Saturday, July 21, 2012

"The Status of Clinical Faculty in the Legal Academy: Report of the Task Force on the Status of Clinicians and the Legal Academy"

By Professor Bryan L. Anderson (Seattle) et al. and available at 36 J. Legal Prof. 353 (2012) as well as SSRN by clicking here.  From the abstract:

In the midst of ongoing debates within the legal academy and the American Bar Association on the need for "practice-ready" law school graduates through enhanced attention to law clinics and externships and on the status of faculty teaching in those courses, this report identifies and evaluates the most appropriate modes for clinical faculty appointments. Drawing on data collected through a survey of clinical program directors and faculty, the report analyzes the five most identifiable clinical faculty models: unitary tenure track; clinical tenure track; long-term contract; short-term contract; and clinical fellowships. It determines that, despite great strides in the growth of clinical legal education in the last 30 years, equality between clinical and non-clinical faculty remains elusive. Clinical faculty still lag behind non-clinical faculty in security of position and governance rights at most law schools.

The report then identifies four core principles that should guide decisions about clinical faculty appointments: 1) clinical education is a foundational and essential component of legal education; 2) the legal academy and profession benefit from full inclusion of clinical faculty on all matters affecting the mission, function, and direction of law schools; 3) there is no justification for creating hierarchies between clinical and non-clinical faculty; and 4) the standards for hiring, retention, and promotion of clinical faculty must recognize and value the responsibilities and methodologies of clinical teaching.

The report concludes that these core principles are best realized when full-time clinical faculty are appointed to a unitary tenure track. This conclusion does not ignore the imperfections of a tenure system. However, to the extent that tenure remains the strongest measure of the legal academy's investment in its faculty and is the surest guarantee of academic freedom, inclusion in faculty governance and job security, the report recommends that law schools predominantly place their clinical faculty on dedicated tenure lines. In addition, it recommends that schools implement standards for hiring, promotion, and retention that reflect the teaching responsibilities and methodologies, as well as practice and service obligations, unique to their clinical faculty. To facilitate the development of such standards, the report suggests good practices for the appointment of clinical faculty on a unitary tenure track.

(jbl).

July 21, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Why Most Lawyers Will Fail to Have Great Careers

This posting may have some relationship—not necessarily compatible—with my posting yesterday. Veteran lawyer and coach Cordell Parvin combines the insights of others to offer an answer to my question:

No matter how many people tell you that if you want a great career, pursue your passion, pursue your dreams…you will decide not to do it.” Excuses, [Carmine Gallo] says, are holding people back.

What do you suppose is the number one excuse people use to not following their passion and having a great career? In this CNN Opinion Piece: Want a great career? Find your passion, [Ted] Smith shares what he said in the TED Talk:

The most common excuse is to use the importance of family and personal relationships as the reason to avoid the demands of a great career.

Smith adds:

But how can you be a great spouse, parent or friend by denying your true identity?

Without passion, no one can fully express their talent or define who they are.

For me, passion for my work and passion for my family are the most important, and for me, they leave little time for other interests.

(ljs)

July 21, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, July 20, 2012

A cost-effective alternative to the law firm associate

Speaking of alternatives to the traditional law firm associate when it comes to providing legal service value, a UK firm named Dundas & Wilson will start using specially trained and supervised paralegals to do work formerly done by associates but at a cheaper cost to the client.  Clients, of course, will have the option of choosing to have the pricier associates staff their matters. The firm merely wants to provide a lower-cost option as a service to clients. From UK's LegalWeek.com:

Dundas launches low-cost paralegal initiative for volume work

Dundas & Wilson has launched a new paralegal-led Legal Services Unit (LSU) in Scotland, which is intended to cut costs for clients by taking on routine work often carried out by qualified lawyers.

The initiative, which Dundas is dubbing a “firm within a firm”, will see a nine-strong team of paralegals split across Dundas’s Scottish offices take on searches, filings, registrations, basic due diligence and document review and collation work.

Dundas claims that having paralegals rather than qualified lawyers handle the work will offer clients better value for money.

The unit will be led by qualified solicitor Fiona Letham, under the oversight of managing partner Allan Wernham, and will offer services to Dundas’ offices in London as well as Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

Clients will be given the option of having some of their work handled by the LSU, although their existing contact within the firm will not change.

