Your Voice

Harvard's racial diversity is worth investing in--and defending

As sometimes the only African-American student in my otherwise all-white classrooms at Harvard College, chatting in the dining hall surrounded by peers and friends, I have learned this: For a diverse learning environment to occur, racial diversity and not racial homogeneity is key.

My classmates come from the varying socio-economic…



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Fear you are talking too much to a jury? Then WAIT

When addressing a jury, lawyers can often be suckered into getting carried away with the sound of their own voices. Talking for the sake of talking. Continuing to be the center of attention because you're under the impression the jury cares what you have to say or will be more likely to find in your client's favor the longer you talk to them.


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Exploring the contours of context in using the N-word in class

Last March, ABAJournal.com posted an article about DePaul University law professor Donald Hermann and a controversy that arose from his use of the N-word in a law school class. The following essay looks at the use of inflammatory words in an academic setting.


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SpongeBob and the 'oh, please!' standard of trademark foolishness

The moments are rare, but they exist—moments when a plaintiff’s screams for justice are (almost) drowned out by the cries of laughter from a courthouse. Today, we bring you an interesting new case of epic proportions: the trademark dispute of SpongeBob SquarePants.


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Fear-fueled silence, power imbalance perpetuate bad behavior at law firms

Survey data is at its most useful when it shines a light on the daily challenges that play out in the workplace. Recently, the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts (WBA) released findings from its survey of behaviors in law offices. The report, Survey of Workplace Conduct and Behaviors in Law Firms, reveals how the combination of silence and the imbalance of power perpetuate negative behaviors at work.


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Time for the legal industry to speak out for the rule of law

The rule of law is under siege and it’s incoming on all sides.

The judiciary, the Department of Justice, the intelligence community, and the State Department have all been rebuked repeatedly, undermining their legal and moral authorities. Our electoral process has been compromised and efforts to investigate the culprits, circumstances, and motives of the perpetrators have been resisted even as the intelligence community is in unanimous agreement that all signs point to Russian interference.



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'What It Takes' article gives false picture of female trial lawyers

On Aug. 6, ABAJournal.com posted an article, "Showing anger can backfire for female lawyers, studies say; law prof suggests 'gender judo' response," which quotes from an article in The Atlantic. The following is a response to assertions in that Atlantic magazine article.


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An open letter to potential law students: Know the truth

With the recent news that some BigLaw starting salaries are rising to $190,000, it’s no wonder that law school continues to be a top destination for recent college graduates. However, the truth behind those starting salaries—and given the volatility of the legal job market and the effects of globalization and technology on the business of law—should give one pause before taking out $200,000 in school loans.


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Should you ask judges if they are familiar with your case?

I was in a conversation with some other litigators when this question came up: What’s the most polite way to ask judges whether they’re familiar with the briefs or would they prefer if I summarize the facts and issues for them at oral arguments?

Well, I wasn’t going to pretend…



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Does the adoption of the uniform bar exam foreshadow uniform regulation?

We have reached a tipping point—finally—on the admission of attorneys to the practice of law in this country. In 2018, several state supreme courts, including Illinois with more than 94,000 registered attorneys, announced that they would adopt the Uniform Bar Exam. Thirty-three jurisdictions have now adopted the UBE. Only a handful of them also require a state-specific component as a requirement of admission.


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