News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: ABA Journal Board of Editors selects next leader; associate hiring drops during pandemic

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Herbert B. Dixon Jr.

Retired Judge Herbert B. Dixon Jr.

Meet the next chair of the ABA Journal Board of Editors

The ABA Journal Board of Editors has selected a new Chair, retired Judge Herbert B. Dixon Jr., who will take over the post from the current Chair, Alice E. Richmond, after the ABA Annual Meeting in August. Dixon is a senior judge on the District of Columbia Superior Court who retired from active service in 2015 after 30 years on the court. He chaired the court’s electronic filing pilot project and its technology-enhanced courtroom project. He is a former member of the ABA Board of Governors and the ABA House of Delegates. He gave this statement to the Journal: “I am humbled by the responsibilities that face me as the chair-elect of the ABA Journal Board of Editors and enthusiastic about the opportunities. For reasons I cannot explain, I have gravitated to volunteer service in publication entities for much of my life. These experiences include my high school and college yearbooks, an engineering magazine in college, the editorial board of the ABA Judges’ Journal magazine, the ABA Judicial Division Book editorial board and the ABA Journal Board of Editors. Now, as chair-elect of the Journal’s Board of Editors, I am facing the most significant publication responsibility of my life. I am appreciative of this vote of confidence by the Journal’s Board of Editors. I promise to uphold the Journal’s standard of print excellence, be a catalyst for the continuing growth of the Journal’s dynamic online presence, and seek new ways to extend the Journal’s brand to meet the information needs of the worldwide legal community. Lastly, I promise the Journal’s board and staff a professionally rewarding and enjoyable experience as we strive to attain these goals.”

In a pandemic year, associate hiring drops significantly

Associate hiring decreased nearly 50% in 2020, according to the NALP Foundation’s Update on Associate Attrition report. Surveyed law firms hired 2,772 associates in 2020, down from 4,956 associates hired in 2019. Sixty percent of the 2020 hires were lateral associates, up from 56% in 2019. The results are based on a survey of 126 U.S. and Canadian law firms. (Law360)

Senate confirms Gupta and Monaco to DOJ positions

The U.S. Senate has confirmed Lisa Monaco as deputy attorney general and Vanita Gupta as associate attorney general. The Tuesday vote on Monaco was nearly unanimous. She is a Department of Justice veteran who was former President Barack Obama’s homeland security adviser. Gupta narrowly won confirmation Wednesday on a 51-49 vote. She is president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the former leader of the DOJ’s civil rights division. Republicans had criticized Gupta’s tweets, leading her to apologize for past “harsh rhetoric.” (The Washington Post, NBC News, Axios)

ABA opposes ‘persuader rule’

ABA President Patricia Lee Refo is urging U.S. Senate leaders to remove a “persuader rule” from union-backed legislation known as the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, according to NPR. The rule would require lawyers and consultants to file government disclosures on advice given to employers about persuading employees on union issues. Refo said the rule “would undermine the confidential attorney-client relationship and the right to counsel.” (Refo’s April 20 letter)

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