Wernham (pictured) said: "Clients are keen for their law firms to come up with innovative ways to resource their work and deliver new models that can improve efficiency.  The LSU allows us to provide clients with more flexible resource for volume tasks, but at the same time, retain the assurance of having work done by a leading law firm.

“The LSU is a breath of fresh air in the legal market and as well as being advantageous for clients, it will benefit paralegals, who will have a new career path opened up to them.”

Continue reading here.

Hat tip to the ABA Journal blog.

(jbl).

July 20, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Can In-House Women Lawyers “ Have it All?”

Anne-Marie Slaughter’s article in The Atlantic, “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All,” (worth reading) has raised considerable controversy. A sub-question is whether women who work in-house as corporate counsel can have it all, or at least come closer to having it all. Corporate Counsel notes:

A study published by the William & Mary Journal for Women and the Law, titled “Better on Balance?”, analyzed to what extent quality of life is better for female attorneys in corporate law departments. It found that, on average, full-time in-house lawyers worked 50 hours a week (though some worked much more), and those hours were more likely to be on weekends and evenings than for lawyers in private practice. Roughly a third of companies surveyed in the study were classified “balance-supportive,” meaning their law departments offered alternative schedule arrangements and plenty of part-time positions.

On the other hand:

However, lawyers in part-time positions are highly stigmatized in the industry, the study found, and a majority of attorneys interviewed said they would not take part-time jobs out of fear that their status, promotions, and pay would ultimately suffer. Of the women surveyed, 65 percent said their "commitment to personal and family responsibilities" was the top barrier to advancing their careers in-house; that number is 74 percent for female attorneys in private practice.

Work-life balance continues to be a difficult issue.

(ljs)

July 20, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

New York Times: The Trouble With Online Education

The New York Times has summarized the problem with online education with this subheadline: "Internet courses are monologues. True learning is a dialogue."  It's attached to an op-ed piece by Mark Edmundson, a University of Virginia English Professor.

He states:

"With every class we teach, we need to learn who the people in front of us are. We need to know where they are intellectually, who they are as people and what we can do to help them grow. Teaching, even when you have a group of a hundred students on hand, is a matter of dialogue."

He continues, "Every memorable class is a bit like a jazz composition. There is the basic melody that you work with. It is defined by the syllabus. But there is also a considerable measure of improvisation against that disciplining background."

He notes that "Online education is a one-size-fits-all endeavor. It tends to be a monologue and not a real dialogue. The Internet teacher, even one who responds to students via e-mail, can never have the immediacy of contact that the teacher on the scene can, with his sensitivity to unspoken moods and enthusiasms. This is particularly true of online courses for which the lectures are already filmed and in the can. It doesn’t matter who is sitting out there on the Internet watching; the course is what it is."

He concludes:

"A truly memorable college class, even a large one, is a collaboration between teacher and students. It’s a one-time-only event. Learning at its best is a collective enterprise, something we’ve known since Socrates. You can get knowledge from an Internet course if you’re highly motivated to learn. But in real courses the students and teachers come together and create an immediate and vital community of learning. A real course creates intellectual joy, at least in some. I don’t think an Internet course ever will. Internet learning promises to make intellectual life more sterile and abstract than it already is — and also, for teachers and for students alike, far more lonely."

I agree with Professor Edmundson.  A major part of teaching is the interaction between student and teacher.  Teachers must be aware of what is going on in the class and change their approach as needed.  They must motivate their students and help them reflect on what they are learning.  Lecture is not enough; class discussions and exercises are vital to learning.  In sum, online teaching goes against everything that modern education theory tells us.

(Scott Fruehwald)      

July 19, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (1)

UK consultant says most lawyers today don't have the right skills to service corporate clients effectively

The head of Riverview Law, a UK-based legal services provider and consultant, told an audience in Manchester, England attending a symposium on legal education and training that he wouldn't employ most lawyers on the market today because they don't have the right skill set. To effectively service corporate clients, Karl Chapman told attendees that "legal competence is only part of the picture." Attorneys must also possess a range of management and analytical skills that have more to do with providing economic value to the client in the context of managing large, costly legal issues than practicing law per se (this is also consistent with Richard Susskind's predictions for the future of corporate law practice).

