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Amid all the sound and fury about imminent disruption in legal markets, there is always one vaguely defined group assumed to be largely exempt from the coming maelstrom: the venerable and venerated white-shoe elites of Wall Street.

An air of permanence clings about these names, bolstered by the twin mystique of prestige and pedigree. It is perhaps fitting that Wall Street is named for the defensive wall that once guarded the shores of New Amsterdam before New York came to be. In much the same way, many of Wall Street’s most elite law firms trace their roots back to a time that predates living memory. Their perennial prosperity, relatively undeterred by the shockwaves of the Great Recession, only reinforces the perception of unassailability.  

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