The new year has brought a new procedure for changing attorney disciplinary rules and the referendum process that gives lawyers the vote on rule changes.
The Texas Supreme Court and State Bar of Texas have appointed members to the new Committee on Disciplinary Rules and Referenda, which the Texas Legislature created last year in Senate Bill 302. That legislation—the bar’s sunset review bill—also spelled out a new way for the committee to draft rule changes, take feedback from lawyers and seek approval from the state bar and supreme court.
PDF: New Disciplinary Committee Members Appointed by SCOTX and State Bar _ Texas Lawyer
Although she spent the first six years of her career in Big Law, California attorney Dorna Moini always knew that her true passion was in human rights and access to justice.
After graduating from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law in 2012, Moini, who has dual citizenship in the United States and Iran, worked at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton and then at Sidley Austin.
But Big Law practice wasn’t her calling. Her experiences gained from frequent travel between the United States and Iran, plus a fellowship as an undergraduate helping draft legislation to outlaw slavery in northwest Africa, and her pro bono work as a Big Law associate provided a window into the stark divide in access to justice here and abroad. And she was driven to do something about it.
PDF: Associate Departs Big Law to Create Pro Se Online Startup _ Law
The size of this year’s entering class at Texas law schools rose by 4 percent this year compared to last, but total enrollment numbers for 2017 still dropped by 0.3 percent.
Legal educators closely watch the size of the first-year class, since it has financial implications for a law school for the next three years. There were 2,199 first-year law students at the 10 Texas law schools in the Fall of 2017, which is 89 students more than the Fall of 2016.
PDF: Texas Law School Enrollment Outpaces National Percentage Growth _ Texas Lawyer
Starting on New Year’s Day, California’s newest public law school will welcome its second dean since its founding.
L. Song Richardson on Jan. 1 will become dean of the University of California, Irvine School of Law, which became the first public law school in California in nearly 50 years when it opened in 2009. Richardson has already been leading the school as interim dean since July, when founding dean Erwin Chemerinsky left to become dean at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.
PDF: UC Irvine School of Law Gets New Dean _ The Recorder
The Republican tax bill, ever closer to becoming law, has been flooding tax attorneys with work as they scramble to understand how the proposals might impact their corporate clients.
The first major tax reform in three decades is all but the law of the land, as both the House and Senate have voted to approve it after last-minute details were hashed out this week.
But tax attorneys have already been hard at work ever since the bill started down the fast track in Congress, according to corporate tax lawyer David Miller, a partner at Proskauer Rose in New York.
PDF: Brew a Pot of Coffee, This Big Law Tax Attorney Is Burning the Midnight Oil _ Law
Enrollment in law school J.D. programs dipped a tad this year, but some unexpected good news provided a counterbalance.
While J.D. enrollment fell by 0.7 percent compared with last year, the numbers of non-J.D. students—studying for LL.M., masters or certificate degrees—grew by a whopping 20.5 percent, compared with last year, according to data from the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, which accredits U.S. law schools.
That means overall law school enrollment edged up by 1.6 percent to 126,638, which is 2,010 more students than last year. That total is made up of 110,156 J.D. students plus 16,482 non-J.D. students.
PDF: Law School Enrollment Edges Up, with Surprise Spike in Non-JD Programs _ Law
Just in time for the new year, law schools have cause to celebrate.
As of Dec. 1, the number of law school applicants was up by 12 percent to 16,784, compared with this time last year, while the number of applications was up by 15 percent to 93,932, according to the Law School Admission Council.
Granted, it might be too early in the application season to declare a definitive upward trend for the next academic year, since around this time last year, only 27 percent of the total applicants had submitted their applications.
PDF: Law School Applications on the Rise _ Law