HOME

Praise for Declining Profits

What a tour de force is Declining Prospects! This amazingly good, if salutary book, needs to be read not only by corporate lawyers, in-house counsel and lay clients, but also by law students and those who advise them. It has valuable lessons not only for the United States but also for lawyers of other countries, particularly the United Kingdom. The book covers the extraordinary changes in the legal profession from the 1950s to the present day. The changes now taking place, which are described in such clear and interesting detail, could not have been predicted in 1976 or even a late as 1990. I could not disagree with any of Trotter's sobering conclusions on the future of the legal practice.

His Honor Judge John Toulmin CMG QC FKC

Past President of the European Bar Council (CCBE), and Chairman of the European Law Academy (ERA) 1997-2010, now Honorary Chairman for Life

Mike Trotter may be the most well-informed and prescient current commentator on the economics and structure of organizations providing legal services to our nations' businesses. Declining Prospects pulls together a remarkable wealth of data on changes in large law firm economics and organization over recent decades and provides insightful analysis regarding the significance of these changes and the impact they may have on lawyers in and entering the profession. Whether his pessimism about the future of the highly-leveraged large commercial law firm is fully justified, only time will tell, but Trotter provides a factual basis for the intelligent reader to draw his or her own conclusions. For the young person considering law school and the possibility of a large-firm business law career, I cannot overstate the importance of reading and fully understanding Declining Prospects. As Trotter makes clear, the likelihood of a long-term high income career has declined while the costs of a legal education have escalated substantially. I believe every lawyer should give a copy of Declining Prospects to his favorite niece or young friend contemplating law school. I certainly will

John D. Hopkins

Retired Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Jefferson Pilot Corporation, former leader of the Corporate and M&A Practices of King & Spalding, and Partner, Taylor English Duma LLP

From the vantage point of a historian, economist and lawyer who personally has prospered from the phenomenal growth of the business of law, Declining Prospects author Mike Trotter tells us where the legal profession has been and where it's going. Not everyone will embrace the future he sees for lawyers, particularly the big law firms that have pushed partner profits to dizzying heights. While there's a bit of the scold in Trotter's analysis, he makes his best case for a changing business model for the profession when he falls back on his exhaustively detailed economic analysis of what happens when you have an increasing number of lawyers chasing a diminishing amount of work. For those contemplating their own future in the law, the message is clear: Enter the profession at your own risk and do it for the right reasons.

Ed Bean

Editor in Chief/ Associate Publisher, The Daily Report, ALM