Economy

Associate pay raises also raise eyebrows

July 27, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Key to bringing on new clients and keeping existing ones is talent attorneys. Firms across the country, including in Indiana, are raising associate pay to attract those attorneys.
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Law firm mergers on pace for potential record year

July 6, 2016
IL Staff
It’s shaping up to be another record year for law firm mergers and acquisitions.
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Valparaiso Law School reduces faculty, class size to prepare for a different future

June 29, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Valparaiso Law School is hardly the first to feel the pain of falling student applications, but as the subject of a recent profile in the New York Times, its troubles may be the most well-known.
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Employers struggle with complicated immigration system

June 29, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
At the third meeting of the Senate Select Committee on Immigration Issues, business professionals and attorneys told committee members the measures Indiana has adopted in recent years have actually hurt the state’s economy and public safety.
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Legal Service Corp.’s Levi putting spotlight on crisis in legal aid

June 20, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Emphasizing that legal aid is having to turn away half of those who ask for assistance, Legal Service Corp. board chair John Levi is pushing to raise public awareness and ultimately get more resources flowing to legal services for low-income individuals.
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New overtime rules force hard choices for employers

June 6, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, IBJ Staff
For Purdue University—the state’s eighth-largest employer—new overtime rules could mean an $8 million or so hit to the school’s already-stretched budget.
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DOC to close southern Indiana prison this month

June 2, 2016
 Associated Press
The state Department of Correction will close its minimum-security Henryville Correctional Facility in southern Indiana by July 1 in a cost-saving move, the agency announced Wednesday.
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Senate report: Illegal immigration costs state $131M

May 25, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, IBJ Staff
Indiana lawmakers studying the issue of illegal immigration in the state will view a report Wednesday that finds undocumented people will cost the state’s taxpayers $130.7 million this year.
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Deregulation touted for growth, innovation in legal profession

May 18, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
To revitalize the legal profession, an economist and Yale law student are calling for an end to the rules and regulations that require bar exam passage, prevent nonlawyers from practicing and prohibit anyone who does not hold a J.D. degree from owning law firms.
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New OT rules force hard choices on small businesses

May 18, 2016
 Associated Press
The regulations being issued by the Labor Department today would double to $913 a week from $455 the threshold under which salaried workers must be paid overtime. In terms of annual pay, the threshold rises to $47,476 from $23,660. The rules take effect Dec. 1.
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Wal-Mart sues Visa over chip-enabled debit cards

May 11, 2016
 Associated Press
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has sued Visa Inc., charging that the payment network is not allowing the retail giant to let customers verify chip-enabled debit card transactions with what it believes is a more secure method: personal identification numbers.
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Legal-oriented groups pick Indianapolis for annual conventions

April 20, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
As part of its effort to attract a variety of events and conventions, Indianapolis has put a focus on attracting professional conferences. Having three legal-oriented groups come within two years indicates the city’s strategy is working.
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Companies reconsidering North Carolina over LGBT rights

April 1, 2016
 Associated Press
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory met with gay-rights advocates bearing a letter signed by more than 100 corporate executives urging him to repeal the nation’s first state law limiting the bathroom options for transgender people. The law also excludes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from anti-discrimination protections and blocks municipalities from adopting their own anti-discrimination and living wage rules.
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Pence signs med-mal cap increase on final day

March 25, 2016
 Associated Press, IL Staff
Medical malpractice victims will be eligible for more compensation after Gov. Mike Pence signed into law a bill increasing the payment cap for the first time since the 1990s. The cap would increase from the current $1.25 million limit to $1.65 million next year and then to $1.8 million in 2019.
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Staples judge slams FTC on Amazon testimony in merger case

March 25, 2016
 Bloomberg News
A federal judge criticized the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for attempting to elicit false information from an Amazon.com Inc. executive to support its lawsuit to block Staples Inc.’s takeover of rival Office Depot Inc.
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Disputes increase over who’s an employee and who’s an independent contractor

March 23, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Independent contractors have long been a part of the workforce. However, with the rise of on-demand service providers who run their businesses almost solely with independent contractors, closer scrutiny is being paid to what, exactly, these workers are in the new “gig economy.”
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Second round of settlement money coming to IOLTA

March 16, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana’s IOLTA program is preparing to receive a multi-million dollar boost. The money is coming from a second round of funding released as part of the settlement agreement with the Bank of America as a penalty for financial fraud during the mortgage foreclosure crisis.
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Smaller class sizes cause faculty buyout offers at Valpo Law

March 9, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl, Dave Stafford
In an announcement made Feb. 26, Valparaiso University Law School added itself to the list of law schools shedding faculty in the face of declining enrollment.
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Valpo Law announces faculty buyouts, smaller future classes

February 26, 2016
Dave Stafford
Valparaiso University School of Law announced Friday afternoon it will offer buyouts to tenured faculty and faculty members with multi-year contracts.
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Legal education at what cost?

