The Am Law 100 is out, and the report shows revenues per lawyer, profits per partner, firm profitability, and the value that lawyers contribute. American Lawyer subscribers can access the report by clicking here.
Having raised almost all of the funds it had hoped, Cleveland-Marshall is opening a brand new, $1 million dollar trial courtroom with high-tech like that used in the local federal district courthouse. CSU plans to use the room to educate students about the trial process and rent the room to lawyers and jury consulting firms who want to conduct mock trials and/or practice witness testimony. Apparently, naming rights are still available for the room itself and several components of the room, including the judge's chambers and the jury deliberation room. Interestingly, this room is unique among Ohio law schools and rare across the country, but Jones Day's Cleveland office has a trial courtroom of its own that it uses for practicing for oral arguments, among other things.
A WSJ article reports that applications to US law schools are down 11.5% compared to last year. The reason appears to be that students are fearing high law school tuition debts (about $100,000 according to the ABA) and the prospect of a tight job market that offers a lot fewer job opportunities. The article indicates that the statistics are the lowest in 10 years-since 2001. Apparently, corporate law firms have cut back, and many law firms are freezing starting salaries for new lawyers. The article concludes that law school no longer appears to be for the undecided who are not sure what career to pursue.
Congratulations go to local Cleveland attorney David Mills, who just scored a huge win in the U.S. Supreme Court (09-737) in the case of Ortiz v. Jordan, which the Court unanimously decided on January 24, 2011. The Supreme Court's decision reversed the 6th Circuit, which had thrown out a trial court's judgment of $625,000 in favor of Michelle Ortiz on her claim that she was sexually assaulted while in prison. Allthough the case went to the Supreme Court on a procedural issue, it is a victory for both Mills and his client. According to news reports, Mills is being asked to speak all over the country, and his solo law practice it sure to be booming very soon. In advance of his oral argument, Mills was profiled in the November issue of the ABA journal.
Click here to read the briefs in the case, and click here to listen to the oral arguments in the case.
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Fulbright's 7th Annual Litigation Trends Survey Report indicates that business disputes and litigation will be up in the next 12 months. That would be good news for lawyers who have had fewer clients and less work to do lately. Click here to read the report (you may have to register for free), and click here to read a press release about the report. KJK Lawyer John Hyman has also posted his insightful comments on the survey.
A new article from Columbus Business First suggests that more lawyers are joining or creating virtual law firms with huge benefits. According to the attorneys who were interviewed from Ohio and elsewhere, virtual firms offer the opportunity to work less, eliminate overhead costs, spend more time with clients, and bill less. The last benefit may not seem like a benefit, but the lawyers indicated that lower fees means more clients find the attorneys affordable, thereby garnering the attorneys more clients and raising their income. Thanks to the OSBA for the link to this article.
If you have not already looked at the results, U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers have teamed up to provide their brand new list of the top law firms in the country. The data is available for free on the web, where you can browse the national rankings by practice area, firm name, or location. A quick search for law firms in Cleveland revealed both small and large law firms with tiered rankings. Apparently, the new system of creating tiers for rankings has caused a bit of a stir. Click here to read a summary of how lawyers perceive the new rankings and what the ABA is doing to analyze the new methodology.
LexisNexis has launched its new product called Lexis Advance and is solely targeting solo and small firm practitioners with a plan that includes: U.S. and state primary law (cases, codes and constitutions); Shepard's; jury verdicts, briefs, pleadings and motions; Courtlink docket information; and expert witness information. The very first reviews are in, and they are positive. This plan is not yet available for law firms or libraries. In addition to many other valuable databases for local practitioners, our Law Library subscribes to all of the foregoing databases from LexisNexis, except national dockets, which our members do not seem to need. Our expert witness information is the same that is being offered through Advance, and we aso offer law reviews, state and federal regulations, and many other databases listed within our Lexis patron and staff plans. Lexis is pricing its new plan at $175 per month, while we offer solos robust plans from Lexis, Westlaw and other valuable databases, plus reference assistance, circulation of books, and much more, for just over $200 a year.
An article from The Legal Intelligencer posted on law.com indicates that female managing partners find that their gender is a plus in firm management. The article indicates that women are good at multi-tasking; they also find that many of the clients with whom they deal connect them with female counterparts. The article reports the successes of various female managing partners at PA. firms, despite a recent Law360 survey which claimed that female partners are experiencing allegedly significant pay discrimination.