2013 & 2014 are "years of anxiety" for Biglaw

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rad lulz
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Re: 2013 & 2014 are "years of anxiety" for Biglaw

Postby rad lulz » Fri May 24, 2013 12:05 am

,
Last edited by rad lulz on Thu Sep 22, 2016 1:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

Jimbo_Jones
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Re: 2013 & 2014 are "years of anxiety" for Biglaw

Postby Jimbo_Jones » Fri May 24, 2013 12:13 am

sirpartner82 wrote: And technology keeps getting better and better:

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



I think people should really take note of this because automation like this affects all knowledge-based jobs. While I've stated my concern over off-shoring/outsourcing, it is really just an indeterminate step on the way to automation. The really scary thing is that, unlike manufacturing jobs, knowledge/information jobs are even easier to automate because there is no need for moving parts, physical structures, and vision or proximity sensing systems. It can simply be done by some specialized software on a low-cost off the shelf computer. Predictive software, risk management and decision-making algorithms, automated layout/drafting software, design automation tools, web-crawling software that generates news articles, and software with the ability to learn and adapt have caused significant structural changes in all knowledge-based employment. The ability to remain as an individual contributor in any knowledge-based career is shrinking, even if you are adding value.

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supernma
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Re: 2013 & 2014 are "years of anxiety" for Biglaw

Postby supernma » Fri May 24, 2013 12:15 am

sirpartner82 wrote:Watch the clip:

--LinkRemoved--

Betcha later this year sees another round of layoffs, deferments and rescinded offers. Biglaw layoffs already picking up the last few weeks:

http://abovethelaw.com/layoffs/

Also gotta LOL at a firm calling itself "Dickstein." Sounds like a frat house nickname, probably has a lot to do with their lack of business. Imagine some CEO flipping thru firms and saying "gee, let's call Dickstein" LOL.


Except Dickstein has been doing horribly for years. None of this is very recent for them.

sfhaze
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Re: 2013 & 2014 are "years of anxiety" for Biglaw

Postby sfhaze » Fri May 24, 2013 12:54 am

Jimbo_Jones wrote:The really scary thing is that, unlike manufacturing jobs, knowledge/information jobs are even easier to automate because there is no need for moving parts, physical structures, and vision or proximity sensing systems.

Depends on the type of manufacturing job. In general though, many manufacturing jobs are and will be in the foreseeable future far easier to automate than true knowledge/info jobs. The latter in theory should require a type of creative thinking that computers/machines are still far from replicating reliably and dynamically -- experiments like Deep Blue notwithstanding -- whereas robots are already dominating routine manufacturing processes.

Sure, the doc review or "coding" type of billed inefficiencies built into law practice as we've known it are disappearing thanks to automation but that's not necessarily a bad thing. (See areyouinsane's entertaining/depressing screeds on "coding"). But these weren't really true knowledge/info jobs to begin with, certainly not justifying significant schooling or debt to attain in the first place. Law schools et al. will just have to adapt to this mainly by dramatically cutting enrollment. Problem is, they haven't and probably won't as long as they have no reason to do so, etc. So the problem is less our changing economy than our entrenched interests resisting change.

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Mick Haller
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Re: 2013 & 2014 are "years of anxiety" for Biglaw

Postby Mick Haller » Fri May 24, 2013 1:06 am

aces wrote:This is what, his sixth or seventh alt? It was fresh at first, but you have to wonder how bitter someone has to be to troll these boards over and over again with the same schtick.


Scott Bullock, a disgruntled Seton Hall alum. He has been trolling TLS since its inception.

Jimbo_Jones
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Re: 2013 & 2014 are "years of anxiety" for Biglaw

Postby Jimbo_Jones » Fri May 24, 2013 9:41 am

sfhaze wrote:Depends on the type of manufacturing job. In general though, many manufacturing jobs are and will be in the foreseeable future far easier to automate than true knowledge/info jobs. The latter in theory should require a type of creative thinking that computers/machines are still far from replicating reliably and dynamically -- experiments like Deep Blue notwithstanding -- whereas robots are already dominating routine manufacturing processes.


