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03/24/06

Sherman & Howard and Jennings Strouss cancel merger


The expected merger between Denver-based Sherman & Howard and Phoenix-based Jennings Strouss & Salmon has been called off.

Sherman & Howard and Jennings Strouss were conducting serious merger talks, which have now been called off due to reported conflicts of interest between the firms and their clients. Both firms claim to be considering merger possibilities with other firms.

Akin Gump reveal revenue figures for 2005
Major Texas firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has posted modest revenue increases for 2005.

Profit per equity partner went up 8% from $890,000 in 2004 to $964,400 in 2005. Total revenues showed a 1% increase to $618 million.

In early 2005, the firm appointed 16 new partners and 43 new counsels. Last Spring, it expanded its Asian presence with the launch of a Shanghai office. The firm recruited several lateral hires from Baker & McKenzie, Freshfields, Kelly and Hart & Hallman.

UCLA's public interest law program bombarded with students
UCLA School of Law's public interest law program, a top recruiting location for organizations such as the Peace Corps and Teach for America, is reporting a record number of applicants. The number of students applying for the program is much higher than the number of seats at the school.

The program accepts 25 first-year law students and few transfers each year. The number of applicants last year exceeded 500. The program accepts students based on commitment to community work and volunteer experience.

Although the average salary at a nonprofit organization or public interest firm ranges from $37,000 to $40,000, far lower than law firm salaries, students who opt for this sort of practice have the opportunity to practice in diverse areas, including civil rights, AIDS, immigration, homelessness, disability and environmental law. Jobs in public interest law are notoriously competitive with few openings.

Partnership disparity remains for female attorneys
According to the National Association for Law Placement, only 17% of the partners at the nation's top law firms were women in 2005, a slight increase from 1995's 13%.

Although women occupy the top ranks at law schools, they represent a significantly smaller number of law firm partners. Some big firms, however, have recognized the importance of equality and have made extra efforts to avoid discrimination.

Firms like Baker & McKenzie, Howrey, Latham & Watkins, Kirkland & Ellis, Covington & Burling and Deloitte & Touche are closing the partnership gap for women. They have introduced flexible working schedules, career programs and generous maternity leave policies for female associates on the partnership track.

Sherman & Howard L.L.C.

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