Columns and Blogs

President-elect Donald Trump speaks as attorney Sheri Dillon listens during a news conference, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, in New York. The news conference was his first as President-elect.

Trump Teaches Big Law a Lesson

By Steven J. Harper |

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius is notching short-term gains at the risk of long-term pain from its most famous client, argues Steven J. Harper.

crisis

Law Firms Still Suck at Business Development, Survey Finds

By Chris Johnson |

Business development folks at large law firms should look away now.

Is Lust (or Fear of It) a Big Problem in Big Law?

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Even in the face of harassment, rumors and other inconveniences, female lawyers are forging ahead.

Kerrie Campbell, partner with Chadbourne & Parke, in Washington, D.C. September 1, 2016. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM.

Sued for Discrimination? No Worries!

By Vivia Chen |

Though gender equality and diversity seem to top everyone's priority list these days, being slapped with a discrimination claim has surprisingly few repercussions.

Norton Rose Fulbright's offices in Washington, D.C. February 20, 2016.

Norton Rose Completes Eighth Deal in Seven Years; Now the Real Work Begins

By Chris Johnson |

Thanks to its latest combination, serial acquirer Norton Rose now has around 4,000 attorneys, a quarter of which are in the United States, as well as a network of 58 offices in 32 countries, and annual revenues of about $2 billion.

No White Shoes for George Clooney This Summer, and Other News Oddities

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

The Fourth of July is coming up, so it's no time for serious news. Here's a roundup for some oddly amusing/curious news and gossip for you to digest by the pool or beach.

Russian Rubles

And You Thought You Had Currency Problems? Alas, Poor Russia

By Chris Johnson |

International sanctions and a drop in global energy prices have hit the Russian economy hard, resulting in wild swings in the value of the ruble.

Trump and Devos Deliver One-Two Punch on Law School Loans

By Steven J. Harper |

For young lawyers hoping that public service loan forgiveness could be an answer to a lifetime of student debt burdens, President Trump has some bad news.

'For Growth's Sake,' Enough Already

By Roy Strom |

If your firm’s latest merger or lateral hire isn’t “growth for growth's sake,” then save the unprompted defense. It’s not believable.

Dan Nardello of Nardello & Co.

The Case for Lateral Partner Due Diligence

By Dan Nardello |

Consultant Dan Nardello lays out how law firms can better investigate potential new partners.

Miss Idaho, Elizabeth Barchas, appears in the annual Miss America parade on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, N.J., Friday, Sept. 17, 2004.

This Beauty Queen Turned DOJ Lawyer Could Mean Trouble for Trump

By Vivia Chen |

Did we mention she's a Harvard Law grad and two-time SCOTUS clerk? And she's working for the enemy, Robert Mueller.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher offices in Washington, D.C. June 23, 2014. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Gibson Dunn Builds Up Its Presence in Europe, Finding Opportunity Amid Uncertainty

By Chris Johnson |

The firm, which has five offices in Europe, has continued to steadily build up its presence there.

Furious frustrated businesswoman

The Careerist: Choose One: 1) Ditzy Broad or 2) Angry Bitch

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

In case you're not keeping score, the sexist comments are flying these days. Let's just focus on two recent incidents.

Bob Grand.

What One Law Firm Leader Learned About Diversity From His Clients

By Robert T. Grand |

Barnes & Thornburg's managing partner, Robert Grand, sought out his client's feelings on law firm diversity. Here is what they said.

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about his firing by President Donald Trump during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on June 8, 2017.

James Comey Is the Feminist du Jour

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

It is weirdly comforting that a big, strong guy like Comey is no better at handling a manipulative, slimy guy in power than we women are.

Is Big Law Hurting Itself by Being Too Soft With Clients?

By Chris Johnson |

Should law firms refuse to hand over time-entry data to clients when working on a fixed fee?

Kellyanne Conway, center, accompanied by her husband, George, speaks with members of the media as they arrive for a dinner at Union Station in Washington, the day before Trump's inauguration, on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017.

Mr. Kellyanne Conway Is His Own Man

By Vivia Chen |

Not only did he refuse President Donald Trump's offer for a DOJ job, but two days later he criticized Trump on Twitter, essentially saying, "Glad I'm not part of that legal hellhole."

The Careerist: Don't Count on Millenials to Bring About Gender Equality

By Vivia Chen |

Women swear the rising generation will bridge the gender gap. I'm not sure this is the group I'd pin my hopes on.

The Real Reasons for Big Law's Mental Health Problem

By Steven J. Harper |

Law firms are following the unfortunate path that has become a dominant approach in the medical profession: treating symptoms rather than the disease.

