Large, corporate law firms have dominated the legal profession since the 1960’s. Professors Galanter and Palay documented the era of large law firms and their exponential growth in Tournament of Lawyers.
However, the current recession is a challenge for the large, corporate law firm. Large firms face the effects of the recession with excess capacity and infrastructure commitments (people, technology, space) which were made in anticipation of continued exponential growth. Some firms have downsized dramatically and started over. Others are “hunkered down” and waiting out the storm, at reduced levels of profitability. Some will surely liquidate or dissolve.