Law Firm Insider: 8/23/11

Get the latest updates on what's happening in the Best Law Firms.

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Law firms hired more summer associates in 2011 than in 2010, according to a survey by The American Lawyer. Among the 111 firms who provided data for 2010 and 2011, hiring was up 25 percent over the past year: firms hired an average of 33.3 summer associates in 2011, compared with 26.7 associates in 2010.

Though women make up 47 percent of all law school graduates, they only account for 31 percent of the nation's lawyers, according to this article in The Wall Street Journal. The article cites the need for top law firms to provide better schedule flexibility and to offer more part-time jobs to women who are trying to balance a career with family.

Kirkland & Ellis is making a big push in Hong Kong and the rest of Asia, hiring seven lawyers away from rival firms such as Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Latham & Watkins, and Allen & Overy. The firm plans to employ up to 50 lawyers in Asia.

Squire, Sanders & Dempsey is absorbing Australian firm Minter Ellison Perth and its 80 lawyers.

Sedgwick opened an office in Washington, D.C. earlier this month, the firm's 15th office. The firm hired 14 attorneys from Wallace Partners to work in the office.

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton opened a new office in Beijing earlier this month, the firm's second in China.

Mayer Brown is closing offices in Cologne and Berlin, Germany. Lawyers from those two offices will be relocated to a new office in Duesseldorf that will open at the beginning of next year, or an existing office in Frankfurt.

Ice Miller will acquire Schottenstein Zox & Dunn and its nearly 100 attorneys effective January 1, 2012.

Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge is merging with Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon to form a 650-lawyer, 14 office firm. The new company will be called Edwards Wildman Palmer and will begin operating October 1.

Lawyers at Ford & Harrison will serve as "of counsel" with Monty & Ramirez after the firms reached a partnership deal.

The office of the White House counsel has hired Zuckerman Spaeder partner Leslie Kiernan, who will serve as deputy counsel to the president, according to The American Lawyer.

DLA Piper has hired health care expert Frank Sheeder to chair the firm's Health Care Compliance and Enforcement Practice.

K&L Gates has rehired longtime health care partner Judy Hlafcsak. Hlafcsak has spent the last several years with Boca Raton Regional Hospital. She will work in the firm's Pittsburgh office.

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough has hired Meghan Pridemore to work in its Raleigh office.

Covington & Burling partner Michael Baxter has been appointed to the council of the American Bar Association's business law section.

Does your firm have a recent notable achievement, new hires, or an upcoming special event? E-mail us at lawfirminsider@usnews.com.

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