Chances are your life has been upended by the coronavirus pandemic, whether you’re a partner, associate, in-house counsel, student, professor or legal tech professional. As part of that legal community, you're also resilient, with inventive ways of getting the job done despite very difficult times. In this collection, Law.com reports on what you need to know to keep it all going and how you’re helping others during the crisis. You'll also find a roundup of the latest COVID-19 news affecting legal professionals.
Samantha Stokes | May 15, 2020
Law firms are reimagining office life and planning for a slow return. Among the lawyers themselves, attitudes range from impatience to "see you in 2021."
Karen Sloan | May 19, 2020
Michigan's pared down online test will consist only of state-specific essay questions.
Michael A. Mora | May 19, 2020
Chief Justice Charles Canady has made a push to restore more court operations during the COVID-19 pandemic and is exploring long-term remote court concepts as part of a task force he created.
Frank Ready | May 15, 2020
Corporate legal may be more comfortable dealing with flesh and blood attorneys than technology, but as COVID-19 restrictions ease, the rush to prepare for employees' return to the office may favor the speed and cost-effectiveness of a tech assist.
Angela Morris | May 18, 2020
In what may be a first across the United States since the coronavirus pandemic canceled jury trials, Texas judges on Monday invited a jury pool to a court proceeding over video teleconference. Monday's hearing in an insurance dispute was actually a "summary jury trial," which is an alternative dispute resolution process.
Wilmer Hale partner David Bowker, whose case was one of the first to proceed by telephone, gives a behind-the-scenes account of preparing for and delivering arguments in the new environment.
Jane Wester | May 11, 2020
While several major court functions are still shut down, including the filing of new cases, jury trials and unrestricted access to courthouses, attorneys acknowledged that the reopening process is not entirely in the hands of court leaders.
David Thomas | May 05, 2020
Big Law firms tend to stick with the pack, but Latham & Watkins, Nixon Peabody, Wilson Sonsini and others are charting their own paths on summer programs.
Karen Sloan | May 08, 2020
Indiana is now the first state to say it's customizing the bar exam to address the health and safety issues posed by COVID-19.
For those law firms still conducting summer programs amid the coronavirus pandemic, the challenge is to make the experience meaningful.
Marcia Coyle | May 04, 2020
Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. directed the arguments from the U.S. Supreme Court building, which has remained closed to the public for weeks amid the pandemic.
MP McQueen | May 01, 2020
Currently much of the hiring is for corporate legal departments who need more lawyers to fill specific niches, or because of reduced productivity from COVID-19-related issues. But increased demand from law firms is anticipated for later this year, recruiters say.
Ryan Tarinelli | May 04, 2020
Phase two would include the reopening of "professional services," a definition that appears to include law firms and could dictate when attorneys start to return to in-office work. Hank Greenberg, president of the New York State Bar Association, described the announcement as welcome news for law firms.
Karen Sloan | April 30, 2020
Law students hoping to land a prestigious federal clerkship typically take last-minute flights to interview with judges in person, but the coronavirus pandemic is forcing the judiciary to rethink how it hires clerks.
Jacqueline Thomsen | April 27, 2020
Guidelines given to federal courts Monday lay out how they might gradually reopen after closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brenda Sapino Jeffreys | April 29, 2020
In an order Wednesday, the Texas Supreme Court said the July bar exam will take place as scheduled, under guidance of public health authorities.
Brenda Sapino Jeffreys | May 01, 2020
One Houston trial firm is moving back into its offices on Monday, but most Texas firms are still in the early stages of planning their eventual return.
Jack Newsham | April 28, 2020
As a result of bar exam delays, recent law graduates will be authorized to engage in the “limited practice of law” under the supervision of a more experienced lawyer.
Jack Newsham | April 29, 2020
The New York State Bar Association's president says law firm lawyers and staff should be among the first allowed to return to their offices.
Tom McParland | April 30, 2020
Any determinations about how to proceed would be based on conditions in June, and he would not try to forecast further developments down the line, given how quickly circumstances can change, the chief judge said.
