* Sedgwick is the latest Biglaw firm to jump on the back-office bandwagon. The firm will be moving all of its administrative operations — from HR to IT — to Kansas City, Missouri. Don’t be sad, it’s probably better than West Virginia. [Am Law Daily]
* Lawyers may be pecking at Biglaw’s rotting carcass, but at least there are lessons to be learned for Big Med, the next profession supposedly on the brink of implosion. It’s time to stop obsessing over revenue and rankings. [The Atlantic]
* Ten states rushed to help Utah defend its ban on gay marriage using “pretty embarrassing” arguments, but Nevada just washed its hands of its own appeal, saying its ban was “no longer defensible.” [Bloomberg]
* Here’s something that’ll make you love or hate Chris Christie even more: he once made Bristol-Myers Squibb donate $5 million to Seton Hall Law to avoid securities fraud charges. Yep. [Washington Post]
* Faruqi & Faruqi doesn’t want its attorneys’ compensation information to be disclosed to Alexandra Marchuk in her sexual harassment case against the firm. A kinder, gentler firm, huh? [Law 360 (sub. req.)]
* Soon you’ll be able to take the bar before you graduate in New York, but only if you do pro bono work during spring semester of your 3L year — and you’ll likely have to pay to complete it. [New York Times]
* If you just took the LSAT, you’re cutting it pretty close, buddy. Guesstimate your score so you can avoid sending out applications that will make admissions officers laugh. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]
* More law school graduates are trying to get their day in court for bankruptcy protection. Looks like these people didn’t read their student loan MPNs carefully (or at all). They state pretty clearly that you’re screwed for life. [Reuters]
* James R. Silkenat was selected as the president-elect at the ABA’s Midyear Meeting, meaning his ascension to the presidency is “virtually assured.” We can only hope that his leadership is as awesome as his combover. [ABA Journal]
* PETA’s Thirteenth Amendment whale slavery lawsuit is heading to court today in California. Maybe we’ll see if what SeaWorld calls a “baseless” and “offensive” lawsuit has got legs. Or flippers. [CNN]
* Polygamy for all! Kody Brown’s bigamy lawsuit will proceed in Utah thanks to Jonathan Turley’s lawyering. Are we going to see the drama play out on season three of Sister Wives this spring? [Associated Press]
* Joshua Monson, the suspected serial lawyer stabber, must regret this missed opportunity. While signing documents with his weapon of choice, he allegedly punched a corrections officer in the face. [Daily Herald]
It can be said with certainty that the women’s rights movement in this country has resulted in many positive outcomes. We can vote (and drive, too; sorry, Saudi Arabia). We can go to college and professional schools. We can work just as hard as men and earn almost as much. Heck, we can even run for president. What could possibly be wrong with any of these things?
Supply and demand, that’s what.
As more and more women decided to pursue higher education and become members of learned professions like medicine and the law, professional schools had to figure out what to do with all of their new female applicants. Schools in both of these fields figured out solutions. Take a wild guess as to which profession botched the decision….
If a professional organization wants to protect the incomes and job opportunities of its members — and if it wants to ensure the quality of the services being provided, thereby preserving the profession’s reputation — it needs to exert some control over who enters the field. A professional association should arguably do whatever it can, within the bounds of antitrust law, to protect its turf and to preserve a certain amount of exclusivity in the profession.
(Please note that we’re proceeding based on two assumptions: (1) professional organizations should act in the self-interest of their individual members (as well as the profession as a whole), and (2) there will be some regulation of entry into a profession. We set aside the libertarian vision of a world devoid of professional licensing schemes and regulation, in which anyone can practice a trade or profession, and the market weeds out the bad apples.)
Some commentators — like our very own Elie Mystal, currently on vacation (so we’ll attempt to fill his shoes in this post), or Mark Greenbaum, in a widely-read Los Angeles Times op-ed — have accused the American Bar Association (ABA) of not doing enough to regulate entry into the legal profession. As a result, the nation is flooded with lawyers — or, perhaps more accurately, law school graduates — who can’t get jobs (or jobs that pay well enough to cover gigantic student loan payments).
These critics point to other professions and professional organizations that have done a better job of preserving exclusivity. Take medicine. Historically, if you could survive the rigors of the cutthroat pre-med world, four years of medical school, and the underpaid toil of a residency, you’d be set for life. As noted yesterday by a commenter:
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