Former Big Law Partner’s Bankruptcy Filing Emblematic of Malaise in Profession
Gregory Owens, a partner at a prestigious global law firm, made $375,000 last year, and yet on New Year’s Eve, he filed for bankruptcy. While part of Mr. Owens’ situation is due to personal circumstances, the precariousness of his finances also reflects the changing professional landscape for lawyers. As law firms compete for declining market share, they will likely continue to consolidate — a process that will see more partners ”de-equitized,” like Mr. Owens was when he moved from the collapsing Dewey & LeBoeuf to White & Case. These so-called service partners aren’t really partners at all, since they work on salary, and when their area of expertise isn’t hot, they may find themselves out of work. A career track that for decades was seen as a relatively secure path to success now seems anything but.