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Cooley Litigation Head Says Business is Rebounding
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A report out of the Bay Area indicates things are looking up for the legal sector, at least in California.

The Recorder caught up with Mike Rhodes, a partner at Cooley Godward and head of its 300-lawyer litigation group, who painted a brightening picture for law firms. He said “in terms of hours, people are working a lot harder than a year ago,” and estimated litigation hours are up 10 percent nationwide and 15 percent in the Bay Area.

Rhodes noted that all five of Cooley’s first-year associates that started at its San Diego office in January are on schedule to get at least 1,800 billable hours.

  
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“It’s not hard for me as a partner to sell my own time,” Rhodes said. “The better indicator of where you are as an institution is if you can fully engage fresh graduates in this economic climate.”

While business is picking up, Rhodes conceded it may be a while before hiring catches up. He said firms are part of what’s been called a “jobless” recovery from the recession.

“The economy looks better, but (overall) job creation is still lagging,” Rhodes told The Recorder. “Law firms are still in a bit of that mindset as well.”

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Specializing in technology, Cooley represent venture capitalists and entrepreneurs in emerging fields. The firm is headquartered in northern California and has offices in technology hubs around the country.





 

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