"Suicide Pricing" & the coming law firm crisis

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Perseus_I
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Re: "Suicide Pricing" & the coming law firm crisis

Postby Perseus_I » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:10 pm

glitched wrote:
sadsituationJD wrote:
I think that, if the biglaw model survived (survives?) the recent crash, it's safe to say it's not going anywhere anytime soon. If there was going to be a massive restructuring, it would have happened already. There have been some structural shifts, but not a total tear-down-and-rebuild. Market SA's are harder and more competitive, not nonexistent.



It won't survive the next crash, which is coming (and coming fast, BTW). The very fact that you aspire and "dream" of being a "drone" pusher of bales of makework cut n' paste legalese pigslop shows how utterly out of touch with the coming reality you are:

--LinkRemoved--


this guy has to be a troll. either that or he's just not an intellectual powerhouse.


It will probably take years for the big law model to unravel. A lot crashed in 2008, and some took a few years to crash. Most survived the acute stresses. In spite of the fact that we've been in "recovery" for three years, lot of firms are financially stressed right now, but we just haven't reached a tipping point yet. Maybe the next recession, or two recessions down, will provide that tipping point after the next period of growth lays the foundation for even more outsourcing and gives some of the more entrepreneurial losers the opportunity to find a cheaper way of doing the same thing (like the Axiom model). Big law just ain't what it used to be, and it's much easier to see it slowly getting worse, as opposed to better, since it's a business model that isn't completely rational. Business models based on tradition, rather than on the efficiency advice of management consultants, are usually forced to change or die. So far, law has proven to be pretty inflexible. I like to think of the way the legal profession does things today as comparable to the Samurai in Japan during the late 1800's. Law Review, I have found, is a classic example of the inefficient, anachronistic, senselessness based on tradition that stubbornly prevails in the legal profession. The emphasis on this--and other--meaningless proxies for "prestige"--grades, clerkships, etc.--seem more rooted in the traditions of the French nobility than they do in sound business practices.

In Singapore, most court transactions take place via email and software, so there is much less need for lawyers, and law pays about as well as journalism. That's the future of law everywhere.

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rayiner
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Re: "Suicide Pricing" & the coming law firm crisis

Postby rayiner » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:29 pm

Based on the economic analysis on this thread, shoes should cost $20 because modern technology has made it possible for high quality shoes to be manufactured for that price. Nike, Reebok, Ferragamo, etc, don't exist. There is no money to be made in clothing and accessories because it can all be made almost as good in China for a fraction of the price.

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Perseus_I
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Re: "Suicide Pricing" & the coming law firm crisis

Postby Perseus_I » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:39 pm

rayiner wrote:Based on the economic analysis on this thread, shoes should cost $20 because modern technology has made it possible for high quality shoes to be manufactured for that price. Nike, Reebok, Ferragamo, etc, don't exist.


Faulty analogy. Also, for that matter, luxury restaurants should not exist because the same food can be bought cheaper at the grocery store. Legal work is far less personal and more practical than either of those. However, a great analogy is the fact that low-end manufacturing for shoes has gradually migrated to China. Low end legal work can go elsewhere, too. Firms like Wachtell will survive on-site, just as certain luxury items are still manufactured in expensive Western countries. But the low-end work will go overseas or will be automated, and the definition of "low end"--and therefore outsourceable-- may be continually defined upwards

It's just a matter of time before a computer and someone overseas can do 90% of legal work. When I write briefs, I get the basic structure down through a lot of copying and pasting of authorities and interpretive notes A computer could create this basic framework, leaving a human in India to fix the prose and a partner (someday, a paralegal-type role) to double-check it and sign off on it. One person can do a bunch of those. 90% of associates are cut out. A very rudimentary version of this applicable in the law-school context is the Lexis Nexis plugin for Microsoft Office that automates much of the work traditionally done on Law Reviews (quote-checking and cite-checking).

