In the Media
Below, we’ve assembled some of our more-interesting, recent mentions in the mainstream media.
The downturn is sorting the best professional-services firms from the rest
Jan 21st 2010 | NEW YORK | From The Economist print edition
Cutting lawyers’ jobs used to be frowned upon in the profession and thus rarely happened, even in recessions. But last year was the “worst year ever for law-firm lay-offs”, reckons Law Shucks, a legal-industry blog. It counted 218 reports of lay-offs at 138 big firms, including no less than ten rounds of cuts at Clifford Chance, a British firm whose ambitious global expansion before the crisis now seems a big mistake. Thacher, Proffitt & Wood, a New York firm which by 2007 earned around half its revenues from structured finance, was devastated by the bursting of the subprime mortgage bubble and ended up being dissolved in December 2008. It was followed in March 2009 by the venerable but property-exposed Philadelphia firm of Wolf, Block, Schorr and Solis-Cohen.
The New York Times – Fashion & Style Section (Page ST1) Published: January 15, 2010
Lawyers who entered the field as recently as a few years ago could reasonably expect a life of comfort, security and social esteem. Many are now faced with a different landscape. Firms shed more than 4,600 lawyers last year, according to a blog that tracks the legal industry, Law Shucks. Bonuses for those who survive are shriveling, and an increasing number of firms now compensate associates based on grades for performance — shades of law school — rather than automatically advancing them on the salary scale.
by Katharine Brooks, Ed.D.
A Law Degree and Nowhere to Go
Lawyers face unique challenges in the job market
Published on January 24, 2010
That was 2008. And then the recession really hit. Law firms have gone bankrupt . Thousands of lawyers have been laid off. New law school graduates are finding the offers less attractive and less plentiful. A legal blog, Above The Law , tracks the legal employment situation, noting weekly layoffs. Another blog, Law Shucks , runs both a “bonus tracker” and a “layoff tracker” simultaneously pointing out the appeal and the risk of the field. Both blogs point to the challenging job market for new graduates and for mid-career lawyers laid off from what were once guaranteed-for-life jobs.
New York Times editorial by Adam Cohen
Published April 1, 2009 (Print version April 2, page A26)
The economic downturn is hitting the legal world hard. American Lawyer is calling it “the fire this time” and warning that big firms may be hurtling toward “a paradigm-shifting, blood-in-the-suites” future. The Law Shucks blog has a “layoff tracker,” and it is grim reading. Top firms are rapidly thinning their ranks, and several — including Heller Ehrman, a venerable 500-plus-lawyer firm founded in 1890 — have closed.
The Chronicle of Higher Education – Law Schools Resist Proposal to Assess Them Based on What Students Learn (Jan. 10, 2010)
AP – Recession causing lawyer layoffs at big firms (Apr. 13, 2009)
The Economist – A service nation (Apr. 8, 2009)