Legal Profession Workshop: The Future of Big Law
Ever since the global financial crisis, legal media have focused on the contraction of the corporate legal services sector. But the future holds more high-end corporate law work, not less; the question is who (or what) is going to perform that work, in what organizational setting and what part of the world. This seminar will address the key dimensions of change in the "big law" market and how changes in the delivery of corporate legal services may affect legal careers, gender equality, diversity, and work-life balance. Topics include the increased power of General Counsel, new organizational models for delivering corporate legal services, the response of large law firms to new market factors, the expanding role of information technology in the delivery of corporate legal services, third-party litigation financing, changing legal markets outside the US, the evolution of global law firms, the effects of changes in law firm organization on women and lawyers of color, and the effects of changes in the legal market on legal careers. Course materials will include books and journal articles, media reports, blog posts and guest lectures. Students may enroll either in Section 01 or Section 02. Students in Section 01 will receive 3 credits and write research papers on a topic of their choice, relying primarily on existing literature (e.g. journal articles, media reports and blog posts). These papers will be due on the regular submission date for Winter Quarter Courses. Students in Section 02 will receive 4 credits and write research papers on a topic of their choice, based on their own empirical research projects. Students may use existing ALM datasets (available through the library), conduct qualitative interviews or online surveys, scrape data from the Web, or use other data sources in their research. Prof. Hensler will meet with students in Section 02 as necessary to advise on research design, data collection and analysis. Research papers for Section 02 will be due on the submission date FOR THE SPRING QUARTER. Elements used in grading: Class participation and research paper.