Is this the end of BigLaw?

July 23, 2013 This article By Noam Scheiber in New Republic, entitled ‘The Last Days of BigLaw’ is making waves through the blogosphere and beyond. The article points out that the golden age of the law firm partner saw the anointed receiving a generous salary, the esteem of their neighbours, the chance to pick legal work that suited their intellectual interests and, above all, stability.

The stability is a thing of the past. In the past decade, twelve major firms with more than 1,000 partners between them have collapsed entirely. Professional survival depends on the size of a partner’s book of business, driving them to hustle for business and engage in intensely competitive behaviour to gain advantage - even against their own colleagues.

Recent law school graduates are finding it ever more difficult to secure jobs, and those with jobs live under the threat of redundancy.

The article attributes the changes in the profession to the greed of the most profitable partners, and to the cost-cutting measures undertaken by companies following the 2007 recession. But the biggest problem, according to Scheiber, is that there are simply many, many more high-priced lawyers today than there is high-priced legal work.

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