Is Big Law Dying (redux)?

Noam Scheiber’s New Republic cover story on The Last Days of Big Law has received a great deal of attention in the press.  But it suffers from the over-reliance on nostalgia and lack of research on developments in Big Law practice that mark many similar pieces.  For example, Scheiber makes the assertion that “The overwhelming majority of [large firms] still operate according to a business model that assumes, at least implicitly, that clients will insist upon the best legal talent instead of the best bargain for legal talent.”  Research suggests, however, that this assertion is at best, over-stated, and at worst, simply false.  See, for example, David Wilkins’s excellent 2010 article, Team of Rivals:  Toward a New Model of the Corporate Attorney-Client Relationship.  Eli Wald and I are finishing an article for a Hofstra Law symposium explaining why the arguments regarding the Death of Big Law are so flawed and how Big Law can best address the challenges it faces.  If you would like to review a draft, let me know.

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