Monthly Archives: April 2014

Study Predicts Upcoming Boom in Lawyer Jobs Market

The National Jurist magazine reports on a recent study which says that the most robust legal job market that ever existed in this country is right around the corner.  According to the study conducted by Western New England University School of Law professor Renè Reich-Graefe,

  • About 520,000 currently employed lawyers will retire by 2030, requiring new lawyers to fill these positions.
  • An additional 156,000 new jobs will become available as the need for lawyers continues to grow.
  • Due to population increases, more than 166,000 lawyers will be needed to meet the demands of the growing population.
  • More than half of currently practicing lawyers in this country will retire over the next fifteen to twenty years.
  • The median age of lawyers increased from 39 years in 1980 to 49 years in 2005.
  • In 2005, alone, more than 62 percent of all lawyers licensed in the United States were 45 years old or older.
  • Over the next 45 years, the demand for legal services within the United States will increase by nearly one third above the current need. This demand should require an additional 25 percent to 30 percent increase in the number of lawyers needed to meet the rising demand.

 “As a result, future law school graduates can expect soon to secure better legal jobs, have more opportunity to move laterally and earn higher incomes over the next two decades and beyond than has been the case for the last thirty years — even when they enter and remain within the legal services market with lesser professional credentials and qualifications as compared to market entrants and participants during the last three decades,” Reich-Graefe said.

These findings are consistent with what Cooley’s President and Dean, Don LeDuc, has been predicting in a series of commentaries.  See “Assessing Future Enrollment” and the three commmentaries referenced in State Bar of Michigan Data Confirms Improved Law-Related Employment. Indeed, at the beginning of 2013, President LeDuc wrote that “Now’s a Great Time to Enter Law School.” And more than two years ago, he noted how “The Aging of Michigan’s Lawyer Base Portends Job Growth.”

Click here for all of President LeDuc’s commentaries.

President LeDuc has not been alone in his views.  We have noted that National Jurist previously reported about increased law jobs for the class of 2016, and that LawCrossing and Crain’s Detroit Business last fall found improvement in legal jobs on both the national and state employment scenes, respectively.

 

 

 

 

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Runners Return to Boston Marathon

One year ago, on April 15, 2013, Kara Zech Thelen and Terry Carella both managed to cross the finish line at last year’s Boston Marathon minutes before two bombs exploded at 2:49 p.m. Both felt the shock of the events of that day, but the co-workers and friends are not deterred from running this year’s race.  They will toe the start line in Hopkinton, Mass., on Patriot’s Day like every Boston marathoner has done for the past 118 years.

Zech Thelen, who finished the 2013 race at the 3:44:04 mark, and Carella, who finished in 3:53:08, shared their experience with the media and on the Cooley blog site upon their return from last year’s race.  American writer and runner Hal Higdon, who is a longtime contributor to Runner’s World Magazine and author of 34 books, knew that this story needed to be told. Both Cooley runners’ accounts of that day have been included in the recently released book 4:09:43.  The book describes Boston 2013, “through the eyes of those who ran the race, their stories gathered from the social network.”

Kara Zech Thelen (center) is in good spirits as she crosses the half-way point — 13.1 miles — of the 2013 Boston Marathon.

“It was eerily silent for several minutes (after the explosions) as I tried to gather myself and make sense of it all. Then the sirens sounded and the police cars rushed in,” recalls Zech Thelen. “That day will be engraved in my mind forever, but the tragic events have not scared me from returning to Boston. Instead, I look forward to joining my fellow runners once again, to collectively announce that no act of terror can chase us from our own streets—to join together to cultivate healing and peace.”

Carella didn’t realize that her decision to go back to finish line to get her medal would put her in harm’s way.​

“I had gone through the finish chute, received the blanket they give each finisher, grabbed some food, and made it to the race buses, when I asked someone about the medals,” said Carella.

Terry Carella as she approaches the turn on to Boylston Street and nears the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon.

Terry Carella as she approaches the turn on to Boylston Street and nears the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon.

“I had to go back several blocks, making my way against all the finish traffic.  As I got near the finish area, I heard an enormous blast then saw a tremendous amount of smoke.  I said to the woman next to me, ‘This is not good.’ A few seconds later, we heard and saw the second bomb go off – then we all knew it was on purpose.  At that point we all walked as fast as we could to get away from the area.”

