Firms cant have non-patent agents prosecuting, so it closes off that avenue.
Plus, beyond just IP, bankruptcy and lit are pretty strong right now. Granted, other associates can be moved over to pick up the work. However, it isnt economically practical. They cannot bill these people at their normal rates because of their inexperience, and it isnt feasible to be billing them at lower rates and paying them at higher rates when there are a lot of equally inexperienced attorneys looking for jobs.
All I am saying is that we are not all screwed.