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Latest recession victims: Laid-off lawyers
Question of the Day
In better times, a first-year law graduate could make $160,000 at a large firm and about half that at a smaller firm, but today’s graduates are fighting for government jobs paying $60,000, Ms. Heywood said.
To a greater extent than before, law firms and their clients are pinching pennies. Some firms are even freezing or cutting salaries, particularly for associates.
“The clients understand that they hold all the cards,” Ms. Heywood said. “They feel some firms have gone too far in starting salaries. Companies are saying they are not going to subsidize those pay levels.”
Mr. Landau agreed.
“[Clients] are also capping fees,” he said. “It is now very common for corporations to say to outside counsel, ‘Get this done for X dollars, I don’t care how many hours it takes you.’ ”
Workers in other industries that have been downsizing and cost-cutting for decades may hold limited sympathy for lawyers, who made an average of $114,036 last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
For those still burdened with law school costs, Washington looks like the best place to be.
“The feeling out there is that D.C. will be the first city to recover,” said Ms. Finn, the legal recruiter. “Most D.C. firms have strong regulatory practices. Once the Obama administration starts gearing up, the D.C. firms will be the first to recoup.”
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Fourth Amendment says Obama is not at liberty to collect metadata
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