and discrimination.

  6. "Stanford and Yale Bumped Up OCI in Response to Precruiting, But Big Law Isn't Backing Down From Direct Applications," 02.21.24.
    The American Lawyer has more on the move to earlier OCIs, noting, "the slow and steady decline of OCI could create new problems for law firms. First-generation lawyers, for instance, benefited from the level playing field that OCI provided. Moving the process to direct applications puts the burden on law students to figure out which firms they need to meet with and apply to during their first year of law school."

  7. "Passing the batons: Reform and Reckoning in 2024 Legal Education," 02.17.24.
    Former Northwestern Law Dean Daniel Rodriguez, in this post at PrawfsBlawg, outlines the four key issues he thinks the new ABA and LSAC leaders need to address.

  8. "Students, alums sue to stop Golden Gate University from dropping law degree program," 02.16.24.
    "The alumni association and four current students at Golden Gate University School of Law sued the university and its president on Wednesday in California state court, seeking to stop the planned closure of its juris doctor program," according to Reuters.

  9. "Online law graduates get pathway to take Indiana bar exam," 02.16.24.
    Reuters reports, "Graduates of law schools not accredited by the American Bar Association are eligible to take the bar exam in Indiana following a Thursday rule change by the state's high court, but they will have to go through an individual approval process."

    1. "Students From Non-ABA-Accredited Law Schools Can Sit for Indiana Bar, State Supreme Court Rules," 02.16.24.
      Law.com has more.

  10. Law Firms

  11. "The 2024 American Lawyer Laterals Report," 02.21.24.
    The American Lawyer released its Laterals Report.

    1. "Impactful Laterals Abounded in 2021 and 2022. Have They Found Success?" 02.20.24.
      The American Lawyer revisits some "impactful" lateral hires from the past few years.

  12. "The Game Isn't Over for Associates Who Fall Off the Partner Track," 02.19.24.
    NALP member Rachel Patterson, writing for Bloomberg Law, argues that "A career transition, even if unexpected or disappointing, presents an opportunity for reflection around wants, interests, values, and gifts" and provides tips for associates who learn they are not on the partner track.

  13. "The Law Firm Disrupted: Getting Laterals Right," 02.16.24.
    Law.com's The Law Firm Disrupted column examines how firms should use data on their lateral hires.

  14. "The Risks Junior Lawyers Face by Switching Firms Too Soon, and the Benefits of Staying the Course," 02.16.24.
    This op-ed at Law.com argues that "junior lawyers should focus on what does lie within their control, and that is how they react to the modern challenges of being a lawyer in private practice" and challenges them to "harness discontent as a catalyst for positive change."

  15. Employment Market/Return to Office

  16. "Association of Corporate Counsel unveils results of 2024 Chief Legal Officer survey," 02.21.24.
    Canada's Lexpert reports on a recent ACC study that shows chief legal officers and legal departments "face intense pressure to do more with less."

  17. "My Nonpracticing Law Job: Recruiter," 02.20.24.
    "Self-proclaimed 'Lawyer Doula' Danielle Thompson at Major Lindsey shares how she went from Columbia Law School graduate and BigLaw employment associate to a career in legal recruiting — and discovered a passion for advocacy along the way," at Law360. (Subscription required.)

  18. "Saudi Arabia Lures Big Law Firms to Lucrative New Legal Market," 02.16.24.
    Bloomberg Law reports, "At least 30 multinational law firms have opened branches in Saudi Arabia in the past nine months or have applied for the right to do so, racing to establish a foothold in the oil-rich kingdom now allowing outside legal work."

  19. "How Legal Recruiting (Really) Works," 02.16.24.
    Dan Binstock, writing for The American Lawyer, outlines "some of the very basics that every attorney should know about recruiters."

  20. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

  21. "Legal Forges Ahead With DE&I Efforts, Despite Backlash," 02.22.24.
    The Law.com Barometer newsletter reports, "While DE&I rhetoric may not be as prominent as it was in 2020, efforts to address gender and racial disparities in the legal industry are not only ongoing, but also expanding and maturing."

  22. "Supreme Court Signals It's Done With Affirmative Action for Now," 02.22.24.
    Bloomberg Law reports that, by declining to hear an affirmative action case related to a magnet high school and by not prohibiting West Point from using race as an admissions factor, "The US Supreme Court has signaled it isn't ready to say anything more on affirmative action right now, frustrating conservatives who want the court to enforce and expand its blockbuster college admissions decision from last term."

  23. "The Sweet Spot Between Microaggressions and Empty Words: Threading the Needle on Associate Feedback," 02.20.24.
    The American Lawyer explores how "law firms and partners [can] offer appropriate feedback to associates while keeping diversity, equity, and inclusion standards in mind."

  24. "For Gen Z, a job is just a job," 02.13.24.
    Business Insider reports on the changing priorities of Gen Z employees, noting that "Gen Zers are much less apt to entrust their futures to their employers."

  25. Mental Health/Well-Being

  26. "Big Law Associates Don't Have It Easy Despite Raises, Lower Hours," 02.23.24.
    A recruiter at Major, Lindsey & Africa, writing at Bloomberg Law, offers a rebuttal of a recent Bloomberg piece claiming associates have never had it so good, arguing, "The suggestion that 2023 was a cakewalk for associates because of their high pay and low utilization is misleading, if not incorrect."

  27. "Balancing the Scales: A Young Attorney's Guide to Excelling Personally and Professionally," 02.22.23.
    The Young Lawyer Editorial Board at The Legal Intelligencer offers tips for young lawyers seeking balance in their lives, noting, "success in the legal profession does not need to come at the expense of your well-being and sanity."

  28. "Employers' obligation to protect psychological well-being of workers expanded by Quebec bill," 02.21.24.
    Law360 Canada reports, "The Quebec government, in an initiative welcomed by business and labour, is in the final stages of passing legislation that aims to further prevent and fight psychological harassment and sexual violence in the workplace by adding legal presumptions to make it easier to prove an employment injury or illness stemmed from violence at the hands of a co-worker or employer representative." (Subscription required.)

  29. "Improving Executive Functioning Skills as a Law Student," 02.13.24.
    This episode of JD Supra's Law School Toolbox Podcast addresses "executive functioning skills for law students and new lawyers, in relation to staying organized, managing time effectively, and also studying and working smart."

  30. Technology

  31. "Advocate, advise, and accompany," 02.22.24.
    Jordan Furlong continues to envision what generative AI might mean for the legal profession and concludes that even the best-case scenario "will require a massive overhaul of our legal habits and institutions."

  32. "Law Firms, Legal Departments Are Investing in Gen AI, but for Different Purposes," 02.21.24.
    Legaltech News examines data on law firm and corporate use of generative artificial intelligence (gen AI) to report on how much they are using the tool and how much they are planning to invest in it.

  33. "How generative AI could alter the staffing mix in legal departments," 02.20.24.
    Legal Dive reports, "If legal departments want to deploy generative AI technology effectively, they will need to carefully steward the reams of data they possess. This required emphasis on data management will likely prompt in-house legal teams to shift how they staff their departments, according to Stuart Fuller, global head of legal services at KPMG International."

  34. "How to Keep People From Dozing Off During Online Meetings," 02.15.24.
    The Wall Street Journal has tips for making your online meetings more engaging.

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