The Careerist is putting on her dangling gypsy earrings, donning her magical robe and peering once again into her crystal ball to see what awaits the legal profession for the year. Here are her predictions for 2013:
1. Working from home will become de rigueur. Because if you don’t waste time changing out of your pajamas, taking showers and schlepping to work, you can increase billables by at least 1.6 hours a day.
2. Women affinity groups will increase exponentially . There will be groups for women on partnership track, women who don’t care a hoot about partnership, women who must work, women who don’t want to work, women who nurse, women who secretly don’t nurse, etc.
3. Women will fret about how their appearance affects their careers. Should they let their hair go gray — or let it grow long and wild, or crop it short? Should they dress like a librarian or a dominatrix to gain credibility?
4. Management will remain in the hands of white, balding , middle-aged men. While the women are busy serving on affinity groups and changing hairstyles, male partners will continue to make the big bucks and attract age-inappropriate girlfriends or wives.
5. Women and a handful of men (mostly graduates of Yale Law School) will insist that men really care about work/life balance. Meanwhile, men will continue to ascend to equity partnership, while women’s equity rates will stay at 15 percent.
6. Firms will institute “competence models” to gauge associates’ legal acumen. Pity there’s no measure of partner competence, which is the more critical issue.
7. Firms will announce zero-tolerance for partners who are abusive toward underlings. But partners with big books of business are always exempt.
8. Firms will announce zero-tolerance for partners who are sexual harassers. But see exception in No. 7.
9. Law schools will continue to see a decline in the number of applicants.But new law schools will continue to proliferate like Costcos, and no law school will be so short of applicants that it will go out of business.
10. Law firms will be under pressure to keep a lid on hourly rates, but Ted Olson will be exempt. Olson’s rate will hit $2,000 an hour (hey, it’s already $1,800).