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Big Law/Small Law

Solo, Leverage Thyself (and Diversify Too); Biglaw, Take Heed!

December 1, 2008 by Carolyn Elefant

For the past few decades, biglaw had a good thing going:  a seemingly sustainable pyramid scheme.  Large firms hired top talent and fed their appetites and egos with top salaries and assurances that these new associates constituted the cream of the legal caste system.   Then, the firms turned around and billed the heck out of […]

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Why Not Outsource Innovation to Solo and Small Firms?

October 28, 2008 by Carolyn Elefant

I’m still fascinated by the concept of  outsourcing innovation that I referenced in passing in this post from earlier today.  According to this Business Week article, countries like India and China paying American corporations to develop products, or put another way, they are outsourcing innovation. So I got to thinking…why couldn’t large law firms outsource […]

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From Biglaw to Yourlaw

October 28, 2008 by Carolyn Elefant

Law may be governed by precedent, but oh how soon we forget.  Once upon, the behemoth law firm Skadden, Arps, Meagher & Flom was just a trio of fellows named Marshall, John and Les who had the crazy idea to hang out their own shingle.  Yet now, forty years later, as the economy tanks and […]

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Even As Biglaw Gets Bigger, Opportunities for Solo and Small Firms Remain

July 24, 2008 by Carolyn Elefant

Seems that every day, biglaw just keeps getting bigger.   And indeed, that may be the only solution if firms are to continue to sustain what Professor Bill Henderson refers to as Cravath Model, whereby firms pay top dollar for top lawyers (or more accurately, what they define as top lawyers, meaning GPA, law review and […]

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Look Who’s Discounting Their Fees

May 30, 2008 by Carolyn Elefant

If you’ve ever discounted your fees, either voluntarily to lure a client to your firm or involuntarily because  your client ran out of cash, you’re in strong company.  As I posted over at Legal Blogwatch, 76 percent of law firms discount their fees.  But what’s even more interesting is that 89 percent of the discounters […]

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What the Paul Hastings Associate’s Performance Review Shows About Law Practice

May 10, 2008 by Carolyn Elefant

Not to draw further attention to the Paul Hastings associate, Shiyung Oh’s termination, but I’m fascinated by the new information about life at large firms that’s emerging as a result of the story.  For example,  the Wall Street Journal obtained a copy of Oh’s review, which showed that Oh excelled at her work, but which […]

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In House Counsel Looking for Deals…Why Not With Solos?

February 10, 2008 by Carolyn Elefant

If you thought that large corporations had deep enough pockets to pay whatever fees their outside counsel demanded, you’d be wrong.  Turns out that corporate counsel are positively simmering over the way that many large law firms are ripping off clients with exorbitant mark-ups on contract law attorneys.  Indeed, corporate counsel are so steamed that […]

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What With Biglaw Layoffs and Rate Hikes, 2008 Will Be A Banner Year for Solos

November 28, 2007 by Carolyn Elefant

Two factors are conspiring to make 2008 a break out year for starting a law firm. Factor 1: rapidly weakening credit and financial markets are causing law firms like McKee Nelson to offer voluntary severance packages to associates and leading other firms Thacher Profitt to give notice of impending layoffs. Factor 2: rapidly increasing hourly […]

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Hey, McKee Nelson Associates – There’ll Never Be A Better Opportunity Than Now to Start Your Own Law Firm

November 13, 2007 by Carolyn Elefant

Thanks to a lemon of a credit market, associates at McKee Nelsonhave the opportunity to make a huge vat of life-changing lemonade. Above the Law’s David Lat is reporting here that NY/DC based McKee Nelson, in an effort to avoid economically-induced, forced associate layoffs, is offering associates two options: (1) a full bonus, plus four […]

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Jobs At Biglaw Limited – So Why Is This News?

September 24, 2007 by Carolyn Elefant

This Wall Street Journal story about how lawyers from the lower ranks of lower tiered law schools have a tough time finding jobs has been getting lots of coverage, such as in thiscommentary by Susan Cartier Liebel; a round up of law professor blogs and this discussion at the WSJ Law Blog. As for me, […]

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