Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



The Great Recession intensified large law firms’ emphasis on financial performance, leading to claims that lawyers in these firms were now guided by business rather than professional values. Based on interviews with more than 250 partners in large firms, Mitt Regan and Lisa H. Rohrer suggest that the reality is much more complex. It is true that large firm hiring, promotion, compensation, and termination policies are more influenced by business considerations than ever before and that firms actively recruit profitable partners from other firms to replace those they regard as unproductive. At the same time, law firm partners continue to seek the non-financial rewards of being members of a distinct profession and are sensitive to whether their firms are committed to providing them. This book explores how lawyers are attempting to balance intensifying business demands and professional identity, and how firms play a crucial role in mediating efforts to navigate such tensions.

Publication Citation

Mitt Regan & Lisa H. Rohrer, BigLaw: Money and Meaning in the Modern Law Firm (University of Chicago Press 2021).