The relationship between law firms and their corporate clients shifted substantially with the onset of the Great Recession in 2007, and a decade later many of those changes appear to be here to stay. Here, Law360 looks at one major way the legal industry has been affected.
The law office has traditionally served as a hub where attorneys work and interact with colleagues and clients, but new technologies, rising real estate costs and an increasing desire for flexible work opportunities are challenging that typical office concept.
The ever-elusive “cultural fit” that elite law firms seek in prospective members of their exclusive club reflects a long-held set of values that favor white men and feeds racial, ethnic and gender inequality, a 15-year study says.
In the high-stakes world of trial advocacy, it only takes one slip in front of judge or jury to leave a permanent impression, but even the most successful trial lawyers have had their humbling moments in the courtroom. Here, top trial attorneys share a few of these experiences and how they ended up shaping their careers.
The economic downturn has caused some lawyers — who are already at statistically greater risk for suicide and depression because of their profession — to suffer anxiety and stress, sometimes with tragic results. However, consultants say law firms and attorneys themselves can take steps to alleviate the pressure.
While the economic downturn has forced many law firms to turn to layoffs and salary cuts as means to stay afloat, legal consultants say the occupants of one position – chief operating officer – not only have job security, but are likely gaining power at their firms.
Few topics generate as much speculation as potential nominees for a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. Two weeks after Justice David Souter announced his retirement, the names of potential candidates have begun to seep out, kicking the guessing game into high gear.
In these harsh economic times, some law firms are thinking about seizing the opportunity to significantly lower the salaries of first- and second-year associates and shift to a system of more intensive training.
For law firms looking to cut costs and stave off overstaffing in a slow market, deferring the start dates for incoming associates may seem like a quick fix. But down the road, deferral programs could cause major woes for firms and new lawyers alike.
Efforts to protect attorney-client privilege in recent years have gained ground, but many in-house attorneys are still worried about gaps in protections where companies risk disclosing information that could later be used against them.
As the economic downturn decimates mutual funds and the real estate market, more partners are delaying retirement — a development that could create mentoring and other opportunities for younger lawyers, but also could mean that law firms are putting off succession planning.
K&L Gates LLP, a firm tied to Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates’ father, has been dropped from a list of the company’s preferred law firms, falling in line with a trend in which personal relationships are sometimes taking a back seat to other business concerns in the selection of outside counsel, according to legal industry experts.
There are just two reasons the general counsel at Sprint Nextel Corp. seeks outside legal services: either he needs the expertise or he needs the extra staff. Otherwise, it’s all in-house.
Legal industry observers predict that the lateral market will continue to be hot for the foreseeable future, in part because the downturn has provided partners with some compelling reasons to leave their firms.
Law firms have long turned to temporary attorneys for help when a large matter comes along, and some legal experts say temps represent a good value likely to be in higher demand as corporate clients seek better cost solutions. Others, however, have their doubts.
In more bad news for the legal industry this week, Hunton & Williams LLP has handed pink slips to 23 associates and of counsel and 64 staff members, cuts that amount to 2 percent of the firm's lawyers and 6 percent of its staff.
Reps. John Conyers, D-Mich., and Lamar Smith, R-Texas, the top two members of the House Judiciary Committee, have opened an impeachment inquiry on U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent, who has been sentenced to 33 months in prison for lying to investigators about allegations of sexual abuse.
Unable to put off attorney layoffs any longer, Day Pitney LLP has handed pink slips to 20 associates and counsel, citing a drop in legal demand as a reason for the move.
In a move meant to bring firm finances in line with economic projections and increase value to clients, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP has announced an overhaul of its associate pay system and first-year associate training program.
The hue and cry about how the economic downturn could forever change how the legal industry works notwithstanding, the consulting firm Altman Weil Inc. said Tuesday a survey it conducted in recent months indicates firms are not currently contemplating radical shifts in strategy or operations.
While a handful of firms have already revealed that partners will be taking a salary hit in 2009, Dechert LLP chairman Barton J. Winokur's reported $1 million pay cut caught the attention of the legal industry Tuesday — much to the chagrin of the firm itself.
U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent on Monday received a 33-month prison sentence for lying to investigators about allegations that he sexually abused his secretary, marking the first time that a federal judge has been sentenced in connection with sexual misconduct.
Phoenix-based Snell & Wilmer LLP, the latest law firm to pare down staff in response to the recession, has announced plans to cut between 30 and 40 staff members in its offices across the Southwestern U.S.
The legal practice areas such as employment and intellectual property law at major U.S. firms that usually see boon times amid economic meltdowns have actually suffered in 2009, according to a new report.