Can U.K. Firms Match American Firms' Financial Results?

By Chris Johnson |

British firms are about to report their financials for the fiscal year that closed on April 30. Expect a post-Brexit bump—in part because a weak pound sterling will inflate overseas revenue.

Caren Ulrich Stacy, left, and Lisa Kirby, right, of Diversity Lab.

Four Unexpected Career Hacks From Big Law's Top Performers

By Caren Ulrich Stacy and Lisa Kirby |

A Diversity Lab study of more than 400 successful lawyers found that they had some surprising traits in common.

President-elect Donald Trump speaks as attorney Sheri Dillon listens during a news conference on Jan. 11, 2017, in New York.

Trump and the Morgan Lewis Mess

By Steven J. Harper |

Bad things happen when lawyers make promises that their clients don't keep.

Clifford Chance offices in Washington, D.C. March 24, 2015. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Why UK Law Firms Are Still Caught Between Lockstep and a Hard Place

By Chris Johnson |

The elite U.K. firms have been tweaking their lockstep compensation models for years. But changing things too much may prove counterproductive.

Latham & Watkins offices in Washington, D.C.

Senior Latham Lawyer Running for Controversial Right-Wing Party in UK Elections

By Chris Johnson |

A senior Latham & Watkins lawyer is running for Parliament as a member of a controversial right-wing political party in the U.K.'s upcoming general election on June 8.

White House counsel Donald McGahn, during the first day of the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch. March 20, 2017.

Dear Don McGahn, Please Go.

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

I know you are a busy, hot-shot lawyer, but may I offer you some friendly advice?

The Power Look: Tank Tops, Tattoos and Flip-Flops

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Just how far can you push a summertime dress code before you jeopardize your professional credibility?

SNL's Weekend Update

Are Trump's Endorsements Helping Morgan Lewis?

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Time for another roundup of news and gossip. And yes, they all center around our president (so let me apologize in advance).

Napping Pods: One Firm's Solution for Tired Lawyers

By Leigh Jones |

White & Case has installed two "energy pods" at its office in Washington, D.C.

To All the Single Ladies

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Women, even ones in the most selective professional programs, prioritize marriage over career, and will downplay their ambitions to achieve that goal.

Allen & Overy Drops Performance Reviews, and Everyone Cheers (Especially Women)

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Anyone who says that performance reviews are useful is full of it.

San Francisco fitness trainer Jonathan Jordan

When Firm Life Makes Them Flabby, Lawyers Call This Trainer

By Leigh Jones |

Personal trainer Jonathan Jordan's clients include attorneys from Big Law offices, who come to him with loose glutes, collapsed cores and hunched shoulders from sitting for long periods.

Four Top Litigators Compete for Bragging Rights and a $40,000 Prize: Who Gave the Best Closing Argument?

By Jenna Greene |

Talk about a jury of your peers. Four of the top litigators in the country went toe-to-toe Friday at the annual meeting of the litigation section of the American Bar Association in San Francisco, competing before hundreds of attendees to see who gave the best closing argument. Each lawyer ponied up $10,000 to compete.

We’re Ladies, We Lunch and We Like It

By Vivia Chen |

At the Central Park Women's Committee hat luncheon last week, the women at my table (lawyers and business executives) want you to know that they deserve respect.

Salman Bhojani, left, and Nick Nelson, right, of Bhojani and Nelson in Texas.

Big Law Defectors Make Bet on Muslim Clients

By John Council |

Salam Bhojani and Nick Nelson see opportunity in building bridges with Muslim and South Asian business owners.

Say Cheese! Big-Law Partner's Instagram Feed Captures Life in the Tasty Lane

By Leigh Jones |

Robert Darwell's TheDailyServer is a tribute to waiters, waitresses and bartenders, and all multitaskers whom the Sheppard Mullin partner admires.

Bad News: Rainmakers Aren't Lounging in Their PJs

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

The idea that lawyers can make buckets of money from their cozy apartment, beach house or suburban manse is a fantasy.

Close up modern business women Imagine pose with space pink background, Asian people young beautiful businesswoman smile and wear shirt black suit, space pink background for texture, business concept

Do Women Really Choose the Pink Ghetto?

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Are women opting for those lower-paying practices or is there an invisible hand that steers them there?

Bill O'Reilly.

Would Big Law Boot Bill O'Reilly?

By Vivia Chen |

Just like the Fox News Network LLC, some law firms would be equally reluctant to get rid of a top rainmaker who behaved badly.