As for this year’s Boston, Zech Thelen and Carella each have been doing the usual hard training needed to prepare for a marathon, but running in Boston 2014 will be especially meaningful.

​“As always, it is an honor to be a part of the world’s oldest and most prestigious marathon,” stated Carella. ​ “This year’s event will mean more.  It also will be a celebration of the enormous strength and heart of the Boston community. Last year’s tragic events​ only affirmed my faith, hope ​and trust in the core goodness of most people.”

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by | April 15, 2014 · 1:25 pm

Studying Law in the Land Down Under

By Emeritus Professor Otto Stockmeyer
Prof. Otto Stockmeyer

Prof. Otto Stockmeyer

Otto Stockmeyer is an emeritus professor at Cooley Law School and a past president of the Legal Authors Society and of Scribes. This article is posted with permission of the Michigan International Lawyer and appeared in their Winter 2014 Edition.

Introduction

From January through mid-April of 2014, some lucky Cooley Law School second- and third-year students – along with guest students from other American law schools – are spending their winter semester studying Down Under in New Zealand and Australia. And for them it’s summer. Cooley’s ABA-approved “Down Under Foreign Study Program” is in its 16th year. The program combines one upper-division Cooley course, Equity & Remedies, with an array of international courses taught  by faculty members at two of the world’s top law schools: New Zealand’s University of Waikato and Monash  University in Australia. Monash’s law school is ranked 13th best in the world; Waikato’s is in the world’s top 100.

New Zealand

The first half of the program takes place at the University of Waikato. The university is located in Hamilton, New Zealand’s fourth largest city, located on the country’s North Island.

The formal name of the law school is the Te Piringa Faculty of Law. It was founded in 1990 on  the principles of professionalism, biculturalism, and the study of law in context. Te Piringa in the Maori language translates as the coming together of people. The name links the law faculty to the region’s indigenous Maori heritage.

New Zealand, along with most other Commonwealth countries, teaches law at the undergraduate level. The degree awarded is the Bachelor of Laws (LLB). Six New Zealand universities have law schools or (as they are called) “law faculties.”

Most of New Zealand’s law schools follow an open-entry policy. Any student enrolled in the university may elect to study law, usually after one “intermediate year” of university course work. Of those who elect to study law, about 20% make it past the first year. In contrast, Waikato does not have open entry or an intermediate year. Waikato accepts well-qualified law students directly from high school.

For full-time students, the LLB degree requires four years of study. Foundation courses have familiar names: Contracts, Torts, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Evidence, etc. Equity, however, consists primarily of the study of trusts and wills.

Participants in the Down Under Foreign Study Program can chose among the following elective courses: Comparative and International Indigenous Rights, Comparative Chinese and Common Law Systems, Transnational Criminal Law, and International Trade Issues. Housing is offered in university dormitories.

Down Under, law generally is taught and tested like other undergraduate courses, through readings and lectures. Examinations are more expository than analytical. Waikato law students are advised to commit at least one hour of study and review for every hour of class. In the U.S., that expectation would be unrealistically low by a factor of two or three. For visiting American students looking forward to travelling the country, it’s welcome news.

Australia

In mid-February the program moves to Melbourne Australia. Melbourne is Australia’s second-largest city with a population of more than 4 million people. There, Cooley’s program is affiliated with Monash University, Australia’s largest. The Monash law school is likewise the largest of Australia’s 36 law schools, with over 3,000 students. Monash offers not only the undergraduate LLB degree, as do most Australian law schools, but also postgraduate JD and LLM degrees.

The Monash JD program is structured much like the year-round program that Cooley Law School has employed for 40 years: three trimesters a year, with classes entering in January, May, and August. Full-time students graduate in three years, part-timers in four.

Monash’s JD and LLM classes are held in a modern facility in the heart of Melbourne’s legal center. Foreign Study students live in a nearby apartment hotel.

The courses that Foreign Study students can select from in Australia include Introduction to the Australian Legal System, International Criminal Justice, International Environmental Law, and Competition Law. The Equity & Remedies course carries over from New Zealand. All course credits and grades transfer back to Cooley Law School.

In both countries extracurricular professional activities are an integral part of the program. They generally consist of witnessing local court sessions, visiting a barrister’s chambers, and attending talks by leading governmental and judicial officials. Group social activities include in New Zealand, surfing at Raglan Beach and a pool party at the Dean’s residence, and trips to a wild animal sanctuary and a winery in Australia.

