In-House Interrogatory

Asked: Our weekly question to the In-House community

This year will be all about discrimination and wage-and-hour lawsuits, according to general counsels at companies in the U.S. and Britain.

A survey by Fulbright & Jaworski found 35 percent of in-house attorneys expected the biggest bump in their workload to come from discrimination disputes. Around 29 percent thought wage-and-hour disputes would be the largest increase at their companies.

So here’s our question for you:

Do you think your company will see an increase in discrimination and wage-and-hour claims? Or will workplace overload come from a different kind of lawsuit?

Leave a comment below or email me.

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In-House Interrogatory

Asked: Our weekly question to the In-House community

It’s all about saving those dollar bills in this week’s In-House Interrogatory.

There are ways legal departments can effectively cut costs, according to an article in Corporate Counsel.

Experts recommend doing more work in-house, using non-lawyer professionals, take on legal operations managers, investing in legal technologies and unbundling legal services.

So here’s our question for you:

What are ways you cut costs in your legal department?

Leave a comment below or email me.

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Follow us on Twitter for In-House news and discussion: @TDRInHouse

Law blog roundup

racing presidentsWelcome to Monday and the day we honor 43 native-born Americans who, after attaining age 35, swore to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Here are some news items to get the week started.

– Should fledgling lawyers have to to serve a medical-style residency?

– President Barack Obama’s pick to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, a former Wall Street lawyer, might have to recuse herself from many decisions if confirmed.

– Passengers face rough seas when suing cruise-ship companies.

– Free legal aid for low-income military veterans opens in Ohio.

Summer associate hiring down last year amid sluggish legal market

Alas, it looks like 2012 was not the best year for law firm summer associate hirings.

The median and average numbers of summer associate offers to 2Ls dipped a little bit according to NALP (formerly the National Association for Law Placement). Also down: the percentage of interviews resulting in the offer of a summer associate position.

“We have seen some faltering in recruiting volumes this past fall, and that reflects the continuing faltering in the larger legal economy,” NALP executive director Jim Leipold told The National Law Journal. “If you read the client advisories coming from some of the private banks that are involved in law firm financing, it’s clear that 2013 is not likely to be dramatically better.”

Leipold predicted that law firms will remain cautious about hiring summer associates in 2013.

Last year was also the fourth consecutive year law firms pulled back on filling entry-level positions. The lowest point for summer associate hiring remains 2009, when just 36 percent of 2L interviews led to offers. But those numbers have been inching back up and reached 46 percent in 2011. And last fall, 44 percent of callback interviews led to employment offers.

The hiring outlook also remained grim for 3Ls. A mere 19 percent of law firm offices said they considered 3Ls last fall, and only 280 callback interviews given to 3Ls led to just 82 job offers. Not surprisingly, 90 percent of 2012 summer associates got jobs from the firms for which they’d worked. That did, however, represent a 1 percent drop from 2011.

So Maryland law students: how is your summer associate job hunt going? And lawyers: Are your firms offering more summer associate positions this year? Comment below or hit me up (beth.moszkowicz@thedailyrecord.com) or on twitter (@TDRBeth).

Bad grade? So sue me

What’s the cost of a mediocre grade in a college course? To Megan Thode, it’s $1.3 million.

The former Lehigh University graduate student is suing over a “C+” in an internship class, saying she deserved a “B” and that the lower grade prevented her from advancing toward her desired degree and becoming a licensed therapist, the Express-Times reported.

The professor testified in Northampton County Court in Pennsylvania that Thode was downgraded in her class participation score for outbursts and inappropriate behavior. Thode ended up with a master’s in education in human development instead of a master’s in education in counseling psychology, which, according to her lawsuit, would result in $1.3 million more in salary over a lifetime.

Thode isn’t the first student to sue for a higher grade. The Huffington Post listed cases of grading lawsuits from Texas Southern University’s law school, the University of Massachusetts and Canada’s Concordia University.

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In-House Interrogatory

Asked: Our weekly question to the In-House community

Aaaahh! It’s all about crisis management in this week’s In-House Interrogatory.

In-House Counsel has an article about how general counsels can approach crises and impending lawsuits at their companies. Some say experience is the key; others say to prepare for the worst. Some general counsels recommended investigating immediately once a crisis hits and, of course, trying to keep stress low.

So here’s our question for you:

In your experience, what is the best way to prepare for potential crises at your company?

Leave a comment below or email me.

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Law blog roundup

Welcome to Monday and the first week of spring training. Here are some news items before pitchers and catchers report.

– Should Securities and Exchange Commission lawyers be permitted to jump to Wall Street firms and vice versa?

– Final U.S. book publisher settles e-book antitrust case.

– Michigan courts might have a secret problem.

– Women sue “revenge porn” website.

Friday legal news roundup

Happy Friday! Without further ado, here is your Friday legal news round up:

- A former lawyer for Drew Peterson is suing his current attorney, alleging that the current attorney is to blame for the suburban Chicago police officer’s murder conviction.

- A Michigan lawyer is giving someone a free divorce on Valentine’s Day.

- A  high profile Palm Beach land use lawyer has decided not to try to get his felony conviction overturned.

- A former Boy Scout explains his decision to legally challenge the Boy Scout’s anti-gay policy.

To blog or not to blog?

The blurry blogging line is even being tested by lawyers these days.

An ethics commission in Illinois has filed a complaint over an attorney’s blog that attacks the court’s probate system.

The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission said attorney Joanne Denison is “undermining the administration of justice and denigrating the legal profession” and takes issue with the attorney using the real names of court-appointed guardians in her posts, according to the National Law Journal.

The commission is claiming statements in the blog are false and that the attorney’s writings portray a reckless disregard for the truth.

Denison, however, is refusing to shut down her blog.

“I did not steal money, I have not neglected any client matters,” Denison wrote in her blog. “In fact, the allegations make it clear that the complaint has nothing whatsoever to do about my law practice. Essentially the ARDC is complaining I am a mouthy chick running a blog they just don’t happen to like and they want to censor it.”