National Association for Law Placement (NALP)

Is this guy loving Citizens United or what?

* Is a Ropes & Gray attorney behind a shell company that gave $1 million to the Romney campaign? [The Docket / Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly]

* Working on the matter pro bono, Skadden wants greater cooperation from the NYPD in the case of a missing eight-year-old boy. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Breaking down the Alex Rodriguez poker scandal. [Legal Blitz]

* Can’t the ABA and NALP just get along? [Law School Transparency]

* How is that we have more lawyers than we can shake a stick at, but not nearly enough judges? Ian Millhiser looks at the numbers. [Think Progress]

Know who this guy is? Click on the picture to find out.

* Can’t all the people in same-sex marriages facing deportation just move to New York? [Stop the Deportations]

* Who is “the most important American you’ve never heard of”? Read a well-reviewed new book, Michael Toth’s Founding Federalist (affiliate link), to find out. [Ricochet]

* Great job Tea Party, no really. You guys sure you won’t want any social spending when you are living in the wonderful economy you’ve wrought for us? [Huffington Post]

* Don’t forget to sign up for our chess set giveaway. Or join us on Linked In. [Above the Law]

Are you ready for some change? We’re about to see if two organizations worth about a quarter when it comes to regulating law schools can add up to a dollar’s worth of law school transparency. The American Bar Association has adopted new reporting standards for law school graduate employment data.

And at least for the first year of the new standards the ABA will be partnering with the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) to try to get accurate post-graduate employment data to prospective law students.

Let’s hope the ABA and NALP take their talents to the U.S. News law school rankings…

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“[T]he new NALP numbers confirm that the job market is terrible for young lawyers (aka the “lost generation”).” I wrote that last year about the class of 2009.

And last year things were way better than this year. This year’s NALP employment numbers are out, and they show that the class of 2010 had some of the worst employment outcomes of the last 20 years.

No wonder people are suing their law schools. Going to law school turned out to be a terrible decision for many of them….

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Performance on the LSAT is negatively correlated with networking ability.

– Vice Provost and Professor Sheldon Zedeck of UC Berkeley, at a panel entitled Beyond Grades and Scores: Factors Predicting Lawyer Success and Effectiveness, at the annual NALP conference (which concluded yesterday).

The official title of the NALP conference panel that I attended on merit-based compensation contained a playful shout-out to Sarah Palin: “How Is That Performance-Based Compensation System Working for Ya?”

The panel was originally supposed to have featured a representative of the now-defunct Howrey law firm. So the snarky answer to the question presented might be, “Not well.” (In fairness to merit-based compensation, however, Howrey’s dissolution didn’t have much to do with its model for training, promoting, and compensating associates.)

No mention of Howrey was made during the introductory remarks (or anywhere else in the discussion, for that matter). Rather, the panel focused on the positive — and offered useful advice for firms that are contemplating adoption of performance-based systems….

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Is your law firm this transparent?

Greetings from lovely Palm Springs, California, home to the 2011 annual education conference of the Association for Legal Career Professionals (better known to many of you as NALP). The setting is beautiful, the weather is fabulous, and the conference panels have been stimulating thus far. Who needs SXSW?

Yesterday I attended a very interesting session, covering a topic near and dear to the hearts of many Above the Law readers. The apt title of the panel: “From Black Boxes to Glass Houses: Evolving Expectations of Law Firm Transparency.”

The lively discussion covered a wide range of topics — and also offered some advice for law firms for dealing with the increased transparency of the digital age….

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Get it into the Ivy League, or die trying.