February 24, 2016
Dave Stafford
The economic storm of recent years was particularly perilous for the legal industry and law schools, but despite encouraging signs, former Indiana Chief Justice Randall Shepard said the dangers have not passed.
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Steady increase in law firm recruiting continues

February 17, 2016
Scott Roberts
The last summer recruiting recycle for law graduates was the biggest since the recession, a report from the National Association for Law Placement found.
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Attorneys, courts feel drop in bankruptcy filings

January 27, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Bankruptcy attorney Mark S. Zuckerberg recently described the current state of his practice: “Nobody’s coming into my office; nobody’s calling me; nobody’s paying me.” His loneliness can be tied to the drop in bankruptcy filings. In 2015, petitions nationally fell to 860,182, an 11 percent decline from 2014 and the lowest number of filings since 2007.
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Law schools, ILS partner on foreclosure prevention services

January 20, 2016
IL Staff
A grant from the Office of the Indiana Attorney General will help fund a partnership between Indiana Legal Services Inc. and two law schools in an effort to provide more services to those facing foreclosure in the state.
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2015 record-breaking year for law firm combinations

January 6, 2016
IL Staff
The 91 law firm combinations announced in the United States last year is the highest annual total recorded by Altman Weil MergerLine, which has been compiling this data for nine years.
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COA affirms attorney owes ex-assistant thousands in unpaid wages

December 23, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Elkhart solo practitioner must pay his former legal assistant more than $85,000 after she sued him to recover unpaid wages owed to her over the course of two years, the Court of Appeals affirmed Wednesday.
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  1. IF the Right to Vote is indeed a Right, then it is a RIGHT. That is the same for ALL eligible and properly registered voters. And this is, being able to cast one's vote - until the minute before the polls close in one's assigned precinct. NOT days before by absentee ballot, and NOT 9 miles from one's house (where it might be a burden to get to in time). I personally wait until the last minute to get in line. Because you never know what happens. THAT is my right, and that is Mr. Valenti's. If it is truly so horrible to let him on school grounds (exactly how many children are harmed by those required to register, on school grounds, on election day - seriously!), then move the polling place to a different location. For ALL voters in that precinct. Problem solved.

  2. "associates are becoming more mercenary. The path to partnership has become longer and more difficult so they are chasing short-term gains like high compensation." GOOD FOR THEM! HELL THERE OUGHT TO BE A UNION!

  3. Let's be honest. A glut of lawyers out there, because law schools have overproduced them. Law schools dont care, and big law loves it. So the firms can afford to underpay them. Typical capitalist situation. Wages have grown slowly for entry level lawyers the past 25 years it seems. Just like the rest of our economy. Might as well become a welder. Oh and the big money is mostly reserved for those who can log huge hours and will cut corners to get things handled. More capitalist joy. So the answer coming from the experts is to "capitalize" more competition from nonlawyers, and robots. ie "expert systems." One even hears talk of "offshoring" some legal work. thus undercutting the workers even more. And they wonder why people have been pulling for Bernie and Trump. Hello fools, it's not just the "working class" it's the overly educated suffering too.

  4. And with a whimpering hissy fit the charade came to an end ... http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2016/07/27/all-charges-dropped-against-all-remaining-officers-in-freddie-gray-case/ WHISTLEBLOWERS are needed more than ever in a time such as this ... when politics trump justice and emotions trump reason. Blue Lives Matter.

  5. "pedigree"? I never knew that in order to become a successful or, for that matter, a talented attorney, one needs to have come from good stock. What should raise eyebrows even more than the starting associates' pay at this firm (and ones like it) is the belief systems they subscribe to re who is and isn't "fit" to practice law with them. Incredible the arrogance that exists throughout the practice of law in this country, especially at firms like this one.

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