QUALITY ASSURANCE- OK, the past week or so in Big Law has been a lot, so let’s review: associate salaries have climbed again (and again and again); for elite firms, joining the pay wars is basically a no-brainer; for firms outside that rarified air, the calculus is dicier; clients are mildly annoyed; overseas law firm leaders are shaking their heads; and some staffers are downright cheesed off. But there’s another angle here, lost in the melee: as Law.com’s Dylan Jackson reports, many of the firms that boosted associate pay are going to need to recoup that money through rate hikes or increased billable hour targets, both of which can negatively impact attorneys of color and women. The bright side is that could create a recruitment opportunity for those firms that can’t compete on compensation but are able to offer young lawyers—especially diverse young lawyers—a better quality of life than their competitors. “Firms that have not dedicated such a large portion of revenue to associate salaries will also have more resources to focus on inclusive practices and empowering their current talent. I believe most talent—including diverse talent—will flock to those firms and stay long-term,” Caren Ulrich Stacy, founder and CEO of Diversity Lab, said.
DEPARTMENT OF THE ULTERIOR - Lawyers and former federal prosecutors say they’re alarmed by a series of recent subpoena scandals implicating the Trump Justice Department, pointing to potential political motivations behind the subpoenas, Law.com’s Andrew Goudsward and Jacqueline Thomsen report. “It really sounds like from the more information that comes out, that this is just sleazy, dirty stuff and it has the whiff of DOJ being politicalized and the investigative process being used to target folks who are less than complimentary to the president or his administration,” said Michael Weinstein, a former Justice Department prosecutor who is now with Cole Schotz. “There are barriers and protocols and rules in place at the department to prevent that from happening and either they were lowered or they were just simply brushed aside it appears.”