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University of Michigan Law School

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Natural Language Processing For Lawyers And Judges, Frank Fagan Apr 2021

Natural Language Processing For Lawyers And Judges, Frank Fagan

Michigan Law Review

A Review of Law as Data: Computation, Text, & the Future of Legal Analysis. Edited by Michael A. Livermore and Daniel N. Rockmore.


A Podcast Of One’S Own, Leah M. Litman, Melissa Murray, Katherine Shaw Jan 2021

A Podcast Of One’S Own, Leah M. Litman, Melissa Murray, Katherine Shaw

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In this short Essay, we discuss the lack of racial and gender diversity on and around the Supreme Court. As we note, the ranks of the Court’s Justices and its clerks historically have been dominated by white men. But this homogeneity is not limited to the Court’s members or its clerks. As we explain, much of the Court’s broader ecosystem suffers from this same lack of diversity. The advocates who argue before the Court are primarily white men; the experts cited in the Court’s opinions, as well as the experts on whom Court commentators rely in ...


Lawyers As Social Engineers: How Lawyers Should Use Their Social Capital To Achieve Economic Justice, Dana Thompson Jan 2021

Lawyers As Social Engineers: How Lawyers Should Use Their Social Capital To Achieve Economic Justice, Dana Thompson

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

The Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review (MBELR) has always strived to provide a platform for legal scholars, professionals, and students to publish business-related legal scholarship. Yet, little legal business scholarship focusing on the Black business community exists, despite the extraordinary impact that Black communities have in the U.S. business landscape. In a year of revolutionary social change, we are excited to feature in this special issue the work of Professor Dana Thompson, a Michigan Law alumna, in an effort to remedy this gap. Professor Thompson’s career, professional values, and day-to-day work demonstrate genuine, commanding, and inspiring commitment to ...


Civil Rights, Access To Counsel, And Injunctive Class Actions In The United States, Maureen Carroll Jan 2021

Civil Rights, Access To Counsel, And Injunctive Class Actions In The United States, Maureen Carroll

Book Chapters

According to a familiar story about class actions in the United States, aggregation promotes access to counsel by increasing the amount of money from which counsel fees can be taken. Courts usually award class counsel a percentage of the monetary recovery obtained on behalf of the class, and class treatment can turn a $30 case into a $3 million case. But what about class actions that do not involve monetary relief at all? Some civil rights plaintiffs seek to stop a violation, rather than to obtain compensation for past harm, and therefore choose to pursue only an injunction or declaratory ...


On Sexual Harassment In The Judiciary, Leah Litman, Deeva Shah Oct 2020

On Sexual Harassment In The Judiciary, Leah Litman, Deeva Shah

Articles

This Essay examines the legal profession’s role in sexual harassment, particularly in the federal courts. It argues that individuals in the profession have both an individual and collective responsibility for the professional norms that have allowed harassment to happen with little recourse for the people subject to the harassment. It suggests that the legal profession should engage in a sustained, public reflection about how our words, actions, attitudes, and institutional arrangements allow harassment to happen, and about the many different ways that we can prevent and address harassment.


Nicholas C. Howson's Tribute To Professor William P. Alford, Nicholas C. Howson Sep 2020

Nicholas C. Howson's Tribute To Professor William P. Alford, Nicholas C. Howson

Articles

No abstract provided.


Lawyers Democratic Dysfunction, Leah Litman Sep 2020

Lawyers Democratic Dysfunction, Leah Litman

Articles

As part of the symposium on Jack Balkin and Sandy Levinson’s Democracy and Dysfunction, this Article documents another source of the dysfunction that the authors observe—elite lawyers’ unwillingness to break ranks with other elite lawyers who participate in the destruction of various norms that are integral to a well-functioning democracy. These network effects eliminate the possibility of “soft” sanctions on norm violators such as withholding future professional advancement. Thus, rather than enforcing norms and deterring norm violations, the networks serve to insulate norm violators from any meaningful accountability.


