Great Days Ahead for SmallLaw?


Sometimes you’re the windshield
Sometimes you’re the bug

…Dire Straits

What a difference five years can make in the legal profession. Beginning in the 1990’s, many pundits were predicting the demise of mid-sized law firms (too small to really serve international clients, yet too big to maintain the efficient and cost effective delivery of legal services).

Then large firms continued to raise their rates every year and associate salaries grew dramatically. And now that many businesses are cash strapped and looking for ways to reduce costs, Biglaw is not sitting so pretty. Corporate counsel are rejecting ever increasing billing rates and looking for ways to control legal spending.

Partners who do not need an international footprint to serve their clients are beginning to understand this as well. So we are now seeing a small (but noticeable) reverse migration from Biglaw to SmallLaw. While this doesn’t mean the death of BigLaw, it does mean that the legal profession will continue to be in a state of flux in the next few years. In some cases, BigLaw will continue to be the “windshield”. But make not mistake about it, SmallLaw should no longer be seen as the “bug”.

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