Jul 21, 2021 • 9M

🗞️ China’s unique antitrust motives

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Episode details

This week: There’s a major difference between China and the United States’ antitrust actions and a federal judge declares DACA unconstitutional. Plus: expect plenty of lawyers to leave Big Law for more flexibility this fall.

🇨🇳 Why Chinese antitrust is all about exerting government power 

Just like the US, the Chinese government has been taking antitrust actions against large tech companies. But China has a much different goal, according to the NYT: maintaining more power, a monopoly if you will, of the government.

  • One antitrust expert in Hong Kong likens it to “shock therapy”: He told the New York Times China has reeled in major companies, like ride-sharing app Didi, to bring them back closer to the government. The end result could be China having de facto state control of tech and all the various data the tech companies collect. 

  • China has been very blunt about this goal: The Communist Party said last year it wanted private companies to “firmly listen to the party and follow the party,” which tech insiders interpreted as a call for them to show their worth and loyalty to the government. 

And when Didi didn’t listen to the government, it got shut down

The ridesharing app, which followed through with a U.S. IPO listing, has been removed from app stores over security concerns.

The Takeaway

While some of China’s actions could lead to a more level playing field and potentially lighter working hours for staff of major companies, its antitrust strategy is still centered on consolidating power for itself.

🤔 What to know about DACA and a new federal ruling

A Texas federal judge ruled DACA is unconstitutional. So what does that mean for the “dreamers,” the 600,000 undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children and are protected by the law? Here’s a quick rundown.

  • The ruling stemmed from an obscure but wide-ranging law: Judge Andrew Hanen wrote that DACA violated the Administrative Procedure Act, known as the Magna Carta of administrative law. The Act requires a “notice-and-comment” session for major federal decisions. Ironically, legal scholars believed the Administrative Procedure Act may have been a barrier for Trump to repeal DACA. 

  • Action will not be taken against current dreamers: And the judge’s ruling will have no effect on dreamers who have begun the renewal process of their status (dreamers must renew every two years). But the ruling bars the federal government from granting dreamer status to new applicants.

The next steps

A permanent solution for ensuring DACA stays intact will likely need to come from Congress. Immigration reform has failed in the past, but policies for making dreamers citizens have been mentioned as priorities for Democrats.

The Verdict  

Before any congressional action, the Biden Administration is expected to appeal the federal ruling. 

🧞‍♀️ Why 2021 is a good year for lawyers to jump away from firm life

A great attorney exodus could be heading for the nation’s largest law firms if they’re too strict about telling people to go back to the office.

  • As Lawtrades has known for years, remote working is popular: And Big Law firms found out the same thing over the last year when Covid forced people away from the office. But many of those firms have a hardline policy about returning to office life. 

  • This is a mistake, according to recruiters interviewed by Law.com: Midwest recruiter Dan Scott said associate departures will rise in the fall if firms aren’t realistic about work from home. Companies and firms with flexible options will win. “Big firms that let their associates continue to work remote,” Scott told Law.com, “will be the beneficiaries of the lateral associates that are currently in firms asking them to come back to work.” 

Some firms have already adjusted their work plans to keep employees happy

In late May, Paul Hastings announced that staff and attorneys would soon have to be back in the office five days a week. Within a few days, they backtracked -- but not before recruiters started hearing from Paul Hastings attorneys looking for new jobs.

The Verdict

At least in 2021, flexible firms and companies will win out.  

💌 What else we’re forwarding

How to know the right questions to ask as a GC: Jeffrey Blockinger of Crosstower Inc. recommends connecting with other executives and the legal team on everything from “mentoring to gut checks.” 

Why the movie “Adaptation” is actually a good guide for lawyers: The lesson of “Adaptation” is that no matter the difficulty of pulling a narrative together, there always needs to be a moment of emotional resonance. The same is true for any case. 

🎧 Music we’re working to

Today we’re listening to Ramsey Lewis, an American jazz pianist and composer from Chicago. Mother Nature’s Son features the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and consists of 10 instrumental versions of songs from The Beatles’ White Album. With funky drums and electronic vibes, you’ll never hear The Beatles’ the same again!

Mother Nature’s Son - Ramsey Lewis (40m)
Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Amazon Music 

See ya next week,

✌🏽 Raad