Fee-Shifting Statutes And Compensation For Risk, Maureen S. Carroll Jun 2020

Fee-Shifting Statutes And Compensation For Risk, Maureen S. Carroll

Articles

A law firm that enters into a contingency arrangement provides the client with more than just its attorneys' labor. It also provides a form of financing, because the firm will be paid (if at all) only after the litigation ends; and insurance, because if the litigation results in a low recovery (or no recovery at all), the firm will absorb the direct and indirect costs of the litigation. Courts and markets routinely pay for these types of risk-bearing services through a range of mechanisms, including state fee shifting statutes, contingent percentage fees, common-fund awards, alternative fee arrangements, and third-party litigation ...


The Siren Song Of Litigation Funding, J.B. Heaton Apr 2020

The Siren Song Of Litigation Funding, J.B. Heaton

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

For an investor, litigation funding is too tempting to resist. Litigation funding promises that most elusive of investment returns: those uncorrelated with an investor’s other investment returns. Litigation funding also invests in a world that seems fraught with possible pricing inefficiencies. It seems plausible—even likely—that a team of smart lawyer-underwriters can identify high-value litigation investments to generate superior returns for litigation funding investors. But more than a decade of experience suggests the promise of litigation funding is a siren song. The promise draws investors into the water, but the payoffs may be meager and rare. While litigation ...


Using Transactional Practice Competitions To Introduce Students To Key Deal-Making Skills, Ted Becker, Eric Zacks Feb 2020

Using Transactional Practice Competitions To Introduce Students To Key Deal-Making Skills, Ted Becker, Eric Zacks

Articles

Law school moot court competitions are everywhere. That is a bit of an exaggeration, to be sure, but not by much. At last count, students with an interest in litigation had more than 60 interschool appellate advocacy competitions to choose from, ranging in topics from admiralty to space law to veterans law. Toss in trial advocacy competitions, and the number of opportunities to hone litigation skills increases significantly. And seemingly every law school has its own intraschool litigation competitions, ranging from part of a 1L legal writing program to school-wide appellate advocacy competitions whose final rounds attract prominent judges or ...


“A World Of Steel-Eyed Death”: An Empirical Evaluation Of The Failure Of The Strickland Standard To Ensure Adequate Counsel To Defendants With Mental Disabilities Facing The Death Penalty, Michael L. Perlin, Talia Roitberg Harmon, Sarah Chatt Jan 2020

“A World Of Steel-Eyed Death”: An Empirical Evaluation Of The Failure Of The Strickland Standard To Ensure Adequate Counsel To Defendants With Mental Disabilities Facing The Death Penalty, Michael L. Perlin, Talia Roitberg Harmon, Sarah Chatt

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

First, we discuss the background of the development of counsel adequacy in death penalty cases. Next, we look carefully at Strickland, and the subsequent Supreme Court cases that appear—on the surface—to bolster it in this context. We then consider multiple jurisprudential filters that we believe must be taken seriously if this area of the law is to be given any authentic meaning. Next, we will examine and interpret the data that we have developed. Finally, we will look at this entire area of law through the filter of therapeutic jurisprudence, and then explain why and how the charade ...


The Effects Of Educational Debts On Career Choices Of Graduates Of The University Of Michigan Law School, David L. Chambers Aug 2019

The Effects Of Educational Debts On Career Choices Of Graduates Of The University Of Michigan Law School, David L. Chambers

Bibliography of Research Using UMLS Alumni Survey Data

In 1966, the University of Michigan Law School began an annual survey of selected classes of its graduates. Beginning in the early 1980s, annual surveys of those five and fifteen years after law school included questions about educational debts incurred during college and law school as well as about career plans at the beginning and end of law school and actual job held in the years since law school. This paper, written in 2009, examines the possible effects of debts on career decisions and job choices made before, during and after law school by the graduating classes of 1976 through ...


