Columns and Blogs

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.

Stephen Miller,.

Praising Stephen Miller? Seriously?

By Steven J. Harper |

Dangerous rhetoric and a president who praises it. Where are Trump’s lawyers?

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.

The Samuel Beckett of Cravath

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Remember Alan Hruska, the former Cravath, Swaine & Moore partner turned playwright, novelist and filmmaker? Recently, the 83-year-old former litigator opened his play "Ring Twice for Miranda" at City Center in New York, a highly prestigious off-Broadway venue.

Robert Duvall playing Tom Hagen in

What? Tom Hagen Is Now at the White House?

By Vivia Chen |

Considering what's going on at the White House, is that what clients look for in their lawyers—someone who can tell them how far they can push the ethics boundaries without breaking the law?

Attorney Donald McGahn leaves the Four Seasons hotel in New York, Thursday, June 9, 2016, after a GOP fundraiser.

Yo, Where's Don McGahn?

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

The White House counsel seems missing in action amid the ever-mounting conflicts of interest involving this presidency.

Rudy Giuliani.

Will Rudy Giuliani's Loose Lips Sink the Travel Ban for Good?

By Jenna Greene |

Here are two cardinal sins for an attorney: saying something publicly that hurts your client’s case. And bad lawyering. Rudy Giuliani appears to be guilty of both

Do Firms Care When Women Bolt?

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Forgive me for being a cynic (who me?), but I'm not at all convinced that law firm managers are losing sleep when women lawyers fly the coop.

Behind the $500M Curtain: How Skadden Handed Wilkinson Her First Trial Loss

By Jenna Greene |

After three days of deliberating, the federal jury in Dallas was back, ready to answer a $6 billion question: Did Facebook Inc. steal virtual reality technology for the Oculus Rift from Skadden's client, videogame maker ZeniMax Media Inc.?

Big-Name Lawyers Who Screwed Up, Big Time

By Leigh Jones |

While former Akin Gump lawyer Jeffrey Wertkin awaits his fate after his arrest for trying to sell a sealed whistleblower suit for $300,000, let's take a moment to revisit some prominent attorneys who made a mess of things.

It Turns Out You Can Be Too Rich

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

A study finds that female lawyers from a wealthy background have a harder time getting hired at law firms than men from the same economic class.

Donald Trump.

All the President's Conflicts

By Steven J. Harper |

Trump’s assault on the integrity of the presidency already makes Richard Nixon look like an amateur—and a saint.

Barbara Smith

The Yolk Worn by a Big-Law Trump Supporter

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

A Bryan Cave associate in St. Louis recently penned an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal.

President Donald J. Trump delivers his presidential inaugural address during the 58th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2017.

Trump’s Nonsensical Conflicts Plan

By Steven J. Harper |

The president should hope is that no court every reaches the merits of his lawyers’ defense of emoluments clause violations.

Tom Price, left, and Tiffany Trump, right.

Dentons' Oopsy, Tiffany's Trajectory and Skadden's UNaugural Ball

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Alternative facts. Alternative reality. Whatever. Any way you look at it, it's been surreal for the past two months.

Ampersands Go Missing From Big Law

By Leigh Jones |

Baker & McKenzie lost its ampersand last month, and Boies, Schiller & Flexner, not to be outdone, recently dropped its squiggly symbol and also ditched a comma.

Bracing for the New Sexism

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Donald Trump has tapped into our primal insecurities about our looks, and how our physical flaws can diminish our professional success.

Cecily Strong.

Live from New York, It's Saturday Night!

By Vivia Chen |

A spotlight shines on a Big Law partner in the shadow of President-elect Donald Trump.

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.

Shilling for Trump on Business Conflicts

By Steven J. Harper |

Trump’s first press conference was not a particularly good day for the legal profession.

Trump and Transparency

By Michael D. Goldhaber, The Global Lawyer |

Anti-corruption efforts made strides during the Obama years. Will the momentum cease?

15 Signs That You're Getting Fired

By Vivia Chen, The Careerist |

Law firms take their time in bidding attorneys adieu, so it's wise to stay one step ahead of the game.

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington during his confirmation hearing to be the next U.S. Attorney General, on Tuesday, January 10, 2017.

A Test for Jeff Sessions

By Steven J. Harper |

The new attorney general says he’ll be independent; here’s a chance for him to prove it.

Brexit shattered glass

Crowdfunded Irish Legal Action To Determine Whether Brexit Can Be Reversed

By Chris Johnson |

A crowdfunded legal action to determine whether Brexit can be reversed will begin in Ireland later this month. The suit seeks a referral to the European Court of Justice to rule on whether the U.K. can unilaterally revoke Article 50, which starts a two-year deadline for an EU member to complete its withdrawal from the political bloc.

Ron Liebman, author of

Big Law Partner's Writing Career Born in Nora Ephron's Kitchen

By Leigh Jones |

More than a few Big Law partners dream of leaving their practices behind and becoming successful novelists. Ron Liebman made it a reality.

UK Government Expects to Lose Brexit Legal Challenge

By Chris Johnson |

London expects to lose its legal battle over whether it can start the Brexit process without wider parliamentary approval. The British government appealed a High Court ruling that parliament must be allowed to vote on triggering Article 50, which starts a two-year deadline for an EU member to withdraw from the political bloc.

UK Campaign Group Crowdfunds Legal Challenge To Controversial 'State Spying' Law

By Chris Johnson |

Human rights campaign group Liberty has launched a crowdfunded legal challenge to new legislation that it claims grants the British government “indiscriminate state spying powers.”

Big-Name Lawyers Divulge New Year's Resolutions

By Leigh Jones |

It's time to make those New Year's resolutions, when waistbands are tight, wallets are empty and even a dry martini has lost its appeal.

Private Equity-Backed UK Firm Spent Million Dollars on Failed Acquisition

By Chris Johnson |

A U.K. law firm with private equity backing spent almost a million pounds attempting to buy a rival insurance practice in 2015, accounts have revealed.

Trump and Divestiture: The Lawyers Weigh In

By Steven J. Harper |

As Donald Trump shatters norms underpinning American democracy, how should the legal profession respond? Not with excuses for him, that’s for sure.

UK Firms Brace for Insolvency Boom as Data Puts Thousands of Companies at Risk

By Chris Johnson |

Law firms in the U.K. could soon face a glut of insolvency and restructuring work, with data suggesting that thousands of companies in the travel sector are at risk of going bust.

Philip Sechler of Robbins Russell.

Want to be a Full-Time Law Prof? Here's One Big Law Litigator's Experience

By Jenna Greene |

You're swamped with deadlines, you're constantly traveling, you're dealing with obnoxious opposing counsel or a cranky judge or difficult colleagues. Wouldn't it be great to be a law professor? Pondering the majesty of the law, enlightening eager students? Here's the story of one big-time litigator who made the move—and came back.

UK Law Society Chief Resigns Over Lack of Reform Progress

By Chris Johnson |

The chief executive of the Law Society, the professional body for solicitors in England and Wales, has resigned over a lack of progress in attempts to reform its governance.

Gaze Into My Crystal Ball

By Vivia Chen |

Ten predictions for 2017.