Legal Industry Roundup: 12/9-12/13

SCI-blog-friday-roundup-image“Sick Leave” Policy: What You Should Know

If you’re noticing an increase in the number of colleagues or clients who are “out sick,” you’re not alone. And with January and February typically the peak months for seasonal flu activity,* the situation is likely to get worse before it gets better. Which brings to mind the issue of “Sick Leave” policies. Whether you’re reviewing an existing policy or drafting a new one, you might want to consider the issues raised in this Continuing Education of the Bar blogpost.

*U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Source: Corporate Counsel | Drafting an Employee Sick Leave Policy

Legal Profession Trails in Diversity Measures

Despite increased public awareness of the need for greater diversity in the workplace, the legal field continues to trail other professions in diversity measures. A recent diversity survey sponsored by Microsoft included results such as these:

African Americans and Hispanics (which represent more than 25 percent of the American workforce) constitute only 8.4 percent of this nation’s lawyers. (These legal numbers were dwarfed by corresponding numbers in other professions: Financial Managers – 18.9 percent; Accountants and Auditors – 16.5 percent; and Physicians and Surgeons – 12.3 percent.)

In a blogpost about the study, Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith wrote: “Unless the legal profession makes faster progress, it will miss the dynamism and creativity that diversity brings to other fields.” Read more on the Microsoft Survey at this National Law Journal article.

Recently released statistics from the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) also show continuing diversity gaps. Commenting on the flagging percentage of female associates (currently 44.7 percent) NALP Executive Director James Leipold described this as “…a divergence in the previously parallel stories of women and minorities in large law firms.”

Source: ABA Journal | Law Lags Other Professions in Minority Hiring

Fake Lawyer Profile Yields High Avvo Rating

A recent prank by Greg Luce (editor of the Bitter Lawyer website) is raising attention regarding the system by which lawyers are rated on the Avvo website. In November, Luce sabotaged his own Avvo profile — positioning himself as a “Goat Lawyer” — and reaped an Avvo rating of 9.2 (“Superb”). Curiosity piqued, Lawyer/blogger Sam Glover (of contacted Avvo in search of an explanation. If you ever have been impressed (or intimidated) by a lawyer’s high Avvo score, you might be interested in the tongue-in-cheek posts by the bloggers mentioned here.

Source: | Why the Goat Lawyer Had a “Superb” Avvo Rating

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