September 2009 Archives

Labor Day Greetings and Kudos

By and large, BigLaw should be proud of the way it has reacted to the near collapse of our financial system as we appear to be teeter tottering away from the brink at least for the time being. To be sure, while we are at long last witnessing deals trickle back in and real transactions that require our servicing, bankruptcy and restructuring practices remain our life preservers. But once sacrosanct principles like no publicly disclosed layoffs have been left behind in the rubble along with associate salary and bonus wars. Also, alternative fee arrangements to the billable hour are becoming commonplace; skepticism of our financial sector clients and avoidance of the toxicity that has come to define it appears enhanced; partner level lateral market due diligence is virtually destigmatized; and practice area as well as personnel diversity and work-life balance and more humane work environments for all our attorneys and staff have emerged as the new holy grails. In short, our major law firms are now leaner, meaner, healthier and more competitive.