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badgerdude
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Postby badgerdude » Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:30 pm

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Last edited by badgerdude on Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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bjsesq
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:02 am

Re: Why is there a shortage of legal jobs?

Postby bjsesq » Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:35 pm

badgerdude wrote:This may be a dumb question, but if big law associates are working 80 hours a week or more, how can there possibly be a shortage of jobs? With the insane amount of unemployed JDs out there who are desperate for work, wouldn't it make way more sense for big law firms to hire 2 lawyers @ 80k than one lawyer @ 160k? With the amount of unemployed JDs out there it's not like these jobs would go unfilled because of the lower pay, and wouldn't overall productivity go up if associates aren't working 80 soul-sucking hours or more every week?

Harder to attract the best and brightest if you aren't paying them accordingly. Hard to charge accordingly if you can't get them. Plus, PREFTIGE and MARKET SHATTERING BONUSES are all part of a long standing game.

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Clemenceau
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Re: Why is there a shortage of legal jobs?

Postby Clemenceau » Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:35 pm

Two employees @ 80k each are vastly more expensive for the firm than one @ 160k

Overhead costs, training, office space, etc. etc. etc.

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ymmv
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Re: Why is there a shortage of legal jobs?

Postby ymmv » Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:40 pm

badgerdude wrote:This may be a dumb question, but if big law associates are working 80 hours a week or more, how can there possibly be a shortage of jobs? With the insane amount of unemployed JDs out there who are desperate for work, wouldn't it make way more sense for big law firms to hire 2 lawyers @ 80k than one lawyer @ 160k? With the amount of unemployed JDs out there it's not like these jobs would go unfilled because of the lower pay, and wouldn't overall productivity go up if associates aren't working 80 soul-sucking hours or more every week?


My understanding is that law firms get much more value per dollar out of a single associate doing 80-∞ hours of work a week than multiple associates doing 40. Better continuity, easier to manage and keep tabs on, the kind of work that benefits from fewer cooks in the kitchen, etc. Kind of like what happens with doctors and insanely long shifts, since the vast majority of medical mishaps and malpractice occur during or directly after shift transitions from one resident to the next.

Also, my impression is that any legal work that can be efficiently dolled out to non-associate employees is. Doc review mills, non-salaried positions, temporary or low-level law clerks, paralegals, etc.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:06 pm

Re: Why is there a shortage of legal jobs?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:54 pm

because law schools are making too many new lawyers. still

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Merr
Posts: 180
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:55 pm

Re: Why is there a shortage of legal jobs?

Postby Merr » Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:11 pm

Where I live, the legal market imploded in the recession and hasn't recovered.

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Capitol_Idea
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Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:54 am

Re: Why is there a shortage of legal jobs?

Postby Capitol_Idea » Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:27 am

badgerdude wrote:This may be a dumb question, but if big law associates are working 80 hours a week or more, how can there possibly be a shortage of jobs? With the insane amount of unemployed JDs out there who are desperate for work, wouldn't it make way more sense for big law firms to hire 2 lawyers @ 80k than one lawyer @ 160k? With the amount of unemployed JDs out there it's not like these jobs would go unfilled because of the lower pay, and wouldn't overall productivity go up if associates aren't working 80 soul-sucking hours or more every week?


You. are. adorable and innocent. I just want to pet you - you sweet, sweet naive little thing.

OK, in all seriousness, the above posts pretty much hit the nail on the head. Basically:

1. Law Schools make way too many lawyers (~45K per year graduate for only 22K jobs per year)
2. Law school charge too much, so more lawyers are forced to look for the cream jobs to pay off loans
3. Legal Services are being constricted - technology, adaptable boutiques, non-legal service providers, and in-house counsel are all reducing the pie of profit available to law firms
4. To still compete, Law firms must offer 'prestige' - namely: we have the best lawyers. Look at their degrees! Look at their previous successes! Look at how well house-broken our associates are! So law firms must have the 'best' partners and associates they can grab - usually meaning the relatively small subset of law grads in the top GPA groups of the top schools.
5. Law firms can't cut pay for partners, because then partners walk out to other firms
6. Law firms can't cut pay for associates, because then the highest pedigree associates go elsewhere

Solution: Harp on prestige to keep clients and rates up, pay associates well but make them work more and more to get value while hiring only as many as is still profitable (balancing fluctuations in workloads, profit expectations, and then pay progression as your horde of first-years will become a horde of fifth-years eventually). I think partners are more willing to risk under-hiring and working associates harder than over-hiring and losing profitability by paying a bunch of associates to only bill 50-60 hour weeks (see what I did there?)

dabigchina
Posts: 700
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:22 am

Re: Why is there a shortage of legal jobs?

Postby dabigchina » Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:44 am

Aren't 60 billable/week pretty average?
zacharus85 wrote:
badgerdude wrote:This may be a dumb question, but if big law associates are working 80 hours a week or more, how can there possibly be a shortage of jobs? With the insane amount of unemployed JDs out there who are desperate for work, wouldn't it make way more sense for big law firms to hire 2 lawyers @ 80k than one lawyer @ 160k? With the amount of unemployed JDs out there it's not like these jobs would go unfilled because of the lower pay, and wouldn't overall productivity go up if associates aren't working 80 soul-sucking hours or more every week?


You. are. adorable and innocent. I just want to pet you - you sweet, sweet naive little thing.

OK, in all seriousness, the above posts pretty much hit the nail on the head. Basically:

1. Law Schools make way too many lawyers (~45K per year graduate for only 22K jobs per year)
2. Law school charge too much, so more lawyers are forced to look for the cream jobs to pay off loans
3. Legal Services are being constricted - technology, adaptable boutiques, non-legal service providers, and in-house counsel are all reducing the pie of profit available to law firms
4. To still compete, Law firms must offer 'prestige' - namely: we have the best lawyers. Look at their degrees! Look at their previous successes! Look at how well house-broken our associates are! So law firms must have the 'best' partners and associates they can grab - usually meaning the relatively small subset of law grads in the top GPA groups of the top schools.
5. Law firms can't cut pay for partners, because then partners walk out to other firms
6. Law firms can't cut pay for associates, because then the highest pedigree associates go elsewhere

Solution: Harp on prestige to keep clients and rates up, pay associates well but make them work more and more to get value while hiring only as many as is still profitable (balancing fluctuations in workloads, profit expectations, and then pay progression as your horde of first-years will become a horde of fifth-years eventually). I think partners are more willing to risk under-hiring and working associates harder than over-hiring and losing profitability by paying a bunch of associates to only bill 50-60 hour weeks (see what I did there?)

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Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15512
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: Why is there a shortage of legal jobs?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:03 am

zacharus85 wrote:I think partners are more willing to risk under-hiring and working associates harder than over-hiring and losing profitability by paying a bunch of associates to only bill 50-60 hour weeks (see what I did there?)

Averaging 50-60 billables per week would be the result of having too few people, not too many. Slow associates don't bill 2500-3000 hours a year

dabigchina wrote:Aren't 60 billable/week pretty average?

No. Maybe 2/3 of that




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