Law firms report lawyer oversupply and 'chronically underperforming lawyers'

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Re: Law firms report lawyer oversupply and 'chronically underperforming lawyers'

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:29 am

There's building maintenance so I think cleaning is covered in the lease/rent? And we have a mailroom that you walk to to pick up your mail; it's not delivered to your office.

I mean we operate fine and do big fat $$$ cases without 24/7 support so my point is that it isn't necessary. Sure, it may be nice, and mahogany desks are nice, but not necessary. Our name partner has the same desk everyone else has; it's this shitty wood thing.

We have nice laptops though.

Npret

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Re: Law firms report lawyer oversupply and 'chronically underperforming lawyers'

Postby Npret » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:There's building maintenance so I think cleaning is covered in the lease/rent? And we have a mailroom that you walk to to pick up your mail; it's not delivered to your office.

I mean we operate fine and do big fat $$$ cases without 24/7 support so my point is that it isn't necessary. Sure, it may be nice, and mahogany desks are nice, but not necessary. Our name partner has the same desk everyone else has; it's this shitty wood thing.
We have nice laptops though.

It's not necessary when you have 40 lawyers. Most biglaw firms have significantly more than that. I don't understand your argument here? Smaller firms need fewer staff? Ok fine.

Also the partners buy their own furniture, not the firm. I guess your one head partner doesn't care about his desk.

I mentioned mailing and cleaning because you noted those as things your firm doesn't have. If it's covered by rent, then I think its fair to say your firm pays for them.

Many biglaw firms have contracted out things like cleaning and mailroom support a long time ago. I remember they were some of the many creditors left unpaid by the demise of the dishonest Dewey Ballantine. If I remember not paying their bills pushed at least one of those support services out of business.

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Re: Law firms report lawyer oversupply and 'chronically underperforming lawyers'

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:49 am

It just seems odd that biglaw runs contrary to typical economies of scale, where marginal cost of the next attorney actually increases with more attorneys?

It's not that smaller firms need fewer staff. It's that firms should be able to run on a lower staff:attorney ratio. I mean maybe we just have superstar support staff because I am surprised that like 3-4 secretaries can keep the gears turning here. Nothing really seems to miss a beat. Although some complain about delays in reimbursements (could take weeks, sometimes over a month).

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Re: Law firms report lawyer oversupply and 'chronically underperforming lawyers'

Postby Desert Fox » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:57 am

Some big firms that do a lot of work run pretty tight ships re:staff. My old firm had 12 first/second years assigned to each secretary. And they were moving to a pure "secretary pool" model as well. The entire lit department of at least 100 litigators only had 3-4 paralegals.

I moved to a firm that isn't so tight wadded and they have 4 attorney per secretary and probably 2 paralegals for every three attorneys. Plus a huge staff of mail room, maintenance, etc. etc. Easily have double the staff.
Last edited by Desert Fox on Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Law firms report lawyer oversupply and 'chronically underperforming lawyers'

Postby Npret » Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:It just seems odd that biglaw runs contrary to typical economies of scale, where marginal cost of the next attorney actually increases with more attorneys?

It's not that smaller firms need fewer staff. It's that firms should be able to run on a lower staff:attorney ratio. I mean maybe we just have superstar support staff because I am surprised that like 3-4 secretaries can keep the gears turning here. Nothing really seems to miss a beat. Although some complain about delays in reimbursements (could take weeks, sometimes over a month).

Maybe you aren't working 24/7?

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Re: Law firms report lawyer oversupply and 'chronically underperforming lawyers'

Postby sublime » Thu Jun 01, 2017 12:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:There's building maintenance so I think cleaning is covered in the lease/rent? And we have a mailroom that you walk to to pick up your mail; it's not delivered to your office.

I mean we operate fine and do big fat $$$ cases without 24/7 support so my point is that it isn't necessary. Sure, it may be nice, and mahogany desks are nice, but not necessary. Our name partner has the same desk everyone else has; it's this shitty wood thing.

We have nice laptops though.


How do you send like, binders and shit? I rarely ever get mail, but boxes of documents and binders get sent around often.

Again, things not necessary for a boutique may be necessary for a mega firm. Although they may do some similar cases, they aren't really a good comparison.

My guess is if cutting staff would make big firms more profitable, at least some would have done so. The other issue you are overlooking is that a lot of the work still needs to get done-it's just whether an associate or doc services or a para or a staff attorney is doing it.



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