Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Wow! This Chart Depicts the Dramatic Change in BigLaw Staffing

Now I Really Get 
the Law Job Market

In a blog posting entitled, Did the Market for Law Firm Associates Peak 25 Years Ago, Bill Henderson, of The Legal Whiteboard, graphically shows the change in the BigLaw staffing model I discussed, in part, here.

You must take a look at this material!

From the posting (with permission):

Based on the chart below, which reflects 35 years of large law firm data, the answer appears to be yes. The chart enables us to compare two very simple trendlines: the percentage of lawyers in NLJ 250 law firms who have the title of Associates versus the percentage with the title of Partner.

* * * 
Indeed, the 35-year graphic above provides a true wide-angle view, which in turn reveals an absolutely remarkable story. Associates were most integral to the large law firm model over 25 years ago. Although large law firms went on a hirng spree at various points during the 1990s and 2000s, the firms themselves were simultaneously adding a new layer of human capital that was neither associate or partner/owner. And in the process, associates were gradually being marginalized.

The graph below (also NLJ 250 data) reveals the growing middle section of the so-called Diamond Model:

The Diamond Law Firm 
A firm with a diamond structure has a relatively small number of entry-level associates, a growing bulge in the non-equity and counsel ranks, a sizable but largely invisible group of permanent staff attorneys, and a proportionately smaller equity class of partners who grow and control valuable client relationships. See Figure 3.
Figure 3. Two Models of Law Firm Demographics

Figure 3: Two Models of Law Firm Demographics

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