Thursday, July 3, 2008
Bill Henderson and Mark Galanter (and some others) have been writing some excellent articles tracking changes in the organizational structure of law firms. The July 2 "Legal Beat" column in the Wall Street Journal has an interesting article about the rise of new sorts of firms. See here. The article gives an account of small, niche firms in which the lawyers provide high-quality piece-work to larger law firms on specialized topics. The lawyers in the small, niche firms work sensible hours in exchange for lower salaries than if they were on the partnership-track at larger law firms.
It is interesting to remark that there are similar changes going on in the medical profession (in which we have a lovely and remarkably talented daughter-in-law). This article from several months ago in the Wall Street Journal describes the rise of "hospitalists," who have the same sort of reduced and sensible workload within the medical profession as the employees of the small, niche firms have within the legal profession.