"When Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe announced it would move scores of support staff to a small industrial town in West Virginia, lawyers inside and out were skeptical of the quality of work and the return on investment.
"But even with the purported success, most other large law firms still haven’t jumped to copy it for themselves. Leaders say savings wouldn’t be significant for their firms and the cost of splitting attorneys from staff would be too high [emphasis added].
"’We’re not like a big corporation,’ said Francis Milone, chair of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, which employs 1,300 lawyers. ‘We depend very heavily on personal relationships between lawyers and staff [emphasis added], and it would be a very substantial change and disruption if we told people you either don’t have a job or you can move to wherever.’
"Consultants say that law firms will eventually have to bite the bullet, especially with the ever-increasing cost of doing business, amplified by the recent round of associate salary hikes.
"The firm hung its "O" on the old Wheeling Stamping building in the spring of 2002 and fielded more than 6,000 applications for 73 positions [emphasis added]. Now with 160 employees, the around-the-clock center handles everything from computer network management and help desk services to billing and collections as well as library services, human resources administration and marketing research. Most recently, the firm even added paralegals to the mix [emphasis added]."
Really, what do you think about working in an office described as, "No lawyers practice here, just those who support them"?