I don’t usually publicize my working papers. Prefer to wait until they’re published so I’m (reasonably) certain that all the kinks are worked out.
But if others are going to publicize for me, I guess I should at least link to it. Paul Oyer and I have a new working paper on which lawyers lost their jobs at the top 300 law firms during the recent recession. Here are three blog links to it:
I’m happy people found the study interesting, but the authors of these posts didn’t summarize entirely right. A couple of quibbles/clarifications: First, it’s not at all the case that people at fancy law schools are worse off than those who went to lower-ranked schools. You’re much more likely to end up working for a big, fancy law firm making a lot of money if you go to a top school. (And Paul and I have another working paper that showing that.) It’s just that conditional on making it to a big, fancy firm, it seems you were a bit more likely to get laid off (at least early in your career).
Second, it’s not the case that hiring networks are associated with the likelihood of being laid off, just the likelihood of turnover.
That is, an associate is less likely to leave a job voluntarily if there are partners from the same school at the firm. But an associate is no less likely to be laid off when there are partners from the same school.
We don’t exactly know why the patterns in lawyer firings look like they do, but we’re working on some models that might explain it.