Biglaw's small future

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Docreviewsux
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Re: Biglaw's small future

Postby Docreviewsux » Fri May 03, 2013 3:19 pm

romothesavior wrote:Honestly, where he went might not tell you much, and I'm not sure why it matters all that much. I feel like you're all just waiting for him to say "NYLS" or something so you can all smirk and say, "Ha! Well what did you expect?" and then silently reassure yourself that this won't happen to you. But if you get out there in a bad economy, even from a good school, you could find yourself doing doc review. This guy may have graduated from Fordham or NYU or Cornell, gotten laid off a year in for no real reason by some scumbag law firm, and had no other choice but to pick up a job in doc review. areyouinsane? talked about how there were doc reviewers from all kinds of schools, even elite schools.


Cooley, duh.

Fordham is not a good law school to graduate from if one wants to work in the New York City area.

rad lulz
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Re: Biglaw's small future

Postby rad lulz » Fri May 03, 2013 3:27 pm

romothesavior wrote:Honestly, where he went might not tell you much, and I'm not sure why it matters all that much. I feel like you're all just waiting for him to say "NYLS" or something so you can all smirk and say, "Ha! Well what did you expect?" and then silently reassure yourself that this won't happen to you.

This

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Biglaw's small future

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri May 03, 2013 3:46 pm

rad lulz wrote:
romothesavior wrote:Honestly, where he went might not tell you much, and I'm not sure why it matters all that much. I feel like you're all just waiting for him to say "NYLS" or something so you can all smirk and say, "Ha! Well what did you expect?" and then silently reassure yourself that this won't happen to you.

This

rad lulz
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Re: Biglaw's small future

Postby rad lulz » Fri May 03, 2013 3:50 pm

Also that article was good

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pjo
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Re: Biglaw's small future

Postby pjo » Fri May 03, 2013 4:36 pm

I'm not sure how you could read that article and think what happened at Howrey or Dewey is indicative of the entire Biglaw market. They both had different reasons for failing, and not all big firms follow that same model (especially not after both firms' failures). Howrey was really unique in that the firm gave Ruyak a ton of authority to make executive decisions, and, although I'm sure he was a great lawyer and rainmaker, he was absolutely horrible at making decisions as a CEO/Managing Partner. He drove the firm to expand into geographic areas for the sole purpose so that the firm could put on their letterhead that they had an office in the location. Ruyak's ego and eagerness for Howrey to be considered a premier firm drove his decisions; not any business metrics. Most firms split their CEO/Global Managing Partner from their legal side. It's just a bad idea to let your best rainmaker also be your CEO/MP. Let the rainmakers generate and maintain clients; hire a competent CEO/business person to run the firm and make growth decisions. Most firms do this (at least now).

Dewey was totally different. Dewey's collapse was a result of guaranteed payments to lateral partners. Firm profits dropped, but the firm still owed huge amounts to lateral partners. Therefore their liabilities exceeded their profits. When partners realized the firm was in trouble they just jumped ship, which created a death spiral. But seriously, Dewey shouldn't have expected any loyalty because the only reason most of their rainmakers came on board was because they were able to poach them from other firms by offering big dollar guaranteed money. Although the lateral market is still really hot right now, firms are also aware of this and it's my understanding that few if any firms are still guaranteeing payments to laterals (other than a one time signing bonus).

The only thing this article really nails on the head is the fact that law school tuition keeps rising but your chances of getting a high paying big law position is decreasing. This really isn't anything new. This also doesn't really have any bearing on big law firms, and if anything, the fact that most firms are taking smaller summer classes means that they are leaner and financially stronger. They're finding ways to get the same amount of work done with fewer associates. The article also fails to realize that although this new trend of smaller big law classes is bad for the majority of graduates, it's actually really beneficial for those who do land big law jobs. Although still not great, your chances of making partner (or sticking around for longer) are much better in a class of say 20 new associates as compared to a class of 50. Your exit options will also be better because there are fewer people in the market with big law on their resume.

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Gunnar Stahl
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Re: Biglaw's small future

Postby Gunnar Stahl » Fri May 03, 2013 6:15 pm

romothesavior wrote:Honestly, where he went might not tell you much, and I'm not sure why it matters all that much. I feel like you're all just waiting for him to say "NYLS" or something so you can all smirk and say, "Ha! Well what did you expect?" and then silently reassure yourself that this won't happen to you. But if you get out there in a bad economy, even from a good school, you could find yourself doing doc review. This guy may have graduated from Fordham or NYU or Cornell, gotten laid off a year in for no real reason by some scumbag law firm, and had no other choice but to pick up a job in doc review. areyouinsane? talked about how there were doc reviewers from all kinds of schools, even elite schools.

