Businessweek Reporter: BigLaw Is “Crash Landing”
May 2 (Bloomberg Law) — Paul Barrett, assistant managing editor and senior writer for Bloomberg Businessweek tells Bloomberg Law’s Lee Pacchia that Big Law is currently experiencing “a very difficult crash landing that is taking place now and will persist for at least another several more years.”
While acknowledging that the 2008 recession was partially to blame for the slowdown, Barrett sees the current situation compounded by the bursting of a bubble among large law firms that hired too many lawyers and entered into ill-advised mergers. We are seeing the reckoning from overkill that built up over many years, he says.
In addition, as fewer and fewer legal jobs are available for young lawyers, some law schools are going to be forced to close, he predicts. According to US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates, Barrett notes that there will be 176,000 more law school graduates than jobs created over the next ten years. “As we’ve seen consolidation in big law, we are going to see consolidation in law schools,” he says.