Any theories?

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Any theories?

Postby shaville » Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:06 am

After reading the article below, do you have a theory why courts are busier than ever but law firms are laying off? (Article basically says that the recession has led to a dramatic increase in the number of cases brought before any new york court) ... ad.html?hp

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Re: Any theories?

Postby bahama » Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:27 am

The types of cases that are booming (relativesly small torts, minor contract disputes, domestic issues, foreclosures, petty crime, etc.) are not the types of cases that the big firms deal with.

A lot of legal work (especially at big firms) doesn't even involve litigation, rather it involves large corporate transactions, securities issuances, and other areas that have been way down.

Interesting article.

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Re: Any theories?

Postby nealric » Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:54 pm

Several reasons:

1. As above, a lot of those cases are only generating revenue for small-law.
2. Many large law firms get much less than half of their revenue from litigation. Even a huge uptick in litigation won't necessarily cover the drop off in transactional work.
3. There is a lag time between an economic drop off and an uptick in litigation. Many firms just started feeling the uptick in litigation in the last-half of this year- not enough to fully make up for a dismal first half in computing annual revenue.
4. Hiring is backlogged due to the Biglaw recruiting time frame- so things are worse than they otherwise would be for job applicants. Due to multiple deferrals, the backlog won't be clear until 2012 (many in the class of 2010 won't be starting until September 2011) even if we see an economic boom in 2010.

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