Business & Practice

Wake Up Call: Colorado Bar Exam Taker Tests Positive for Covid

July 31, 2020, 12:09 PM

In today’s column, the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania may join the handful of jurisdictions allowing recent law grads to practice law without taking the bar exam; an ABA proposal would pause in-person bar exams until the pandemic is over; a big Australian firm that scoffed at remote working is now a virus hotspot; about 140 people might have to retake the online LSAT after their answers disappeared in a tech snafu; Quinn is seeking $185 million in fees in a huge Obamacare case; Paul Weiss officially launched in California, poaching two more Boies Schiller Flexner partners.

  • Leading off, officials in Colorado are urging people who took the state’s in-person bar exam this week to monitor themselves for Covid-19, after one test taker turned out to be infected. (Above the Law)

  • Legal blog Above the Law posted a round-up of problems that came up as over 20 states held in-person bar exams this week even as Covid-19 infections and deaths mount steadily around the country. (Above the Law)

  • The District of Columbia’s top court is weighing whether to join a small group of jurisdictions allowing recent law grads to get a law license without taking a bar exam through a so-called diploma privilege. The move comes as groups within the American Bar Association proposed a resolution to pause in-person bar exams during the pandemic. (BLAW)

  • The Pennsylvania Bar Association Board of Governors wants the state to offer a diploma privilege to certain 2020 law school graduates. (Legal Intelligencer)

  • In Washington state, hundreds of recent law grads have already become lawyers because of the state’s temporary diploma privilege, a report says. (The Spokane-Review)

  • About 140 people may have to retake the online version of the Law School Admission Test after their answers went missing in a technical malfunction. (Law.com)

  • Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft is the latest Big Law firm to reverse some of the pay cuts made earlier in the pandemic crisis to offset impact on its cash flow. (American Lawyer)

  • Meanwhile, Ogletree Deakins is maintaining paycuts it made in May but it added a $10,000 performance bonus for associates who hit 1,700 billed hours and counsel who hit their annual hour targets this year. That is on top of an existing $10,000 bonus for associates billing 1,900 or more hours annually and other existing bonuses for counsel and of counsel. (Daily Report)

  • The pandemic is raising firms’ awareness that they have too many staff employees in certain positions, especially legal administrative assistants, a report says. (American Lawyer)

  • A large Australian firm that required all 1,250 of its staff to continue in-person office work throughout the pandemic has had a major Covid-19 outbreak, a report says. (RollonFriday.com)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan wants nearly $185 million in fees for representing a group of health insurers poised to receive $3.7 billion from the federal government under a neglected Obamacare program. (BLAW)

  • Most employers say their companies are less optimistic for a return to work as normal compared with their outlook in April amid Covid-19 shutdowns, according to Blank Rome’s new survey of about 150 employers. (BlankRome.com)

  • U.K. elite firm Allen & Overy set new targets to boost diversity at the firm. (Global Legal Post)

  • DLA Piper said it advised litigation funder Validity Finance on its $100 million financing round led by its private equity backer TowerBrook Capital Partners. (DLAPiper.com)

  • Some Roundup plaintiffs are complaining that Bayer AG’s $10 billion settlement for cancer claims linked to the glyphosate-based herbicide is a better deal for lawyers than for them. (Environmental Health News)

  • The Columbia Journalism Review surveyed what lawyers who sue the press think about the press. (CJR.org)

  • Goodwin Procter advised Cerevel Therapeutics, Inc. on its $1.3 billion merger with Arya Sciences Acquisition Corp II (“Arya II”), a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by Perceptive Advisors, to create a neuroscience drug development company. Kirkland & Ellis is advising Arya II, while Ropes & Gray advised Bain Capital, an existing shareholder in Cerevel. (Businesswire.com)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Disagreements with firm leaders motivated a planned departure of Schulte Roth & Zabel finance chair Frederic Ragucci to Proskauer Rose, with three other finance partners, a report says. Ragucci was still listed on Schulte’s site as of Friday morning. (Business Insider)

  • Paul Weiss officially launched in California, poaching two more Boies Schiller Flexner partners, according to a report. Silicon Valley-based Meredith Dearborn was a key defense lawyer for Uber Technologies, Inc., in a big trade secrets case. Appellate and commercial litigator Jessica Phillips is based in Washington. (American Lawyer)

  • K&L Gates added transactional real estate lawyer William Tate as a partner in Orange County, California. He arrives from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, where he’d been over 18 years as a partner, and he was previously at Morrison & Foerster. (KLGates.com)

  • Akerman recruited longtime Crowell & Moring corporate and bankruptcy partner Mark Lichtenstein as a partner in the firm’s bankruptcy and reorganization practice group (Akerman.com)

  • Pacific Gas & Electric Co. named its former interim CEO John Simon as its new top lawyer, weeks after the utility emerged from bankruptcy and pleaded guilty to its role in a California wildfire that killed 84 people. (BLAW)


  • Legaltech company Everlaw said its litigation and eDiscovery platform received a federal security authorization that allows its services to be used by government agencies. (PRNewswire)

  • A former DLA Piper associate quit that firm to start a company aimed at combining legal tech with estate administration services. (Legaltech News)

Legal Education

  • New York Law School said Zeughauser Group partner Alex Dimitrief, whose former roles have included president and CEO of General Electric’s Global Growth Organization, GE top lawyer, and Kirkland partner, is joining the school as senior fellow and adjunct professor of law. (NYLS.edu)

  • Portland, Oregon-based Lewis & Clark Law School said it’s offering its Master of Studies in environmental, natural resources, and energy law through a distance-learning online option. (LClark.edu)

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at rMitchell@correspondent.bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Darren Bowman at dbowman@bloomberglaw.com

To read more articles log in.