Gioconda Law Group

When it comes to women’s undergarments, like thigh-high stockings, consumers often don’t have quite as discerning of an eye as they would when it comes to things like handbags. After all, thigh-highs are predominantly used for sexual romps (unless a woman chooses to wear them to work, and if that were the case, we’d probably question her professional aspirations) — they’re meant to be ogled and salivated over briefly, if at all.

But that surely doesn’t grant the lingerie magnates of the world permission to sell cheaper thigh-high knockoffs at competing prices. According to a new lawsuit filed against Victoria’s Secret, women may be displeased to find out that their once high-quality underthings from Italy are now being manufactured in — gasp! — the land of the denim tuxedo….

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People are talking about an interesting Slate article entitled “Leaving Big Law Behind: The many frustrations that cause well-paid lawyers to hang out their own shingles.” It’s currently the most-read piece on the site. But it’s actually quite similar, even down to some of the sources, to an article that appeared a few days earlier in Crain’s New York Business:

A lawyer’s hourly billing rate used to be a badge of pride — the higher the number, the more valuable (and supposedly brilliant) the lawyer. But over the past 18 months, a strange phenomenon has been sweeping the legal arena: Partners at major law firms are quitting because they want to be able to charge less for their services.

This is, of course, not a new development. Kash and I wrote about it in a December 2009 cover story for Washingtonian magazine, in which we interviewed a former member of the $1,000-an-hour club who left a large law firm and started his own shop so he could offer clients better value. But all the recent coverage — in Crain’s, Slate, and elsewhere — suggests that the trend is picking up steam.

Which kinds of lawyers are leaving Biglaw to hang up their own shingles? Why are they doing it? And how’s it going for them?

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