If Howrey disappears, most Big Law leaders will make distinctions; they’ll focus on how their organizations are different from Howrey. More interesting are the similarities, especially the universal forces that might render others vulnerable to the highly respected firm’s current plight.

First is the speed with which events can overtake seemingly secure institutions. On May 19, 2008, Legal Times hailed Howrey’s chairman Robert Ruyak as one of the profession’s “Visionaries.”

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