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Instant Insights / Government Shutdown Takes a Toll on the Legal Profession

The closure has reached epic proportions, becoming the longest in U.S. history. In this Instant Insights, we look at how it’s affecting lawyers and law students.

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A sign announcing the closure of the National Archives due to a partial government shutdown is displayed in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 27, 2018. (Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Capital markets lawyers can’t close on initial public offerings. Antitrust lawyers aren’t getting votes on mergers. And white-collar defense lawyers are delaying presentations before the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Some legal activities have nearly ground to a halt amid the federal government shutdown. While law firm lawyers are not losing pay now—unlike some of their counterparts in the federal government—several legal observers said it’s very possible the shutdown will be felt in firms’ first quarters’ financial results. That’s because several activities, including deals and court appearances, will be pushed back.

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Christine Simmons

Christine Simmons writes about the New York legal community and the business of law. Email her at [email protected] and find her on Twitter @chlsimmons

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