Law: Cadwalader

July 31, 2008

I had every intention of doing a blog tonight about a few more things that have been bothering me in politics.  Instead, I feel the need to trash one law firm that has recently demonstrated why law students should not care about Profits Per Partner above all else. 

Cadwalader, Wickersham, and Taft one of the worlds most profitable firms, recently laid off 94 associates.  This is in addition to the 36 they laid off earlier this year (disclaimer, these numbers may be off by 2-4 either way).  In total, the firm laid off at least 120 attorneys in response to changes in the market.  Why did this happen?  A lot of reasons, but the major factor was the fact that the firm is poorly managed. 

During the height of the mortgage backed securities boom, Cadwalader went all in.  They created a massive practice and hired tons of attorneys without ever considering balance.  Now that the market has crashed, instead of folding these lawyers into the general business practice, Cadwalader is laying them off.  Why?  To preserve the almightly profits per partner.  I don’t normally blame companies for doing what they need to in order to make money, but here I find it troubling.  Not because I think it was wrong (firms should do what they want), but because I find it troubling that ANY law student with ANY choice would possible go for this trash-tastic place. 

I’m urging ALL LAW STUDENTS.  Screw this place.  If you are qualified, there will be other New York offers.  Sure you may have to swollow some pride and work for the tenth best firm in town instead of whatever CWT was, but at least you will know you aren’t working for a poorly managed third-tier-toilet. (Please note, I am not ignoring the fact that all firms are concerned with profits per partner or the fact that many firms are poorly managed, I’m merely saying, if you have any choice, ignore this trash firm.  They are quick to lay people off and apparently set up their lawyers to fail, such as loading up their firm with people that have exactly one skill which is now unmarketable).

That felt good to get off my chest.


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