Chicago Big Law: In a Cold Market, Some Shrinkage is to be Expected
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Big law has some some slight shrinkage in head count this last year, with Chicago’s 25 biggest firms contracting by 2.5 percent in the year ending June 30. Such firms are doing what most businesses have done through this recession: hire less, expect more of those you retain.

As David Mendelssohn, managing partner of DLA Piper’s Chicago office, and as reported by Chicagobusiness.com, said that headcount was les relevant than attorney output. In other words, they may hire less attorneys, but they expect more out of them.


“I think we have had considerable success on all fronts,” he said. “We’ve definitely seen a downsizing in recruiting younger lawyers out of law school, and I think the trend pervades the industry.”

As we know well by now, it’s a tough market for fresh JD’s. The industries are gleaning talent from data and analysis, and as legal recruiter Kay Hoppe, president of Credientia Inc. in Chicago said, “true talent is being identified – and paid for. At the ends of the day, profitability will be strengthened by it.”

In other words, if their system doesn’t discover you to be “true talent,” you are SOL.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!

Meanwhile, Chicago’s biggest law offices continue to decline, with the number one office, Kirkland and Ellis, and number six Jenner and Block, reporting slightly smaller numbers. Kirkland makes the most of it, though, garnishing twice the revenue per lawyer than Mayer Brown, and all the others.





Search Now

Senior Antitrust Associate Attorney

USA-CA-San Diego

San Diego office of our client seeks Senior Antitrust Associate Attorney with 7 years of experience....

Apply Now

Senior Antitrust Attorney


Seattle office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks Senior Antitrust Attorney with 9 y...

Apply Now

Patent Attorney


Washington, D.C. office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks Patent Attorney with 1 ye...

Apply Now


Closing Attorney


The Uptown Law Firm is seeking Attorney to handle real estate transactions on a per-file basis throu...

Apply now

Family Law Attorney


EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY McKinley Irvin is looking for an exceptional family law attorney ...

Apply now

Associate Attorney - Construction Litigation


Woolford Kanfer Law is a busy business law and litigation boutique in Lancaster, Pennsylvania that s...

Apply now

Title Underwriting Paralegal


Opening available for a Title Underwriting Paralegal with a law firm in downtown Greenville.  M...

Apply now

Most Popular


To Top