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News Briefs—LSATs Forever, Toolkits for Equality, + More Kudos for Penn

The Careerist

March 26, 2013

Here's what's happening in the wonderful world of law:

© MaMi - Fotolia.com1. Yes, life is just an endless series of standardized tests. For those of you who were hoping and praying that LSATs would be eliminated for admission to law school, I've got bad news: It ain't happening. The American Bar Association's Council of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar is recommending that the LSAT requirement stay in place, reports The National Law Journal.

Frankly, I would have fallen off my chair if the ABA had made a different decision. I mean, did you really expect the ABA to do something radical?

But what did surprise me in the NLJ article is that law schools could obtain a variance from the ABA to use other standardized tests than the LSAT—such as the SAT. The NLJ reports that "some schools have won permission to use other tests," but that "confidentiality rules prevent the ABA from identifying those schools or even the number of school with waivers." Oh, what a teaser!

2. You have a toolkit, ladies. Now what? Speaking of the ABA, its Gender Equality Task Force has just come out with its "Toolkit for Gender Equity in Partner Compensation." According to the NLJ, the toolkit gives firms and other groups a "template" to start discussions about the gender pay gap. The ABA site outlines three  components of the toolkit: a program agenda (including a list of topics for discussion, etc.), power point slides, and program materials.

It's a fine start, but where do we go from there? Let's just hope this project doesn't result in a bunch of women watching PowerPoint presentations and getting themselves depressed. (We'll be talking to ABA outgoing president Laurel Bellows to get the inside scoop on this matter and more.)

3. Penn offers debt assistance to do-gooders. I've been singing the praises of Penn Law School so often (click here and here), you probably think I'm on its payroll. But you know I'm on the level because I don't even like Philadelphia.

In any case, I have to give Penn credit for revamping its loan repayment assistance program. According to the NLJ, the program now covers all student loan obligations for grads making $80,000 or less a year in public interest jobs.

The NLJ says that Penn "joins a small number of law schools that now cover all student loan payments for graduates who take public interest or government jobs." The total savings could amount to $140,000!

That might not seem like much to you Big Law sellouts, but to bleeding hearts, it could mean the difference between having a brown bag lunch every day and getting a fresh falafel once in a while.

Do you have topics you'd like to discuss or tips to share? Email chief blogger Vivia Chen at vchen@alm.com. 

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About The Careerist

The Careerist takes an inside look at how lawyers shape their careers and manage their lives. The blog aims to dissect developments in the profession, provide useful information and advice, and give lawyers a platform to voice their views. The goal is to provide a fresh, provocative take on the state of lawyering.

About Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen, The Careerist's chief blogger, has been covering the business and culture of law firms for a decade. A former corporate lawyer, Chen is fascinated by those who thrive (as well as those who don't) in the legal profession. Her take: Success in the law (and life) doesn't always travel a linear path. If you have topics you'd like to discuss or information to share, contact her: VChen@alm.com

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