THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL presents the grim statistics of lawyer cuts in 2009. With 4% or 5259 lawyers sent packing it's the worst year for this sort of thing since NLJ began tracking three decades ago.
There's no light at the end of the tunnel. The industry is going through a paradigm shift which in itself will lessen demand for lawyers. Throw in the impact of technology as well as in-house doing more complex work and outsourcing. In addition, if this downsizing in legal follows the pattern of downsizing in corporate beginning in the early 1980s [think how Jack Welch eliminated 100,000 positions at GE], it will become an ongoing practice. On a clear day, you can't see many humans working in the Fortune 1000.