The Careerist is putting on her dangling gypsy earrings, donning her magical
robe, and peering once again into her crystal ball to see what awaits the legal
profession for the year. Here are her predictions for 2013:
1. Working from home will become de rigueur. Because if you don’t waste time changing out of your pajamas, taking showers, and schlepping to work, you can increase billables by at least 1.6 hours a day.
2. Women affinity groups will increase exponentially. There will be groups for women on partnership track, women who are just grateful to have a job, women who must work, women who have rich husbands, women who nurse, women who secretly don’t nurse, etc.
3. Women will fret and argue about their "looks." What do women have to do to look credible and authoritative? Should they color their hair or let it go gray? Grow it long like Joni Mitchell, or crop it short like a Marine? Should they dress like a librarian or a dominatrix? So many choices.
4. Management will remain in the hands of white, middle-aged men. While the women are busying themsleves with affinity groups and dashing about town for hair appointments, male partners will get balder and richer. And they will have no trouble finding age-inappropriate girlfriends to help them spend their money.
5. Women and a handful of men
(mostly graduates of Yale Law School) will insist that men really, really care about
work/life balance. Meanwhile, men will continue to ascend to
equity partnership, while women’s equity rates will stay at 15 percent.
6. Firms will institute “competence models” to gauge associates’ legal acumen. Pity there’s no measure of partner competence, which is the more critical issue.
7. Firms will announce zero tolerance for partners who are abusive toward underlings. But partners with big books of business are always exempt.
8. Firms will announce zero tolerance for partners who are sexual harassers. See exception above.
9. Law schools will see a sharp decline in the number of applicants. But new law schools will continue to proliferate like Costco’s and no school will close its doors.
10. Law firms will be under intense pressure to keep a lid on hourly rates, but Ted Olson will be exempt. Olson’s rate will hit $2,000 an hour (hey, it’s already $1,800).
HAPPY NEW YEAR!