Declining Prospects

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About the author:
Michael H. Trotter received his law degree from the Harvard Law School in 1962 and his B.A. degree from Brown University cum laude (Phi Beta Kappa) in 1958. Prior to attending law school he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow in the Harvard University Ph. D. Program in American History and was awarded a Master's Degree in History in 1959.

Mr. Trotter's studies of law firm growth and change have combined the perspectives of a successful practicing attorney, an experienced law firm manager and a historian. As a partner in two of the largest and most successful firms in America (the predecessors of Alston & Bird and of Kilpatrick, Townsend & Stockton) and as the CEO of two entrepreneurial law firms, he has been a keen student of the economics and ethos of modern law practice.

Mr. Trotter has written and spoken frequently on law firm management, operations and economics and the cost-effective delivery of legal services. He is also the author of "Profit and the Practice of Law - What's Happened to the Legal Profession (1997, reissued 2012) which has emerged as the definitive work on growth and change in the legal profession in America from 1960 to 1995. He has also been a columnist for Atlanta's legal newspaper, "The "Daily Report," and he is the author of "Pig in a Poke? The Uncertain Advantages of Very Large and Highly Leveraged Law Firms in America," which appeared as a chapter in the American Bar Association's publication, "Raise the Bar - Real World Solutions for a Troubled Profession" (2007).

His courses in law firm management and economics at the Emory University School of Law in the early 1990s may have been the first, and were certainly among the first, to be taught at a major American law school. He is a partner in the "New Model" law firm of Taylor English Duma LLP.

Declining Prospects

How Extraordinary Competition and Compensation Are Changing America's Major Law Firms

Authored by Michael H. Trotter

"Declining Prospects," written by a leading expert on law firm economics and operations, describes the dramatic growth and change in many major American law firms in recent years, analyses their prospects for continued profitability and sustainability, and focuses on the vulnerabilities of many important firms manifested most recently by the collapse of Dewey & LeBoeuf. The book explains why and how such growth and change has come about including 1) greatly increased competition for available legal work resulting from the ubiquity of highly capable corporate law departments and a surplus of talented lawyers and law firms, 2) client resistance to the increasing costs of legal services, 3) the commoditization of many legal services and the impact of new technology on the delivery of those services, and 4) the unsettling impact of the profession's "unlimited free agency" system that enables lawyers with substantial client relationships to move from firm to firm seeking higher compensation.

Michael Trotter also comments tellingly on working conditions and the quality of life experienced by lawyers in today's major law firms. His observations throughout are supported by an abundance of facts and figures relevant to the topics considered. "Declining Prospects" will be of great interest to all lawyers, as well as to business executives interested in containing the costs of their legal services and anyone interested in the life of lawyers in the major American law firms or the role of the legal profession in America's business and economic life. Young people considering law school, and those advising them, will find valuable information concerning their prospects for a satisfying and profitable career as a lawyer.

Trotter's earlier book, "Profit and the Practice of Law-What's Happened to the Legal Profession," has emerged as the definitive work on growth and change in the major business practice law firms in America between 1960 and 1995, and has been widely praised by prominent lawyers, bar association leaders, law firm consultants and legal scholars.

Publication Date:
1475053738 / 9781475053739
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White with Bleed
Related Categories:
Law / Legal Profession

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