As if lawyers didn't have enough to worry about, like the need to write angry comments on the internet when bloggers make fun of them: now companies don't even love law firms any more. God. Not companies!
What's happening, according to the WSJ—and we'll try to communicate this with as much clarity as possible for those of you who aren't naturally conversant in the minutiae of the corporate law market—is that companies are being like, "Those law firms are way too fucking expensive." And then companies are adding, "Especially when it comes to these brand new kids right out of law school who don't know shit."
Billing for work by junior lawyers at law firms has long been a major profit center for law firms. The average hourly rate for a non-partner associate lawyer at a law firm rose to $378 in the second quarter, from $338 three years earlier, according to data from Peer Monitor, a unit of Thomson Reuters. The current average hourly rate for first-year associates at law firms is $283, it says.
So then companies were like, "Let's just hire these little fuckers ourselves, Jesus Christ. They're worthless either way for any task more legally complex than paper clip collation, so we might as well have em working here directly, where we can pay them less. They'll take it. They have no choice." Then companies are adding "Fuck you, law firms. Go find some other sap to milk dry."
Which I think is really gratuitous.