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rayiner
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Re: "Suicide Pricing" & the coming law firm crisis

Postby rayiner » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:56 pm

Faulty analogy. Also, for that matter, luxury restaurants should not exist because the same food can be bought cheaper at the grocery store. Legal work is far less personal and more practical than either of those.


I'm not sure how it matters whether its "personal" or not. The shoe making example is not apropos because unlike shoes, there is no practical way the client to check the quality of legal work. People buy name brand firms because of the peace of mind they derive from the brand and because of the perception that the indicia of the branding matter. And that doesn't just support the Wachtell/LVHMs of the world. It supports the Macy and CKs too.

The fact of the matter is that AmLaw 200 revenues and profits are up. There are a few weak firms and a few that collapsed, but the biggies have record revenues and are extremely busy. I don't see the evidence there of a collapse of the model.

I also think you're being disingenuous about just how easy legal work is, as someone with a degree in aerospace who used the be a practicing engineer.

Pokemon
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Re: "Suicide Pricing" & the coming law firm crisis

Postby Pokemon » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:16 pm

I get the impression legal work is one of the most difficult things to outsource or automate. Certainly more difficult than quantitative work (numbers and models should lead to the same results whether in NYC or somewhere else.)
Certainly more difficult than the ordinary work of a physician (general physician, not surgeon or some sort of high end specialty.) Law on the other hand is a very human endeavor... you cannot just make an algorithm and find the result.

Also, do not forget that law firms are not paid for the tedious work that a first year associate does, but for the work that a partner does. It is obvious partners are not very replicable, firms collapse when they leave, they do not just go, oh ok let's make some associates into partners and we will be fine. Partners prefer associates at top schools because they like to scream, meaning they want something complex done quickly and well. I have difficulty imagining sweatshops in other countries being able to do that; they can do discovery, but they will not be able to spot an issue in an unrelated case that might have an effect on your current case.

sadsituationJD
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Re: "Suicide Pricing" & the coming law firm crisis

Postby sadsituationJD » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:21 pm

The fact of the matter is that AmLaw 200 revenues and profits are up. There are a few weak firms and a few that collapsed, but the biggies have record revenues and are extremely busy. I don't see the evidence there of a collapse of the model.



Hi Art Laffer!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYkFYdLTTw8

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: "Suicide Pricing" & the coming law firm crisis

Postby JusticeHarlan » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:25 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
sadsituationJD wrote: It's plainly obvious that the "average" biglaw firm is a business model that will likely vanish within the next 5 years. Fortune 500 companies use these firms ONLY because the major partners have the political clout & "juice" to grease thru shady deals that, for the most part, are not in the public interest. That's what corporate clients are interested in, not the squads of makework drone paper-pushers that are called "associates." The work of associates only had value (from a partner's perspective) when clients were foolish enough to pay a rate high enough for the partner to "mark up" that work and essentially "re-sell" it at a huge profit, not because the work itself had any value in its own right. You could replace these "associates" with the anchormen from Cooley and it would make absolutely no difference in terms of the "deal" going thru, since their only role is to push bales of needless makework.

I love the complete lack of understanding about the BigLaw business model present in the above post. It's entertaining.

Can you blame him? The closest he's come to BigLaw is the cafeteria at Paul Weiss before they banded the doc reviewers from mingling with the real lawyers.

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dingbat
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Re: "Suicide Pricing" & the coming law firm crisis

Postby dingbat » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:31 pm

rayiner wrote:Based on the economic analysis on this thread, shoes should cost $20 because modern technology has made it possible for high quality shoes to be manufactured for that price. Nike, Reebok, Ferragamo, etc, don't exist. There is no money to be made in clothing and accessories because it can all be made almost as good in China for a fraction of the price.

Certain people in this thread show a complete lack of business sense. If any if those people get biglaw, those people will not make partner because they don't understand what's required

Edit: I bet someone is going to reference the fact that I'm a 1L, but that doesn't affect the veracity of this statement, or my understanding about how the business of a law firm works

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rayiner
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Re: "Suicide Pricing" & the coming law firm crisis

Postby rayiner » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:41 pm

Also, as a programmer I find the concept of software replacing all but the most mechanical of lawyer tasks to be hilarious. AI has stagnated for decades. It's a running gag in programming circles (AI winter).

