Bear Stearns BSC Above the Law blog.jpgWith JPMorgan quintupling its offer for Bear Stearns earlier this morning, it seems like an appropriate time to discuss last week’s ATL / Lateral Link survey, which asked you whether you were afraid the recent Bear Stearns collapse would hurt your career.
Twenty-seven percent of you said yes. New Yorkers were the most concerned, with roughly one third of respondents opining that the Bear Stearns collapse would hurt their careers. A quarter of respondents in Los Angeles and Atlanta and a fifth of respondents in Washington, DC said the same. In Boston and Philadelphia, seventeen percent of respondents were afraid the Bear Stearns event would hurt their careers, while in the Bay Area, the number fell to an unlucky thirteen percent. Respondents in Chicago, Dallas, and Houston were generally unafraid.
Concern was most pronounced among the newest lawyers and those closest to partnership. Twenty-eight percent of respondents in the Class of 2007, and thirty percent of respondents in the Classes of 2000 and 2001 were afraid that the Bear Stearns collapse would hurt their careers. A whopping fifty percent of respondents who graduated before 2000 shared this concern. Law students are also more likely to be frightened, with 43% of law students responding that they were afraid that the Bear Stearns event will hurt their careers.
Additional discussion, including selected comments from survey respondents, after the jump.


Of the 73% of respondents who aren’t afraid of any Bear Stearns impact, some (especially IP attorneys) think their practice area is simply too far removed from Bear Stearns’ business, while others (generally litigators) think the Bear Stearns collapse will actually improve business:

I work on technology finance transactions. Most of the money in this area comes from other sources than the big institutional funds.

IP is too far removed from that industry.

I don’t work in corporate law; litigation is awesome like that.

There will be loads of litigation arising out of the collapse. I’m a litigator.

I am in the labor and employment group…we love things that cause lay-offs and other such employee woes.

One financial regulatory associate points out a short-term upside to the Bear Stearns news:

Every client is calling and asking us to look into how exposed they are to the situation. More work for us. Financial Regulatory law has its advantages in this market.

Respondents bracing themselves for a downside, on the other hand, point to the worsening economy in general:

I’m actually unsure. I think it is an indicator of forthcoming events.

I think it will lead to layoffs and more competition for business-side jobs.

Losing one of the few IBanking majors can’t be good for anyone.

This shows substantial weakness in the capital markets and might lead to a substantial downturn in investment banking business.

Bad for M&A when a bank goes down. The financial markets [are] incredibly interconnected.

Because it signals a significant slowdown in the availability of bankers to underwrite security offerings and engage in private placements. Thus, it seems to be a very bad sign on the barometer that we’re nowhere near the bottom yet.

Once PPP is affected, layoffs and downsizing to follow.

There’s going to be fierce competition amongst summer classes to not get the ghost offer at firms that have over-hired.

Earlier: Featured Job Survey: The Bear Stearns Effect


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