No, I am genuinely curious.

froglee
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Re: Biglaw's small future

Postby froglee » Fri May 03, 2013 9:38 pm

romothesavior wrote:
froglee wrote:But again...bunch of people on TLS are going to say "this is old news"."going to law school is always I wanted to do.." wahh....wahhhhhhhh

And people like you will say things like "Go to Cardozo, law firm partners always hire from there" and "Go to Miami, you can see people at the beach from your biglaw office."


Well...why say things kids don't want to listen and offend them. Thanks for following my posts!! :)

froglee
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Re: Biglaw's small future

Postby froglee » Fri May 03, 2013 9:43 pm

NYstate wrote:
froglee wrote:But again...bunch of people on TLS are going to say "this is old news"."going to law school is always I wanted to do.." wahh....wahhhhhhhh


I don't think it is old news yet. Most people are calculating their shot at a big law job based on current patterns. Another major shift in hiring, following the shift from large class sizes to current class sizes, could happen. The few reports I've read about this trend predict more firms will be changing to hiring lower paid permanent associates, but firms seem to not be changing very fast

pjo wrote:The only thing this article really nails on the head is the fact that law school tuition keeps rising but your chances of getting a high paying big law position is decreasing. This really isn't anything new. This also doesn't really have any bearing on big law firms, and if anything, the fact that most firms are taking smaller summer classes means that they are leaner and financially stronger. They're finding ways to get the same amount of work done with fewer associates.

rad lulz
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Re: Biglaw's small future

Postby rad lulz » Fri May 03, 2013 9:47 pm

pjo wrote:I'm not sure how you could read that article and think what happened at Howrey or Dewey is indicative of the entire Biglaw market. They both had different reasons for failing, and not all big firms follow that same model (especially not after both firms' failures). Howrey was really unique in that the firm gave Ruyak a ton of authority to make executive decisions, and, although I'm sure he was a great lawyer and rainmaker, he was absolutely horrible at making decisions as a CEO/Managing Partner. He drove the firm to expand into geographic areas for the sole purpose so that the firm could put on their letterhead that they had an office in the location. Ruyak's ego and eagerness for Howrey to be considered a premier firm drove his decisions; not any business metrics. Most firms split their CEO/Global Managing Partner from their legal side. It's just a bad idea to let your best rainmaker also be your CEO/MP. Let the rainmakers generate and maintain clients; hire a competent CEO/business person to run the firm and make growth decisions. Most firms do this (at least now).

Dewey was totally different. Dewey's collapse was a result of guaranteed payments to lateral partners. Firm profits dropped, but the firm still owed huge amounts to lateral partners. Therefore their liabilities exceeded their profits. When partners realized the firm was in trouble they just jumped ship, which created a death spiral. But seriously, Dewey shouldn't have expected any loyalty because the only reason most of their rainmakers came on board was because they were able to poach them from other firms by offering big dollar guaranteed money. Although the lateral market is still really hot right now, firms are also aware of this and it's my understanding that few if any firms are still guaranteeing payments to laterals (other than a one time signing bonus).

The only thing this article really nails on the head is the fact that law school tuition keeps rising but your chances of getting a high paying big law position is decreasing. This really isn't anything new. This also doesn't really have any bearing on big law firms, and if anything, the fact that most firms are taking smaller summer classes means that they are leaner and financially stronger. They're finding ways to get the same amount of work done with fewer associates. The article also fails to realize that although this new trend of smaller big law classes is bad for the majority of graduates, it's actually really beneficial for those who do land big law jobs. Although still not great, your chances of making partner (or sticking around for longer) are much better in a class of say 20 new associates as compared to a class of 50. Your exit options will also be better because there are fewer people in the market with big law on their resume.


tl;dr

Dewey and Howrey had different reasons for collapsing

Howrey was a casualty of bad management and overexpansion

Dewey was a casualty of bad management and overexpansion

09042014
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Re: Biglaw's small future

Postby 09042014 » Fri May 03, 2013 9:55 pm

The article isn't about OMG BIG LAW IS FAILING. It's about how mega firms aren't more competitive than reasonably sized and managed law firms. And the reasons they state are pretty convincing. 1) There is no economy of scale for law. 2) Brand value is more important at a partner level than a firm level.

That doesn't mean we'll all be working in shit law in 3 years. It means the fast growth, merger strategy is a poor one. Think more smaller biglaw than biglaw eventually becoming like accounting's Big4.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Biglaw's small future

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sat May 04, 2013 4:01 am

pjo wrote:Although still not great, your chances of making partner (or sticking around for longer) are much better in a class of say 20 new associates as compared to a class of 50. Your exit options will also be better because there are fewer people in the market with big law on their resume.


Your chances of making partner are still shit. They are making fewer and fewer partners to compensate for the smaller associate class sizes.