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homestyle28
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Re: "Suicide Pricing" & the coming law firm crisis

Postby homestyle28 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:01 pm

Is there any chance we can just turn this thread into a TLS-style discussion of sadsituation...he's like mtal but without the wit (or jne baiting):

sadsituationJD wrote:OP, I am a practicing small-firm lawyer in NJ, and STRONGLY advise you not to attend law school.


sadsituationJD wrote:small-firm lawyer in NJ


sadsituationJD wrote:in NJ


Who's with me?

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Bronte
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Re: "Suicide Pricing" & the coming law firm crisis

Postby Bronte » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:15 pm

rayiner wrote:I also think you're being disingenuous about just how easy legal work is, as someone with a degree in aerospace who used the be a practicing engineer.


Agreed. The idea that legal work at the top firms in the country is just drone work that a "monkey can do" or whatever has risen to the level of a meme on this site even among nontroll posters. As with any profession and really any work of any kind, lawyers do a variety of routinized and dull tasks, even at the highest level. But legal work is often very challenging--and, yes, even intellectually engaging.

You have to be suspicious of the fact that people who have failed at law school and legal practice seem to consistently think the law is so simple. Maybe the reason they think it's so simple is because they don't get it.

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dingbat
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Re: "Suicide Pricing" & the coming law firm crisis

Postby dingbat » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:34 pm

Bronte wrote:
rayiner wrote:I also think you're being disingenuous about just how easy legal work is, as someone with a degree in aerospace who used the be a practicing engineer.


Agreed. The idea that legal work at the top firms in the country is just drone work that a "monkey can do" or whatever has risen to the level of a meme on this site even among nontroll posters. As with any profession and really any work of any kind, lawyers do a variety of routinized and dull tasks, even at the highest level. But legal work is often very challenging--and, yes, even intellectually engaging.

You have to be suspicious of the fact that people who have failed at law school and legal practice seem to consistently think the law is so simple. Maybe the reason they think it's so simple is because they don't get it.

Coming from a financial firm where the founding partners are top lawyers (former partners in their respective firms, CEO is board member of 2 different firms), we didn't pay a small fortune in legal fees for drone work any monkey can do (yours truly did some of that drone work before I worked my way up). The big bucks got paid partly for expertise in certain areas (and seeing them work on complex stuff, I can see the difference between a partner and a mid-career associate) and partly for the reputation and backing of the firm (A: it won't blow up; B: if it does blow up, the law firm pays up)

When joe shmo needs a will, copy and paste drone work is fine; when shmo buys a house, inky dink small time NJ lawyer is perfectly fine. When you want an investor to pony up 9 or 10 figures on a complex deal involving a hundred shell companies in a dozen countries you need people who know what they're doing.

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reasonable_man
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Re: "Suicide Pricing" & the coming law firm crisis

Postby reasonable_man » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:44 pm

sadsituationJD wrote:Great clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Un9yg_u ... e=youtu.be

Bottom line is that is never has (and currently doesn't) make any sense for law to compensate people at even half what they currently receive. A JD is easier to acquire than just about ANY degree, and the work is mostly cut n' pasted makework slop.


Is that you Scott?

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/angry_law_grads_beef_blog_and_move_on_big_tuition_pales_next_to_15k_total_i/

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glitched
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Re: "Suicide Pricing" & the coming law firm crisis

Postby glitched » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:47 pm

homestyle28 wrote:Who's with me?


doode don't be a dick.

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rayiner
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Re: "Suicide Pricing" & the coming law firm crisis

Postby rayiner » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:02 pm

dingbat wrote:
Bronte wrote:
rayiner wrote:I also think you're being disingenuous about just how easy legal work is, as someone with a degree in aerospace who used the be a practicing engineer.


