News flash: I'm not a kid. I've been working for 5 years for the Feds. Maybe it's just me, but going to law school to make $50k seems like a complete waste. I make just under 6 figures now, and that is in government. Why bother putting yourself through hell to go make under $45k working for some crap firm?
And what rules are changing? Come out of the clouds. Small firms are never going to compete with large ones. It's simple economics. The larger firms have the breadth and depth to absorb economic turmoil while the small firms that specialize go under.