Karen Sloan | April 28, 2020
Christopher Buccafusco, director of the Intellectual Property and Information Law Program at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, has been hosting weekly wine tastings on Zoom where he discusses the law of wine.
Tasha Norman | April 23, 2020
"I’m a big believer that you can balance family, friends and outside interests in even the most intense of big law jobs."
Zach Warren | April 24, 2020
From beach scenes to Prince, legal tech has embraced the Zoom background. Here's some favorites, as well as how to make yours stand out from the crowd.
Jacqueline Thomsen | April 23, 2020
The former SEC litigator discusses Judge Justin Walker’s ruling for a Kentucky church’s Easter services and what happens when your dog interrupts your Zoom client call.
Even though most are deemed “essential services,” law firms are in no rush to reflood their offices with lawyers and staff.
Dan Packel | April 21, 2020
Practice heads are serving as "mini-managing partners" and "front-line lieutenants" as law firms fight to maintain business continuity and ensure cohesion during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Raychel Lean | April 17, 2020
Anthony "Tony" Recio spent three years and five months with no phone, Internet or television.
Vivia Chen | April 16, 2020
The former GC of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama, Fong is well-versed in the art of crisis. Still, the pandemic presents its own brand of challenges.
Hugh A. Simons | April 16, 2020
Hugh A. Simons argues that the incoming first-year associate class for the fall of 2020 should be deferred. He offers historical perspectives from the Great Recession and guidance on when and how to implement these decisions.
David Thomas | April 16, 2020
Edelson PC, known as a scourge of Silicon Valley, says a business model accustomed to dry spells and windfalls is helping it weather the pandemic and make a difference close to home.
Dan Clark | April 15, 2020
"When crises hit, diversity and inclusion take a back seat if it is not embedded in the DNA of the corporations or the law firms. It is an easy thing to not focus on when you have 50 other priorities," Joel Stern, CEO of the National Association of Minority & Women Owned Law Firms, said.
ALM Staff | May 20, 2020
A firm-by-firm guide to how Big Law is shifting its summer plans in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Marcia Coyle | April 13, 2020
Among the cases the justices said they would hear in May include the dispute over Trump's financial records, an Obamacare case and the controversy over "faithless electors."
The Above the Law founder-turned-legal recruiter talks about his brush with death and what he's learned from the ordeal.
Phillip Bantz | April 10, 2020
In-house and executive recruiters say the coronavirus has altered the hiring landscape, perhaps forever, but it's not all bad.
Karen Sloan | April 09, 2020
From helping vulnerable clients get out of prison to assisting small business acquire government aid, law students are finding ways to pitch in amid the pandemic.
Karen Sloan | April 10, 2020
The change would make the state the first to embrace an emergency diploma privilege due to COVID-19, and it could prompt other states to follow suit.
Tasha Norman | April 09, 2020
"Due to the unfortunate reality we are facing, COVID-19 has posed some hurdles to maintaining a group or gym workout routine."
Karen Sloan | April 08, 2020
Permitting law grads to skip the bar exam for full licensure looks increasingly unlikely. At least three jurisdictions have unveiled programs to allow 2020 law graduates to practice under supervision while they wait to take the test.
Jacqueline Thomsen | April 08, 2020
Counsel at firms with top-ranked pro bono programs say they're seeing an increase in both the demand for pro bono work during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in attorneys at their firms wanting to offer free legal services.
Karen Sloan | April 07, 2020
The April LSAT is canceled. But for the first time ever, aspiring lawyers will be able to take the admissions exam at home, on their own computers.
Frank Ready | April 07, 2020
Remote work and the move toward more workflow automation could be sticking around as firms continue to cut overhead and bolster efficiency in an increasingly competitive market.
Robert Storace | April 07, 2020
A Connecticut attorney discusses the impact of COVID-19 on her family.
Patrick Smith | April 07, 2020
Sullivan & Worcester managing partner Joel Carpenter said the firm's actions—including temporary pay cuts and some furloughs—is based on a 40% drop in revenue that he hopes won't come to pass.
Brenda Sapino Jeffreys | April 06, 2020
While many firms are keeping their options open, a few have expressly announced that they have no plans to let people go or reduce their pay.
