The Brief No. 20: Hire an Esquire’s Most Read Posts of 2018

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January 2, 2019

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Hire an Esquire’s Most Read Posts of 2018

“To know your future you must know your past”

~George Santayana

For insight into 2019’s rising trends, we take a look back at what the legal community was reading about over the past year. Here are our top 7 posts of 2018!

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At Hire an Esquire, we know that innovation in law—and every industry—is led by people who are not afraid to try > fail > iterate > repeat. We had a blast with #TriviaTuesday but we didn’t find it the best way to engage with you and others in our legal community. As we sunset #TriviaTuesday in the new year, we’d like to thank those who showed up and played. Special shout out to @expertsdotcomvp, who nobly abstained from Googling clues and didn’t get a chance to win—we were rooting for you!

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2019 or 1929? After a record setting 2018, law firms may be feeling irrational exuberance, but economists warn of a looming storm and almost half of U.S. CFOs expect a recession by the end of this year. Law firms are already seeing a slowdown in M&A work as the impact of a US-manufactured trade war lands. Heartland farmers may be the canaries in the tariff coal mine that also point to the emerging opportunities for businesses and law firms with international locations. 600 dairy farms closed in Wisconsin alone this year as dairy exports to China fell 63% and 10% to Mexico. The biggest importers of US products are now diversifying their suppliers with other countries all too eager to fill the void. Economists are pointing to similar tariffs that deepened and extended the Great Depression to warn that Trade Wars are in fact not good, nor easy to win.

Healthcare Havoc: A Texas federal judge struck down the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) last month. Legal scholars on both sides of the ACA have decried the ruling as flawed and embarrassing for overturning the sprawling act based on a simplistic legal argument surrounding the individual mandate. Several states moved quickly to challenge the ruling. Others are calling for legislative intervention to prevent leaving millions uninsured and plunging the entire healthcare system, now reliant upon the ACA framework, into chaos.

And Justice for All? Merriam-Webster’s 2018 word of the year was “justice”. The word made daily headlines between the DOJ and a Supreme Court Justice confirmation battle. Outside of the headlines, Justice was more elusive. Minority male lawyers and white women made modest gains—that continued to elude minority women. A large segment of women in the legal industry acknowledged experiencing and not reporting sexual harassment for fear of retaliation and damage to their careers. Rounding out the year, McKinsey’s study showed what happens when women lean in (hint: nothing) and the fallout from Paul Weiss’s monochromatic partner announcement further highlighted the ongoing struggle for workplace justice. TBD if 2019’s word will be “solution” or “Sisyphus.”  

A Right to Privacy: If you think that cybersecurity and privacy dominated 2018— we’ve only just begun. Cybersecurity and privacy will continue to dominate in 2019, with a projected explosion in jobs to handle liability and risks from privacy and data breaches. Experts caution that “[t]echnology is a tool that is only as good as its master. And the master of data is king.” We can’t go back to the days of dial-up telephones, but common sense is timeless (hint to Facebook for 2019).


In this episode of LawNext, Dan Rodriguez discusses innovation in law and legal education and the social responsibility to train a new generation of lawyers. The former dean of Northwestern University’s Pritzger School of Law acknowledges the lure of Big Law, but argues that cultivating public interest “minded” lawyers, even in the private sector, can be a key part of social justice change.

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