This year has been a tough one for Big Law. Not only are profits down, layoffs up and morale low, but some big-firm lawyers have fled altogether, choosing to go it alone.

In January, Seth Bryant, of counsel in DLA Piper’s corporate securities group, left to start his own transactional boutique. He was joined by Gopal Burgher, Scott Jaffe and Paul Roberts in August, all of whom had worked at big firms for years, including Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Clifford Chance.

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