By the time exams are over in mid-April, fall will be arriving in Australia, signaling to program participants that it’s time to return to the good old U.S. of A.

About the Author
Otto Stockmeyer is an emeritus professor at Thomas M. Cooley Law School, where he has taught Contracts and Equity & Remedies for 35 years. He has also been a visiting professor at Mercer University Law School and California Western School of Law. He was fortunate to participate in Cooley Law School’s Down Under Foreign Study Program in 2005 and 2013.

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Filed under Knowledge, Skills, Ethics, Latest News and Updates, study abroad

If All Of Your Friends Jumped Off A Bridge, Would You Too?

Nathan Chan

Nathan Chan

Nathan Chan participated in Cooley’s Australia/New Zealand Foreign Study Program and is a third year student at Cooley. This article is posted with permission of the Michigan International Lawyer and appeared in their Winter 2014 Edition.

There I was, sitting atop the guardrail of the Kopua Footbridge in the laidback surfing town of Raglan, New Zealand, psyching myself up to jump into the water 20 feet below, just as local children have done for 50 years. The adventurous part of me was thinking, “This will be fun,” while the rational part of me was thinking, “You can’t swim . . . are you crazy?!” Then the clear tie-breaker came to me: “When in Rome, do as the Romans.” With a mental shrug of the shoulders, I launched myself off the bridge, and I’m glad I did – it was an extraordinary memory that I will be able to share with my future children and grandchildren!

Jumping off the Kopua Footbridge was just one of the unique things that I experienced while studying abroad in New Zealand and Australia. In New Zealand, I attended a Maori cultural hangi feast (similar to a Hawaiian luau), went tubing in the Waitomo glowworm caves, and visited Hobbiton (the movie set used in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit). During the 8 weeks we spent in Melbourne, Australia, we attended numerous events in and around the city: the Rip Curl Pro Surfing Competition, where one student actually bumped into Kelly Slater, a surfing legend; the Australian Grand Prix; White Night, an all-night art, music, and culture festival; Suzuki Wednesday Night Market, featuring international food stalls and live music; Chinatown Night Market, featuring food stalls and arts and crafts; and Viva Victoria Multicultural Festival, where we enjoyed international food stalls and live music and dancing. While in Australia, I took a weekend trip to Kangaroo Island, where I watched a pelican-feeding show, visited the wind-sculpted “Remarkable Rocks,” and, perhaps most extraordinarily, went sledding down sand dunes!

Not only were the courses interesting and the locations magnificent, but the professors were top-notch. Our Indigenous Rights professor, Valmaine Toki, is currently a member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Gideon Boas, who taught the International Criminal Justice course, was a senior legal officer at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, where he worked as an advisor for the trial of Slobodan Milosevic, among others. Our International Trade Issues professor, Sadeq Bigdeli, has worked with the World Trade Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme. And Alexander Gillespie, our International Law professor, was a former rapporteur for the World Heritage Convention, and has worked with the UN in other capacities.

Our professors were not the only distinguished legal professionals that we met; the 2013 program included several extra-curricular events where we met and interacted with other inspiring and influential attorneys. At the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand, we had the opportunity to speak with the city’s mayor about the abundant opportunities for foreign lawyers to practice in New Zealand, followed the next week by a Justice of the Court of Appeal of New Zealand, who shared his experiences from around the world. We even had the opportunity to speak with a former Prime Minister of New Zealand! The fact that such accomplished people were willing to come speak with the 20 of us law students really demonstrated the friendly and hospitable nature of New Zealanders.

Despite the high cost of living Down Under, there are numerous advantages to studying abroad. Sure, everything is expensive in Melbourne, and the prices in New Zealand reflect the cost of importing nearly everything to an island country in the South Pacific. But when else would a student be able to stay on holiday long enough to see and do everything that the destination has to offer, while also earning school credits? My advice to law students is this: Before you graduate, begin working, and have no time to travel, participate in a study abroad program in a country that you have always wanted to visit. The rest is simple: take the plunge!

About the Author
Nathan Chan is a 3L student at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Auburn Hills, Michigan. He has a passion for public international law, with special emphasis in education, economic and social development, and environmental protection.

 

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Filed under Knowledge, Skills, Ethics, Latest News and Updates, Student News, Achievements, Awards, study abroad