Genuinely curious

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Genuinely curious

Postby lawquestions1 » Thu May 31, 2012 10:47 pm

We all know about the job market for newly minted lawyers and Dewey just confirmed what we have known for awhile.
But what do you guys think about the employment prospects for new lawyers in 4,5 years?
It is difficult to project that far, but I am curious to hear people's opinions. There are some small, SMALL signs of recovery but I want to hear from the people in the trenches, assuming things take their natural course and not another sub-prime mortgage crisis goes down.
I am asking this because I am supposed to enter the market right around then and I don't want to go in blindly.

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Re: Genuinely curious

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:10 am

the following only focuses on biglaw because thats all I know:

2004-2007 was an aberration. biglaw will never go back to that level of boomtimes in the foreseeable future, possibly forever (legal services is at a historic peak as a percent of GDP - this will probably fall, and low cost providers will also start taking a larger and larger slice of the pie). the era of median fordam/GW/WUSTL students getting biglaw offers, t6 bros getting 15+ offers, PPP and revenue increase of 10%+ per year, rapidly exploding salary scales, 35k bonuses for first years - all of that is over forever.

my guess is that 4-5 years out, biglaw will look a lot like it does right now. 3-5% annual PPP and revenue increases, periodic biglaw implosions, biglaw for median t6 students, for top 30% t14 students, and an absolutely horrific job market for everyone else.

at some point, I also predict the law school bubble will pop. its already showing signs of that (see hastings cutting 20% of its class). but law schools will close down, take fewer students, and tuition will stop growing. the cat is out of the bag, and now everyone knows what a horrible decision law school is for the vast majority of law students.

for those who get biglaw, I predict life will be pretty good. biglaw firms, even when not growing rapidly, still produce huge profits and are a high margin business. the need for elite legal services providers is not going away, despite pressures from new low cost entrants. like I said, we won't see a return to boomtimes again, but I don't think biglaw is going extinct.

the economy should be better in 3-4 years (it takes 7 years to work out the after effects of a financial crisis - we're currently in year 5) so I think the overall picture may be improved, but only slightly. also of course, there will be major regional/firm type variations. if the economy roars back, wallstreet firms will do better. if the web 2.0 bubble is not a bubble, SV/SF firms will do better.

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Re: Genuinely curious

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:24 am

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