* The GOP is right — September is a totally arbitrary deadline to re-write No Child Left Behind. Really, why would we need a new education law by the time school starts up again for the year? [Washington Post]

* Protip: if your client is suing a preschool over its TTT curriculum, you probably shouldn’t guarantee that her kid will get into an Ivy League school before she’s out of her Pull-Ups. [New York Daily News]

* “This lawsuit takes the cupcake. It’s all sprinkles and frosting until somebody files a lawsuit.” I think the title of this news story just gave me diabetes. [NBC Los Angeles]

* Charles Munger is donating $20 million to Michigan Law — which just moved up to #7 in the latest U.S. News rankings, by the way — so students in the Lawyers Club can have classier dorm rooms. It’s never too soon to instill the “models and bottles” mindset in young lawyers. [Bloomberg]

* Deval Patrick thinks he’s going to be saving Massholes $48 million by cutting 2,000 attorney jobs. What he’s really going to be doing is bringing tears to the eyes of fourth-tier law grads — er, make that second-tier law grads — and doling out more welfare checks. [MetroWest Daily News]

* Good news, everyone! NALP says that law students are going to be slightly less f*cked when it comes to getting a job. [ABA Journal]

* Too bad Latham didn’t hire a “social media guru” sooner — maybe they would have responded to our request for comment on their new Boston office. Throw us a freakin’ tweet here. [Legal Blog Watch]

In July, we profiled the efforts of a group of Vanderbilt law students who are trying to bring more accuracy and transparency to the employment statistics provided by law schools. Their group, Law School Transparency, has requested all ABA-accredited schools to provide useful information to prospective law students — information that neither the ABA nor U.S. News currently collects.

Without the regulatory hammer of ABA (which the organization inexplicably refuses to wield), or the public shaming of U.S News (a for-profit magazine, not an industry watchdog), LST is up against some long odds. They’re trying their best, but their interim report indicates that thus far, 188 law schools have completely ignored their efforts to report simple facts on the employment prospects of law school graduates.

In fact, to this point no school (not even Vanderbilt Law) has agreed to provide the information LST is requesting. Poor Zenovia Evans would have starved to death by now.

But 11 schools did find the time to send out a courtesy letter citing the reasons these schools cooked up to justify keeping people in the dark about employment prospects for law school graduates…

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Back in February of this year, the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) announced a minor change to its recruiting guidelines. I was underwhelmed. New associates are graduating law school in a terrible job market, firms are sick of being forced to hire people two years before they know their staffing needs, and NALP is fiddling around with the open offer period? Make sure those deck chairs are properly arranged before we all drown!

A wise man once said: “This town needs an enema.”

Back in February I called for a complete overhaul of the fall recruiting process, and only the crickets heard me cry myself to sleep that night.

But today we’ve received word that a firm most of you have never heard of, and a school more known for its women’s basketball team than its law school, are teaming up to come up with a truly new approach to hiring law school graduates. Will it work? Will it catch on? At this point, who cares?

It’s a new idea — not some twice-baked, refried, reheated idea that wasn’t all that good the first time around….

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Greetings, loved ones. Hello there, California girls (and boys). We hope that you’re doing well. Gay marriage might be on hold for now, but there are other unions to celebrate on the West Coast.

Like unions between law firms and job-seeking law students. As we’ve discussed in these pages before, on-campus interviewing at law schools seems to be on the upswing.

And it’s not just in New York, where schools like Columbia and NYU report increased interviewing activity. It’s happening in California too, as reported by Sara Randazzo and Kari Hamanaka of the Daily Journal:

Career counselors around the state are reporting that the number of employers signing on to the recruiting process this year is either steady or up slightly. The mood, however, is still tempered by the reality that the recruiting climate is nowhere near the fever pitch preceding the downturn when there were barely enough top law students to go around for associate-hungry firms.

“When I talk to lawyers in the field, it seems things are busier, but given all the excess in the hiring pipelines they are still very conservative,” said Terrence Galligan, assistant dean of career development at UC Berkeley School of Law.

Well, conservative can be good (and not just politically). The conservative hiring of summer associates for 2010, for example, seems to have resulted in very high offer rates.

For 2011, some firms that stayed on the sidelines in 2010 are back in the game….

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