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« heads up: new dean chosen at king hall | Main | outlining, multimedia-style. it makes sense, doesn't it? »

April 04, 2008


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"I feel like I won’t be hit too hard, financially or socially, by any sort of recession."

Hmmm . . . I hope you are right (for my sake!) but to be honest, I doubt it. Strongly.

It's not just the legal profession that faces a recession, it's the whole freaking economy:

While your point about mid-level firms is an interesting one, I do not believe it would be wise to rest predictions of a sunny future on that foundation.

It's true that the "science" of predicting the economic future has historically been only sightly more useful than sidewalk palm readings. But it's also true that there are broad patterns and historical lessons. The fact is that things aren't looking very good right now. And anyone who tells you that the legal industry is insulated from a downturn in the economy is (1) a law school recruiter, (2) a CDO employee, or (3) just plain nuts.


. . . or (4) they know something I don't.


You are probably right that I trivialized the situation a little - my instinctive reaction to the analytical chaos and doomsday predictions that sometimes surround recession talk is to blow it all off, I guess. I'm especially vulnerable to this since I have a pretty tenuous grasp on the actual economics behind all of it. The Economist paints a more reliable and depressing picture.

But, I think the mid-level firms point, while certainly not enough in and of itself, is indicative of some inherent flexibility in the legal profession that may allow it to weather a recession with fewer casualties than other sectors.

For instance, firms can emphasize and build practice areas that are more recession-proof, moving attorneys into those areas, looking at international markets, etc.:

Still not a particularly rosy future, but maybe not all that bad either.


I agree with you there. And so does Skadden:

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