From the blog LegalFutures:

Goodbye lawyer, hello legal workflow and process analyst

Speaking at last week’s Legal Education and Training Review Symposium in Manchester, Karl Chapman – chief executive of Riverview Law – said he would not employ many lawyers currently available because they do not have the right skills. “They cannot do what’s required in a customer service environment,” he explained.

Riverview is creating a host of new roles – all of which he said need some degree of legal knowledge – such as project managers, scoping and pricing analysts, management information and data analysts, knowledge management specialists and client managers. “Some of best people we’ve got are senior lawyers doing legal workflow and process analysis,” he added.

However, “legal competence is only part of the picture” – clients need to know what to do with the advice to give it any value.

His view was backed up by James Atkin, head of legal, risk and compliance at CLS, who predicted that alternative business structures (ABSs) in particular are “likely to employ and train specific skills for specific elements of client interaction and service delivery, including behavioural as well as technical skills”; while some roles will require detailed legal knowledge, others “will demand a broad but relatively modest knowledge of a large number of legal areas”.

“This isn’t to say career development opportunities will be limited. There will be a greater range of roles, opportunities to move between them, internal training opportunities, more ‘on the job’ training, and opportunities to manage teams which perform them. It ought to be easier to get a first foot on the ladder without having a qualifying law degree, post-degree qualification and training contract or equivalent.”

Mr Atkin said legal services roles will increasingly focus on limited aspects of the customer or operational journey, such as advice, sales, operations, audit and reporting. “Some roles in larger providers will have very little or nothing to do with law, and more to do with risk management, project management, technological solutions and pure service considerations.”

Continue reading here. Hat tip to the TaxProf blog.

(jbl).

July 19, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

What Ails the Law Schools by Paul Horwitz.

Paul Horwitz has posted an "early draft" of a paper on legal education on SSRN.

Abstract: Everyone engaged in legal education and not utterly asleep agrees that there is a "law school crisis." Building on recent works by Brian Tamanaha and Walter Olson, this paper discusses its causes and potential solutions, using a typical dichotomy in recent populist movements--the "one percent" versus "99 percent" meme--as a lens. It examines arguments that the problem is economic and that it is primarily cultural; although I conclude the problem is economic and structural far more than cultural, I also argue that one of Tamanaha's primary recommendations for reform--that law schools ought to display more experimentation and institutional pluralism, and that ABA accreditation requirements ought to make this more possible--goes some way toward addressing both diagnoses. The paper is more descriptive than prescriptive, although I offer some thoughts on solutions. I emphasize three things: 1) law schools would be better off focusing on regional than national markets, although the US News rankings make regionally oriented approaches more difficult; 2) a serious increase in meaningful faculty governance and involvement is needed; and 3) the role and needs of the client have been surprisingly marginal in recent discussions of law school reform. The client needs to be a prominent part of reform discussions, which suggests, contrary to some extant views, that curricular reform ought to continue to be part of the discussion along with economic and structural reform.

This is an early and imperfect draft intended for discussion and feedback, given both the importance of the issue and the need for increased public discussion. Comments are welcome."

I think that Horwitz's most important point is the need to focus on the client, which has been previously discussed on this blog.  (here and here)  He states, "I close with a discussion of what seems to me a remarkable gap in both books—and, indeed, in discussion of law school reform generally. That is the absence of the client. It is an unfortunate fact that we have in this country both an apparent oversupply of law school graduates, and an undersupply of lawyers who are willing and able to serve vast stretches of the population who need competent legal representation." 

Later, he writes, "Clients have been remarkably absent from contemporary discussions about what ails the law schools. That’s not universally true; concern for clients has certainly been a part of the literature addressing curricular reform, and of the literature on the changing nature of the legal economy itself. But the client is practically nonexistent in much of the current discussion about the “law school crisis.”

He adds, "The schools’ immediate responsibility may be to their students. As long as they continue to be accredited gatekeepers, however, they serve the profession as well."  "But, with all due respect, clients ought to be our ultimate concern."

(Scott Fruehwald)

July 19, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

A New Generation: “The Globals”

We’ve noted the X,Y and Z generations. Is another group developing? In his book, The Way We'll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream, John Zogby discusses a new group, the "first globals."

"Two out of three of them have passports," Zogby says. "They are well-traveled; technologically they have networks that include people all over the world. They have a desire to be nimble, to go anywhere and to be anywhere. They also have a desire to change their world and feel like they're in a position to do that."

