BigLaw and the Profession (and Business) of Law

Information Introduction

Section 1, Fall 23

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 18/20
Credits: 3
Days Time Room Start Date End Date


1400-1600 WB121

Course Description

For many, if not most of us who study law at this venerable institution, the first, and for a very few the only, venues in which we will practice our profession will be law partnerships that are among the group of entities that have come to be known, affectionately or derisively, as “Big Law.” This is the group of law businesses generally regarded as the largest and most prestigious firms in the United States and the world. This course will look at the evolution of these institutions from the early days of law practice partnerships and, with the help of guest “experts,” reflect on what they look like today, how they operate, and the concerns that keep their leaders up at night. We will consider the consequences of and reactions to the business and professional pressures that leading law firms and the lawyers in them face in the current market for legal services, and how associates and other lawyers “fit” into the vision and realities of these large legal partnerships. The relationships and congruencies between these manifestations of our profession and the culture and society in which they operate will be assessed. And we will conclude by deliberating in class over possible approaches to addressing some of Big Law’s toughest issues in light of all of the above. Today’s law students will help shape whatever the business of Big Law will look like in 2025, so having a good grounding in where Big Law came from, why and how it has evolved, its trials and tribulations, and the options and critical decisions that will have to be made by Big Law firms in the coming years will be important for new lawyers and for the profession.

Course Requirements

Exam Information

Final Type (if any): None

Description: None

Written Work Product

In addition to class participation, students will be evaluated on two short papers during the semester, as well as a longer final paper to be submitted at the conclusion of the course. The final paper is due via EXPO by noon on Dec. 20th (day before last day of exam period). .

Other Course Details

Prerequisites: None Concurrencies: None

Exclusive With: None

Laptops Allowed: No

First Day Attendance Required: No

Course Resources: To be announced.

Graduation Requirements

Satisfies Understanding Bias/Racism/Cross-Cultural Competency requirement: No

Satisfies Writing Requirement: No

Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: No

Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

Additional Course Information

Schedule No.: 123819766

Modified Type: ABA Seminar

Cross Listed: No

Concentrations: Business Organization and Finance

Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens: Friday, November 24, 12:01 AM

Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Friday, December 08, 11:59 PM

Information reflected on this page was last refreshed at: Wednesday, June 12, 2024 - 7:17 AM *

*During open enrollment periods, live enrollment data may be found in SIS.