an unanticipated consequence of
Jack M. Balkin
Jack Balkin: jackbalkin at yahoo.com
Bruce Ackerman bruce.ackerman at yale.edu
Ian Ayres ian.ayres at yale.edu
Mary Dudziak mary.l.dudziak at emory.edu
Joey Fishkin joey.fishkin at gmail.com
Heather Gerken heather.gerken at yale.edu
Abbe Gluck abbe.gluck at yale.edu
Mark Graber mgraber at law.umaryland.edu
Stephen Griffin sgriffin at tulane.edu
Bernard Harcourt harcourt at uchicago.edu
Scott Horton shorto at law.columbia.edu
Andrew Koppelman akoppelman at law.northwestern.edu
Marty Lederman msl46 at law.georgetown.edu
Sanford Levinson slevinson at law.utexas.edu
David Luban david.luban at gmail.com
Gerard Magliocca gmaglioc at iupui.edu
Jason Mazzone mazzonej at illinois.edu
Linda McClain lmcclain at bu.edu
John Mikhail mikhail at law.georgetown.edu
Frank Pasquale pasquale.frank at gmail.com
Nate Persily npersily at gmail.com
Michael Stokes Paulsen michaelstokespaulsen at gmail.com
Deborah Pearlstein dpearlst at princeton.edu
Rick Pildes rick.pildes at nyu.edu
Alice Ristroph alice.ristroph at shu.edu
Neil Siegel siegel at law.duke.edu
Brian Tamanaha btamanaha at wulaw.wustl.edu
Mark Tushnet mtushnet at law.harvard.edu
Adam Winkler winkler at ucla.edu
A survey of 182 law firms by Citibank's Law Firm Group produced discouraging findings:
Results from the first nine months of 2012 are in, and it appears increasingly likely that the legal industry will fall short of 2011's low single-digit profit growth.
Not only did third-quarter revenue and demand growth slow from the first half of the year, demand actually posted a slight decline (-0.1 percent) compared to the third quarter of 2011, which marked the beginning of the current prolonged period of soft demand. Although expense growth also slowed during the third quarter of 2012, it continued to outpace revenue growth; in fact, the gap between the two widened, putting a further squeeze on profit margins.
There are additional ominous findings, including a slowdown in collections and deterioration of productivity. Early 2013 looks to be much the same.
This is the worst market for legal employment in at least four decades--with no sign of a turn-around on the horizon. Under these circumstances, to even suggest the possibility of "dramatic improvement" goes beyond wishful thinking to appeal to unreason. Posted
by Brian Tamanaha [link]
When deciding what business expenses to cut in an economic depression, legal services (especially the high priced big city variety) are near the top of the list.
Half the attorneys in my rural mountain county went out of business since 2008.
I cling to viability by remaining solo and doing everything myself.
Things are only going to get worse with the tidal wave of delayed regulations coming our way over the next four years.
Calls pointing out that the current legal market is bad are very easy and and the descriptive statistics from NALP point to this year being the same, but I have not seen anyone make a useful model for explaining the legal market, much less predicting its future.
I think it is a disservice to the discussion to point to "signs" that the market will move one direction or another.
My wife recently had to deal with a wrongful termination suit...quoted rates: $525/hour, which she was able to negotiate down only because during her initial consultation, the partner told her $425/hour.
We eventually went with them, but I had to correct several of their errors in the final settlement offer.
I feel for you, fraud guy. My own experience was with a divorce lawyer who, in an uncontested divorce, billed me for the time of the most expensive guy in the firm, who supposedly was photocopying the legal boiler plate at a rate of a page every fifteen minutes.
Too bad he didn't have a secretary, who knew how to use a document feeder; I might not have been financially ruined by the bill.
Cry me a storm about how bad the legal profession has it. I think the nation could scarcely survive the legal profession manufacturing any more jobs for itself.