Law School Discussion

Students Uniting for Big Law Firm Changes

Students Uniting for Big Law Firm Changes
« on: April 03, 2007, 06:16:15 AM »
New Blog on the horizon....over 100 students from across the nation sent a letter to the Big Law encouraging reform within Big Law permitting less hours, quality of life, etc.

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2007/04/03/you-say-you-want-a-big-law-revolution/

There are links to their site within the body of the article.

It should be of interest to students and young lawyers.

jacy85

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Re: Students Uniting for Big Law Firm Changes
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2007, 06:36:05 AM »
Here's a thought: don't like the hours or working environment?  Don't work there.

Sako

Re: Students Uniting for Big Law Firm Changes
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2007, 07:33:43 AM »
Here's a thought: don't like the hours or working environment?  Don't work there.

lol.  Agreed.

"We want all the pay and prestige that comes with the big law firm, but we don't want to do any of the work involved." ::) ::)

Re: Students Uniting for Big Law Firm Changes
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2007, 07:49:28 AM »
So they want a pay cut?  WOW, what's the point in BigLaw if you aren't gonna make lots of money.  At least they do realize it means a pay cut.

Ronald Hyatt

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Re: Students Uniting for Big Law Firm Changes
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2007, 08:01:22 AM »
You know it hasn't always been like this. The shift to billables and particularly the ever-escalating expectation of billables is fairly new (20yrs or so). I personally think the overemphasis on billables encourages people to burnout faster and waste time. Wouldn't it make far more sense to tie bonuses to performance (i.e., deliverables, results, professional development, etc) like in every other industry?

All I'm saying is don't be so quick to dismiss this movement. If anyone is in a position to effect a change, it is their talent pool (us) or their clients. I'm not suggesting that law firms will ever become an easy 9-5 gig, just that they could stand to become a little more humane and be more upfront about how inhumane they actually are.

Look at some of the costs the current billable system exacts upon Clients, Attorneys, and the Firms themselves:
http://refirmation.wordpress.com/costs-to-the-profession/

Law firms are just risk averse, so getting them to change won't be easy, but was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

Ronald Hyatt

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Re: Students Uniting for Big Law Firm Changes
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2007, 10:47:25 AM »
You know it hasn't always been like this. The shift to billables and particularly the ever-escalating expectation of billables is fairly new (20yrs or so).

I actually just looked this up, and wanted to correct myself. It has been closer to 40 years since billables took over. According to the ABA Commission on Billable Hours, the trend towards billing by the hour began in the mid 60's. Before that, "lawyers considered many factors, including the difficulty of the matter, the result obtained and the value provided the client. Charges were often determined based on a review of the file at the conclusion of a matter. There was a high level of trust between lawyer and client and fee disputes were rare." It was not until the late 60's that most mid-sized and large firms had shifted to hourly billing. As the report goes on to say, "lawyers need to recognize that the profession has a past that was not based on hourly billing, and that some of the historical concepts may help to improve present billing methods. No one expects hourly billing to go away. The goal of the Commission is to help lawyers consider alternative billing methods where appropriate."

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ABA Comm'n on Billable Hours Report 3-4, http://www.abanet.org/careercounsel/billable/toolkit/bhcomplete.pdf (2001-02).

TDJD84

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Re: Students Uniting for Big Law Firm Changes
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2007, 11:23:27 AM »

Law firms are just risk averse, so getting them to change won't be easy, but was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

ummm... I don't think Germany bombed pearl harbor.  I could be wrong though ::)

Ronald Hyatt

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Re: Students Uniting for Big Law Firm Changes
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2007, 11:32:34 AM »
Otter: [whispering] Germans?
Boon: Forget it, he's rolling.

Re: Students Uniting for Big Law Firm Changes
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2007, 12:22:27 PM »
Bluto: And it ain't over now. 'Cause when the goin' gets tough... [thinks hard] the tough get goin'! Who's with me? Let's go! [runs out, alone; then returns] What the @#!* happened to the Delta I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? "Ooh, we're afraid to go with you Bluto, we might get in trouble." Well just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this. Wormer, he's a dead man! Marmalard, dead! Niedermeyer -

Ronald Hyatt

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Re: Students Uniting for Big Law Firm Changes
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2007, 12:30:01 PM »
DEAD! Bluto's right. Psychotic, but absolutely right. We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part.