Agreed. The idea that legal work at the top firms in the country is just drone work that a "monkey can do" or whatever has risen to the level of a meme on this site even among nontroll posters. As with any profession and really any work of any kind, lawyers do a variety of routinized and dull tasks, even at the highest level. But legal work is often very challenging--and, yes, even intellectually engaging.

You have to be suspicious of the fact that people who have failed at law school and legal practice seem to consistently think the law is so simple. Maybe the reason they think it's so simple is because they don't get it.

Coming from a financial firm where the founding partners are top lawyers (former partners in their respective firms, CEO is board member of 2 different firms), we didn't pay a small fortune in legal fees for drone work any monkey can do (yours truly did some of that drone work before I worked my way up). The big bucks got paid partly for expertise in certain areas (and seeing them work on complex stuff, I can see the difference between a partner and a mid-career associate) and partly for the reputation and backing of the firm (A: it won't blow up; B: if it does blow up, the law firm pays up)

When joe shmo needs a will, copy and paste drone work is fine; when shmo buys a house, inky dink small time NJ lawyer is perfectly fine. When you want an investor to pony up 9 or 10 figures on a complex deal involving a hundred shell companies in a dozen countries you need people who know what they're doing.


I mean, it's a shtick at multiple levels, really. Small firms that represent business clients aren't that dramatically cheaper in the grand scheme of things. E.g. the average billing rate of an associate in Buffalo, NY is $200/hour.

Anonymous User
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Re: "Suicide Pricing" & the coming law firm crisis

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:08 pm

homestyle28 wrote:Is there any chance we can just turn this thread into a TLS-style discussion of sadsituation...he's like mtal but without the wit (or jne baiting):

sadsituationJD wrote:OP, I am a practicing small-firm lawyer in NJ, and STRONGLY advise you not to attend law school.


sadsituationJD wrote:small-firm lawyer in NJ


sadsituationJD wrote:in NJ


Who's with me?


I kind of get the impression that sadsituationjd=areyouinsane=lawisforlosers/skadden farts, etc. It is the same shit over and over again. The syntax is also very, very similar between all of them. If they are different people, it seems like they all always come from New Jersey.

Edit: whoops. Not supposed to be anonymous (supercerealbrah)
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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SuperCerealBrah
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Re: "Suicide Pricing" & the coming law firm crisis

Postby SuperCerealBrah » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:08 pm

reasonable_man wrote:
sadsituationJD wrote:Great clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Un9yg_u ... e=youtu.be

Bottom line is that is never has (and currently doesn't) make any sense for law to compensate people at even half what they currently receive. A JD is easier to acquire than just about ANY degree, and the work is mostly cut n' pasted makework slop.


Is that you Scott?

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/angry_law_grads_beef_blog_and_move_on_big_tuition_pales_next_to_15k_total_i/


Ha ha oh yea, and definitely this.

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Bronte
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Re: "Suicide Pricing" & the coming law firm crisis

Postby Bronte » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I kind of get the impression that sadsituationjd=areyouinsane=lawisforlosers/skadden farts, etc. It is the same shit over and over again. The syntax is also very, very similar between all of them. If they are different people, it seems like they all always come from New Jersey.


Blasphemy. Please do not compare this joker to areyouinsane.

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Re: "Suicide Pricing" & the coming law firm crisis

Postby BarrySanders » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:44 pm

JusticeHarlan wrote:Can you blame him? The closest he's come to BigLaw is the cafeteria at Paul Weiss before they banded the doc reviewers from mingling with the real lawyers.


I just read the thread referenced here and it was, by far, the best thing I've seen in several years of lurking on this site.

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mrman17
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Re: "Suicide Pricing" & the coming law firm crisis

Postby mrman17 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:49 pm

This entire conversation is laughable. Nobody in here seems to have any clue about law school, the practice of law, or the legal industry.

For the record, Supreme Court Justices make up one of the three branches of our government. To say that they have less clout than small town doctors educated at foreign medical schools is the most absurd statement in a sea of stupid comments.

