So I used to wish that I worked at big firm. The steady paycheck and benefits would be great. The whole support staff thing would be ... I don't even know how it would be but I've heard it's amazing.
And then I see what happened to Heller Ehrman last month. The firm announced it was dissolving. For those in groups lucky enough to be poached by another firm, it probably was not too bad. But for the associates on the outs with their supervising partners, I'm betting that they are still looking for work. In this market, its probably not fun.
Then today, I was surprised to see another of the San Francisco big firms going under. Thelen (formerly known as Thelen, Reid and Priest) is going under. The partnership council (doesn't that sound like a group of guys in robes, sitting around a round table with candles, chanting) has announced tha tthey will be winding up business by December 1. Apparently a combination of partnership defections, recessionary pressures, as well as other economic factors, forced the council to take this step after merger talks with other firms fell through.
Lot of expensive lawyers going to be looking for work. This is not a good time to be a law student. It was hard enough to get a job in the first place. Now with all the experienced associates who may be up for grabs, its just going to make things even harder.