Archived Posts

The disappearing associate

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Filed under: Big Firms, New Lawyers, Recession, Talent

Well, that was ugly. In case you missed it, or you need a summary, here’s what happened on a day (yesterday) that the ABA Journal called Black Thursday and Above The Law readers have decided should be named (a little early) the Valentine’s Day Massacre: Holland & Knight fired 70 lawyers and 173 staff DLA… Read more »

Please take Law21′s readership and market survey

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Filed under: Law21

Whether you’re a subscriber, a semi-regular reader or a first-time visitor, I’d be tremendously grateful if you could take a few minutes to fill out Law21′s first readership and market survey. Working with renowned market research firm The Strategic Counsel, we’ve put together a brief (10 questions) survey to help find out three things: demographic… Read more »


Book Review: The End of Lawyers?

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Filed under: Books, Innovation

The End of Lawyers? by Richard Susskind (London: Oxford University Press, 2008) This is an enormously important book, and if you have any interest or stake in how the legal marketplace will operate in future, you have to read it. The End of Lawyers? provides a sweeping assessment (and in places, an indictment) of today’s… Read more »

CLE’s steep learning curve

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Filed under: CLE

@LTNY online networking panel. This is not what I expected. Must either leave/kill self soon as possible. Haven’t we all been there at one time or another? Stuck in a presentation that we devoutly wished we’d never signed up (or been obliged) to attend? Up till now, all we could do was suffer in silence… Read more »


What the recession will bring

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Filed under: Big Firms, Clients, Recession

My newest Law21 column is up at Slaw. Click the link to go read it, and then take some time to peruse all of Slaw’s other great posts and conversations at what Dennis Kennedy calls the best law blog in the business. As always, I’ll also post the article here. “Are we looking at a… Read more »

Staff cuts and short-term thinking

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Filed under: Management, Recession, Research

That sound you hear is the rapidly accelerating crash of dominoes. The mainstream legal media is tracking, body blow by body blow, the shocking personnel reductions taking place at law firms throughout the US and UK. One after another, firms are laying off employees, and it seems each firm’s announcement gives three others the confidence… Read more »


The crossed purposes of legal education

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Filed under: Law School

One of the signs that change is underway in the legal profession is that elephants in the room are becoming easier to talk about. One such pachyderm is growing increasingly obvious in legal education: the disconnect between what prospective law students imagine about the profession and what they eventually find when entering the legal workforce…. Read more »

Avalanche alert

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Filed under: Big Firms, Finance, Recession, Talent

“[F]irms still have too many lawyers,” says the Chicago Tribune in the course of a rather grim 2009 forecast for American law firms. That might not be a problem for too much longer, because we’re about due for another round of bloodletting. But the next stage of the inexorable rationalization of the private bar won’t… Read more »


Deconstructing prestige

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Filed under: Big Firms, Marketing

I’m currently taking part in an intriguing conversation at Legal OnRamp about the reasons why GCs hire prestigious, big-name law firms. A recurring theme in the discussion is that in-house lawyers often default to using big, well-known (and often highly inefficient) firms because of the protection these firms’ prestige affords to corporate counsel. Just as… Read more »

Renovating or tearing down?

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Filed under: Big Firms, Billing, Innovation

I grew up in a small city of about 80,000 and went to law school in a similarly sized town, so my first experience of a major metropolitan center was when I began working in downtown Toronto. I remember being a little overwhelmed by the massive bank towers in the financial district — not a… Read more »


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