Business of Law

  • June 19, 2009

    Crisis Highlights Need For Lawyers To Manage Stress

    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.

  • June 11, 2009

    Downturn Prompts Shift In Power To Firms' COOs

    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.

  • May 14, 2009

    Leaks Spur High Court Nominee Guessing Game

    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.

  • May 22, 2009

    Firms Weigh Slashes In Pay, Boosts In Training

    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.

  • June 26, 2009

    Associate Deferrals May Only Defer Firms' Problems

    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.

  • July 10, 2009

    Privilege Still Under Pressure, Corporate Counsel Say

    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.

  • June 25, 2009

    Delayed Partner Retirement Has Its Costs For Firms

    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.

  • May 14, 2009

    Microsoft Drops K&L Gates From Preferred Firm List

    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.

  • May 28, 2009

    In-House Counsel Move To Realign Value With Rates

    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.

  • June 4, 2009

    Top Reasons Partners Itching To Jump Ship

    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.

  • June 12, 2009

    Temp Attorneys Boon For Some, Liability For Others

    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.

  • May 14, 2009

    Hunton & Williams Axes 23 Associates, 64 Staffers

    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.

  • May 13, 2009

    House Leaders Push For Impeachment Of Judge Kent

    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.

  • May 13, 2009

    Day Pitney Cuts 20 Attys Due To Drop In Demand

    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.

  • May 12, 2009

    Drinker Biddle Revamps Bonuses, 1st-Year Programs

    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.

  • May 12, 2009

    Legal Industry Armageddon Talk Overblown: Survey

    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.

  • May 12, 2009

    Chairman's $1M Pay Cut Puts Dechert In PR Bind

    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.

  • May 11, 2009

    District Judge Gets 33 Months In Sexual Abuse Case

    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.

  • May 11, 2009

    Up To 40 Staffers Shown The Door At Snell & Wilmer

    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.

  • May 11, 2009

    Recession-Driven Practice Areas Weak In '09: Report

    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.