Columns and Blogs

Police pray after the burial services for Sergeant Michael J. Smith at Restland Public Safety Memorial Gardens in Dallas, Texas, USA, 14 July 2016 (Larry W. Smith/EPA/Newscom).

Donald Trump, Guns and Leadership

By Stephen J. Harper |

Branding with catch-phrases is easy; reconciling their contradictory messages is impossible.

10 Male Behaviors That Annoy Female Lawyers, as Told to The Careerist

Remember the advice I passed on to you ladies about how to be assertive, yet lovable? Well, it provoked a number of responses from readers (OK, female readers). In a nutshell, some women said they’re sick and tired about getting schooled on how they should behave.

How Women Can Be Assertive (and Lovable)

I know you’re tired of hearing about how hard it is for a woman to be in charge. But despair not: This time we’ve got some tips on how to manage and avoid the pitfalls.

Even the Best Lawyers Find Time for a Summer Vacation

Is it truth or urban legend that lawyers are often too work-crazed to tear themselves away for vacation during the heat of the summer? Despite their neurotic, overworked stereotype, most lawyers I know do take a chunk of time off for summer vacation.

Cognitive Dissonance and Law Firm Associate Pay

By Steven J. Harper |

As associate salaries increase, reluctant clients are complaining about the wrong problem.

Home Secretary Theresa May at the Ukraine Forum on Asset Recovery in London, 29 April 2014. Photo: Foreign and Commonwealth Office via Wikipedia.

Mummy Dearest: A Look at the Mommy War in the UK

It's been far too long since I've written about Mommy Wars. Thankfully our sisters across The Pond have given me an excuse to wade into one of my favorite subjects. Britain, after its big Brexit vote, is about to get a new leader. And two powerful women wanted the job.

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York, NY.

Second Circuit Emerging as 'Non-Rocket Docket' to the World

It took a federal judge less than three months to write a 500-page trial opinion on what is commonly construed as the litigation fraud of the century. But the people of Ecuador, Chevron and teams of lawyers around the world still await word from the Second Circuit.

Will Justice Department Indict Panama Papers' Lead Partner?

There's no doubt that distressed debt funds push the bounds of anticorruption. In a colorful Las Vegas footnote to the Argentine bond affair, one of them is testing the viability of Panama Papers prosecution–and delivering the head of Mossack Fonseca to Main Justice.

Paul Clement of Bancroft following a funeral mass for late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Feb. 20, 2016.

Want To Do Conservative Pro Bono? Good Luck.

By Vivia Chen |

Most projects skew left. But some lawyers and firms have bucked the trend.

Dueling Over the State of Legal Education

By Steven J. Harper |

It’s getter tougher to defend the status quo.

The Global Lawyer: Euro Triggers Delayed Allergic Reaction

I was a young correspondent in London the year the euro launched in 2002. When I clinked a newly minted EU coin on the counter of a Fleet Street newsstand, the cultural dissonance was obvious even to me. A squib in the Daily Telegraph now seems prescient.

The Global Lawyer: To Dodge $50 Billion Bill, Russia Comes Clean on Sale of the Century

Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his friends once paid the Russian state roughly half a billion dollars for Yukos Oil Co., which was publicly valued at $6 billion in 1997. Russia then took back those assets. The controlling shareholders have fought Russia in arbitration ever since.

Donald Trump

Trump and the Rule of Law, Continued

By Steven J. Harper |

Donald Trump’s actions have a troubling precedent. But there’s method to his madness.


The Diversity Ghetto

By Vivia Chen |

Women and minorities who promote diversity get penalized, a study says.

Senior Associates Get No Respect

Are senior associates and counsel being ignored or getting the short end of the salary stick?


White Female Privilege

By Vivia Chen |

Economic status, not necessity, is what allows women to stick it out in jobs.

Donald Trump

One Lawyer's Dilemma

By Steven J. Harper |

Donald Trump’s collateral damage includes his chief strategist: Georgetown University Law Center graduate Paul Manafort Jr.


Tips on Overcoming That Dirty Feeling About Networking

By Vivia Chen |

Business school profs tell you how to enjoy networking.

Fire escape, NYC. Photo by: Vivia Chen

John Quinn Feels Your Pain

By Vivia Chen |

The super litigator pays tribute to the broken-hearted.

