Big Law career guide: How firms are navigating the new normal, which practice areas are faring the best, and how pay is shaping up

Big Law career guide: How firms are navigating the new normal, which practice areas are faring the best, and how pay is shaping up


We’ve been tracking hot practice areas, start dates for 2020 associate classes. Here’s everything we know.

Samantha Lee/Business Insider


The legal industry has seen its fair share of disruption from the coronavirus pandemic: Many law school graduates were — and still are — stuck in a state of limbo, while top law firms have seen pay cuts, layoffs, and furloughs. 

Still, there have been some bright spots. Restructuring lawyers have seen a surge in activity as clients looks to navigate the crisis, and firms with strong labor and employment practices are getting a boost as clients navigate cutting jobs and workplace safety issues. 

And the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in July that the legal industry added 1,900 jobs since the past month, continuing an upward trend that may be indicative of the industry’s growth and recovery.

We’ve been tracking hot practice areas, how revenues are shaping up for Big Law firms, and start dates for 2020 associate classes. Here’s everything we know. 

Career prospects

Delayed start dates for first-year associates

Summer associate programs

Compensation and headcount

How law students are grappling with uncertainty 

Winners and losers

If you have any additional information for us, contact this reporter at csullivan@businessinsider.com, DM on Twitter @caseyreports, or Signal message at 646 376 6017.

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