It's a generation just as likely to watch the World Cup as it is the Super Bowl. It's not, however, just the children of the wealthy and the educated, says Zogby. "This is expanding beyond the Wellesleys and the Stanfords," he says. "It's different now."

There are a few reasons why. More than 270,000 students studied abroad in the 2009-2010 school year, according to the International Institute of Education. That number is three times what it was two decades earlier. At the same time, the Internet and social media have made every part of the world seem instantly accessible. America's youth is just more diverse — and international — than ever.

On top of being globally minded, Zogby says, these first globals have a different perspective on the idea of ownership as a tenet of the American dream. They are putting less emphasis on accumulating traditional things like homes, cars and the types of families their parents had. Instead, they're putting more energy into acquiring experience.

Watch those International Law courses and overseas summer courses grow! But will there be enough international jobs to go around? You can read more here at NPR online.

(ljs)

July 19, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Affirmative Action Bans Reduce Enrollment of Students of Color in Graduate Programs

From the Civil Rights Project at UCLA:

A new study published today by the Civil Rights Project at UCLA examines the impact of affirmative action bans, across a number of years in several states, on the enrollment of underrepresented students of color. These latest data show that the bans have led to marked declines in key areas of graduate studies.  The report’s findings are particularly timely as the U.S. Supreme Court, during its upcoming fall term, will consider in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin whether race-conscious admissions policies are necessary to produce the student body diversity the University believes is essential for its educational success.


"The Impact of Affirmative Action Bans in Graduate Education" finds that in states with bans on affirmative action, the representation of Latinos, African Americans, and Native Americans in graduate programs is shrinking, particularly in the fields of engineering and the natural sciences. 

The study covered California, Florida, Texas, and Washington.

(ljs)

 

July 19, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Another Critique of Law Schools' Reliance on U.S. News Rankings

Is the focus of our law schools on U.S. News rankings hurting our law schools?  Yes, says George Critchlow in Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian: Models for Law School Success (or Not).

Abstract: "This article is a partly satirical and partly serious discussion about the obsessive need for law schools to chase rankings and fame. The article suggests that the stated mission of many law schools is trumped by the real mission -- to become famous (highly ranked) and that this disconnect prevents such law schools from creating important and innovative mission-based education programs that serve the larger public interest. The article explicitly raises the question: is it okay to be a lower ranked law school? The text and footnotes develop issues related to diversity, the historical role of the LSAT, the purpose of law schools, emphasis on faculty scholarship rather than teaching, ABA accreditation standards, etc. The article recommends strategies for schools that might wish to escape the rankings game. It concludes by asserting that many law schools will have a difficult time adapting to modern challenges if they are motivated primarily about what U.S. News & World Report considers to be important."

An excerpt:

"Surely there is a lesson here for law schools that hope also to become famous. While many legal educators occupy their time thinking about how to attract students, establish goals and allocate resources based on a mission defined by things such as public service, ethics, professionalism, good teaching, or preparing students to be "practice-ready," it may be that the only mission statement necessary for less famous law schools is: "Our mission is to become famous." Once formulated in that way, the benefits are immediately apparent and the strategy for implementing the mission becomes clear and concrete."

He continues, "A former law school dean who moved on to be President of Reed College -- a college that refuses to participate in USN rankings as a matter of principle -- has this to say about getting out of the rankings game: 'By far the most important consequence of sitting out the rankings game, however, is the freedom to pursue our own educational philosophy, not that of some news magazine.'" 

He concludes:

"The legal profession is of such value and importance to society that training people for the profession requires law school to be more than just another competitive business. Law schools should not exist only to provide jobs for law professors who desire job security and do not want to practice law. Law schools should not pursue recognition solely for the sake of recognition and attracting tuition; rather, they should have a purpose, a mission that is realistically designed to make a difference in the world. They should follow that mission so long as it is practicable and worthwhile -- even if the effort escapes the attention of those who keep lists of the "top" law schools. Who knows -- maybe a law school could become famous by doing the right thing?"

(Scott Fruehwald)

July 18, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Finance tips on going solo

The blog attorney@work has put together a panel of experts who are offering advice on the cost of starting a solo firm. Whether by choice or circumstance, NALP stats show that lots of new grads are pursuing solo careers. This guy did it with only $3500.00 in the bank (though he did quit 3 months later to take a salaried job with the local DA).  Below are a few additional opinions from experienced practitioners on what it will cost you to get up and running in your own practice.

