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The Barometer

A look at what we're watching in the changing legal landscape, and what our reporters and editors will be discussing at Legalweek 2023.

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  • The Changing Face of Law Firm Strategy

    Lizzy McLellan | August 26, 2021

    The most recent leadership changes across the legal industry provide a sampling of how firms are breaking the mold in choosing who will take the reins.

  • A Discriminating Recession in Big Law

    Christine Simmons | December 10, 2020

    Each week, the Law.com Barometer newsletter, powered by the ALM Global Newsroom and Legalweek(year) 2021, brings you the trends, disruptions and shifts…

  • Layoffs Are Spreading Faster, As Some Firms Quietly Cut Ranks

    Christine Simmons | November 05, 2020

    Welcome to our Law.com Barometer newsletter, powered by the ALM Global Newsroom in advance of Legalweek 2021. Each week this newsletter will bring…

  • After Compensation Raises and Frenetic Hiring, Big Law Is Gambling on 2022

    Christine Simmons | February 03, 2022

    How will large law firms respond in the event deal volume significantly slows, clients cut back demand and the cost of doing business rises? Will large pay packages for partners and associates become a big liability? For some, 2022 is a gamble of sorts.

  • News

    What 2021 Has Taught Us About Leadership

    Heather Nevitt | December 16, 2021

    because of all the challenges many faced due to the pandemic, another thing is certain: skills that were maybe once thought of as "soft" or "nice to have" are now required and highly valuable for both personal and professional success.

  • Talent Wars Are Getting Dangerous for Law Firms

    Lizzy McLellan | November 11, 2021

    Frenzy and even paranoia are dominating the atmosphere of the legal talent market.

  • Neglecting Cybersecurity Isn’t Just Risky. It’s Reckless.

    Lizzy McLellan | July 22, 2021

    Robust protection against cyberthreats is a big investment. Like a spare tire or a smoke detector, better to have and not need it, rather than need and not have it. But chances are, you’re going to need it.

  • Law Firms Risk Losing Ground If They Don’t Keep Pushing For Equity

    Lizzy McLellan | June 24, 2021

    The pandemic came with immense challenges, but for businesses that were able to continue their work, it also came with opportunities to reassess how things are done. And last year’s protests brought another opportunity—one to listen and respond meaningfully.

  • How Lawyers Will Fill the (Billable) Hours

    Lizzy McLellan | May 27, 2021

    Billable hours are no doubt an effective way to measure how busy a lawyer is, and, if your revenue comes mainly from billing hours, to measure a person’s contribution to the firm’s top line. But some firms are increasingly looking for other ways to quantify the work they do for clients.

  • The Light At The End of The Tunnel Can Be Blinding

    Lizzy McLellan | April 29, 2021

    Law firms have been inching their way toward a new normal since the Covid vaccine became a when, rather than an if.

  • There’s A Burnout Crisis. Competitive Comp Won't Cure it.

    Christine Simmons | April 01, 2021

    The high churn of deals and focus on short-term profits are creating long-term talent management and retention problems. Big Law has partly responded by throwing money at associates in the form of bonuses.

  • The One Pandemic Investment Law Firms Are Overlooking

    Christine Simmons | March 04, 2021

    By failing to readjust expectations for employees and provide more flexibility, the investments some firms made during the pandemic could be viewed as short-sighted and missing the key target

  • Sanctions Flurry Keeps National Security Lawyers on Edge

    Nate Robson | April 14, 2022

    A constantly shifting landscape has law firms sending out a flurry of client alerts on the latest updates and what they mean for corporations. And through it all, law firms are helping their clients decide whether to pull their business out of Russia, and to understand the risks if they stay.

  • DOJ’s Cryptocurrency Enforcement Is Ready for Primetime

    Nate Robson | March 03, 2022

    The record seizure of bitcoin and the arrest of a married couple accused of trying to launder the assets created ripples throughout the legal community last month. Of note was that it showed law enforcement’s ability to trace digital assets through the blockchain despite complicated efforts to launder the funds.

  • Pay Attention to Privacy Beyond the GDPR and CCPA

    Zach Warren | February 17, 2022

    Each week, the Law.com Barometer newsletter, powered by the ALM Global Newsroom and Legalweek brings you the trends, disruptions, and shifts our…

  • Big Changes Coming with Biden Administration’s M&A Review

    Nate Robson | January 20, 2022

    The U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission want to revamp their guidelines for reviewing corporate mergers, and they are asking for the public’s feedback.

  • DOJ Executes Its Return to Strict Corporate Compliance

    Nate Robson | November 18, 2021

    The Justice Department is making critical policy changes for white-collar enforcement, including reinstating the so-called “Yates Memo” from 2015.

  • Biden Administration Comes Out Swinging on Antitrust Litigation

    Nate Robson | October 07, 2021

    Lawyers are advising clients that M&A work should expect enhanced scrutiny going forward, and that deals already approved could be fair game for the administration to reconsider.

  • Backlogs Are Burdening Litigators, Court Staff as Proceedings Ramp Back Up

    Alaina Lancaster | April 07, 2022

    As courts attempt to return to full capacity, some litigators and courts report struggling to handle the onslaught of deadlines and new procedures rolled out to expedite cases amid the pandemic.

  • How COVID-19 Court Protocols Are Catching Up With Litigators

    Alaina Lancaster | March 10, 2022

    Attorneys are facing fresh judicial ire for failing to comply with protocols earlier in the pandemic. Meanwhile, some top trial lawyers are warning that court backlogs could create an existential crisis for the profession.

  • Courts, Litigators Respond to Latest Wave of COVID-19 Protocols Amid Omicron

    Alaina Lancaster | January 27, 2022

    While some members of the legal community are wondering whether continuing to limit court operations is necessary or sustainable, some attorneys are creating new approaches to deal with the long-term uncertainties of the global health crisis.

  • Pandemic Deepens Court Judicial Vacancies, Staffing Emergencies

    Alaina Lancaster | December 02, 2021

    As courts await relief through traditional channels, the additional pressure to fill vacancies and chip away at case backlogs could spark new mechanisms for administrative efficiency in courts.

  • The Pandemic Is Changing the Way Jurors Vote

    Alaina Lancaster | October 14, 2021

    Based on preliminary data, pandemic-era jury makeup and attitudes could lead to more defense verdicts or hung juries, but it could also mean jurors are having more extreme responses to cases involving science.

  • Courts’ Vaccine Mandates Raise Concerns Over Delays, Constitutionality

    Alaina Lancaster | September 09, 2021

    It’s not just law firms and corporate counsel who might have to abide by COVID-19 vaccine mandates to return to their offices. As coronavirus cases explode due to the Delta variant, some courts are requiring that judges, staff, and, in some instances, court goers get inoculated.