What role should Bar Associations play for Unemployed Attorneys?

Unemployed Attorney

In tight legal market newly minted associates get help from Bar Associations

It has not been the best of times for recent law school grads. There are fewer associate jobs in BigLaw, and with recent layoffs there remains a great deal of legal talent on the Street. Competition is fierce.

Help for many has been found from a non-traditional source: State and City Bar Associations. The Chicago Bar Foundation is creating an incubator and the New York City Bar Association is starting a law firm of sorts. Both are aiming to connect newly admitted  lawyers with clients, charging lower prices than typical firms.

It will be interesting to see whether this becomes a permanent solution or if it is a stop-gap measure to help for only a short time frame. As one can imagine, larger questions are at play.

Automation is changing the work of many attorneys. Dozens of websites are offering inexpensive advice and information services that are now reshaping traditional law practices, outsourcing of traditional work such as legal research and document review to countries like the Philippines and India is redefining the role of a junior associate, and tighter cost controls demanded by clients are all working to increase the pressure on the profession. Perhaps Bar Associations may have to play a larger role with seasoned attorneys as well?



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