This week, we talk about the experiences that law students and recent law grads have during their internships, summer associate positions, and their judicial clerkships. While most of us work very hard to make sure that these (traditionally young) associates and clerks enjoy and learn from their experiences, today’s guests understands firsthand that not all of these experiences are positive. Aliza Shatzman, the co-founder of the Legal Accountability Project, talks with us about her judicial clerkship, which essentially derailed her legal career before it even gets started.
While Shatzman’s dream of becoming a Homicide Prosecutor was taken from her, she took this negative experience and used it as motivation to start the Legal Accountability Project with her WashU classmate, Matt Goodman. The Project’s purpose is to “ensure that as many law clerks as possible have positive clerkship experiences, while extending support and resources to those who do not.”
The Legal Accountability Project is partnering with multiple law schools to create a post-clerkship survey that allows them to share their experiences (both positive and negative) through a database which will be shared with future clerks so they are better informed on what to expect from the clerkships. The idea is to use the data collected to quantify any issues and to craft effective solutions.

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AALL Crystal Ball Question: Emily Janoski-Haehlen
Our Crystal Ball answer this week comes from the Dean of Akron Law School, Emily Janoski-Haehlen. Dean Janoski-Haehlen stresses the need for more legal skills training to better prepare students for legal practice. As a tie-in for the main interview, she also covers what questions her school asks returning summer associates and clerks and how they use those to help identify what is working and what needs improving.
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Continue Reading Aliza Shatzman – Turning a Horrible Judicial Clerkship Experience into the Legal Accountability Project (TGIR Ep. 168)

While we are still struggling with COVID outbreaks this summer, the 2022 Summer Associate ranks are faring quite differently than their 2021 counterparts according to a recent survey conducted by Law360. Kerry Benn, Director of Series Surveys and Data at Law360 breaks down the results of the survey and explains how the struggles differ significantly this year. One of the biggest shifts from 2021 to 2022 was around mentorship and the need for the summer associate to “connect” with the lawyers of the firm in face to face interactions. While many law firms still stressed the need access to mentorship, the summers had much less of a concern for that this year versus last. One stressor that did rise this year was the ability to handle the workload being placed upon the summer associates this year. 
Not surprisingly, the preferred places to work as a summer associate were Kirkland & Ellis (the new #1), Latham, Cooley, Skadden, and Sidley Austin. One thing that was surprising was the salary ranges for those summers who did not land a BigLaw job. Some firms were paying as little as $15.00 and hour. That made some law students reconsider working at a law firm, or going back to Target or Olive Garden and make more. The flexibility of law firms to allow for associates to work remotely continued and seems to be something that may have a long-term affect going forward for a number of years. However, 92% of summers said they would be willing to work in the office, so there may be some flexibility on both sides of this equation.
We also ask Kerry Benn about future surveys that Law360 is producing including the second part of the Summer Associate Survey that reviews their actual experiences, the Glass Ceiling Survey, and Diversity Reports. Benn looks into her crystal ball and projects that there will be more demand for LGBTQ+ and additional diversity surveys and how law firms are implementing alternative structures in their fee arrangements with clients.  

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Voicemail: 713-487-7270

Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 162 – Law360’s Kerry Benn on 2022 Summer Associate Preferences, Challenges, and Options

Summer Associates and the upcoming Fall Associates had a unique experience with their On-Campus Interviews (or OCI) over the past two years. Some of the recruits still have not actually met face to face, the members of their firm who hired them. We talk with Kerry Benn, Director of Series, Surveys & Data at Law360 about Law360 Pulse’s recent survey on this topic and see how the firms, the students, and the schools adjusted during the pandemic. The survey of over 1,200 law students breaks down the popular firms and practice areas, how COVID impacted the process, and how things look as students make their way into the firms this Summer.

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Information Inspirations
Our previous guests Cat Moon and Alyson Carrel are teaming up with Dennis Kennedy later this month for a TRB (Thorn, Rose, Bud) Retrospective. They are asking for law students, legal educators, law school administrators, and education experts to apply for this three-hour event to be held on June 24th and share their COVID era experiences and talk about what they should STOP doing (thorn), KEEP doing (rose), as well NURTURE (bud) once the pandemic comes to a close. 
The offices may be reopening in some areas, but in the theme of “let no crisis go to waste,” Perkins Coie and some other firms are using this transition back to the office to test things like hoteling, reverse hoteling, and telepresence rooms. There won’t be a return to a normal office routine, but the next year is going to show us what is “next” in how we work in a post-pandemic legal industry.
Back in Ep. 112, we talked with Dan Packel about FisherBroyles’ desire to show that a distributed law firm could compete with the AmLaw200 firms. Well, it turns out that they can. FisherBroyles came in at #198 this year and showed that alternative methods to the traditional law firm works. This is making other firms take notice of the competition.
Trailblazers in diversity efforts want neurodiversity included in the conversation. Last week’s guest is one of those trailblazers. In her recent Medium article, Dr. Caitlin Handron openly discussed her battle with bipolar disorder, and “outed herself” to her boss and to the world in order to take steps toward normalizing the discussion of neurodiversity in the workplace. Let’s all learn from her bravery and willingness to be vulnerable, and continue this conversation with our colleagues at our own workplaces.
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Please take the time to rate and review us on Apple Podcast. Contact us anytime by tweeting us at @gebauerm or @glambert. Or, you can call The Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 and leave us a message. You can email us at As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.

Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 120 – How COVID Changed Law Students’ On Campus Interview Experiences with Law360’s Kerry Benn

It’s not unusual for law firms to invest $1M or more in recruiting, hiring, training, and retention of Associates over the first four years of their legal career. However, if you look at the actual retention rates through the fourth or fifth year, it is essentially a coin flip on whether the firm retains, or

Welcome to a mini-episode of The Geek In Review. Shot on location in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Law School Stress??  No Kidding!

This week, we continue our discussion on how law students can have a stressful time in the three years they are in law school. We can’t change what happens during law school, but we’ve asked some experts to tell us what they do to help law students reduce stress as they prep for finals, and what they can do to be successful as summer associates in law firms.

We finish our series about how law schools are reducing stress by hearing from the following schools:

  • Howard University
  • University of Hawaii
  • University of Houston
  • University of Wisconsin
  • Georgia State University
  • University of Texas

We appreciate these schools (and the ones from last week) taking the time to tell us what all they are doing to help students deal with finals.\

Hey Summer Associates… Listen Up!

We also talk with a number of AmLaw 100 firms about what their expectations are for how summer associates can have a successful tour of duty at their firms. Greg and Marlene were at a conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, and they asked a number of their fellow attendees what they do to help summer associates succeed, or what their expectations are for how law schools should prepare them for this work, and what they allow from outside vendors in regards for training as assistance during the Summers’ time at the firm. 
Continue Reading Advice for Law Students – From Reducing Stress to Nailing Your Time as a Summer Associate

I recently stumbled across a report, How College Students Evaluate and Use Information in the Digital Age, from Project Information Literacy (PIL). The report was published in November of 2010, based on research conducted in the spring of that year. Therefore, some of these students might be entering your firms this year as summer associates

I’ve never been afraid to tell you things that I should have know, but didn’t. Here’s just one more example of something that I should have been doing, but wasn’t. While at the AALL conference in Denver, I walked into the exhibit hall one morning, made that automatic left-hand turn to the BNA coffee and