Professional Development

90 ABA Journal Professional Development articles.

New study suggests cutting bar exam multiple choice questions or making them open book
Bar exams should use multiple choice questions sparingly, if at all, replace essay questions with performance tests, and require supervised clinical work for licensure, according to a study focused on minimum competency to practice law by the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System.
Law student debt averages about $165K at graduation, creating stress and restricting choices, survey says
Young lawyers are so impacted by student debt that they are making life-changing decisions, such as delaying children and, in some cases, choosing a job because of its higher pay, according to a survey posted online Monday.
How to maximize your business development during the COVID-19 crisis
Plenty of lawyers in private practice worry about business development during the COVID-19 pandemic, but there may be more opportunities to discover new clients than they realize. And that is thanks to an increase in online events, says Karen Kaplowitz, a lawyer and business development coach.
ABA Criminal Justice Section reflects on its first 100 years

As April Frazier Camara celebrates the 100th anniversary of the ABA’s Criminal Justice Section, she also looks forward to facing the many challenges she sees in the criminal legal system. “Racial injustice is something that is on the minds and hearts of American people,” says Camara, the chair of the section.

Thanks for nothing: When should lawyers end an email with ‘thank you’?
Writing a professional email is difficult enough. And choosing an appropriate signoff can be daunting, with so many options to choose from: “Thank you” (or just “Thanks”), “Sincerely,” “Best,” “Regards,” “Yours” or nothing at all (as in, “—Jon”). The list goes on.
Sidley Austin will provide scholarships, internships to law students to settle Labor Department diversity probe
Sidley Austin has agreed to improve its tracking of demographic statistics on summer associate applicants, associate bonuses and staff member promotions to settle allegations that it failed to adequately collect the data.
Would-be lawyer, 87, wants to try to pass the bar again, but obstacles remain
An 87-year-old would-be lawyer wants to take another crack at the California bar exam after failing four times in the 1960s.
Law firms lost 15 associates for every 20 they hired, NALP Foundation study finds
For every 20 associates hired by law firms, 15 left, according to a study that collected information from more than 800 law firms.
How to empower working moms during the coronavirus pandemic
Ari Kaplan recently spoke with Carolyn Elefant, an attorney who focuses her practice on energy and environmental matters and the author of several books, including Solo by Choice: How to Be the Lawyer You Always Wanted to Be.
You accepted a clerkship; now what? A to-do list for before your first day
‘Tis the season. No, not for holiday shopping (thankfully), but for law clerk hiring. Prospective clerks are hearing back on offers for next year right about now, and it’s never too early to begin preparing. I often muse on my time as a law clerk and the rewards of the experience. And although articles abound regarding the benefits of a clerkship, there are few that offer advice to incoming clerks on what they should do to prepare for the experience.
6 strategies to get a perfectionistic lawyer off the ledge

In one of life’s ironies, the very things that make a great lawyer may also make a lawyer miserable. Achievement equaled value; if we did not get more than 100 on a test, we failed. This is the lawyer’s curse of perfectionism, writes James Gray Robinson.

Surveyed midlevel associates discuss snacks, decor, boring work and burnout
Midlevel associates waxed philosophical, critiqued office food and decor, and discussed burnout in verbatim comments collected in an American Lawyer survey.
Do manipulative, combative people achieve better career success? A new study sheds light
Toxic behavior doesn’t lead to any additional career success than kindness does, according to a new study tracking nearly 500 people over a 14-year period.
Lawyers’ thoughts and actions should promote peaceful resolution
I can remember my first lecture in law school by the famous Robert E. Lee who wrote the book on real property law in North Carolina. He asked for a show of hands of people who wrote poetry.
2020 state of the profession report shows dearth of lawyers in rural areas, attorney debt struggles
Some states with the highest amount of lawyers per capita also have rural areas with few, if any, attorneys, according to the 2020 ABA Profile of the Legal Profession.

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