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Crystal Ball, Oh, Crystal Ball

Vivia Chen

January 1, 2013

© Pete Saloutos - Fotolia.comThe 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).




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I'm just shocked! that DLA hired Altorelli. We ALL know that he he were a woman his career would be history! What is DLA thinking? Oh, that's right - he has a big book of business. Forget about integrity. Stupid me - the legal profession lost that long ago...


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About The Careerist

The Careerist takes an inside look at how lawyers shape their careers and manage their lives. The blog aims to dissect developments in the profession, provide useful information and advice, and give lawyers a platform to voice their views. The goal is to provide a fresh, provocative take on the state of lawyering.

About Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen, The Careerist's chief blogger, has been covering the business and culture of law firms for a decade. A former corporate lawyer, Chen is fascinated by those who thrive (as well as those who don't) in the legal profession. Her take: Success in the law (and life) doesn't always travel a linear path. If you have topics you'd like to discuss or information to share, contact her: [email protected]

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