News Roundup

Weekly Briefs: BigLaw firm promotes 151 to partner; legal industry adds 4,300 jobs; big gifts to law schools

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Legal industry gains 4,300 jobs

The legal services industry gained 4,300 jobs in September, following a gain of 4,000 jobs in August, according to seasonally adjusted and revised numbers by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The legal industry had 1,145,600 jobs in September, a gain of 31,500 jobs since the same month last year. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics news release)

Kirkland promotes 151 lawyers to partner

Kirkland & Ellis has promoted 151 lawyers to partner at its offices worldwide. The law firm has increased the number of partnership promotions every year since 2017, reaching 145 promotions last year. (, Reuters, Kirkland press release)

Donors giving big gifts to law schools

Two law schools recently announced individual gifts of more than $10 million each, from alums who work in finance. Charles Widger, for whom the law school at Villanova University is named, with his wife, Barbara, gave $13 million to the institution. That follows a 2016 gift of $25 million, according to an Oct. 6 news release. A 1973 graduate of the law school, he’s the founder and executive chairman of Brinker Capital, a Pennsylvania investment management firm. His $13 million donation will be used to expand its professional development and leadership program, including the creation of associate dean and director positions. Justin Ishbia, a 2004 graduate of Vanderbilt Law School, donated $10 million to the institution.The gift will be used to strengthen the law school’s position, according to an Oct. 6 news release. Ishbia is a founding partner of Shore Capital Partners, a microcap private equity firm based in Chicago. He’s also a member of the law school’s board of advisors, and in 2015 established a scholarship there. (Press releases here and here)

Ethics charges sought for 2 Trump-associated lawyers

Critics are seeking ethics charges against two lawyers who sought to overturn the 2020 election results. One of the lawyers is John Eastman, a former Chapman University law professor who wrote a memo telling then-Vice President Mike Pence how he could give an election win to Donald Trump when Congress counted Electoral College votes. The other is Jeffrey Clark, a Justice Department official who asked his superiors to send a letter to Georgia officials stating, without support, that the Justice Department had identified significant concerns that may have affected the election outcome. Two retired California Supreme Court justices are among the legal scholars, politicians and former judges seeking an investigation of Eastman. Both the Senate Judiciary Committee and a group of lawyers associated with Lawyers Defending American Democracy are seeking an investigation of Clark. (The Washington Post, here and here, Oct. 5 press release, the Eastman request, the Clark request)

GRE as LSAT substitute needs more study, report says

More study is needed before the Graduate Record Examination is fully embraced as an alternative to the Law School Admission Test in law school admissions decisions, according to a report commissioned by the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. (The September report, Reuters)

DC Circuit tosses appeal by fired Quinn Emanuel associate

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has tossed an appeal by Crystal Nwaneri, who sued for alleged racial and gender bias after her firing by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan. A federal judge tossed Nwaneri’s suit after she missed a series of deadlines in the case. The problems persisted at the appellate level, according to the D.C. Circuit. Nwaneri missed deadlines and failed to file an opening brief. (Reuters, the D.C. Circuit’s Oct. 6 order)

HHS reverses ban on federal funding for abortion referrals

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has reversed a Trump administration rule that barred abortion referrals by programs that receive federal funds under Title X for family planning. (The New York Times, the Washington Post, HHS press release)

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