The outlook for manpower in the law-firm niche of the legal sector doesn't look good. That's because of the surge in mergers. Mergers create redundancies. And redundancies provide legal cover for massive layoffs.
In The American Lawyer, Roy Strom reports:
"A report ... [from] legal search firm Fairfax Associates said there were 14 mergers in the third quarter for a total of 49 so far this year."
When an industry consolidates, business as usual ends. Expectations about hiring, promotions, and terminations go out the window. In addition, once consolidation begins, it tends to become standard.
An example is the food processing industry in the U.S. There had once been so many companies, large and small. Currently, General Foods, Kraft, and Heinz are one entity. That entity only needs one set of X or Y macro functions.
It's also a red flag that, as Abovethelaw's Joe Patrice explains, that there is fundamental market weakness in the legal sector. The industry has not bounced back from the crash. It has not responded effectively to the changing demands of clients. And, technology will continue to eat its lunch, dinner, and breakfast.
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