Yeah, but those experiments like Deep Blue and Watson are turning (very quickly) into real-world applications. Now they can more accurately prescribe cancer treatments than specialized doctors. What used to take up an entire room now fits in a desk drawer and will eventually be an app on your cellphone that can prescribe a treatment for any condition dictated to it in natural language just as if you were talking to your doctor. It will be able to tell if you are lying to it or are unsure of what your telling it. If my cellphone can do that with greater accuracy than my doctor, why do I need him/her anymore? To prescribe prescription meds?


sfhaze wrote:Sure, the doc review or "coding" type of billed inefficiencies built into law practice as we've known it are disappearing thanks to automation but that's not necessarily a bad thing. (See areyouinsane's entertaining/depressing screeds on "coding"). But these weren't really true knowledge/info jobs to begin with, certainly not justifying significant schooling or debt to attain in the first place.


They might not be the type of knowledge jobs that people to to grad school for...yet. But they will eventually creep up the value chain. The cognitive abilities of humans has all but reached its peak, yet the cognitive ability of artificial intelligence is increasing at an exponential rate. Once artificial intelligence can out-learn humans (which will happen much much sooner rather than later), there won't be a need for humans to augment technology, nor will there be new jobs created that artificial intelligence won't be able to fill. That would just hinder its progress and usefulness.

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homestyle28
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Re: 2013 & 2014 are "years of anxiety" for Biglaw

Postby homestyle28 » Fri May 24, 2013 10:11 am

aces wrote:This is what, his sixth or seventh alt? It was fresh at first, but you have to wonder how bitter someone has to be to troll these boards over and over again with the same schtick.

for10s88
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Re: 2013 & 2014 are "years of anxiety" for Biglaw

Postby for10s88 » Fri May 24, 2013 10:58 am

For all TLS talks about the fallacy of "anecdotal evidence," this is the exact same thing. Abovethelaw posts about a few big firms who are firing attorneys (mostly staff attorneys) and suddenly the legal market is going south again?

Summer class numbers are up. Hiring is up. Wake me up when you have some actual statistics indicating that hiring is down in BigLaw and layoffs are up.

And spare me all of your uninformed ramblings on the future of the legal market and how you understand the future better than anyone because you have the internet.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2013 & 2014 are "years of anxiety" for Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 24, 2013 11:18 am

Honest question. If 20 percent of associates go on to become partners and essentially millionaires, is there any other career path with that good of odds? 1 in 5. Especially when you consider a lot of big law associates self select to leave into still manageable 6 figure salaries with good hours?

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nsideirish
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Re: 2013 & 2014 are "years of anxiety" for Biglaw

Postby nsideirish » Fri May 24, 2013 11:44 am

Anonymous User wrote:Honest question. If 20 percent of associates go on to become partners and essentially millionaires, is there any other career path with that good of odds? 1 in 5. Especially when you consider a lot of big law associates self select to leave into still manageable 6 figure salaries with good hours?



Not sure if serious.

jd20132013
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Re: 2013 & 2014 are "years of anxiety" for Biglaw

Postby jd20132013 » Fri May 24, 2013 11:49 am

Anonymous User wrote:Honest question. If 20 percent of associates go on to become partners and essentially millionaires, is there any other career path with that good of odds? 1 in 5. Especially when you consider a lot of big law associates self select to leave into still manageable 6 figure salaries with good hours?



literally can't stop laughing

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Re: 2013 & 2014 are "years of anxiety" for Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 24, 2013 11:53 am

nsideirish wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Honest question. If 20 percent of associates go on to become partners and essentially millionaires, is there any other career path with that good of odds? 1 in 5. Especially when you consider a lot of big law associates self select to leave into still manageable 6 figure salaries with good hours?



Not sure if serious.