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Blessedassurance
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Re: Biglaw's small future

Postby Blessedassurance » Sat May 04, 2013 7:03 am

you need lawyers to start jumping out of windows to convince ol's law school is a bad idea. with all the currently available data, they still pop up to ask "Brooklyn 10k scholarship v. cardozo sticker; need to decide now, halp"...then another ol, in a classic case of the blind leading the blind, prefaces whatever shitty advice he's about to give with "if you really want to be a lawyer..."

arizonairish
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Re: Biglaw's small future

Postby arizonairish » Sat May 04, 2013 7:22 am

Legitimate question,

Where aren't there economies of scale for law firms? I remember reading this story about Seyfarth Shaw implementing lean six sigma strategies, did they not end up working?

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/05/07/ ... ss-of-law/

NYstate
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Re: Biglaw's small future

Postby NYstate » Sat May 04, 2013 7:58 am

pjo wrote:I'm not sure how you could read that article and think what happened at Howrey or Dewey is indicative of the entire Biglaw market. They both had different reasons for failing, and not all big firms follow that same model (especially not after both firms' failures). Howrey was really unique in that the firm gave Ruyak a ton of authority to make executive decisions, and, although I'm sure he was a great lawyer and rainmaker, he was absolutely horrible at making decisions as a CEO/Managing Partner. He drove the firm to expand into geographic areas for the sole purpose so that the firm could put on their letterhead that they had an office in the location. Ruyak's ego and eagerness for Howrey to be considered a premier firm drove his decisions; not any business metrics. Most firms split their CEO/Global Managing Partner from their legal side. It's just a bad idea to let your best rainmaker also be your CEO/MP. Let the rainmakers generate and maintain clients; hire a competent CEO/business person to run the firm and make growth decisions. Most firms do this (at least now).

Dewey was totally different. Dewey's collapse was a result of guaranteed payments to lateral partners. Firm profits dropped, but the firm still owed huge amounts to lateral partners. Therefore their liabilities exceeded their profits. When partners realized the firm was in trouble they just jumped ship, which created a death spiral. But seriously, Dewey shouldn't have expected any loyalty because the only reason most of their rainmakers came on board was because they were able to poach them from other firms by offering big dollar guaranteed money. Although the lateral market is still really hot right now, firms are also aware of this and it's my understanding that few if any firms are still guaranteeing payments to laterals (other than a one time signing bonus).

The only thing this article really nails on the head is the fact that law school tuition keeps rising but your chances of getting a high paying big law position is decreasing. This really isn't anything new. This also doesn't really have any bearing on big law firms, and if anything, the fact that most firms are taking smaller summer classes means that they are leaner and financially stronger. They're finding ways to get the same amount of work done with fewer associates. The article also fails to realize that although this new trend of smaller big law classes is bad for the majority of graduates, it's actually really beneficial for those who do land big law jobs. Although still not great, your chances of making partner (or sticking around for longer) are much better in a class of say 20 new associates as compared to a class of 50. Your exit options will also be better because there are fewer people in the market with big law on their resume.



I have not heard anyone on this site say they think their chances of getting big law is getting smaller. Everyone calculates based on the last classes data. Yesterday someone posted a link to an NALP report that pretty much said hiring was flat at best- as evidence that big law was improving.

The rest of the last paragraph just makes things up. Ex: they aren't simply finding ways to get more work out of associates, there is still less work. Ex: made up idea about how making partner will be easier.

froglee
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Re: Biglaw's small future

Postby froglee » Sat May 04, 2013 8:26 am

pjo wrote:
Although still not great, your chances of making partner (or sticking around for longer) are much better in a class of say 20 new associates as compared to a class of 50.


So are you assuming biglaws will hire less associates, but around the same numbers of partners? Maybe for very few elite biglaws like Cravath. But for most firms, partners are just expendable like associates if they cannnot bring business. Don't even think about "sticking around" in a biglaw like in 1950's or 1960's



pjo wrote: Your exit options will also be better because there are fewer people in the market with big law on their resume.


This is just wishful thinking. Bunch resumes of ex-big law associates are floating in and out of the legal industry and it is going to get worst when more biglaw are forced out of business. The over-supply of ex-biglaw associates will be around for a while.

09042014
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Re: Biglaw's small future

Postby 09042014 » Sat May 04, 2013 4:56 pm

arizonairish wrote:Legitimate question,

Where aren't there economies of scale for law firms? I remember reading this story about Seyfarth Shaw implementing lean six sigma strategies, did they not end up working?

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/05/07/ ... ss-of-law/


Their product is manhours of legal work. There probably is some economy of scale because you can shift around associates who aren't busy into areas that are busy. But you don't need to have 2000 attorneys to do that.




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