Happy (rainy) Friday to all! It’s been a while since I last posted but I am back and rearing to go. So without further delay, here is your Friday legal news roundup:
– South Dakota has become the first state to offers lawyers an annual subsidy to live and work in rural areas.
– A well-known Nashville attorney has been temporarily suspended from practicing law after it was discovered that he paid himself $50,440 from the estate of a ward in a nursing home without a judge’s approval.
- Here is a list of the 20 law schools that had the highest percentage of their 2012 class who were still looking for jobs and still had not secured employment nine months after graduating.
- Conversely, here are the 20 law schools that have the highest rate of placing graduates in government and public interest jobs.
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 (email@example.com) or on twitter (@TDRBeth).
A recent survey of law schools by test prep company Kaplan shows that almost 50 percent of accredited law schools had smaller incoming classes this year, The National Law Journal reports.
“With the supply of new lawyers outpacing the available number of positions for new lawyers, this is the most critical time for legal education,” said Jeff Thomas, the director of Kaplan’s prelaw programs. “Our survey shows that law schools are taking much-needed action to better prepare new lawyers for the changing job landscape, while at the same time accepting fewer students, as they know jobs will not be easy to come by.”
The Law School Admission Council, which distributes the LSAT, also recently reported that the number of people who took the exam last month dropped by 16 percent from a year ago, while the number of people who took the test this summer was down by 6 percent.
One positive note: the Kaplan survey showed that 47 percent of the schools in the survey increased the total amount of financial aid they give to incoming students.
Maryland state Sen. Jamin B. “Jamie” Raskin, D-Montgomery, wants voters heading to the polls to remember that the president has the authority to make appointments to the Supreme Court and lower federal courts — and that Robert Bork is among the legal advisers to the Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
Raskin, an ardent supporter of President Barack Obama, warned in Wednesday’s Huffington Post that a “Romney-Ryan-Bork court would lead to the uncorking of bottles of champagne throughout the boardrooms of America’s largest and most right-wing corporations.”
Romney appointees to the federal courts would lead to “an acceleration of all of the worst trends already ravaging the prospects of justice for ‘natural persons’ in America, including the destruction of what is left of campaign finance and disclosure laws as corporations assume all the political free speech rights of the people, a dramatic change ushered in by Citizens United in 2010,” Raskin added on the post’s Politics blog.
Raskin has been quite prolific recently, having written an op-ed piece in the New York Times last week calling for a constitutional amendment to undo Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, in which the Supreme Court ruled that “the government may regulate corporate political speech through disclaimer and disclosure requirements, but it may not suppress that speech altogether” under the First Amendment.
But Raskin, a widely respected constitutional law professor at American University, might need to brush up on his history.
In the Huffington Post piece he referred to Bork as as “the right-wing polemicist and former Bush Supreme Court nominee so extreme that he was rejected by a bipartisan coalition of Senators in 1987.”
“I think somebody must have changed that,” Raskin said of the error. “I very well know that Ronald Reagan is the one who made that mistake.”
While there seems to be a lot of negative news about law schools these days, here are some good tidings.
The interim dean at the St. Louis University School of Law, whose dean left amid controversy over accusations the university was using the law school as its cash cow, is buying each student at the law school a membership to the American Bar Association.
Tom Keefe will pay $14,212 for the 836 students at the law school. Memberships for the ABA at the group rate cost $17 per student. Four other law schools across the country buy every student a membership, which allows them to participate in ABA sections and seek grants form the organization.
Keefe is recovering from a bit of a rocky start earlier this summer. After being named interim dean in August, he told our sister paper Missouri Lawyers Weekly that he would not be controlled by the university or be the university president’s “butt boy.”