Dead serious... Everyone on this forum just sounds whiny and entitlled IMO. Can I get an answer please

sirpartner82
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Re: 2013 & 2014 are "years of anxiety" for Biglaw

Postby sirpartner82 » Fri May 24, 2013 11:55 am

Honest question. If 20 percent of associates go on to become partners and essentially millionaires, is there any other career path with that good of odds? 1 in 5. Especially when you consider a lot of big law associates self select to leave into still manageable 6 figure salaries with good hours?


Um, I suppose family connections etc play no role whatsoever in getting biz and making partner. I suppose the URM who grew up in the projects and was a prodigy and went to Yale Law has same odds of getting biz/making partner than say some US Senator or Fortune 500 company man's son, nephew etc who has same academic credentials, but family/nepotism access to land a big account.

The most incompetent lawyer in the world can 'make partner" if he brings business, but the best, most scholarly "grind-it-out all night" cut n' paster probably never will. New business comes from connections and juice, not any sort of "quality" legal work metric. There have probably been years when Jacoby & Meyers has grossed more than some Biglaw firms, just doing shitlaw accident cases. They aren't good lawyers necessary, they just had the ad budget and capital to land the whopper tort case.

HTH

NYstate
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Re: 2013 & 2014 are "years of anxiety" for Biglaw

Postby NYstate » Fri May 24, 2013 12:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
nsideirish wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Honest question. If 20 percent of associates go on to become partners and essentially millionaires, is there any other career path with that good of odds? 1 in 5. Especially when you consider a lot of big law associates self select to leave into still manageable 6 figure salaries with good hours?



Not sure if serious.


Dead serious... Everyone on this forum just sounds whiny and entitlled IMO. Can I get an answer please


Medicine. Tech/ computer science people. Hedge funds. Traders. Even professors at Ivy League schools make 6 figures.

Also: your assumption is just wrong. 20% are not making partner. Most grads are never even seeing biglaw. Plenty of grads will never even practice. Many stealthed or lathamed employees are not getting another 6 figure job. And this thread is about the likelihood that associate hiring will decline.

Anonymous User
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Re: 2013 & 2014 are "years of anxiety" for Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 24, 2013 12:12 pm

NYstate wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
nsideirish wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Honest question. If 20 percent of associates go on to become partners and essentially millionaires, is there any other career path with that good of odds? 1 in 5. Especially when you consider a lot of big law associates self select to leave into still manageable 6 figure salaries with good hours?



Not sure if serious.


Dead serious... Everyone on this forum just sounds whiny and entitlled IMO. Can I get an answer please


Medicine. Tech/ computer science people. Hedge funds. Traders. Even professors at Ivy League schools make 6 figures.

Also: your assumption is just wrong. 20% are not making partner. Most grads are never even seeing biglaw. Plenty of grads will never even practice. Many stealthed or lathamed employees are not getting another 6 figure job. And this thread is about the likelihood that associate hiring will decline.



I wasn't asking about 6 figures, I was talking about the chance to be a millionare, living it up like the 1%. none ofyour fields listed gives you better odds. And again I was talking once you're hired into being an associate at Biglaw, not all lawyers in general. I would definitely agree that for most people law school is a bad choice, just saying that biglaw to partner does'nt sounds as dismal.

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wert3813
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Re: 2013 & 2014 are "years of anxiety" for Biglaw

Postby wert3813 » Fri May 24, 2013 1:45 pm

Anyone other than SadSituation have a thought for how things are going to be for C/O 2015 and 2016? Particularly those of you who work in big law? The economy seems to be coming back some but I recognize that's independent of the legal economy to some extent.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: 2013 & 2014 are "years of anxiety" for Biglaw

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Fri May 24, 2013 1:57 pm

wert3813 wrote:Anyone other than SadSituation have a thought for how things are going to be for C/O 2015 and 2016? Particularly those of you who work in big law? The economy seems to be coming back some but I recognize that's independent of the legal economy to some extent.


