The End of BigLaw?


Maybe not the end, but BigLaw is in trouble. According to Noam Scheiber, writing for New Republic BigLaw is somewhere between 150 and 250 law firms, and “Within the next decade or so, according to one common hypothesis, there will be at most 20 to 25 firms … The other 200 firms will have to reinvent themselves or disappear.”

In other words, BigLaw needs to find a way to shrink gracefully to a fraction of its current bigness. “Graceful” is not how the transition seems to be happening, according to Scheiber, who describes a cutthroat environment where everyone is trying to undermine everyone else, and management is basically helpless to do anything about it.



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  • Doomsday scenarios and “everything is going to be fine” scenarios tend to dominate the headlines. However, as a colleague of mine today remarked in an email exchange about this very article remarked, “the answer generally lies in the middle.” Or as your lede says, “maybe not the end.”

  • Jon

    I just want to point out that this article is only four sentences long.

  • Just passing by

    This just seems to be the prelude for an article, is there
    something else? Regardless of whether you agree or not with the statement, this
    note does not provide any substance in the topic, nor it gives any source or
    basis for its assertions.

  • kilgore2345

    I wish I wasn’t like this, but I’m glad to hear this trend.

  • Ben

    The firms don’t “disappear,” they merge. Those 150 to 200 will merge into the 20 to 25 – that’s what’s been happening for ages and has only accelerated, just like in the world of accountancy.