Sunday, February 03, 2008


If any of you (and I suspect most of you) follow the legal gossip on the various legal blogs, you will undoubtedly know about the rough time that one of the "Big 3" LA firms has recently been having. Likewise, another big LA litigation firm boasting of trial lawyers that win 92% of their cases has also been recently dragged through the online mud.

Whether or not any of the information is true or not, the presence of the rumors on the legal blogs is something that law firms really need to keep track of. How these rumors affect their business, I don't know. But I do know that the rumors have definitely affected their law school recruiting efforts.

Since us law students don't know any better, we turn to rumor mills contributed to by anonymous individuals to inform us and shape our opinions of the various law firms out there when it comes time to picking where to interview and what offers to accept.

At least at our school, both of the aforementioned firms had tough times recruiting this year, as many of students with offers from both these firms chose to go elsewhere. I'm not sure the degree to which the rumors on these rumor mills were the students' deciding factor that contributed to their decision not to accept their offers, but I know that it definitely did play a part.

Despite the degree to which law firm partners bemoan the existence of the rumor mills, they do serve an important democratic purpose in terms of making it harder for firms to hide potentially damning information. I do admit that the rumors spread can sometimes be misleading or downright false, but a form of collective validation tends to weed out the false rumors from the real ones. If I were ever a law firm partner (and I sincerely hope that I will never become one), the legal rumor mills would be something that I would pay religious attention to, given their ability to change and shape the main asset for a law firm, namely the field of public opinion.

Wait, what? Drama and rumors in the legal profession? Shocking, since there's absolutely none of that in law schools.


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