I don't think we will never go back to the "good ole days" of 2007. Biglaw litigation is fucked because of all the technological shifts that have been discussed ITT (and, to a lesser extent, corporate due diligence work and other types of cheap transactional work may be affected by advances in technology as well). Law firms are already over-leveraged, and I think it's only a matter of time before a significant number of them crumble or massively downsize. The top firms and top lawyers will still do very well, but this number will shrink over time until it reaches some sort of equilibrium, but this is going to take a while. (IMO, I think between 5-10 years.) Salaries for associates will probably never go up again for the vast majority of biglaw associates. I imagine the top boutiques and biglaw firms may go above 160k starting, but I don't see how other biglaw firms will be able to match given how much their effective billing rates have come down (and, in some cases, how dead some of their practice areas are right now).

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wert3813
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Re: 2013 & 2014 are "years of anxiety" for Biglaw

Postby wert3813 » Fri May 24, 2013 2:01 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
wert3813 wrote:Anyone other than SadSituation have a thought for how things are going to be for C/O 2015 and 2016? Particularly those of you who work in big law? The economy seems to be coming back some but I recognize that's independent of the legal economy to some extent.


I don't think we will never go back to the "good ole days" of 2007. Biglaw litigation is fucked because of all the technological shifts that have been discussed ITT (and, to a lesser extent, corporate due diligence work and other types of cheap transactional work may be affected by advances in technology as well). Law firms are already over-leveraged, and I think it's only a matter of time before a significant number of them crumble or massively downsize. The top firms and top lawyers will still do very well, but this number will shrink over time until it reaches some sort of equilibrium, but this is going to take a while. (IMO, I think between 5-10 years.) Salaries for associates will probably never go up again for the vast majority of biglaw associates. I imagine the top boutiques and biglaw firms may go above 160k starting, but I don't see how other biglaw firms will be able to match given how much their effective billing rates have come down (and, in some cases, how dead some of their practice areas are right now).


2 follow-ups:

1. Define top firms here. V25, V100, or just the few dream firms?
2. Forget 2007. It's your belief that growth (however slow) isn't happening at all right now? Or if it is it's not going to consistently happen going forward? AKA you don't think the worst of it is over?

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: 2013 & 2014 are "years of anxiety" for Biglaw

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Fri May 24, 2013 2:20 pm

wert3813 wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
wert3813 wrote:Anyone other than SadSituation have a thought for how things are going to be for C/O 2015 and 2016? Particularly those of you who work in big law? The economy seems to be coming back some but I recognize that's independent of the legal economy to some extent.


I don't think we will never go back to the "good ole days" of 2007. Biglaw litigation is fucked because of all the technological shifts that have been discussed ITT (and, to a lesser extent, corporate due diligence work and other types of cheap transactional work may be affected by advances in technology as well). Law firms are already over-leveraged, and I think it's only a matter of time before a significant number of them crumble or massively downsize. The top firms and top lawyers will still do very well, but this number will shrink over time until it reaches some sort of equilibrium, but this is going to take a while. (IMO, I think between 5-10 years.) Salaries for associates will probably never go up again for the vast majority of biglaw associates. I imagine the top boutiques and biglaw firms may go above 160k starting, but I don't see how other biglaw firms will be able to match given how much their effective billing rates have come down (and, in some cases, how dead some of their practice areas are right now).


2 follow-ups:

1. Define top firms here. V25, V100, or just the few dream firms?
2. Forget 2007. It's your belief that growth (however slow) isn't happening at all right now? Or if it is it's not going to consistently happen going forward? AKA you don't think the worst of it is over?


Yeah, you definitely can't divide it up by Vault number or whatever. You really need to take a look at a firm's financials, whether there are a lot of partners leaving (suddenly), whether they are conducting layoffs, how leveraged they are, and how diversified they are. Also look at whether they have departments that are quite literally at the top of the list for their respective practice areas.

To your second question, I just don't see where the growth is going to come from. There may be something out there that none of us can anticipate, but all of the innovations (both in the technical and legal spheres) in high speed trading, swaps, derivatives, MBS, M&A, doc review, etc. are only going to make legal services *cheaper* for clients (outside of the very high end) rather than more expensive. Even the top firms have well-defined practice groups and are more effectively competing against one another for even the top business. Clients will continue to pay an added premium for the "best in class" service for the most critical/difficult deals (i.e., Cravath, DPW, SullCrom for corp), but I see prices going down everywhere else.