There is no comparison between law school and undergrad school. Law school will kick your ass. It's like comparing college to elementary school. Many educators consider law school to be the most difficult graduate degree program (period). Having gone through law school and passing the bar, I feel like picking up extra BS degrees just for fun in my spare time. Undergrad degrees are easy, you just don't realize it till you've gone through the hell of law school. There is a very good reason why a law degree is a doctorate degree.

Don't be fooled by the 0L rhetoric that you read in these forums!
Last edited by mrman17 on Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Bronte
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Re: "Suicide Pricing" & the coming law firm crisis

Postby Bronte » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:50 pm

BarrySanders wrote:
JusticeHarlan wrote:Can you blame him? The closest he's come to BigLaw is the cafeteria at Paul Weiss before they banded the doc reviewers from mingling with the real lawyers.


I just read the thread referenced here and it was, by far, the best thing I've seen in several years of lurking on this site.


You should read areyouinsane's entire post history. It's one of TLS's great treasures.

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Bronte
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Re: "Suicide Pricing" & the coming law firm crisis

Postby Bronte » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:57 pm

mrman17 wrote:This entire conversation is laughable. Nobody in here seems to have any clue about law school, the practice of law, or the legal industry.


What? Half the posters is this thread are arguing against OP. Not to mention, OP is clearly a troll, meaning he does not even believe what he's saying. He's just trying to get a rise of out of you. Despite the fact that veteran posters know he's just bating people, there have still been some well-reasoned responses.

As the to the 0L comment, I know I'm a 3L, and I am pretty damn certain a number of other specific posters ITT are 3Ls and graduates. Hell, to his credit, I wouldn't doubt sadsituationJD is a graduate.

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SuperCerealBrah
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Re: "Suicide Pricing" & the coming law firm crisis

Postby SuperCerealBrah » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:01 am

mrman17 wrote:This entire conversation is laughable. Nobody in here seems to have any clue about law school, the practice of law, or the legal industry.

For the record, Supreme Court Justices make up one of the three branches of our government. To say that they have less clout than small town doctors educated at foreign medical schools is the most absurd statement in a sea of stupid comments.

There is no comparison between law school and undergrad school. Law school will kick your ass. It's like comparing college to elementary school. Many educators consider law school to be the most difficult graduate degree program (period). Having gone through law school and passing the bar, I feel like picking up extra BS degrees just for fun in my spare time. Undergrad degrees are are easy, you just don't realize it till you've gone through the hell of law school. There is a very good reason why a law degree is a doctorate degree.

Don't be fooled by the 0L rhetoric that you read in these forums!


I am pretty sure that most people ITT are not 0Ls. You seem to be equating one person (i.e. sadsituationjd) with everyone. But I am curious, what was your undergrad degree? Because I have done a lot of law school and also did a BS in biochem. I can assure you that doing biochem was not "easy" even compared to law school.

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: "Suicide Pricing" & the coming law firm crisis

Postby JusticeHarlan » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:I kind of get the impression that sadsituationjd=areyouinsane=lawisforlosers/skadden farts, etc. It is the same shit over and over again. The syntax is also very, very similar between all of them. If they are different people, it seems like they all always come from New Jersey.

Edit: whoops. Not supposed to be anonymous (supercerealbrah)

Also bearmarketblues, sad truth, lawbanshee, and buttonpusher.

keg411
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Re: "Suicide Pricing" & the coming law firm crisis

Postby keg411 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:17 am

JusticeHarlan wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I kind of get the impression that sadsituationjd=areyouinsane=lawisforlosers/skadden farts, etc. It is the same shit over and over again. The syntax is also very, very similar between all of them. If they are different people, it seems like they all always come from New Jersey.

Edit: whoops. Not supposed to be anonymous (supercerealbrah)

Also bearmarketblues, sad truth, lawbanshee, and buttonpusher.


Y'all didn't realize that from his first post?




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