The Brief No. 45: How did we get here?

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July 3, 2019

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Serial: How Did I Get Here? The paths leading to law and the careers available in law are changing and diversifying. Jason Pyrz, Global Legal Project Management Director for Mayer Brown could tell you all about this. As a matter of fact, he does, on our blog! In this 3 part page-turner, Jason tells his story of ascending from dumpster jumping in the suburbs of Chicago to Global Director at an AMLaw 20 firm. It’s the perfect read if you’re looking for inspiration for your next career move while pool/ beachside.

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Coffee and Cigarettes: San Francisco has become the first state to ban e-cigarettes and part of a growing trend of soda taxes and other public health protection regulations instituted at the local level. While all research and laws point to cutting back on vaping, another upper near and dear to lawyers hearts, coffee, is getting a green light as new studies show coffee may help to prevent a variety of diseases, obesity, and potentially increase life span. In other substance news, the Judge in the major multi-district Opioid litigation who has been strongly encouraging the case to settle has given the plaintiffs more time to craft an approach in light of many remaining objections from defendants and state attorney generals. 

Everybody Gets a Trophy: As the dialogue of United States leaders and legislators resembles that of privileged schoolchildren with behavioral issues, this Supreme Court met the nation where it’s at. Like good Montessori kindergarten teachers, the justices modeled collaborative behavior carefully choosing decisions where appointees across political administrations could agree and avoiding “political tripwires” in favor of more routine disputes. The most politically loaded decisions released on the last day of the term deflected and provided consolation prizes. A divided court sent back the question of whether the 2020 citizenship question was lawful for further legal proceedings. This will delay it from appearing on the next 2020 census if the Trump Administration’s request to delay the Census is not granted.  The court declined to address extreme political gerrymandering saying it was a state issue. A few weeks prior, the court upheld a 2016 SCOTUS decision ordering the redrawing of an electoral map that was found to be the product of racial gerrymandering. You can see the complete stats on the October 2018 term here. DACA and other more controversial cases are slated for the next term.

Just Following Orders? As legal commentators contemplated the reality of lawyers who may not have the luxury of risking their government jobs by refusing to argue a case as a visibly uncomfortable government lawyer arguing the Department of Justice’s agenda earned YouTube notoriety, employees at private, consumer-oriented companies seized upon safety in numbers and their employers' vulnerability in the court of public opinion. An estimated 10% of online furniture retailer Wayfair’s workforce walked out for an hour-long protest in Boston’s Copley Square to protest the furniture company’s sales and profit to government detention centers. A few days later Google’s own employees protested their employer’s sponsorship of pride while failing to put in place protections against LGBTQ harassment on the Google-owned YouTube. Googlers were warned that while they are free to protest individually, they are not entitled to do so under the banner of Google. Meanwhile, other more traditional entities have taken a stand against private prisons with the final major bank refusing to finance these profitable institutions.   

Everybody Needs a Little Time Away: We hope that you have great plans for the July 4th holiday and that you get some time away from the office to relax and recharge. We’re encouraging our content team to disconnect, so The Brief will also be on vacation next week, July 10. We’ll look forward to being back in your inbox on July 17. In the meantime, if you miss us, you can check out some of our past content here.

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What the NLJ 500 Tells Us About Law Firm Hiring, Diversity and Competition Vanessa Blum and Leigh Jones break down what the recently released NLJ500 headcount report tells us about the shifting legal landscape, competition, hiring, and diversity.

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Staffing up for a project or growing your legal team? Learn more about how Hire An Esquire can help.