ABA Journal

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ABA's inaugural Equity Summit will highlight importance of inclusion; guests include Justice Sotomayor

Throughout the summit’s four days of programming, registrants can attend five CLE programs; four TED-style talks; three workshops on critical diversity equity and inclusion issues; and a fireside discussion Sept. 29 with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.



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California is poised to permit remote court hearings through at least mid-2023

The San Diego Superior Court system has utilized remote hearings amid the COVID-19 pandemic to keep court business moving forward. Under a bill the California legislature approved unanimously last week, courts across the country’s most populous state would be permitted to continue hosting remote hearings in civil proceedings.



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How legal managers can negotiate trauma for themselves and others



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At some law schools, why are those who teach called 'instructor' rather than 'professor'?

At Rutgers Law School, everyone who teaches law is called a professor, but that is not true at many other institutions, where faculty who teach topics including legal writing, academic success and clinical work are often given titles including “instructor” or “director.” They are usually paid less than tenure-track professors and sometimes have little if any job security.



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When the Supreme Court cites your amicus brief

When the U.S. Supreme Court releases a decision, the parties and their lawyers scan the opinions to determine whether they won or lost. Meanwhile, those who filed amicus curiae, or friend of the court, briefs in the case also want to know the outcome. But first, they are eager to find the answer to a different question: Did one of the justices cite my brief?



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Tara Isa Koslov brings passion for antitrust law to the ABA

As a kid growing up in Brooklyn, Koslov thought she might pursue a career in journalism. That changed after Koslov saw a gunman shoot and wound her father as they walked together near their home in 1983. “My dad was such a good writer and communicator, but he was not a lawyer, so he was dependent on the lawyers to tell his story,” she says. “I thought, ‘I like to speak, and I love to write. Maybe I need to focus my skills in that direction instead.’”



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Now that the COVID-19 vaccine has full approval from the FDA, how will employers respond?

There’s a sense that implementing mandatory vaccine policies could be difficult for employers—particularly when employees are not seeking religious or medical accommodations and instead fall into the “I don’t want to” group.



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LegalZoom is pursuing an alternative business structure license in Arizona

Obtaining an alternative business structure license would allow LegalZoom to hire attorneys as employees to provide legal advice directly to customers rather than relying on an independent network of lawyers.



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Law prof's federal discrimination suit against University of Idaho allowed to go forward

A U.S. district judge last week denied the University of Idaho’s motion for summary judgment on gender and race discrimination claims brought by a Black female law professor who claims she was unfairly denied an associate dean position and a stipend.



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Technical problems again plague remote bar examinees, who blame software provider

Following various technical issues candidates faced with the remote October 2020 bar exam, the July 2021 online administration had problems as well, according to some test-takers. They reject software provider ExamSoft’s assertion that the complications were related to hardware.



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Troubling Treatment: Efforts are underway to reform teen behavioral programs

At age 15, Chelsea Filer tried to run away and live with her grandparents. A couple of weeks later, two large men, who worked with a transport company hired by her mother, woke her up in the middle of the night. The men took her across the border to a private residential school and treatment center in Mexico. “When children are legally kidnapped and trafficked across state or border lines, they lose their rights and any protections from the jurisdiction of their home state,” says Filer, who is now a youth rights advocate in Sacramento, California.



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Law & Order's prime-time formula shaped a generation's understanding of the legal system

During its original broadcast run from 1990 until 2010, Law & Order became a cultural phenomenon. With an emphasis on procedure as the primary plot device and less reliance on exploring characters’ personal lives or relationships, the success of the show spawned numerous similar shows and spin-offs while inspiring countless fans to go to law school or pursue careers in law enforcement.



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States drive a wave of bills affecting transgender youth

States have filed more than 250 bills affecting LGBTQ people this year—including more than 120 anti-trans bills. Opponents say the proposed legislation promotes discrimination and prejudice and could negatively impact trans youths’ mental health.



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Judicial portraits and Confederate monuments stir debate on bias in the justice system

“It is my goal—and my duty as a judge—to provide a trial setting that is perceived by all participants as fair, neutral and without so much as a hint of prejudice,” Judge Martin Clark wrote in a 2015 order. “Confederate symbols are, simply put, offensive to African Americans.”



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How pandemic practice left lawyer-moms facing burnout

As the world ground to a halt during the COVID-19 pandemic and parents scrambled for solutions, an uncomfortable truth emerged: Women are America’s default social safety net. It’s a regressive construct that has entrapped and hobbled working mothers across the spectrum—including lawyer-moms. The pandemic simply tightened the screws.



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LA district attorney's past drives his push forward for reform

Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón knows how to cope with controversy. He faced it as police chief in Mesa, Arizona. And as San Francisco’s top prosecutor, he riled law enforcement groups after pushing for a host of reforms. Even so, more than seven months into Gascón’s new job as LA’s top prosecutor, resistance to his policies has reached dizzying peaks.



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Will the Supreme Court reconsider a landmark defamation case?

Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil M. Gorsuch both called New York Times v. Sullivan into question in dissents from a cert denial earlier this month.



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Lawyers' group helps ease path to citizenship for low-income New Yorkers with interest-free loans

This year, Ana Mclean paid the naturalization application filing fee of $640 and the additional $85 for biometric services using a loan from the Citizenship Loan Program. The initiative offers interest-free loans to permanent residents who live in one of New York City’s five boroughs, Westchester or Long Island.



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How one law firm plans to embrace remote work—even after reopening its offices

Even with the firm having announced an official reopening date of Sept. 9 for its five offices across California and Washington, Klinedinst’s leaders do not expect to see a flood of colleagues returning to the workplace.



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What can bar applicants learn from the October 2020 exam?

For the 30 jurisdictions offering a remote bar exam in a few weeks, there are hopes the technology has improved since last year’s administrations, when candidates reported issues with facial authentication technology, software crashes and problems uploading videos. However, those who work in academic support advise July 2021 candidates to develop a worst-case scenario plan.



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Supreme Court takes a byte out of computer crime law

A U.S. Supreme Court decision handed down earlier this month has flown a bit below radar compared with the term’s bigger cases, but it is one that might be of interest to anyone who has ever bent the truth on a dating website or on social media, shopped or checked sports scores on a work computer, or happens to be a fan of the 1983 movie WarGames.



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Biden reverses course on Trump’s immigration policies—but will high-skilled workers return?

President Joe Biden has made clear that he wishes to make it easier for immigrants to live and work in the U.S.—and he’s connecting this to America’s ability to succeed.



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Don’t call him 'sir': Law prof reflects on receiving honorary knight award from the UK

Philip Bobbitt, a Columbia Law School professor, is not sure when the ceremonies will take place in recognition of him being awarded an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II. At the moment, most of his time is taken up looking after his four young children, and they have different titles for him.



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Longtime leader in legal ethics and professional responsibility will receive ABA Medal

Through a legal career that spans more than five decades, Lawrence Fox has become nationally recognized for his leadership in professional responsibility and legal ethics and his commitment to pro bono work.



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