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If present trends continue in the big firm market, we are heading toward – you pick the cliche – a paradigm-shifting, blood-in-the-suites, terror-on-the-campus hiring and retention crisis. The “economic reset” that General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt referred to seems likely to force changes in the way firms recruit, pay, and/or retain their lawyers. The market for labour has changed and, for now at least, there is no normal to which it can return.

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