Donald Trump

Trump and the Rule of Law

By Steven J. Harper |

Someone should remind the likely Republican nominee for President that the laws of the land apply to him, too.


With Internal Investigations, Firms Walk a Tightrope

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

Sullivan & Cromwell and Dechert struggle to balance client and regulator.

Donald Trump

The Trump Tax Three-Step

By Steven J. Harper |

Donald Trump doesn’t want to release his tax returns. Why?

Twenty Feet From Stardom: Celebrity Ties of the Am Law 100

By Vivia Chen |

A pictorial roundup of celebrity-Big Law family connections.

Jacob Wackerhausen/iStockphoto

Best and Worst Law Schools for Jobs

By Vivia Chen |

This year's list of go-to schools—and ones that should be avoided.


Too Sexy for the Boss

By Vivia Chen |

I know being a yoga instructor is not the same as being a lawyer. But hear me out anyway.


Letter from London: White & Case Aims High

By Chris Johnson |

The firm adopts a bold growth plan in London. What if it works?

A Vote Against Electing Judges

By Jenna Greene |

Here's why: Big spenders almost always win.

Teamwork Sucks for Women

By Vivia Chen |

Study by Harvard economist finds that collaborating with men hurts women's careers.

A businessman holding his son after a long day at work (laflor/iStockphoto)

What a Man! He's Taking Paternity Leave!

By Vivia Chen |

Studies find that women's pay gap narrows when men take paternity leaves.


Winston & Strawn Gives Dads 20 Weeks of Paid Leave

By Vivia Chen |

Will other big firms follow?

Hell Yeah, You Can Bitch on the Job!

By Vivia Chen |

Good news for grumpy workers.

Studio Grand Ouest/iStockphoto

Can We Stop the Mommy Anxiety Nonsense?

By Vivia Chen |

Moms with middle schoolers feel super stressed, but so what?

Simon Harper, Lawyers On Demand Co-Founder & BLP Consultant (HANDOUT)

Lawyers on Demand Ramps Up Growth

By Chris Johnson |

On the menu this week in The American Lawyer's Continental Breakfast series: Lawyers on Demand co-founder Simon Harper digests the spectacular growth of the alternative legal services pioneer.

As Supply of Law Grads Drops, More Struggle to Find Work

By Matt Leichter |

With fewer people finishing law school each year, a greater proportion of them should be finding work. Instead, even nonlaw jobs are declining for recent grads.

Stephen DiCarmine leaving the courtroom after a mistrial was declared in the Dewey & Leboeuf trial, Oct. 19, 2015.

A Fool For a Client

By Steven J. Harper |

Former Dewey & LeBoeuf executive director Stephen DiCarmine wants to represent himself in his upcoming retrial. He thinks it’s a good idea; no one else does.

The Global Lawyer: The 'Zombie' Alien Tort, Three Years After Kiobel

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

In 2016, the corporate alien tort is more alive than dead.

Janie Schulman of Morrison & Foerester, Janice MacAvoy of Fried Frank and Alicia Handy of Latham Watkins.

Big Law Women Talk About Abortion (Their Own)

By Vivia Chen |

A gutsy admission? Or career suicide?

Not Just Rich, White Ladies Anymore

By Vivia Chen |

Even the Careerist needs some fun and frivolity once in a while.

A Lawyer Shortage? In Your (Law School's) Dreams

By Steven J. Harper |

It will always be a great time to go to some law schools. It will never be a great time to go to others.

Navio Joao Candido, Petrobras Oil Tanker

Amid Scandal, Brazil Overhauls Its Anti-Corruption Toolkit

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

Brazil's leniency program needs work. Will proposed reforms do the job? Some big firms will find out.

How Law Schools Game the Rankings

By Vivia Chen |

Study finds that law school rankings encourage cheating, lying.

Marcia Clark in 1995, left, and in a current portrait.

Dishing with Marcia Clark (Yes, that Marcia)

By Vivia Chen |

O.J. Simpson's prosecutor talks about race, sexism and parenting.

Law Schools Need More Than 'Warm Bodies'

By Steven J. Harper |

What should a law school’s mission be? Most deans would rather not ask that question.