Finding A Mentor In The Practice Of Law: An Empirical Inquiry, David L. Chambers Aug 2019

Finding A Mentor In The Practice Of Law: An Empirical Inquiry, David L. Chambers

Bibliography of Research Using UMLS Alumni Survey Data

For many years the University of Michigan Law School has surveyed its graduates after they have been out of law school five, fifteen, twenty-five, thirty-five and forty-five years. This paper about finding mentors focuses on Michigan Law School alumni surveyed five years after graduation during the sixteen year period between 1985 and 2000 and particularly on those who have ever worked in a private law firm, a setting in which it is commonly believed that having a mentor is critical for a young lawyer’s success.

Our central findings are these: Among alumni who had worked in a law firm ...


Retirement, Partial Retirement, And Working Into Old Age: Michigan Law School Graduates 45 Years Out Of Law School, David L. Chambers Aug 2019

Retirement, Partial Retirement, And Working Into Old Age: Michigan Law School Graduates 45 Years Out Of Law School, David L. Chambers

Bibliography of Research Using UMLS Alumni Survey Data

In 1966, the University of Michigan Law School began an annual survey of selected classes of its graduates. For the first few decades of the survey, only the graduating classes five and fifeen years out of law school were included in the survey. Beginning in 1997, graduates 25, 35, and 45 years out of law school were added. This memorandum focuses primarily on surveys conducted between 1997 and 2006 of the living graduates of the classes of 1952 through 1961, who had by then been out of law school for 45 years. After 45 years, the great majority were 69 ...


The Increasing Reliance On Educational Loans By University Of Michigan Law School Graduates, David L. Chambers Aug 2019

The Increasing Reliance On Educational Loans By University Of Michigan Law School Graduates, David L. Chambers

Bibliography of Research Using UMLS Alumni Survey Data

Among graduates of the University of Michigan Law School in the classes of 1970 through 1979, about half borrowed to pay for their college or legal education. By the early 1980s the portion who borrowed had risen to about 80 percent and has remained at that level through the classes of early twenty-first century. Even greater growth has occurred in the average debt of those who incurred debt. In actual dollars, average debts among those with debt have increased twenty-fold from the 1970s to the early 2000s. Even in CPI-adjusted dollars, average debts have tripled. By the classes of 2000-2001 ...


Women And Men Graduates Of The University Of Michigan Law School: Career Patterns And Adjustments For Children, David L. Chambers Aug 2019

Women And Men Graduates Of The University Of Michigan Law School: Career Patterns And Adjustments For Children, David L. Chambers

Bibliography of Research Using UMLS Alumni Survey Data

The University of Michigan Law School conducted mail surveys of classes of its alumni each year from 1966 and 2006. This memorandum builds upon the mail surveys conducted through 2006 and in particular survey questions asked about the sex of the respondent, the settings in which they have worked since law school, the hours they work and their earnings in their current settings, whether they have children and the various adjustments they have made in order to care for children, such as working part-time or leaving the work force altogether for periods of time. The memorandum has two principal focuses ...


Advocating For Children With Disabilities In Child Protection Cases, Joshua B. Kay Aug 2019

Advocating For Children With Disabilities In Child Protection Cases, Joshua B. Kay

Articles

Children with disabilities are maltreated at a higher rate than other children and overrepresented in child protection matters, yet most social service caseworkers, judges, child advocates, and other professionals involved in these cases receive little to no training about evaluating and addressing their needs. Child protection case outcomes for children with disabilities tend to differ from those of nondisabled children, with more disabled children experiencing a termination of their parents' rights and fewer being reunified with their parents or placed with kin. They also tend to experience longer waits for adoption. Furthermore, the poor outcomes that plague youth who age ...