Ruth Carter

“Here’s my two cents. You can start a law firm pretty cheaply. The minimum things you need to have are an LLC, liability insurance, QuickBooks, business cards and a website. Depending on your situation, you may also need to invest in a mail service (so you don’t have to use your home address for your firm), a printer and scanner, a laptop, Internet service and a backup hard drive or cloud storage. You’re also going to be responsible for your bar dues and CLEs.”
Ruth Carter, The Carter Law Firm
Blogger, UndeniableRuth.com

Greg Siskind

“Pick a niche specialty where you don’t have a lot of competition and your short-term and long-term costs will be a lot cheaper. That’s because you won’t have to spend as much to market to your smaller audience and will get referrals from a much wider base of lawyers who aren’t competing with you. And you can minimize your expenses by operating as ‘virtually’ as possible, which could mean renting the use of a conference room and a mailing address from a local firm and working mainly from home, marketing online, using Internet-based research services, etc. Your big-ticket item in your initial time as a brand-new solo will likely be your time and writing like crazy to build your expertise and reputation in your field. That worked for me when I was a 26-year-old solo.”
Greg Siskind, Siskind Susser, PC
Author,
The Lawyer’s Guide to Marketing on the Internet
Blogger, Greg Siskin on Immigration Law & Policy

Debbie Foster

“Cloud options make starting a law firm less expensive than ever. Presuming you establish your new practice from home, start-up costs can be as little as $3,500 inclusive of purchasing a laptop, printer and scanner. Cloud-based practice management and billing solutions run about $50 per user per month. Microsoft, via its Office 365 product, provides Microsoft Office 2010 for as little as $22 per month. Further, if you already own reasonably current computer equipment, start-up costs may be even less. Also, online resources like TechnoLawyer, the ABA’s Law Practice TodayGPSOLO and social media provide ongoing and current techno-guidance.”
Debbie Foster, Affinity Consulting Group
Past Chair, ABA TECHSHOW

Donna Seyle

“As lawyers like to say, it depends. And there are many factors to consider, but there is really just one question that must be answered at the outset: What kind of practice do you want to have? You can get started for under $500 per month, with no up-front costs, for a virtual home office practice. The sky’s the limit after that. Envision your dream practice. Make this the core of your business model. Then create a checklist of the things you will need and price them. If you can’t afford your dream office right now, start paring away the non-essentials. But don’t destroy the list! Do this with the intention that you will grow your practice into your core business model.”
Donna Seyle, Law Practice Strategy
Author,
Law Practice Strategy: Creating a New Business Model for Solos and Small Firms

Check out what some others have to say, including solo advice guru Carol Elefant who blogs at MyShingle.com, by clicking here.

(jbl).

July 18, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Job Opening at CUNY Law

The Director of the Irene Diamond Professional Skills Center will assist the Academic Dean and the Director of Academic Support Programs in designing and implementing all aspects of the Law School's Academic Support Program. This is primarily a teaching position. The Director will work with first- and second-year students as they develop the doctrinal, academic, study, and time-management skills necessary for success in the Law School's program of study, on the bar exam, and in practice. The Director may teach weekly first- or second-year skills sessions; teach academic support sections of required doctrinal courses; work with students individually or in small groups; and train and supervise teaching assistants. The Professional Skills Center also designs and administers the Summer Law Institute (a three-week intensive introduction to law study) and the Pre-Law Program (a mandatory orientation program for all entering students). The Director will be involved in planning and teaching in those programs. In keeping with CUNY's integrated approach to academic support, the Director will also help develop faculty workshops on pedagogy and serve as a resource to faculty in the areas of skills-based teaching and testing.

The Director may have additional responsibilities as determined in consultation with the Academic Dean and the Director of Academic Support Programs.

This job may include evening and weekend duties.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

Bachelor's degree and eight years' related experience required.

COMPENSATION

$82,299 - $102,253; commensurate with experience.

BENEFITS

CUNY offers a comprehensive benefits package to employees and eligible dependents based on job title and classification. Employees are also offered pension and Tax-Deferred Savings Plans. Part-time employees must meet a weekly or semester work hour criteria to be eligible for health benefits. Health benefits are also extended to retirees who meet the eligibility criteria.

