Here in the Midwest, we are witnessing the end of the domestic auto industry as we know it. Whether or not GM and Chrysler merge in the near term, The Big Three may become the Big One (when you throw Toyota and Honda into the mix).
This has been coming for years, and the problems have been apparent for decades.
How does this relate to BigLaw?
By comparison to the domestic auto companies, it’s bracing how quickly a large law firm can race from robust to go-bust. Once things start to hit the press (such as with merger discussions or partner defections), what was once a months-long process can now be over in weeks.
This results in an open question for BigLaw firms:
Is it management or the model?
Managing partners want to believe it’s the former. Some bankers and clients are starting to ask: what if it’s really the latter?