over saturation theory

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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:47 pm

over saturation theory

Postby jared6180 » Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:46 am

I dont have all the technical data to back me up as this is just a theory that came to mind during a discussion with my wife.

On one hand I have read post after post and an article here and there in regards to the over saturation of the legal field with attorneys, especially newer attorneys.

On the other hand I have read numerous articles stating that the Baby Boomers exiting the workforce will create a TOTAL of around 75-80million openings between 2010-2024. Many companies are concerned about the relative lack of individuals to fill these positions, especially those in leadership positions. It is said that most of those retiring from leadership will be replaced by younger boomers as a stop gap measure and there is nobody to fill in after that younger boomer retires.

Assuming that these facts are mostly correct, isn't over saturation something that will be extremely temporary? Within 6-8 years isn't it reasonable to assume that there will be a number of boomers in law firms making their exit? with that assumption I think it is safe to say the majority will be partners or senior partners.

From this it seems only logical to think that this is the absolute best time to go into law. By the time you have worked through the 6-8 years it takes to be a partner a greater % of associates will be making partner as partners are retiring.

Any other thoughts? Yes there are a lot of assumptions being made but none seem unreasonable. Perhaps the most unreasonable assumption is that everything effecting legal employment at these firms will remain static.

Master Tofu
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Re: over saturation theory

Postby Master Tofu » Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:04 am

How many lawyers do you think there are in the United States? And how many of them work in large law firms? What percentage of the lawyers at large law firms are boomers?

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Re: over saturation theory

Postby adonai » Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:05 am

30k lawyers would have to retire each year for the saturation levels to break even. I really can't imagine that ever happening..

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Re: over saturation theory

Postby gators88 » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:24 am

One problem is that the growth in the number of law school graduates is a fairly recent phenomenon. The number of law school graduates each year has doubled from what it was in the early 90s, so I think a lot of the legal workforce is post boomer.

Also, while plenty of biglaw partners cut out around 50 and take early retirement, it also seems like a ton work well into their 70s. If you manage to get to the point where associates and junior partners do the bitch work while you can pick and choose interesting cases and schmooze with clients, why retire? So I don't know if there will really be any sort of leadership vacuum either.

Just my 2cents, wish/hope you are right.

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Re: over saturation theory

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:26 am

However, we got some graduates, the Nando's and JDpainterguy's of the world, who don't look for jobs in the legal field.

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