HOW TO APPLY

To apply, go to www.cuny.edu, select "Employment", and "Search Job Listing". You will be prompted to create an account. Return to this job listing using the "Job Search" page and select "Apply Now". It is recommended that you combine your cover letter and resume into one document. If you have any inquiries, please contact Maryann Ruggiero at maryann.ruggiero@mail.law.cuny.edu.

CLOSING DATE

Open until filled with review of applications to begin 7/26/12.

(ljs)

July 18, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Evaluating Student Applicants: Beyond the LSAT

Standardized Tests are an imperfect predictor of student success. They don’t measure noncognitive attributes like resilience, commitment, and engagement. While law schools continue to rely on cognitive measures, most notably the LSAT, some colleges are beginning to employ additional tests that measure noncognitive characteristics:

  • Student Strengths Inventory (SSI). Currently owned and supported by Campus Labs, this insrument measures the six key non-cognitive variables and forms part of a larger interface between students and advisors. You can learn more here.
  • College Student Inventory (CSI), developed by Noel-Levitz. You can learn more here.
  • Personal Potential Index (PPI), developed by Educational Testing Services (ETS). Interestingly, Gore notes that ETS has not embedded the PPI in the SAT standardized test; instead, they are co-administering this instrument with the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), using non-cognitive variables to predict the academic performance and persistence of graduate students. Among the non-cognitive variables assessed by the PPI: knowledge and creativity, resiliency, integrity, planning and organization (e.g., disciplined and self-regulatory learning), teamwork, social comfort, and conscientiousness. You can learn more here.
  • Student Readiness Inventory (SRI), developed by ACT and now packaged as part of Encore. You can learn more here.

You can read more here at Higher Ed Impact

(ljs).

July 18, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saving Money on Textbooks

This post in the Chronicle of Higher Education discusses a new California law aimed at helping students save money on textbooks.

“A new law in California, signed on Tuesday by Gov. Jerry Brown, will require textbook publishers to describe the changes in new editions to professors and buyers. The legislation, sponsored by State Sen. Ellen Corbett, will take effect in 2013. According to the Associated Press, Senator Corbett, a Democrat, says the required information will help students determine whether they really need to buy an expensive new version or if a previous edition will suffice. Publishers will also be required to tell buyers about other products they offer on the same topic.”

CALI is also trying to do something about the high cost of law school textbooks.  CALI has sent out a “$150 Million Casebook Challenge” to law schools trying to encourage faculty to produce open source casebooks. 

“What if every law school in the country - all 201 of the ABA accredited law schools - nominated just one faculty at that law school to write a casebook and donated that book, in electronic format, to the commons under a Creative Commons license. The cost to law schools would not be zero, but collectively, the value to law students would be enormous.”

If you are so inclined, contact CALI and start sharing!

(dkh)

July 18, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Learning Curve

Did you know that the AALS Section on Academic Support has a newsletter called "The Learning Curve?"  Well, it does, and it contains lots of helpful articles on academic support and legal education.  You can find archived copies here.

(Scott Fruehwald

July 17, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Health law predicted to be "red hot" practice area

While we previously reported that health law is one of the hot practice areas right now, this post from the Employment Insider says it's about to get even hotter.

Legal health care jobs may only be “hot” right now, but they are going to get red hot, according to the Robert Denney Associates midyear market report on what’s hot or not in the legal profession.

“A lot of the individual states are continuing their suit to throw out parts of the health care law,” said Denney, president of the company. He said the recent Supreme Court decision upholding the health care law will give rise to legal services specializing in that area.

“There’s still a lot of issues to be worked through on how to implement the health care law — some of the regulations and requirements have still not been completely clarified or understood,” Denney said.

Denney said getting into the industry is going to be tough for young attorneys who are job-hunting and have no experience or background in health care law. If young attorneys are in a firm that has health care practice then he recommends trying to get involved in the health care practice group and do as much research as possible on the whole health care law so they are up to speed.

“Look at firms that have a substantial health care practice, because they are probably adding staff,” Denney said. “If they have a big enough practice there’s going to be room for a few new [attorneys].”

Even though legal health care jobs may begin offering more employment opportunities in the near future, the most job openings are in still in the corporate, litigation and intellectual property specializations.

