Latest Features

If Biden approves loan forgiveness, what could it mean for law school debt?

People with law school loans could benefit if President Joe Biden authorizes a plan to forgive all or a portion of student debt, but it could exclude those who owe private lenders and impose limits based on income, experts say.



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Legal vendors have had mixed experiences with virtual conferences amid COVID-19

Vendors say they look forward to the return of conferences with in-person elements, but they advise organizers not to simply revert back to the way they have always done things.



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A conversation with attorney George Critchlow on his new book, 'The Lifer and the Lawyer'

In his new book, The Lifer and the Lawyer, co-authored by Michael Anderson, an African American man who was charged with committing 22 offenses—including kidnapping, assault and robbery—during a violent crime spree, lawyer George Critchlow recounts his defense of Anderson and how their relationship evolved from attorney-client to a lasting friendship.



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What negotiating trauma looks like from both sides of the bench

Mallika Kaur, a lawyer and writer, recently spoke with Judge Edward M. Chen of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, who draws on decades of practice from both sides of the bench. Their discussion about systemic discriminations is particularly timely in light of recent violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.



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Police are often first responders to mental health crises, but tragedies are prompting change

Cases such as Quintonio LeGrier’s have prompted demands around the country to reform how police respond to people in mental health crises, a movement that advocates believe can help avert such deadly confrontations.



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Lawyers find their skill sets make them ideal candidates for college presidencies

A rapidly growing number of lawyers have been chosen to lead higher education institutions during an era when experts say the job has become much more difficult because of the ever-increasing regulatory demands and crises presidents must confront.



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Attorneys lend skills to help current and former service members



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Costly municipal fines and fees spark a movement for reform

Across the country, Americans are being hit with hefty fines and fees for petty violations, advocates for reform say, igniting a movement pressing for change. “Code enforcement exists to promote public health and safety, but the way we’re seeing it happen across the country right now is to make money,” Institute for Justice attorney Kirby Thomas West says.



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50 startup tips to get your practice off the ground

For many, being your own boss is the ultimate dream. But the idea of hanging up your own shingle can be scary and confusing, while others might not know where to start. The ABA Journal asked lawyers, legal professionals, marketers, consultants and other experts what to keep in mind when starting your own practice.



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Amy Breihan has dedicated her career to helping juvenile lifers seek parole

It’s been nearly nine years since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miller v. Alabama that mandatory life without parole for juveniles violates the Eighth Amendment. It’s been five years since it held in Montgomery v. Louisiana that its 2012 decision was retroactive. In that time, Amy Breihan has helped seek second chances for prisoners in Missouri who were younger than age 18 when they were sentenced to life behind bars.



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Compared with 2016, there are now half as many for-profit law schools

In 2010, there were six for-profit law schools; as of March 2021, however, only three with that tax status remain—and two of the three hope to eventually convert to nonprofit status.



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How quickly can Biden deliver on policing reform?

President Joe Biden promised criminal justice reforms but has had to balance competing interests between progressives and moderates as he finalizes his Cabinet.



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As madness moves through March, SCOTUS considers NCAA case over athlete compensation

Just days before the March Madness tournament crowns a champion, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a high-stakes battle between the National Collegiate Athletic Association and a legal class of student-athletes from the top revenue-producing sports of football and men’s and women’s basketball.



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AI certification initiatives could prove very useful to legal industry, experts say

Artificial intelligence is supposed to be a countervailing force against human errors and biases. However, AI-enhanced tools are only as good as the data they rely on.



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Required USC course on race is expected to help law students with various viewpoints

Stephen M. Rich was asked in January to teach the first required course on race, racism and the law at University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law, and he happily accepted the task. He recognizes, though, that the student makeup of the course may be different than it would be for an elective course on the same topic.



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Law student using American Sign Language wins 4th Circuit appeal



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Pandemic worsens already-growing debt problem with many legal remedies on hold

While many Americans remain jobless, some companies have increased their collection efforts on old debt as they grapple with less revenue amid the sluggish economy. But with government offices and courts closed, it’s hard for attorneys to move cases along.



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Holistic crisis management: Lawyers step in to solve problems, large and small

Throughout Laurence Kahn’s career as a lawyer who prosecuted consumer fraud and resolved countless disputes, he always believed a big part of his job was helping people with their problems. In 2004, that attitude sparked a thought one night as Kahn lay in bed.



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California nonprofit pushes states to make jury instructions more broadly available

Since his early days as a lawyer, Wisconsin criminal defense attorney Chad Lanning has been troubled that the state’s jury instructions were not freely available to the legal community or the general public. As Lanning rose to leadership in the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, he turned to Public.Resource.Org’s Carl Malamud for assistance in raising concerns about the issue.



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6 tips from infectious disease experts for in-person court proceedings

As the pandemic began to rage across America last spring, U.S. District of Maryland Chief Judge James K. Bredar puzzled over how to mount in-person hearings. The judge quickly realized he needed the help of a public health expert. He turned to epidemiologist Dr. Jonathan M. Zenilman.



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Supreme Court considers warrantless search-and-seizure case from California

The case involves a police officer who entered a man’s garage without a warrant and questioned him after pursuing his vehicle because he heard erratic horn-lowing and loud music coming from the car.



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Did bar candidates who had a choice do better on in-person or remote exams?

Most jurisdictions saw bar exam pass rates increase in 2020, regardless of whether they had in-person or online exams. However, in three states that offered both types of exams, online test-takers didn’t do as well.



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New York may license social workers to handle some legal tasks

The New York state courts’ Working Group on Regulatory Innovation has unanimously recommended the state create a program to train and license social workers to provide limited legal services for clients.



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Elizabeth Greene aims to prevent heart disease and stroke in central Massachusetts

Elizabeth Greene had been practicing with Mirick, O’Connell, DeMallie & Lougee in Worcester, Massachusetts, for two years in 1997 when she heard about a new opportunity. She received an email from a partner who volunteered with the American Heart Association but was moving on to other projects. He told her the organization wanted to rekindle its presence in central Massachusetts and needed someone’s help.



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