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Re: 2013 & 2014 are "years of anxiety" for Biglaw

Postby sfhaze » Fri May 24, 2013 2:31 pm

Jimbo_Jones wrote:Yeah, but those experiments like Deep Blue and Watson are turning (very quickly) into real-world applications. Now they can more accurately prescribe cancer treatments than specialized doctors. What used to take up an entire room now fits in a desk drawer and will eventually be an app on your cellphone that can prescribe a treatment for any condition dictated to it in natural language just as if you were talking to your doctor. It will be able to tell if you are lying to it or are unsure of what your telling it. If my cellphone can do that with greater accuracy than my doctor, why do I need him/her anymore? To prescribe prescription meds?

They might not be the type of knowledge jobs that people to to grad school for...yet. But they will eventually creep up the value chain. The cognitive abilities of humans has all but reached its peak, yet the cognitive ability of artificial intelligence is increasing at an exponential rate. Once artificial intelligence can out-learn humans (which will happen much much sooner rather than later), there won't be a need for humans to augment technology, nor will there be new jobs created that artificial intelligence won't be able to fill. That would just hinder its progress and usefulness.

I can't disagree with the fact that computers/machines are and will continue to invade knowledge/info jobs in future years. Some of this is happening already of course, though for now computers/machines are merely assisting knowledge/info jobs sift through masses of data like Watson in your linked article. The ultimate decisions/products of these jobs are still up to humans and I don't think we're ready as a society to leave that to machines yet, unlike in manufacturing. My point is that true knowledge/info jobs are still relatively better off than most manufacturing jobs, for what that's worth.

As to your bigger point which is how humans will fit into an eventual economy and society dominated by machines, beats the heck out of me. I fear science fiction will become reality. Gattaca? Thankfully the legal system in Minority Report still relied on a human judge panel, though. :mrgreen:

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Gunnar Stahl
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Re: 2013 & 2014 are "years of anxiety" for Biglaw

Postby Gunnar Stahl » Fri May 24, 2013 4:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I wasn't asking about 6 figures, I was talking about the chance to be a millionare, living it up like the 1%. none ofyour fields listed gives you better odds. And again I was talking once you're hired into being an associate at Biglaw, not all lawyers in general. I would definitely agree that for most people law school is a bad choice, just saying that biglaw to partner does'nt sounds as dismal.

Courageous use of anon bro

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Re: 2013 & 2014 are "years of anxiety" for Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 24, 2013 4:48 pm

The firm I am at (energy-related) is hiring like mad. Certain sectors are going to be booming and certain sectors are going to not be booming.

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RELIC
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Re: 2013 & 2014 are "years of anxiety" for Biglaw

Postby RELIC » Fri May 24, 2013 4:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The firm I am at (energy-related) is hiring like mad. Certain sectors are going to be booming and certain sectors are going to not be booming.

I can't wait till fusion or some other form of renewable energy is invented and places like Houston start to resemble Detroit.

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Re: 2013 & 2014 are "years of anxiety" for Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 24, 2013 4:56 pm

RELIC wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The firm I am at (energy-related) is hiring like mad. Certain sectors are going to be booming and certain sectors are going to not be booming.

I can't wait till fusion or some other form of renewable energy is invented and places like Houston start to resemble Detroit.


That's harsh. Isn't it a good thing that energy work is creating jobs for people like us?

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RELIC
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Re: 2013 & 2014 are "years of anxiety" for Biglaw

Postby RELIC » Fri May 24, 2013 4:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
RELIC wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The firm I am at (energy-related) is hiring like mad. Certain sectors are going to be booming and certain sectors are going to not be booming.

I can't wait till fusion or some other form of renewable energy is invented and places like Houston start to resemble Detroit.

That's harsh. Isn't it a good thing that energy work is creating jobs for people like us?

Not at the expense of our planet.




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