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WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
SO LONG - The third lawyer to run Michigan State University’s legal department in the last year is out. Sue Reisinger reports that GC Robert Young Jr. has been ousted as the school continues to reel from the sex abuse scandal involving Larry Nassar, the doctor for the USA Gymnastics who worked at the school. Young, a former Dickinson Wright lawyer who was let go without cause, oversaw the school’s $500 million settlement involving more than 300 Nassar victims who sued the school. Previous heads of the legal department, working at the time of the scandal, were pressured to leave. Critics had objected to Young’s hiring, partly because he had written legal opinions on cases in which he refused to hold a company or a government entity liable for rape or sexual abuse by employees.
IN THE VALLEY - Wilson Sonsini is launching a software development business. Roy Strom reports that SixFifty, the subsidiary named after the firm’s address and area code in Palo Alto, will release its first automated legal product this spring designed to draft documents for compliance with the California Consumer Privacy Act, which takes effect in January 2020.
SEARCH THIS - Looks like Google caught a break in the Labor Department’s case seeking data about alleged pay disparities at the technology company. Erin Mulvaney reports that Labor Department investigators will complete a probe of Google compensation system without access to a broader set of records the department had originally sought. Led by former Kirkland & Ellis partner Kate O’Scannlain, department lawyers dropped an appeal and said they would conduct the review of Google under new directives on transparency, issued by the agency’s Trump-era leaders and largely viewed as business-friendly.
ROBUST, BUT RISKY - Between the #MeToo movement, fears of a recession and intense competition, lateral hiring in 2019 is a complicated task. Despite it all, the moves remains a key source of growth used by nearly every member of the Am Law 200, and last year was full of activity. Today, join Nicholas Bruch, ALM Intelligence’s director of legal market intelligence, and Ben Seal, executive editor of The American Lawyer, for a ReplyAll conversation about the challenges firms face and the solutions they’re seeking.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
BRUSSELS BOUND - Cooley has opened its first continental European outpost with the launch of a Brussels office. Andrew Messios reports that the office will focus on antitrust and competition matters and will be headed by Alexander Israel, who joins from German firm Noerr. Cooley now has 14 offices in total across the U.S., China and Europe.
WHAT YOU SAID
“Using our influence to help one another, like we set out to do—it’s happening.”
— CHASITY HENRY, ASSISTANT GENERAL COUNSEL OF CORPORATE AFFAIRS AND LEGAL STRATEGY AT KIMBERLY-CLARK CORP., WHO LAUNCHED THE NEW ROUNDTABLE, A NONPROFIT FOCUSED ON ADVANCING BLACK WOMEN LAWYERS IN THE PROFESSION.
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