The Art of Networking

A recent article in the Marketing the Law Firm Newsletter offers some good pointers on how to connect with clients.  The adivce is equally applicable to the job search context.  The author was here at Berkeley Law last year presiding over our Business Etiquette Dinner and discussion.   

For more on networking, see the “Career Development and Job Search Skills” section of the CDO website.  We also have some good recent print resources on the Art of Networking available in the CDO Library.

Litigation Practices Not As Busy As Some Expected

The popular wisdom is that, in an economic downtown, firms’ transactional practices slow down, but that new litigation and bankruptcy matters often make up for this loss of business.  Today’s NY Lawyer reports that litigation practices have, in fact, not picked up in several areas of the country (although it appears that NYC is currently bucking this trend). 

In Today’s Law Firm News: Both “Dark Days” and “Sunny Forecasts” links to two stories today:  one is about how the Lehman bankruptcy and the sale of Merrill Lynch is likely to affect Biglaw corporate practices.  A managing partner of a major NY firm is quoted as saying:  “It’s a question of whether you’re fortuitous enough to be representing a financial institution that survives or whether you represent one that’s not going to be around much longer.”  The article also points out that the plaintiffs’ bar will also likely be negatively affected.

The second story reports on one bright spot in the legal job market: the growth of in-house Clean Tech opportunities. 

Law Firms Comment on Hiring in a Downturn

Interesting article in the National Law Journal discussing how associate hiring is linked to predictions about the future direction of the economy. 

One large firm’s chairperson reported that they are shooting for the same summer associate hiring target as last year.  The NY office of another has decided to forego on campus recruiting entirely this year.  Both admit to the difficulty in trying to predict their need for associates two years out.  It’s definitely worth a read.       

Sobering Article on the State of the Legal Market

The head of Citibank’s Law Firm Group, which has analyzed trends in the legal industry over the last eight years, has written an excellent, but sobering article about current market dynamics across the industry (large, mid-size and small private firms).

Among other things, he concludes that law firms, which have gotten used to seeing +10% revenue growth over the past eight years, will likely experience no growth in profits this year or even a dip of as much as 10%. (This is a downward revision from Citibank’s projections of just six months ago). At the same time, expenses (nearly a quarter of which consist of associate compensation) have and are likely to remain high. Read the whole thing here.

The 50 Best Law Firms for Women

Working Mother, in conjunction with Flex-Time, a national consulting firm, has published its annual list of the 50 best law firms for women.  

It does not rank the 50, it just lists them alphabetically.

As with any survey or rankings list, it’s important to look at the methodology.  As we understand it, firms with 50 or more lawyers were invited to submit application materials, which were then graded, taking into account information about firms’ workforce profile, family-friendly benefits and policies, flexibility, leadership, compensation, advancement and retention of women.  According to a story about the list in the Recorder, 115 firms applied. 


BIGLAW Recruiter: Splitting a Summer is Not a Good Idea

An experienced recruiter recently posted a commentary on the American Legal Media’s website. She thinks splitting can hurt your job prospects at both firms and concludes that “in this economy [firms] don’t have to accept splits and the problems that come with them.”  See more of her reasoning and read the whole piece here.