Women and Rejection

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Does the dearth of women at the top stem from fear of rejection? Not exactly. After a botched interview or a unflattering review, they're less likely to try again.

Small But Scrappy, Independent Law Firms Make Their Stand

By Chris Johnson |

Facing intense competition from global firms, independent firms have to be smart and disciplined.

The United Airlines Fiasco Should Lead to Better Pay for Jurors

By Roy Strom |

Being bumped from an airplane is a raw deal. Sitting on a jury is way worse. What could be done to change that? Fair pay.

Brian Winterfeldt, left, and Daniel Winterfeldt, right.

Gay Twins Strive for Equality in Big Law

By Leigh Jones |

One is a partner at Mayer Brown; another is a partner at Reed Smith. Both are adamant about helping LGBT lawyers thrive in the profession.

Should Firms 'Out' Lawyers on the Work/Life Balance Track?

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Littler Mendelson lists its "flextime" attorneys right on its website.

Firms Announce Flextime Policies. How Exciting.

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Based on what I've seen, many if not most lawyers (except for the junior ones) work wherever they want.

Vice President Mike Pence

Mike Pence Is a Prude, and So Are Big-Law Partners

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Who knew the vice president was such a lustful rascal?

The Peculiar Alchemy of 2017's Two Big Mergers

By Hugh A. Simons |

The merger of Arnold & Porter and Kaye Scholer and the pending deal between Norton Rose Fulbright and Chadbourne & Parke present some unique challenges, contributor Hugh A. Simons writes.

Betsy DeVos, U.S. secretary of education, speaks to employees on her first day at the Department of Education in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017.

Law School Student Debt the Betsy DeVos Way

By Steven J. Harper |

Don’t rely on the Trump administration to help solve the growing student debt crisis, says columnist Steven J. Harper.

Keystone Approval: Bittersweet for Sidley Team?

By Jenna Greene |

All but lost in the hubbub over the failure of health care reform last Friday was news that the federal government formally greenlighted the Keystone XL Pipeline, issuing a long-sought permit that will allow the project to move forward. Great news for TransCanada Corp., but perhaps bittersweet for its lawyers at Sidley Austin.

Global Law Firms and Vereins: The End of the Affair?

By Chris Johnson |

In the inexorable march toward greater global consolidation, will law firms steer clear of the verein structure?

Joshua Holt, at Goodwin Procter.

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's 'Biglaw Investor' to Associates' Rescue

By Leigh Jones |

This Big Law associate is a mysterious blogger on a mission to prevent young lawyers from falling prey to their own lousy money management.

Left to right: Woody Allen, Eleanor Alter and Mia Farrow.

So You Want to Be a Hot-Shot Divorce Lawyer

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

If anyone knows what it takes to be a successful divorce lawyer it's Eleanor Alter.

Business woman with bullhorn

Where Are the Asian-American Partners?

By Vivia Chen |

Though they've been swelling the junior ranks of the profession for the last 20 years or so, Asian Americans are still rarities at the top, particularly in Big Law.

Isaac Lidsky, corporate speaker, author, entrepreneur and the only blind person to serve as a law clerk for the U.S. Supreme Court

With ‘Eyes Wide Open,’ Blind Lawyer Recounts SCOTUS Clerkship, Unhappy Law Firm Life

By Tony Mauro |

Isaac Lidsky, who in 2008 became the first blind U.S. Supreme Court law clerk, writes in a new memoir that working for a Big Law firm after his clerkship felt like trading in a “legal joyride” for a job as a corporate chauffeur.

Hurry! Send Your Resume to the White House!

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

I am truly sorry that so much of the news and gossip, even in our little world of law, is about Donald Trump.

Kate McKinnon as Kellyanne Conway on

Kellyanne: Victim of Sexism?

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

The counselor to the president isn't getting a fair shake.

Jerry Falwell Jr. at Liberty University's convocation in Lynchburg, Va., on Monday, Sept. 14, 2015.

Marginal Law Schools—But Not Students—Could See Savior in Falwell

By Steven J. Harper |

Any progress that the Obama administration made to increase accountability in higher education seems destined for Trump’s dustbin.

Phil Ivey.

US Poker Star Takes $10M Cheating Lawsuit to UK Supreme Court

By Chris Johnson |

Phil Ivey has been granted permission by the U.K. Supreme Court to challenge a decision by the Court of Appeal.

Karen Dunn and Hillary Clinton

Loss, Hope and What She Wore

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

If the election had turned out differently, Karen Dunn wouldn't be sitting at her desk at Boies Schiller Flexner in Washington. She'd be somewhere in the West Wing, at the red-hot center of the presidency.