ON THE BUBBLE - Many legal industry observers expect more Cooley-sized layoffs in 2023’s first quarter in transactional-heavy firms, even beyond those reliant on the tech sector. For shops that already bulked up too much, too quickly during the recent boom, it’s probably too late. But what about the rest of Big Law? Have law firms learned anything from yet another cycle of overhirings-turned-instant-firings or are they content to keep bringing aboard seasonal help like some kind of fancy Spirit Halloween? As Law.com’s Justin Henry reports, it’s a trickier problem than it might appear to be on the surface. “The way you solve it is to manage your time better or you turn down work,” Mark Santiago, a New York-based law firm consultant and partner with SB2 Consultants, told Henry. “Both of these things are anathema to attorneys.”

HOT PROPERTY - The tech sector has been hit hard by recent unstable economic conditions, but no matter how much upheaval ultimately occurs there is one reliable constant: fleece vests. OK, actually, there are two reliable constants: fleece vests and IP litigation. Big Law attorneys told Law.com’s Jessie Yount that patent litigation continues to see steady demand and likely won’t slow even as clients adopt other belt-tightening measures. “Those of us who went through 2008 know that patent litigation can be countercyclical,” said Erin Gibson, the chair of the International Trade Commission practice at DLA Piper. “No one wants to be caught flat-footed. When bracing for a recession, companies are looking at alternative revenue streams and that can include the monetization of patents.”

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