Legal demographics are changing

An ABA task force recently found that  only 56% of recent law school graduates achieve full-time employment as an attorney within twelve months of graduation, over the last five years, applicants to law schools have declined by roughly 50% from approximately 100,000 to approximately 50,000 per year.

This will have a dramatic impact on the availability of lawyers for the American public. And couple this statistic with the more than 400,000 lawyers who will retire in the next 10 years, and you will see a dramatic change in the legal landscape.

For those who complain that there are too many lawyers, this should satisfy their desire to thin the ranks of lawyers. For those who want to better serve those currently under-served Americans, this will add yet another challenge to the system. And for lawyers, the likelihood increases that the Bar will add yet another requirement of pro bono service and added cost to doing business as a lawyer.


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ABA TECHSHOW 2014 Wrapup

Tom and Dennis recently attended ABA TECHSHOW 2014, one of the premier annual legal technology conferences. While there, they observed many interesting trends, saw innovative products, and met with numerous industry professionals. On this episode of the Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss TECHSHOW highlights, what interested them most, and their reflections on the current state of legal technology. Tune in to learn more about the How-To sessions, Legal Technology Solutions Lab, and Speakers.
Special thanks to our sponsor, ServeNow.


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Affirmative action ban in state constitution violates US constitution (8-7)

Michigan voters adopted a state constitutional amendment that prohibits “all sex- and race-based preferences in public education, public employment, and public contracting.”

The 6th Circuit (8-7) held this provision – as it relates to education – violates the 14th amendment’s equal protection clause.

Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action v. Univ of Michigan (6th Cir 11/15/2012)

(Plaintiffs limited their challenge to racial discrimination in public education.)

The court said that a black applicant could seek adoption of a constitutionally permissible race-conscious admissions policy only through the “lengthy, expensive, and arduous process” of amending the state constitution. On the other hand, someone wishing to change any other aspect of a university’s admissions policy has four options – lobby the admissions committee, petition the leadership of the university, seek to influence the school’s governing board, or initiate a statewide campaign to alter the state’s constitution.

“The existence of such a comparative structural burden undermines the Equal Protection Clause’s guarantee that all citizens ought to have equal access to the tools of political change.”

Seven judges wrote five DISSENTING opinions. Six said that the majority relied on two US Supreme Court cases that “have no application here,” and one said that the majority relied on “an extreme extension” of those cases. The cases are Hunter v. Erickson, 393 US 385 (1969), and Washington v. Seattle Sch Dist, 458 US 457 (1982).

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Latest Trends in Document Review: Benchmarks, Metrics, and Drivers

With decreases in data production, increased front-end analytics, and greater emphasis on search terms, it appears that document review projects have been evolving over the past four years. Externally, public pressure to reduce costs and recent developments in law are driving smaller review teams to do more with less. On this episode of the ESI Report, host Michele Lange interviews ESI expert Eli Nelson to discuss the latest trends and predictions for the eDiscovery industry.
Eli Nelson is Of Counsel in the Washington, D.C. office of McKenna, Long and Aldridge where he is responsible for developing and implementing firm-wide practice standards for electronic discovery and information governance. Eli counsels clients and attorneys on the efficient use of technology, data mining techniques, and project management practices for litigation and compliance issues.


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North Carolina clergy members challenge same-sex marriage ban

[JURIST] The United Church of Christ (UCC) [church website] on Monday filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF; materials] challenging North Carolina’s same-sex marriage ban on the grounds that it restricts freedom of religion. The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the Western District of North Carolina on behalf of UCC reverends and same-sex couples. The UCC believes that North Carolina marriage laws "limit ministers’ choices, violate the principle of ‘free exercise of religion’ upon which the church is…


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Supreme Court to rule in mortgage lending case

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday granted certiorari [order list, PDF] in Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. [docket; cert. petition, PDF] to determine the requirements of the Truth in Lending Act [15 USC § 1635]. The Jesinoskis refinanced their house with Countrywide Home Loans in 2007, but Countrywide failed to furnish the Jesinoskis with all the information and disclosures required by the Act. The Jesinoskis attempted to rescind their loan transaction under 15 USC § 1635(a),…


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EEOC briefs on line

This is pretty cool.

EEOC briefs are now on line. [Here]

They cover briefs filed in the US Circuit Courts of Appeals in which the EEOC was a party, plus amicus briefs filed in the US Circuit Courts of Appeals, District Courts, and state courts.

And there is a user-friendly search function.

Briefs filed in the US Supreme Court are not in this collection, and can be found through the US Solicitor General’s collection [here].

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