Nice Bosses Do No Better (or Worse) Than Nasty Ones

By Vivia Chen |

Employees will leave anyway, so why bother being a good boss?


News & Gossip: Slaughter & May, DLA, S&C + More

By Vivia Chen |

A quick and dirty take on the news.

Harry S. Truman, president-elect, holds up edition of Chicago Daily Tribune with headline 'Dewey Defeats Truman'. The Republican newspaper followed the public polls predictions that Truman would be defeated by Dewey. Instead, Truman won with electoral votes to spare and a 49.6 % of the popular vote to Dewey's 45.1 %. Nov. 3, 1948. Everett Collection/Newscom

The Real Story of the New York Primary: Beware of Big Data

By Steven J. Harper |

The unheralded lesson of the recent presidential primaries may be as important as the outcome.

Dershowitz Settles Sex Case, But Is He Vindicated?

By Vivia Chen |

Alan Dershowitz's accusers admit "tactical" mistakes, so what does that really mean?

Best Law Schools for Jobs and Prestige

By Vivia Chen |

Big Law feeder schools are not always the most highly ranked.


Law Schools that Feed Big Law Partnerships

By Vivia Chen |

Grads of lower rank schools often beat top schools in the partnership race.

The Global Lawyer: Russia Plugs $50 Billion Yukos Gusher

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

Russia won a crucial reprieve from a Dutch court, but the country and its lawyers at Cleary Gottlieb aren’t out of the woods yet.

A free range, cockerel walking in grass. (George Clerk/iStockphoto)

What's Everyone Hiding in the Dershowitz Case?

By Vivia Chen |

Behind all the post-settlement posturing, neither side in the Alan Dershowitz sex case really wants their secrets out.

Demonstration outside the U.S. Supreme Court to bring attention to reconsideration of the Citizens United v. FEC decision. February 23, 2012. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

The Global Lawyer: A Modest Proposal to Roll Back Citizens United

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

A proposal to limit foreign influence in U.S. politics is unlikely to survive a vote by the Federal Election Commission. But the idea may find a way forward in the courts.

Alan Dershowitz (Rick Kopstein), Paul Cassell (U of Utah Law School) and Bradley Edwards HANDOUT

Did Dershowitz Pay Big Bucks to Settle Sex Case?

By Vivia Chen |

Dershowitz's opponents say they're willing to waive confidentiality. Is he?

The End of the Cravath Lockstep Model? Not So Fast

By Steven J. Harper |

Self-styled experts concerned about the fate of the Cravath model have been wrong before; they’re wrong this time, too.

Charles Mostoller/REUTERS/Newscom

Bad News for Female Lawyers with Republican Bosses

By Vivia Chen |

A new study finds a correlation between women's careers and their bosses' ideology.

Women Leaders Are: 1) Awesome 2) Overrated 3) Irrelevant

By Vivia Chen |

Is having a female leader what it's cracked up to be? Maybe.

The Global Lawyer: The Money Laundering Mills of Panama and You

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

What does the 'Panama Papers' scandal mean for the republic of American lawyers?

Deals, Deals, Deals

By Kim Kleman |

The American Lawyer recognizes the best-of-the-best transactional lawyers during a record year.

Law Firm Leaders' Moneyball Mistake

By Steven J. Harper |

Some law firm leaders would rather perfect an error than learn from it.

Donald Trump, 2016 Republican presidential candidate, Nascar CEO Brian France, Nascar drivers Ryan Newman, Bill Elliot, and son Chase Elliott endorsing Trump, in Valdosta, GA, on February 29, 2016.

A Fact-Free Diet for the Election Season

By Steven J. Harper |

When facts get in the way, sometimes it's easiest to ignore them.

Minority Female Lawyers Make Gains (But Not the Men)

By Vivia Chen |

The latest report on diversity from MCCA and Vault.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) speaks at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Nov. 17, 2015.

'Let the People Speak'? A Response to Ted Cruz

By Steven J. Harper |

The senator's position on the Supreme Court's vacancy shows the perils of rewriting the Constitution to suit a political agenda.

Why the ABA's Bar-Passage Rule Isn't as Tough as It Looks

By Matt Leichter |

Many law schools could pass the ABA's proposed bar exam standard, even if they enroll students with long odds of passing the test.

