Around the Legal Industry: 6/3 – 6/7

Scales

Am Law 200 Report Shows “Second Hundred” Firms Pursuing Growth Strategies

June marked the release of The American Lawyer’s annual report comparing the top 200 U.S. law firms.  Among its key findings: The “second tier” firms (those ranking 101-200 in METRIC) are pursuing much more aggressive hiring strategies than those in the top one hundred group.  According to The American Lawyer’s website, “Second Hundred firms are clearly wagering that, as the economy improves, their lower rates will drive work their way, and that their investment in new partners will pay off. Time will tell.”

Source: The American Lawyer | The 2013 Am Law 200

New Mental Health Language = More Disability Claims?

More employees may be seeking to have their mental health conditions covered by ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) protections — owing to recent revisions to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Illnesses (DSM-5).  Among other changes, the newly revised guidelines allow greater latitude in diagnostic determinations of when “bereavement” (formerly not covered as a disability) becomes “depression” (a condition that is covered.) Stephen Sonnenberg, an employment lawyer at Paul Hastings, said “A DSM diagnosis is typically regarded as a predicate for a valid disability claim,” according to a story by Thompson Reuters News & Insight.

Source: InsideCounsel | Broad language in DSM-5 could lead to more disability claims

Rainmaking Partners’ Pay Is Too High — Harming Legal Profession, Author Says

The compensation gap between a firm’s “run-of-the-mill” partners and those that are “rainmakers” has grown dangerously wide — a trend that is unhealthy for the culture of the legal profession. So says Steven J. Harper, a Northwestern professor and author of “The Lawyer Bubble: A Profession In Crisis.” From the book’s promotional materials: “The Lawyer Bubble is essential reading not just for lawyers and people who want to be lawyers, but for anyone who wants to understand how a once highly respected profession went so wrong, and how it can be restored to its former glory.”

Source: Above The Law | The ‘Biglaw Partner Compensation’ Is Too Damn High

Timely Reminders on Workplace Sexual Harassment

One might think American workplaces today are generally “enlightened” about the problem of sexual harassment. But the statistics show that we still have a long way to go.  According to the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) there were more than 7,500 sexual harassment cases filed — and fines of $43 million imposed — in 2012.

Want a quick refresher on workplace sexual harassment?  Check out the five, relevant tips included in this blogpost.

Source: JDSupra | Workplace Sexual Harassment: 5 Things You May Not Know – But Should…

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