Categorized | Featured Stories, Legal Lasso

Legal Lasso: Is Big Law Doomed?

Editor’s Note: Stay on top of this news story and others by liking Law Week Colorado on Facebook!


ADIOS BIG LAW? Move over, Big Law. Small Law is in. And the trend has proven to be more than a temporary reaction to the 2008 financial meltdown, reports Four years later, corporate lawyers are flocking to small firms. Some lawyers call it disaggregation, and it reflects a change in the way the legal industry operates. Small firms are flourishing because clients’ demands have evolved over the years. Rather than relying on one firm and paying for a package of legal needs, clients are turning to different firms, and in some cases to legal support businesses, for different tasks.

DISBARRED HE WAS: Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas was disbarred in Arizona yesterday, and Colorado’s own John Gleason played a significant role in the decision. John Gleason, head of the Colorado Office of Attorney Regulation, was appointed by the Arizona Supreme Court in March 2010 to investigate and prosecute Thomas and two of his subordinates. Thomas was accused of bringing bogus charges against superior court judges, county supervisors and local attorneys in retribution for their disagreeing with him. Read next week’s issue of Law Week Colorado for the full story on what Gleason and his team endured in prosecuting Thomas.

THE WRONG PEOPLE HAVE STOPPED APPLYING TO LAW SCHOOL: This Atlantic article points out that while recent discussions about the utility or wisdom of a law degree have led to decreased numbers of LSAT takers and law school applicants, it appears the drop in numbers is happening most among applicants with the highest LSAT scores. While LSAT scores don’t necessarily correlate with a successful legal career, higher scoring applicants typically apply to the top-ranked schools. We’re not sure how this will all play out, but the April 23 issue of Law Week will include a look at what schools are doing (here and elsewhere) to innovate and change the game.

PRIVILEGE AND PRESERVATION IN THE CORPORATE SETTING: Davis Graham & Stubbs partner Andrea Wang will be presenting a free CLE program with ethics credits anticipated for in-house lawyers on how to avoid communication pitfalls in the digital age. The program is co-sponsored with Law Week Colorado. 7:30 – 9:00 a.m., Thursday, April 26, Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, 1550 17th Street, Suite 500 Denver, CO 80202. RSVP by e-mailing

TAKING THINGS INTO THEIR OWN HANDS: Patton Boggs, which sued a client for payment on more than $3 million in legal fees. In an attempt to recover millions in unpaid legal fees, the firm  filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Upaid Systems on March 26 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

AMIDST NEWS OF EMPLOYERS ASKING FOR PASSWORDS: Comes a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that checking Facebook during work isn’t a crime. From the opinion: “Many employers have adopted policies prohibiting the use of work computers for nonbusiness purposes. Does an employee who violates such a policy commit a federal crime? How about someone who violates the terms of service of a social networking website? This depends on how broadly we read the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.” The court answered no, but the ruling puts the Ninth Circuit at odds with the Fifth, Seventh and 11th circuits, which have adopted a broader view of the law’s sweep. Kozinski asked those courts to reconsider.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS: Judging by number of complaints filed with state regulators, many attorneys have trouble with money — not making it, but managing it. But money should be one of the last reasons an attorney gets his hand slapped, or worse, said Amy C. DeVan, assistant regulation counsel for the Colorado Supreme Court’s Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, who presented a CLE on the topic earlier this week.

WHO’S THE LARGEST FIRM OF ALL? That depends on whether you’re talking about worldwide size or just U.S., reports this New York Law Journal article.

NOW THIS IS JUST COOL: Caine Monroy is a 9-year old boy who spent his summer vacation building an elaborate DIY cardboard arcade in his dad’s used auto parts store. We know it has nothing to do with the law or politics, but what’s not to love about a kid with that kind of imagination? We think we all have something to learn from him.

OF NOTE TODAY: First Colorado budget debate.


NEW NAME: “The Buffalo Highway.”

NEW OLD NAME: “Arapahoe County Detention Center.”


LATEST LAW WEEK SURVEYS: Don’t wait to fill out the 1st Quarter Big Deals survey, the deadline is Friday, and we know there were deals that went down.


Heading out on the town? Tweet us at @BarefootPRDen or email us at to let us know about it. And if you’re lucky, we will swing by!

Send tips for this column to