Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Following up on last week's post, Brad Borden: The Coming Resurgence of the Legal Profession and Legal Education Fueled by Third-Party Litigation Financing: Above the Law, Third-Party Litigation Financing: The Latest Chimerical Lifeline For The Legal Profession, by Joe Patrice:
[S]ome law firms (and most clients) are realizing that the era of big staffing is over. The “manual labor” of document review and due diligence can be farmed out to the glut of out-of-work attorneys willing to make peanuts to service their loans. An improving economy will drive up the wages they can demand (because they could leave the law entirely to take advantage of better opportunities), but not to the level that once enticed students to law school in droves. If law students aren’t guaranteed of getting boom-era salaries — and the majority of law students never will -- there is nothing that will convince students to take on the debt law schools create unless the schools embrace fundamental change.
Professor Borden seems to be holding out for [third-party litigation financing] to rejustify the status quo legal landscape. TPLF may be a lot of things, but a TARDIS is not one of them.
The challenges facing a stagnant legal market cannot be addressed when you begin from the premise, “How can we go back to exactly where we were before?” It’s the kind of “everything’s cyclical” thinking critiqued in Bruce MacEwan’s new book, Growth Is Dead: Now What?: Law Firms on the Brink.