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WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
SHUTDOWN PLANS - The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts is expected to issue additional guidance today on court funding amid the federal government shutdown. The office said in a memo that it is planning to issue an advisory “to court units and federal defender organizations on planning for the next phase of the appropriations lapse,” should the courts not be able to sustain paid operations past Jan. 18. All judiciary staff is expected to be paid in full Jan. 11 and 25, the memo said. However, it also noted some uncertainty as to which federal judges would be paid Feb. 1. Earlier this week, the office said “limited funds” would expire on Jan. 18.
BIG DEALS - Here are three situations that ALM Intelligence analyst Nicholas Bruch is watching for that could knock mainstream law firms back on their heels: a law firm’s purchase of an alternative legal service provider; the purchase of a major law firm by one of the Big Four; and a spinoff of a legal department from a corporation. Bruch says the question is when, not if.
CHOOSY - If a new program at Syracuse University College of Law is any indication, legal education is headed in the online direction. Karen Sloan reportsthat the school’s hybrid J.D. program, only the second one in the country approved by the ABA behind Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, was able to snag applicants with LSAT scores higher than those of its residential students. Of the 241 applicants, 32 enrolled in the program.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
THUMBS DOWN - The Association of Corporate Counsel has announced its opposition to the Hong Kong Law Society’s proposed amendments to its Foreign Lawyers Registration Rules, which would change the ratio of domestic to foreign lawyers in Hong Kong firms from 1:1 to 2:1. Caroline Spiezio and Anna Zhangreport that Mary Blatch, the ACC’s associate general counsel, said the new rule would not apply to legal department staff but would still harm Hong Kong in-house counsel by limiting their outside counsel options for global matters.
WHAT YOU SAID
“You never want to see a law student discouraged by seeing lawyers who are getting shut out of work without a paycheck.”
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