Thanks to an increase in law school applicants coupled with rising Law School Admission Test scores, getting admitted from the waitlist is much less likely this year, and in some cases, there are incentives for incoming 1Ls to defer until 2022.
Mary Ryan never aspired to be on the ABA’s Board of Governors, despite serving in other leadership roles in the association throughout her career. But after Kevin Curtin, the senior appellate counsel in the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts, died suddenly in December, someone needed to step in as the board’s District 2 representative.
Assembling sandwiches helped recent law school graduate Jacqueline Ingles focus during remote classes, and over the past year she made more than a thousand of them for the Chicago Help Initiative, a nonprofit group that takes food to pantries and free meal sites.
How do attorneys remain committed to work that affords few successes and often few forms of traditional validation, including commensurate compensation? Public interest lawyer Taeva Shefler spoke with lawyer Mallika Kaur and recent law school graduate Melissa Barbee about her volunteer work with prisoners’ rights and the lessons learned.
Public mandated restrictions to stop or slow the transmission of the disease, including mask mandates, limitations on public gatherings and business closures, have become a divisive political issue. Several Republican and right-leaning lawyers have filed lawsuits challenging these public health measures, leading to some successes in court along with both encouragement and negativity from the public.
Mental health workers say lawyers are more anxious, stressed, depressed and burned out than ever, which was already a lot. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, may have lessened the stigma around attorneys seeking mental health services.
“We think that one of the biggest challenges that people from our background face when applying to law school is access and information, and these are things that can be addressed,” says Brice Ngameni, president and co-founder of Pembe, a mentoring group for people of African descent. “If you just have the right people matched up with the right folks, you can easily make up for that disparity.”
Speculation about whether U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer might retire at the end of this term had been running rampant among legal observers this spring when the court itself threw in a wrinkle.
Of the 10 law schools that in 2020 received noncompliance notices for having two-year bar passage rates below 75%, half appear to again have pass rates that do not meet that threshold, according to ABA data released in April.
When the pandemic started, law schools feared 2020 would be a year like 2009—which was during the Great Recession and saw significantly fewer job opportunities for new graduates, along with many attorney layoffs. But those fears don’t seem to have come to fruition for ABA-accredited law schools, based on employment data for the classes of 2019 and 2020.