Leopard Solutions, a legal recruiting and research company has some 2,200 legal jobs posted on it’s website. The company watches 642 law firm websites and 110 Fortune 500 companies for their published jobs and update the program ten times a  week. Leonard said the number of health care jobs from the firms she observes is still small, but that could always change.

“The numbers are constantly changing as firms are posting and closing jobs,” said Linda Leopard, principle of Leopard Solutions. “The majority of jobs we get are associate positions.”

(jbl).

July 17, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sir Francis Bacon Writes about Studying

In Bacon’s Essay “Of Studying” we find a number of statements worth thinking about. Here are some excerpts:

To spend too much time in studies is sloth; to use them too much for ornament, is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their rules, is the humor of a scholar.

Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider

Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.

Histories make men wise; poets witty; the mathematics subtile; natural philosophy deep; moral grave; logic and rhetoric able to contend. Abeunt studia in mores. [Studies permeate and shape manners]

Thanks to Brain Pickings (July 13) where  you can find the full excerpt.

(ljs)

July 17, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Law school creates 1L course on how to find a job.

Inside the Law School Scam is reporting that U. Oregon will be implementing this fall a new, mandatory 1L course designed to help students develop job search skills. Based on the course description below that talks in terms of helping students with  "career exploration" and encourages them to be "open-minded," it sounds like students are going to get the message up front that they need to consider alternative careers where a JD is preferred rather than required.  Obviously the school has the students' best interest at heart but I wonder whether this is only going to turn-up the stress on 1L's, many of whom are already acutely aware that grades can mean life or death when it comes to finding that choice summer internship. 

It's a tough call; students need straight talk on just how tough the job market is (it's much better if they get this before they pay their seat deposits).  On the other hand, we don't want to make the law school experience even more stressful for them, especially during the first year.

Here's the course description of the new course that was sent out by career services:

New 1L Course.  I am pleased to announce that, starting this fall, the first-year curriculum will include a course on career exploration and professional planning and preparation.  This class offers every student early exposure to professional opportunities, expectations, and responsibilities;connections with experienced professionals; and one-on-one attention from a career counselor focused on helping each student identify individualized goals and strategies.  The course will serve as a foundation for the Career Center’s ongoing work with each student and will help students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in a highly competitive job market.  The components of this course – including programs, workshops, and counseling – will be available to all law school students.  (emphasis in original)

Your Role in this Effort.  The Career Center reorganization and professional planning course are among the many steps we will be taking to help students succeed in the job market.  We have also asked our alumni and friends to keep supporting you in your career pursuits.  Students, your responsibility is to work hard, be open-minded, and call, write, or stop by anytime you have a question.  Our mission is to facilitate your transition from the classroom to the workplace; our passion is to help you secure exciting opportunities by partnering with you on your professional development.
(jbl).

July 16, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (2)

The Student’s Eyes Shift to the Right: Is the Student Lying?

Mr. Smith asks two 5th-grade students why they don't have their spelling homework. The girl pauses, eyes cutting up and to the right, before saying she left it on the bus. The boy tilts his head, eyes moving down and to the left, before he explains that his mom was sick the night before and the family had to go to the hospital. So which one is lying, and which telling the truth?

Both. Neither. Either way—contrary to commonly held belief—the direction of eye movement when a person speaks has nothing to do with the truth of what they say. A series of three studies published this afternoon in the open access journal PLoS ONE found no connection between the direction of eye movement and telling a lie.

A study of college students and of police videos showed that the viewers watching eye movements could not distinguish between liars and truth-tellers. We’ll have to find some other way of telling whether the computer crashed or the dog ate the keyboard.

Here’s the article from Education Week.

(ljs)

July 16, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Blogs and Social Media to Replace Law Reviews?

Last week the Atlantic’s Walter Olson posted “Abolish the Law Reviews”. 

“The circulation of law reviews has been plummeting for a generation; the most famous and widely circulated of them, the Harvard Law Review (HLR), has seen its subscriber base dwindle from 10,895 in 1963-64 to a mere 1,896 in 2010-11.”

Will blogs and other social media take the place of tradition law review legal scholarship?  This post from “Real Lawyers Have Blogs” suggests it’s likely and perhaps even preferred to increase public discourse.

“Law schools, law professors, law students, and practicing lawyers are struggling with today’s changing legal landscape. I see nothing but good news on that front by making legal discussion, review, and discourse open source and democratized.”

(dkh)

July 16, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (1)