Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The new normal hits Weil

Actual 0L

A little light reading from Bloomberg News.

"It's been going on at a number of firms all year, but Weil is a significant story because it's a New York firm and highly successful," Zeughauser said. "It's an indication of how pervasive the overcapacity in the industry is."

"It's not just that less is coming in," Zeughauser said, "It's a sign of the rising role of LPO's and contract attorneys that are filling a need that clients have been long demanding, which is they don’t want to pay these kind of prices for first to third year associates."

Weil, Gotshal & Manges is canning about seven percent of its staff, and encouraging deadwood to which it has contractual obligations, to leave. Assuming you're at a school where a V10 wouldn't unceremoniously discard your résumé, you might want to pay attention to what's going on. The rest of you are mostly screwed, but you already knew that. Enjoy your six-figure debt and JD-advantage job.

The reason Weil hit the news (and ATL) is the firm is being up front about layoffs and there are a lot of associates involved. That, and some large bankruptcies have wound down and their staffing cost can no longer be passed along, though it is also axing entire unrelated groups. Basically, this is a healthy firm that wants to keep its numbers up. Weil is a bellwether that demonstrates where the power lies along the legal employer-employee continuum.

The main thing TLS schmucks should take from Weil is that you are human cordwood.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

An exisTTTenTTTial threat

I let a lot of potential material slide by because it will be ably commented on elsewhere and I feel no need to add my $0.02; really, I'm lazy. Occasionally, I'll come across something so profoundly idiotic that I blog about it rather than gnash my teeth regretting I didn't.

Philadelphia Business Journal recently wrote up Rutgers-Camden's precipitous drop in admissions this cycle. Frankly, if the school closed I wouldn't give its demise more than one, terse paragraph, but this set me off:

"The applications stopped coming when the merger talk started. We were supposed to become the Rowan law school and no one wanted a Rowan degree."

Of course they didn't, you dipstick. Law is a presTTTigious "profession" comprised of haves and have-nots, the preponderance of your alumni being in the latter. Imagine the carnage if the name changed!

  • The facilities and library would remain the same
  • The faculty and administration would remain the same
  • The substantial tuition benefit of matriculating at a public university would remain the same
  • The curriculum would likely improve due to the new association with a medical school

Is a law a shithole or what? Change the signs on the buildings and the name on the diploma and you've consigned your graduates to a life of stifling work and penury. As opposed to the grandeur awaiting Rutgers-Camden alumni.

Here's what really pissed me off. New Jersey is not exactly replete with educational powerhouses, Princeton University excluded. For as long as I remember, it has led the nation in exporting college freshmen — I checked and it still held this title in 2006. The smart and better-off leave the state and the earnest bourgeois stay behind and matriculate at Ramapo, Rowan, and Rutgers. NYU rejects can choose from between two undistinguished public law schools. A Rutgers-Camden dean criticizing Rowan is the pot calling the kettle black.

Rowan University was known as Glassboro State College until industrialist Henry Rowan pledged $100 million, then the largest-ever gift to a public college, at which point it was renamed in his honor. Prior to that it was best known as site of the 1967 Glassboro Summit. Subsequently, it became a public research university and is one of only two institutions in the country that has both an allopathic and osteopathic medical school. I'm sure these future doctors will be proud to be Rowan alumni as they begin practicing. As for future un-and under-employed Rutgers-Camden Law grads, who knows?

Friday, June 7, 2013

May 2013

Subject to the usual revision, statistics show a small decrease in jobs in May. Year over year, the increase was 7,800; 14,200 over May 2011 and 16,200 over May 2010. The industry grew, or at least didn't shrink, at an average annual rate of about 0.5% over the last three years.

Basically, if you graduated law school in this era then statistically you're now doing something non-law-related while your student debt follows you around. Here's an example, who was once noted in Big Debt, Small Law after he showed up here. I encourage you lemmings (Hi!, Mr. Infinity) to get yourself quoted frequently in the media so I'll have lots of future Where Are They Now material to work with.


Not seasonally adjustedMay20121,118,000
Seasonally adjustedMay20121,121,500
Change from Apr-13 to