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News Briefs—U.K. Women Partners Are Way Behind; the Allure of a Chinese LL.M.; the Ching Chong Suit + More

Vivia Chen

April 25, 2013

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

422px-Cinderella_-_Project_Gutenberg_etext_199931. Female partners in the U.K. are still in the dungeons. The Queen rules, and the Iron Maiden's shadow still looms large, but female lawyers in Britain are even worse off than their American sisters. According to The Lawyer, women make up only 9.4 percent of all equity partners and 23.5 percent of all partners at the U.K.’s top 100 law firms by revenue. (In the U.S., women constitute over 15 percent of equity partners.)

Even at the American firms there—including some that are known for promoting women to partnership in the U.S.—women at their U.K. offices are out of luck. U.S. firms with zero female partners in London last year include Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Davis Polk & Wardell; and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (although it did promote a woman this year).

The reason for this gender imbalance? American firms depend on laterals, and the U.K. lateral market is dominated by men. (The Lawyer)

2. Can't get a job in the U.S? How about getting an LL.M. in China? The degree might not help that much either, but it is attracting increasing number of foreigners. The upside of a Chinese degree: The tuition is cheaper than a U.S. degree; plus, you get to learn enough Mandarin to order Ma Po Dofu with credibility. (The Asian Lawyer)

3. Pass the bar—or get your money back! (But read the fine print first.) Florida Coastal School of Law will refund $10,000 of its $40,000 tuition to students who flunk out after one year or fail the bar exam after two tries. But to get this deal, students must fulfill lots of requirements, including "attending all writing workshops the first semester, completing a grammar program, attending 95 percent of bar coaching sessions, completing a practice bar exam, and passing a 'law school foundations' class." (ABA Blog)

4. The University of Arizona Law School is slashing tuition! But does anyone care? There will be an 11 percent tuition cut for in-state residents at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law and an 8 percent cut for nonresidents.

The National Law Journal calls this "the first significant law school tuition reduction since nationwide application totals began to decline in 2011." The NLJ notes that the University of Akron School of Law is getting rid of its out-of-state tuition differential next year too. (NLJ)

Snore. Please wake me up when one of the national law schools does the same.

5. If I had a nickel for every time I got called . . . A Korean American customer is suing CVS, alleging that a store employee entered a racial epithet on her receipt. Reports the NLJ:

"Ching Chong" is a pejorative term used to describe people of Asian descent, says Lee's attorney, New York solo Susan Chana Lask.

Seeing that name on the receipt left [Hyun Jin] Lee "shocked, stunned, mortified, humiliated, and severely distressed," the lawsuit says.

The plaintiff is suing for $1 million, claiming that she "has been unable to sleep and has suffered embarrassment, loss of enjoyment of life, alienation, and mental anguish."(NLJ)


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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: [email protected]

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