Bill Henderson

It’s kind of like the Hunger Games. You’re just trying to survive.

– an anonymous partner quoted by Professor William Henderson in a presentation today at Unlocking the Law: Building on the Work of Larry Ribstein. Professor Henderson noted that today many partners move laterally not for greater prestige or pay but for sheer survival.

(One factor that’s keeping partners up at night, after the jump.)

According to Professor Henderson, legal service providers that are not large law firms — e.g., e-discovery vendors, staffing companies, and knowledge-management specialists — are eating into the profits of Biglaw. Here’s a second notable quote, from the non-lawyer CEO of a legal process outsourcing company:

For every dollar I get, there are three that no longer go to Biglaw.

Large law firms need to adapt to rapidly changing times and increasing competition. Otherwise, the reports of Biglaw’s death will not be greatly exaggerated.

Unlocking the Law: Building on the Work of Larry Ribstein [George Mason University School of Law]
The Death of Big Law [SSRN]


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