Columns and Blogs

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

By Vivia Chen |

A pictorial roundup of celebrity-Big Law family connections.

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.

Want to Hire Smarter? Try Tougher Interviews

By Vivia Chen |

New study finds that difficult interviews yield higher employee satisfaction.

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.

Carrie Cohen, left, and Sheldon Silver, right.

Top Prosecutor Says U.S. Attorney's Office Is Family Friendly

By Vivia Chen |

Meet the mother of four who prosecuted one of the most powerful politicians in New York.

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.

A Firm To Watch: King & Wood Mallesons

By Steven J. Harper |

Someday we’ll all know exactly what is happening there.

Ted Cruz in Texas in 2009.

Which Big Firms Are Supporting Ted Cruz?

By Vivia Chen |

The Tea Party darling has friends in Big Law—even in New York City.

The Crisis in Legal Education Is Over!

By Steven J. Harper |

Wishful thinking is never a sound strategy for success.

Harvard Law School Through the Back Door?

By Vivia Chen |

One way to upgrade your law school: Transfer.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie delivering his annual State of the State address in January 2015.

'Bridgegate' Takes a Strange Turn

By Steven J. Harper |

Just when you think a story is dead, it springs to life.

Fewer (and Dumber) Law Students in 2015

By Vivia Chen |

A year-end roundup of the latest news about law students, bar passage, Texas and more.

The Year's 7 Most Intriguing Quotes

By Vivia Chen |

The Careerist's annual pick of funny, sad, weird quotes by the famous, infamous and the not-so-famous.

Big Law's Short-Termism Problem

By Steven J. Harper |

When it comes to client advice, the best lawyers see around the next corner and act accordingly. When it comes to running their law firms—not so much.

The American Lawyer's All-Star Team

By Kim Kleman |

Meet the judges who pored over 108 entries in our Litigation Department of the Year contest.

The Year in Review

By Kim Kleman |

Four broad themes defined 2015: mergers, financial pressures, the nature of partnership and leadership challenges.

Gender Reversals Gain Acceptance

By Vivia Chen |

House hubbies and breadwinner moms are no longer scorned.

Dewey, the DA and Secrets

By Steven J. Harper |

The Manhattan district attorney's office continues its streak of bizarre decisions in the Dewey & LeBoeuf case.

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12:  Alleged Bonanno crime family captain Vincent Asaro walks with his lawyers outside of a Brooklyn court house  after a jury found him not guilty of one count of racketeering conspiracy and two extortion-related counts on November 12, 2015 in New York City. Asaro, 80, was charged in connection with the 1978 Lufthansa heist at JFK International Airport. The famed crime inspired part of the plot in the 1990 mob film

The Women Who Won Over Jurors in 'Goodfellas' Mobster's Trial

By Vivia Chen |

Mobster Vince Asaro owes his freedom to two female lawyers.

The DOJ Wants You!

By Jenna Greene |

But pot, hookers and debts can kill a security clearance for a would-be government lawyer.

How Will History Judge You?

By Steven J. Harper |

Woodrow Wilson is in trouble. Who’s next?

Making a Lateral Move? Here's How to Get a Signing Bonus

By Dan Binstock |

More than ever, firms are offering laterals signing bonuses.

Young plaintiffs suing the Obama administration celebrate outside a Eugene, Oregon courthouse after filing their case on Aug. 12, 2015.

The Global Lawyer: Using the Courts to Fight Climate Change

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

The Paris climate talks won't be enough. Can courts grab control of the thermostat?

Is Your Jewelry Hurting Your Career?

By Vivia Chen |

Maybe women should follow Amal Clooney's lead and ditch the bling.