The Lawyer Bubble

The Lawyer Bubble

A Profession in Crisis

Book - 2013
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Baker & Taylor
Citing a low percentage of law students who will be able to land legal jobs and explaining how lawyers have become increasingly subject to business practices, an analysis of how the legal profession reached its current state reveals habitual irresponsibility and a widespread fixation on rankings while making recommendations for correcting modern problems.

Perseus Publishing
A noble profession is facing its defining moment. From law schools to the prestigious firms that represent the pinnacle of a legal career, a crisis is unfolding. News headlines tell part of the storythe growing oversupply of new lawyers, widespread career dissatisfaction, and spectacular implosions of pre-eminent law firms. Yet eager hordes of bright young people continue to step over each other as they seek jobs with high rates of depression, life-consuming hours, and little assurance of financial stability. The Great Recession has only worsened these trends, but correction is possible and, now, imperative.

In The Lawyer Bubble, Steven J. Harper reveals how a culture of short-term thinking has blinded some of the nation’s finest minds to the long-run implications of their actions. Law school deans have ceded independent judgment to flawedU.S. News & World Report rankings criteria in the quest to maximize immediate results. Senior partners in the nation’s large law firms have focused on current profits to enhance American Lawyer rankings and individual wealth at great cost to their institutions. Yet, wiser decisionsbeing honest about the legal job market, revisiting the financial incentives currently driving bad behavior, eliminating the billable hour model, and morecan take the profession to a better place.

A devastating indictment of the greed, shortsightedness, and dishonesty that now permeate the legal profession, this insider account is essential reading for anyone who wants to know how things went so wrong and how the profession can right itself once again.

Book News
Author Harper (adjunct, Northwestern U. School of Law) makes it very clear in his introduction that the legal profession (among others) is in serious trouble for many reasons, among them a large oversupply of lawyers, increasing career dissatisfaction among practicing lawyers, and decreasing effectiveness of the "big-law-firm business model." The author concentrates on two specific areas: law schools and big law firms as he addresses the growth of the "lawyer bubble" driven in large part by greed. He attributes the current distress in the legal profession to market forces, and says that human decisions created it but that there is hope. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

& Taylor

Explores how the legal profession has reached the point where an alarmingly low percentage of law graduates can land jobs in the field, citing such problems as the oversupply of lawyers and the implosions of prestigious law firms.

Publisher: New York : Basic Books, c2013
ISBN: 9780465058778
Characteristics: xvi, 251 p. ; 25 cm


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