Sea Change in the Legal Market
Bill Gates one remarked, “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.”
Many of us working in the legal industry have ample recent experience with Gates’s former point that we overestimate the pace of change over the short term. The collapse of Lehmann Brothers in the fall of 2008 was supposed to be the beginning of the Great Reset where associate salaries would come back down to earth and law firms would adopt more sensible and sustainable hiring models. Although a couple of large law firms adopted apprenticeship models, which traded in high starting pay for better training and client secondments, these innovations failed to spread. The $160,000 payscale, which came into being during the frothy salary wars of 2005 to 2007, also remains largely intact.
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