It’s been a busy week in the legal world. We’re paying attention to Citi Private Bank’s new law firm watch list, and the potential surge in lawsuits for unpaid legal bills. The legal academy continues to tinker with the curriculum, while some schools are helping alumni launch solo practices. It’s all food for thought as the East coast hunkers down for Hurricane Sandy.
- Citi Private Bank’s Dan DiPietro, the chairman of the bank’s law firm group, told Bloomberg Law last week that the bank maintains a watch list of law firms that may fail in the coming months. A leading indicator? Partner departures. The entire interview is worth a listen.
- Firms looking to stay off that watch list are likely looking to increase their realization. The New York Law Journal recently reported on New York firms becoming more “assertive about collecting overdue bills.” The upshot may be an increase in lawsuits over unpaid legal bills.
- Debt-collecting lawyers are about to be subjected to increased regulatory oversight from the newly-formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The National Law Journal reported last week on a new rule from the CFPB that will place debt-collecting attorneys under federal regulatory supervision for the first time.
- We’ve already discussed NYU Law School’s new third-year curriculum, and now The New York Times’ DealBook column has a follow-up. A primary goal of the school’s initiative is to provide students with opportunities for specialization in order to make them more desirable to future employers.
- Reed Smith has introduced a program similar to NYU’s new study abroad options by partnering with King’s College of London. According to the Global Legal Post, the firm will offer work placements to law students in its London and Paris offices.
- Boston College of Law is following suit by introducing a new faculty position tasked with improving “experiential learning,” or real-world experience. The Wall Street Journal reports.
- Other law schools are working to help alumni. ABA Journal has a story in its October issue on schools like the City University of New York School of Law, which are opening “incubators” for solo practices. The CUNY program, for instance, offers inexpensive Manhattan office space in exchange for a pro-bono commitment. Chicago-Kent College of Law is getting in on the trend.
And for our readers in the path of Hurricane Sandy, stay safe. The East coast contingent of the Hildebrandt Institute is safely working from home and hoping to avoid extended power outages. Above the Law is updating a list of legal industry closures as a result of the storm. If you are asking yourself why all of this is happening, blame the Gangnam-style dance trend.
Posted by Emily Fisher with contributions from Marianne Purzycki