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What Will the Business Model of Law Firms Look Like as We Emerge (very slowly) From The Great Recession?

English: A graph of the Early 1980s recession ...

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The Post-Recession Law Firm Model; New Programs for Associate Compensation; Different Categories of Associates; The Emergence of an Inverted Pyramid Replacing the Traditional Law Firm Pyramid Structure

Law.com ran an interesting piece yesterday concerning the question of what the business model of the law firm will look like as we slowly emerge from the recession. The article written by noted legal affairs journalist Gina Passarella addresses, among other things, how lawyers will likely be deployed at law firms as well as likely new associate compensation models which will likely emerge.

While the article describes three “castes” of lawyers, what we have not completely discussed in that piece is a perhaps a subset of the middle category, namely,  “interns,” which I previously discussed at http://kowalskiandassociatesblog.com/2010/05/09/rationalizing-the-process-of-hiring-and-training-associates/.  Current press reports show that at least three law firms, Howrey, Fross Zelnick and Gibbons have implemented such systems, with Gibbons paying its intern $48,000 per annum. http://www.lawjobs.com/newsandviews/LawArticle.jsp?hubtype=News&id=1202473054427&src=EMC-Email&et=editorial&bu=Law.com&pt=LAWCOM%20Newswire&cn=nw20101008&kw=N.J.%20Law%20Firm%20Starts%201-Year%20Apprentice%20Program&slreturn=1&hbxlogin=1

Ms. Passarella’s  article is well worth reading.

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6 Responses

  1. […] things, establishing law firm subsidiaries which complement their principal business model. We also spoke of new models of professional staffing which are emerging.  Much heavier lifting now is required: Now, added to […]

  2. […] out in detail how we got to where are now, how we got here and where we are going. My own recent note regarding the deployment of associates in the emerging law firm model certainly pales in comparison to this detailed […]

  3. […] of work with partners and other senior lawyers billing increased hours and the trend towards the inverted pyramid model […]

  4. […] previously wrote about the different castes of associates that law firms are now deploying.  Ostensibly, the […]

  5. […] 2010, I wrote about the emergence of a three tiered caste system for associates in BigLaw:  Firms now employ “partner track associates”, “non-partner track […]

  6. […] not being admitted to the partnership being simply terminated, we now live in a world of associate caste systems, counsel, special counsel, senior counsel, contract partners, equity partners and more. Professors […]

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