Should I Stay Or Should I Go? The Gender Gap For Securities And Exchange Commission Attorneys, Stephen J. Choi Ii, Mitu Gulati, Adam C. Pritchard Aug 2019

Should I Stay Or Should I Go? The Gender Gap For Securities And Exchange Commission Attorneys, Stephen J. Choi Ii, Mitu Gulati, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

Most research on the gender gap in the legal profession focuses on the private sector. We look at the gender gap in a setting where one might expect the gaps to be smaller: the Division of Enforcement of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has a reputation for providing employees with good childcare and work flexibility. We find a substantial gender gap in assignments but only a modest one in pay. Men are also more likely to move laterally and more likely to move to lucrative private-sector jobs. What causes these gaps? The primary explanation for the gender gap ...


Transferability: Helping Students And Attorneys Apply What They Already Know To New Situations (Part 1), Edward R. Becker Jan 2019

Transferability: Helping Students And Attorneys Apply What They Already Know To New Situations (Part 1), Edward R. Becker

Articles

Every fall, I work with my first year law students to begin developing their legal writing skills. They work hard learning how to analyze cases objectively, predict how a court might resolve a dispute, and convey their assessments to an experienced attorney. Their improvement from September to December is noticeable. They have only one semester of law school behind them and still have much to learn, but they’re on their way…In the second semester, we begin focusing on advocacy. The first assignment asks students to draft a pretrial brief. When I review the drafts, I’m struck by ...


An Apology For Lawyers: Socrates And The Ethics Of Persuasion, Sherman J. Clark Jan 2019

An Apology For Lawyers: Socrates And The Ethics Of Persuasion, Sherman J. Clark

Michigan Law Review

Review Plato's "Apology of Socrates" in Six Great Dialogues: Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Phaedrus, Symposium, and The Republic.


Solitude, Leadership, And Lawyers, Amul R. Thapar, Samuel Rudman Jan 2019

Solitude, Leadership, And Lawyers, Amul R. Thapar, Samuel Rudman

Michigan Law Review

Review of Raymond M. Kethledge and Michael S. Erwin's Lead Yourself First: Inspiring Leadership Through Solitude.


Lawyer As Soothsayer: Exploring The Important Role Of Outcome Prediction In The Practice Of Law, Mark K. Osbeck Dec 2018

Lawyer As Soothsayer: Exploring The Important Role Of Outcome Prediction In The Practice Of Law, Mark K. Osbeck

Articles

Outcome prediction has always been an important part of practicing law. Clients rely heavily on their attorneys to provide accurate assessments of the potential legal consequences they face when making important decisions (such as whether to accept a plea bargain, or risk a conviction on a much more serious offense at trial). And yet, notwithstanding its enormous importance to the practice of law (and notwithstanding the handsome legal fees it commands), outcome prediction in the law remains a very imprecise endeavor. The reason for this inaccuracy is that the three principal tools lawyers have traditionally relied on to facilitate outcome ...


The Making Of The Supreme Court Bar: How Business Created A Solicitor General For The Private Sector, Jeremy Pilaar Dec 2018

The Making Of The Supreme Court Bar: How Business Created A Solicitor General For The Private Sector, Jeremy Pilaar

Michigan Law Review Online

This Essay tells a simple but important story about power and the law: that of the rise of the modern Supreme Court bar. Since 1985, a small cadre of private attorneys has come to dominate Court advocacy. While the share of lawyers making their first arguments before the justices fell from 76% to 43% between 1980 and 2007, the fraction with ten or more arguments under their belt rose from 2% to 28%. Similarly, while litigators with five or more previous arguments were responsible for 5.8% of the case petitions granted in October Term 1980, that quotient soared to ...


"It's Not You, It's Your Caseload": Using Cronic To Solve Indigent Defense Underfunding, Samantha Jaffe Jun 2018

"It's Not You, It's Your Caseload": Using Cronic To Solve Indigent Defense Underfunding, Samantha Jaffe

Michigan Law Review

In the United States, defendants in both federal and state prosecutions have the constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel. That right is in jeopardy. In the postconviction setting, the standard for ineffective assistance of counsel is prohibitively high, and Congress has restricted federal habeas review. At trial, severe underfunding for state indigent defense systems has led to low pay, little support, and extreme caseloads—which combine to create conditions where lawyers simply cannot represent clients adequately. Overworked public defenders and contract attorneys represent 80 percent of state felony defendants annually. Three out of four countywide public defender systems and ...


