THE LEGAL PROFESSION is facing a recession-driven downturn, as decreased economic activity means fewer business decisions that demand a lawyer's advice and review. [...] yet, some lawyers are busier than ever, as the recession generates work for those who specialize in bankruptcy and litigation, or who represent investors hit with heavy losses on Wall Street. When recruiting at law schools, firms make offers a year in advance, said Klein, who heads the firm's hiring committee; the three graduates his firm committed to a year ago will start work as scheduled in September, he said, but the firm is postponing the recruiting it normally would be doing right now.
Law Bankruptcy attorneys remain busy in down economy Heavy Wall Street losses are providing more work for some lawyers At LeClair Ryan, “we are seeing a change the net result is that LeClair ryan, which in the distribution of work,” said Gary D. has 300 lawyers in 20 offices in the United States, By Beth Fitzgerald And yet, some lawyers are busier than LeClair, chief executive officer. “A year ago, we expects to grow this year — though slower than the LegAL profeSSIon is facing a reces- ever, as the recession generates work for those were doing more work in business transac- in the early years of this decade, when the sion-driven downturn, as decreased economic who specialize in bankruptcy and litigation, or tions, in real estate buying and selling. now, economy boomed. the firm has done some BED6465 Law NJBiz.doc:Layout 1 4/20/09 12:52 PM investors hit with heavy losses activity means fewer business decisions that who represent Page 1 we have more work in the bankruptcy and modest hiring, LeClair said: “We have more law- demand a lawyer’s advice and review. on Wall Street. workout areas.” yers today than we projected when we did our budget back in the fall of 2008.” David Freinberg heads the firm’s newark office and specializes in real estate. And while the recession has changed commercial real estate law, he still has plenty of work. “A year ago there were numerous transac- tions on my plate: development sales, acquisitions of real estate, major leasing transactions. these days, my transactions tend to be more of a workout nature — lease disputes that lead to workouts.” the result, freinberg said, is more real estate litigation to compensate for fewer real estate “A year ago we were doing more work in business transactions, in real estate buying and selling. Now, we have more work in the bankruptcy and workout areas.” David Freinberg, head of LeClair Ryan’s Newark office deals. “I do a pretty significant leasing practice, and now a lot of it is tenants coming, hat in hand, Clients know they can depend on to their landlords and saying, ‘We can’t make a go of it unless you make concessions.’” Bederson & Company. For over “our litigation and bankruptcy areas are 70 years, we have provided financial extremely busy,” said Steven R. Klein, a mem- expertise and guidance to individuals ber of hackensack-based firm Cole Schotz,
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