The Rise (and Fall?) of Big Law Firms
Big law firms may be headed into a down cycle they haven’t seen since the 1930s, according to Atlanta lawyer Michael Trotter, who has written the forthcoming book “Declining Prospects” about the economic cycles of the nation’s largest law firms. He tells Bloomberg Law’s Josh Block that the Great Depression lasted 30 years for the nation’s largest firms, before billing by the hour, rather than by the matter, caught on in the 1960s. That led to a decades-long boom at big law firms, with profits and the number of lawyers employed by the firms growing exponentially, before the rise of in-house legal departments led to the current backlash against the billable hour, he says.