Patrick Smith | March 31, 2020
“The kind of interpersonal communication that people have on a coffee break or in the lunchroom is now gone," said one behavioral scientist who's also a Big Law alum. "Firms are going to have to work to keep their people committed and engaged.”
Suzette Parmley | April 06, 2020
The 2020 bar exam, originally scheduled for July, has been postponed until the fall due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Bawa, who joined the video conferencing company in 2018, shares what it’s been like as Zoom has gone from business tool to virtual lifeline and come under scrutiny for security vulnerabilities.
Jamie Moss | March 27, 2020
Tips and strategies for communicating effectively from your home office during the coronavirus crisis.
Karen Sloan | April 01, 2020
Derek Brainard, the director of financial education at AccessLex Institute, unpacks the student loan relief provisions within the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package and how lawyers borrowers should proceed.
Katheryn Hayes Tucker | March 19, 2020
“Be kind to one another in this most stressful of times,” U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg said.
Vivia Chen | April 01, 2020
Here's the first in a series looking at how big names in the legal world are dealing with the impact of coronavirus—including the impact on their jobs, what's driving them nuts and what they're watching on Netflix.
Dan Packel | March 16, 2020
Chairman Brad Karp wants "thousands" of lawyers across the U.S. to join what he expects will be an unprecedented effort.
Vivia Chen | March 25, 2020
Videoconferencing is how some laterals will land at their next job if the coronavirus persists, recruiters predict. Laterals will likely sign on with law firms that they've never set foot in and whose partners they've never met.
Samantha Stokes | March 18, 2020
For mothers in particular, the demands of remote working can be intense, and the coming weeks will hold lessons for law firms that go beyond the current crisis.
Vivia Chen | March 20, 2020
Any normal person under similar circumstances would be going bonkers.
Karen Sloan | March 31, 2020
AccessLex Institute will give every ABA-accredited nonprofit law school $25,000 to distribute to students facing financial hardship.
Patrick Krill | March 31, 2020
Whether through small gesture or large effort, now is the time to audition for the role of the person we’d want others to say we are.
As the country combats the COVID-19 crisis, lawyers are settling into a new work reality. We checked in to see how they’re coping.
Karen Sloan | March 19, 2020
From amusing lecture videos to daily video chats with the dean, law schools are scrambling to provide student support and foster interaction amid the quick shift to online classes.
Sue Reisinger | March 27, 2020
"Having video makes a huge difference and it should be used for a virtual cup of coffee or a substantive meeting," advised Richard Nohe, general counsel for BT Americas Inc. in Dallas.
Patrick Krill | March 16, 2020
Just as you can do things to safeguard yourself from the coronavirus, you can also takes steps to avoid the mental fallout.
Hugh A. Simons | March 21, 2020
Law school grads are about to face a very different hiring climate in Big Law than they expected a few months ago. Hugh A. Simons gives insight into what is happening in the minds of those making hiring decisions and what law grads should do to improve their situation.
MP McQueen | March 17, 2020
The surge in inexperienced remote workers is creating a host of potential cybersecurity threats that in-house counsel need to quickly address, cybersecurity lawyers said. "Hackers love exploiting weakness and they know the entire world is distracted," said Jena Valdetero, partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner.
Jane Wester | March 29, 2020
The "pent-up demand" for legal services will be enormous, said Hank Greenberg, president of the NYSBA. Former New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, who is now of counsel at Latham & Watkins, is leading the effort to organize the new network.
Dan Packel | March 27, 2020
Kirkland & Ellis and others are joining the City Bar Justice Center to roll out a pilot in New York, and the Lawyers for Good Government Foundation will provide national assistance in the effort to guide small business owners on how to access government support.
C. Ryan Barber | March 27, 2020
"The potential number of companies or recipients is vast, to put it mildly, which makes certain things more important and certain things very different," Jenner' & Block's Neil Barofsky, former special inspector general under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, says. "It’s going to be extraordinarily important what processes and procedures surround the determination of who gets money and who doesn't."
Presented by BigVoodoo
Legal Speak is a weekly podcast that makes sense of what’s happening in the legal industry.