"The parallels [Harper] draws between the failure of American law schools and the collapse of some of America's largest law firms are stunning. The root cause of both, he demonstrates, is simple greed for short-term gains. "
Time Magazine -- "Is There a 'Lawyer Bubble'?"
"The legal profession is facing some fundamental changes and Harper deserves credit for sounding the alarm...[His] big-picture argument is undoubtedly correct, and it is a real cause for concern." -- Adam Cohen, Yale Law School
Bloomberg Business Week - "Howrey's Bankruptcy and Big Law FIrms' Small Future"
Bloomberg Business Week featured THE LAWYER BUBBLE in print and online editions.
Bloomberg Business Week - "The Case Against Law School"
Bloomberg Business Week features THE LAWYER BUBBLE in an article about the perils of attending law school
Bloomberg Business Week - "Big Law Firms Are in 'Crisis,' Retired Lawyer Says
"If they're smart, lawyers, would-be lawyers, and corporate clients will consider seriously what Harper has to say." -- Paul M. Barrett
Law and More
"In addition to actual solutions with a comprehensive analysis of the problems, Harper provides a masterpiece of fine writing."
Forty-five thousand law students graduate each year with an average of more than $100,000 in debt. Upon graduation, only half will find jobs requiring a legal degree. Those lucky enough to land a job with a firm will find that an obsession with misguided short-term metrics has transformed a once-noble profession into just another business. They and their colleagues will face high rates of depression, and the majority will counsel their own protégés to choose a different career path.
In The Lawyer Bubble, lawyer and law professor Steven J. Harper investigates how the legal profession arrived at this crisis. He indicts the widespread fixation on rankings, the bottomless greed of equity partners, and the abdication of responsibility by law-industry leaders. In this meticulously researched and passionately argued book, Harper exposes the dirty secrets behind the legal profession’s malaise and explains what steps can be taken to repair the damage before it’s too late.
"Bar Examined" - Washington Monthly Book Review (March/April 2013)
"Harper chronicles the disruption of his once-genteel profession with considerable sadness, and places the blame squarely at the wing-tipped feet of two breeds of scoundrel: law school deans, and executive committees that have run big law firms..."
“With wit and insight, The Lawyer Bubble offers a compelling portrait of the growing crisis in legal education and the practice of law. This book is essential reading for anyone concerned about the profession or contemplating a legal career.”
—Deborah L. Rhode, Professor of Law and Director of the Center on the Legal Profession, Stanford University
“Imagine that the elite lawyers of BigLaw and the legal academy were put on trial for their alleged negligence and failed stewardship. Imagine further that the State had at its disposal one of the nation’s most tenacious trial lawyers to doggedly build a complete factual record and then argue the case. The result would be The Lawyer Bubble. If I were counsel to the elite lawyers of BigLaw and the legal academy, I would advise my clients to settle the case.”
—William D. Henderson, Professor, Indiana University Maurer School of Law
Director, Center on the Global Legal Profession
“This is a fine and important book, thoughtful and beautifully written. It makes the case – in a responsible and sober tone – that we are producing far too many lawyers for far too small a segment of American society. It is a must-read for leaders of law firms, law schools, and the bar, as the legal profession continues its wrenching transition from a profession into just another business.”
—Daniel S. Bowling III, Senior Lecturing Fellow, Duke Law School
“In this superb book, Steven Harper documents, ties together and suggests remedies for the deceit that motivates expanding law school enrollment in the face of a shrinking job market, the gaming of law school rankings and the pernicious effect of greed on the leadership of many of our nation’s leading law firms. The lessons he draws are symptomatic, and go well beyond the documented particulars.”
—Robert Helman, Partner and former Chairman (1984-98), Mayer Brown LLP; Lecturer, University of Chicago Law School
“Every sentient lawyer realizes that the legal profession is in crisis, but nobody explains the extent of the problem as well as Steven Harper. Fortunately, he also proposes some solutions – so there is still room for hope. This is an essential book.”
—Steven Lubet, author of Fugitive Justice and Lawyers’ Poker
“Steven Harper's The Lawyer Bubble is an expression of tough love for the law, law firms and the people who work in them. The clear message is take control of your destiny and your firm to avoid the serious jeopardy that confronts far too many firms today. Whether you are a partner, associate or law student, you should read this compassionate and forceful work.”
—Edwin B. Reeser, Former managing partner, author and consultant on law practice management