The Global Lawyer: How The Am Law 100 Screws Contract Lawyers

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

Law firms that set best practices abet worst practices for contract attorneys.

Ted Cruz, left, and Marco Rubio, right.

Should You Hire Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio?

By Vivia Chen |

Ted Cruz has the perfect resume, but are you better off with the social butterfly?

Millennial Hype

By Vivia Chen |

Who says this generation will rock Big Law? A contrarian's view.

LSAT v. GRE: Rhetoric v. Reality

By Steven J. Harper |

Something touted as “fundamental change” moves the profession backward.

Change Agents in Big Law

By Kim Kleman |

Two drivers are pulling firms into the future.

Roberta Kaplan with her client Edith Windsor, right, addressing the media outside the U.S. Supreme Court on the second day of arguments over the fate of same-sex marriage. March 27, 2013.

Roberta Kaplan Gets Personal

By Vivia Chen |

A Q&A with the Paul Weiss partner about sexuality, stereotypes and her work in the case that legalized gay marriage.

Patricia K. Gillette

Millennial Manifesto: Young Big Law Lawyers Demand Change

By Patricia K. Gillette |

Smart firms will change to accommodate them—because these young professionals are absolutely right.

Cate Blanchett in the film Carol.

Why Lesbians Make More Money

By Vivia Chen |

Lesbians make 9 percent more than their straight sisters.

Antonin Scalia.

The Global Lawyer: The Vanished Robe That Saved the Globe?

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

What Justice Scalia's death means for global warming.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

Scalia's Vacancy: News vs. Opinion

By Steven J. Harper |

As the country’s political divide widens, clarity is becoming a casualty.

Are Older and Younger Women Headed for a Clash?

By Vivia Chen |

Are they feminists or ingrates?

New Barbies, from left to right: Curvy, Petite, and Tall.

The New Barbie Must Die

By Vivia Chen |

The "realistic" Barbie is a downer. And unfeminist.

The Dirty Little Secret of Law Firm Billing

By Steven J. Harper |

As the media reports soaring hourly billing rates, they’re missing the real story.

Here's Why Plaintiffs Lawyers Deserve Those Fat Fees

By Jenna Greene |

In a Duracell battery case, plaintiffs lawyers got $5.7 million. Their clients got just $345,000. Here's why that's fair.

Is Hillary Too Loud for You?

By Vivia Chen |

Hillary gets criticized for raising her voice. Are you talking too loudly too?

Chasing Lateral Growth, Big Law Leaders Lose Their Way

By Steven J. Harper |

The evidence suggests that most managing partners are unable or unwilling to learn from their errors. Their firms pay the price.

Mauricio Macri points as he rides in an open top car towards the presidential palace after he was sworn in as Argentina's new president in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015.

The Global Lawyer: The First Shoe Drops in Argentina

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

The beginning of the end of Argentina’s international bondholder battle means that important legal questions raised by the dispute will have to wait for answers.

U.S. Supreme Court

The Global Lawyer: Will Daimler Blow Up Terror Litigation?

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Daimler v. Bauman is undermining anti-terror law on jurisdictional grounds.

The 10 Best and Worst Cities for Young Lawyers

By Vivia Chen |

Choose wisely. Otherwise, it can be a cold and lonely existence.

Is It Time To Set an LSAT Minimum for Law School Admission?

By Vivia Chen |

The number admitted law students with LSAT scores below 145 has increased 60 percent since 2010.

Another Chance to Tackle Student Loan Debt

By Steven J. Harper |

An old program offering student debt relief has sprung to new life—for now.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin waves as she arrives on stage to endorse Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a rally at the Iowa State University, Tuesday, January 19, 2016, in Ames, Iowa.

Fashion, Sarah Palin and Power

By Vivia Chen |

Palin has redefined what ambitious women should wear.

The Government's Dismal Job Outlook for Lawyers

By Matt Leichter |

Law school enrollment is declining, but so are prospects for future legal employment.

What ALM's Acquisitions Mean For Our Readers

By Kim Kleman |

You're expanding, and so are we, with a stronger presence in London and Hong Kong and with new strength in insurance and other areas.