It will go back again, but I think this recession has proven that the Cravath model just wonít work anymore (I posted an article about how biglaw salaries are going down to 144k for many of this yearís associate class a few weeks ago).
It won't work for most firms, but it might continue to work for Cravath and a handful of others.
I donít think the model will support a big firm any longer though, I could see a boutique of really smart top grads being able to justify the higher fees, but not a 500 person firm doing the same thing in the new economy, the demand, I think just wonít be there except in small numbers thus supporting smaller Crvath model elite firms with far fewer lawyers.
We just have different estimates on the amount of dropoff there will be in terms of demand.
Right now, we have a situation where corporations are trying to cut costs, so GC's are price conscious. If we return to a healthy economy, GC's will become less price conscious and more risk averse in terms of covering themselves, which will lead to some movement back to the brand name law firms.
The scale of the movements, of course, can't be known in advance.