Monday, May 19, 2008

Philly Magazine--Death of the Philly Lawyer

Hey Everyone,

Sorry that I haven't been around much lately. While I want to provide you with a little information and the best materials possible, I also have to pay the bills, and I have been a bit preoccupied with that lately.

Here are some comments that I was preparing last month for the Philadelphia Magazine Article that came out at that time (April Edition). I know it is a little late, and most people have moved on from this, but i included the link. An interesting article to be sure.

I have heard many people talking about the Philadelphia Magazine article about the death of the Philadelphia Lawyer. Here is a link to the article:

After having read the article, I have a couple of observations.

First, the idea that only 20 or so firms will handle the major corporate accounts worldwide is absurd. The corporations would not let it get that far because at some point before that businesses would act like businesses and find the lowest rate for the right quality. To get it down to only 20 mega firms worldwide, there would have to be some kind of price fixing at hand at some point. Of course, on the other hand, I believe the accounting world has gone this way (oligarchy that is) with the big 4 (Price Waterhouse, KPMG, Deloitte, Ernst and Young).

Second, this article purports to talk about the death of the Philadelphia Lawyer in the tradition of Andrew Hamilton. Here is the thing, what a lawyer is has changed a lot from the time of Hamilton even before now. This article really talks about the death of the traditional law firm, and what I believe is a downturn in the professionalism in the field of law.

Third, the article only talks about Big Law. It does not actually deign to discuss what is happening with the small or mid-size firms which is all that they had in the time of Hamilton. They are still alive and well, though pay much more modest salaries. They are were a lawyer like Hamilton would come from.


Anyway, what does any of this have to do with contractors? Well, one thing is that if it goes the way the article suggests, Philly might not be the place that the top 20 firms choose to locate their Document reviews, and thus the market for large scale contract work will dry up.

Also, I think that we will be facing a greater disparity in pay and hiring then we do even now. After, a consolidation like this, those types of law that are not practiced on the major firm scale are going to be for small sized firms and they will pay shitty. So, the middle class jobs in law will disappear, and it will truly become a sink or swim profession.

Feel free to share your thoughts on this article, or my comments.

The Black Sheep