2015 Compensation at the Top Paying Trusts & Estates Law Firms of New York City
by Daniel June
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Two divergent trends in the legal world have put the Trusts and Estates practice in a strange position. On the one hand, with the recession of 2008, which has hit the legal market harder than most, and still shows little signs of recovery, big firms are expecting more from their lawyers, to bring in higher revenues, to do more work - a high pressure situation. It makes them wary of plumping out their T&E branches, considering that when helping wealthy families settle their wills, and so forth, they can't charge as much as they would to, say, IBM or GM.
On the other hand, we've got the baby boomers coming up, and that means there will be more wealth transferred between generations of families in the next ten years than ever before in history.
So if big firms are closing down their T&E practices - as Debevoise & Plimpton have just did, and as Weil, Gotshal & Manges did in 2011 - that creates a unique opportunity for boutique firms and smaller firms to join the lucrative T&E practice where traditionally the bigger firms have dominated.
"I've built my practice winning clients who want top-flight service and credentials but who are turned off by big-firm legal fees," said one attorney in a report given by CEG Worldwide. "I enjoy making house calls, am committed to reasonable fees and am glad to answer to my clients and not a management committee. It seems the profession needs to take a good hard look at the economics of lawyering and get in touch with the reality outside big business and big bucks."
Food for thought, and many T&E aspirants should take it to heart. Nevertheless, let's consider a chart of the top paying firms that have a thriving T&E practice in New York City. The pay is still considerable, and working with an established firm may offer less adventure, but perhaps more certainty in the future.
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