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Law Students Make Appeal For Change

Publication Date: 
March 18, 2008
Source: 
Los Angeles Times
Author: 
Molly Selvin

Professor Michele Landis Dauber is quoted in a Los Angeles Times story about Building a Better Legal Profession, an organization founded by Stanford law students, "aimed at forcing law firms to change the way they hire and promote young lawyers:"

There's little sympathy for workaholic lawyers, said Stanford law professor Michele Landis Dauber, given the high starting salaries for new grads and annual per-partner profits of more than $1 million at some big firms.

...

To keep profits growing, law firms can either "put more hamsters in the wheel or increase the number of hours the hamsters are running," said Dauber, who advises the Stanford group.

Associates at many major firms are expected to bill 2,200 to 2,500 hours a year, she said, compared with an average of 1,700 hours in 1980. Add in work time lawyers can't bill and many are toiling 60 to 70 hours every week, she noted.

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This trend is especially harmful for women and minorities at major law firms. "The female hamsters are leaving the cage or getting flung from the wheel," Dauber said.