The Brief No. 34: Offenses and Defenses

 
 
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April 10, 2019

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Effectively dealing with others is a key to finding success in the workplace; but there’s just one problem - it doesn’t show up on a resume. How can you evaluate a candidate’s ability to competently interact and manage colleagues? With a psychometric assessment of course! Take Hire an Esquire’s Interpersonal Sensitivity Quiz to find out where your strengths lie.

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Drawing the Curtains: As expected, the completion of Robert Mueller’s investigation into the president’s role in Russian election interference has not ended the  conflict. In the wake of Attorney General William Barr’s 4-page summary, many are advocating for releasing the report, pointing to examples of past presidential scandals as historic precedent. The call for transparency has flooded into the streets as well, as advocacy groups organize rallies around the White House and major metropolitan areas. While investigation insiders suggest that the full report contains evidence more damning than Barr’s synopsis indicates, the Department of Justice stands behind its legitimacy.

Stubborn Knots: It’s been a tangled time for workplace gender relations lately, with a plethora of legislation making its way through courts around the country. First, House Democrats passed the Paycheck Fairness Act, aimed at the United States’ persistent wage gap. In California, a class-action lawsuit was filed against the Disney corporation, alleging gender-based wage discrimination that treats women as “cheap labor”. Meanwhile, Jones Day faces a lawsuit filed by 6 women who claim the law firm has perpetuated blatant sexism in its treatment of female employees, even punishing some for taking maternity leave. While a recent report shows improvements in addressing wage discrimination, many experts believe that the issue is much more complicated than the general public’s perception, and untangling it will be a much more nuanced complex solution.

Lock It Down: With Russian hackers as central figures in the biggest political story in recent memory, cybersecurity cannot be ignored. Whatever the outcome of Robert Mueller’s investigation, the fact remains that technology is susceptible to corruption on a frightening scale. Alarmingly, a recent spending report revealed that Congress did not exercise its full capabilities in preventing election hacking in 2018. But the vulnerability does not solely exist in the annals of government. Practically everyone familiar with modern tech has encountered some kind of hostile entity, whether it be predestinated malware or conscious invader (not even our printers are safe). For lawyers, the sensitivity of legal databases means attorneys should practice a raised level of caution when it comes to cybersecurity.

Expand and Contract: The legal industry’s tectonic plates continue to shift, as members of BigLaw reshape to meet changing demands. EY announced its acquisition of Pangea3, formerly under the umbrella of Thompson Reuters. The move, expected to close in Q2, indicates EY’s technology-focused push towards expanding global legal services.. Despite recent pushback against the dominance of EY and its peers, some experts do not anticipate the Big Four to slow their reach into the legal industry. 2019 has also been a big year for mergers, with “27 firms combining in the first 3 months.”

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What trait might keep a lawyer away from a higher salary? Hire an Esquire’s own Eric Fox has the answer as he joins Ian Connett for the latest episode of the Evolve the Law podcast. In their fascinating discussion (we’re not biased), Eric and Ian discuss “vital psychological knowledge for lawyers”, including how to predict optimal performance on legal tasks. Check it out!

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