Using Appellate Clinics To Focus On Legal Writing Skills, Timothy Pinto May 2018

Using Appellate Clinics To Focus On Legal Writing Skills, Timothy Pinto

Articles

Five years ago, I went to lunch with a colleague. I was teaching a legal writing course to 1L students, and he taught in a clinic in which 2L and 3L students were required to write short motions and briefs. Several of his students had taken my writing class as 1Ls, and he had a question for me. "What the heck are you teaching these students?" he asked as we sat down. He explained that several of his students were struggling with preparing simple motions. They were not laying out facts clearly. They were not identifying key legal rules. In ...


The Law Hasn't Yet Achieved Parity, Leah Litman Mar 2018

The Law Hasn't Yet Achieved Parity, Leah Litman

Articles

Parity between men and women in the legal profession is an aspiration. It’s not reality, at least not yet. I wish I’d have understood that in law school because hearing that there’s parity when there’s none can be maddening. I also wish I would have known about the resources available to people who want to do something about the lack of parity in our profession.


The Business Of Law: Evolution Of The Legal Services Market, Tyler J. Replogle Apr 2017

The Business Of Law: Evolution Of The Legal Services Market, Tyler J. Replogle

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

The legal services market is changing. This change has been driven by various factors through the years: expansion of in-house legal departments, globalization (through mergers and outsourcing), technological advances, and the rise of alternative legal service providers. This paper explores these factors in isolation—i.e., discussing each factor separately and distinctly from other factors. Then, this paper seeks to understand these factors together, as products of a legal services market that is evolving from the growth stage into the mature stage.

Part I summarizes the early history of law firms, including the rise of the Cravath System through the ...


The Downside Of Requiring Additional Experiential Courses In Law School, Douglas A. Kahn Mar 2017

The Downside Of Requiring Additional Experiential Courses In Law School, Douglas A. Kahn

Articles

In recent years, the bar has expressed dissatisfaction with what is considered by some to be inadequate preparation of law students to begin practicing law immediately after graduation. There are several reasons why this has become a matter of concern for the legal profession. The profession itself has undergone significant changes. Although there are a few exceptions, most law firms no longer wish to spend time training their young associates or allowing them much time to develop the skills they need. First, clients are unwilling to pay for the time a young lawyer spends in acquiring needed skills. Second, the ...


Reimagining Legal Education: Incorporating Live-Client Work Into The First-Year Curriculum, Nancy Vettorello, Beth Hirschfelder Wilensky Jan 2017

Reimagining Legal Education: Incorporating Live-Client Work Into The First-Year Curriculum, Nancy Vettorello, Beth Hirschfelder Wilensky

Articles

Since 2015, Legal Practice faculty have partnered with local legal services organizations and the law school’s own clinics to provide our 1L students with client interaction, under the close supervision of experienced attorneys. So far, our students have worked with the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, Legal Services of South Central Michigan, and the school’s Unemployment Law Clinic.


Addressing Cultural Bias In The Legal Profession, Debra Chopp Jan 2017

Addressing Cultural Bias In The Legal Profession, Debra Chopp

Articles

Over the past two decades, there has been an outpouring of scholarship that explores the problem of implicit bias. Through this work, commentators have taken pains to define the phenomenon and to describe the ways in which it contributes to misunderstanding, discrimination, inequality, and more. This article addresses the role of implicit cultural bias in the delivery of legal services. Lawyers routinely represent clients with backgrounds and experiences that are vastly different from their own, and the fact of these differences can impede understanding, communication, and, ultimately, effective representation. While other professions, such as medicine and social work, have adopted ...