Any good books on the history of big law?

Posting as :
works at
You are currently posting as works at

White Shoe by Jon Oller is the definitive book on this for the early days (gilded age/2nd industrial revolution era)

Warning: it is painfully dry stuff unless you're really into that era of history (I am not)


The Last Days of Night is about Paul Cravath taking on George Westinghouse as a client in a major patent lawsuit against Thomas Edison. It’s not exactly about the history of biglaw, but if you are particularly interested in the history of Cravath, this goes into detail about its founder and his thoughts on founding his firm.


Have to check this out. Thanks!

Not that I know of but House of Morgan by Rob Chernow talks about the growth of the banking system and the namesake of almost every V20 is mentioned in the book at least once.


Once upon a time Caligula wanted everyone to be miserable and to burn the world to the ground, so he made his horse a senator then invented biglaw. The end.


Not so much about the history of big law, but "the Taking of Getty Oil" is utterly phenomenal. It goes all into Marty Lipton and a couple other legal titans at the top of their game.


This and Barbarians at the Gate are two of my favorites

Shark Tank about the collapse of Finley Kumble is kind of fun.

Turks and Brahmins is about the change in Legal industry from a genteel partnership to a much more commercial firm (focusing on Milibank) and kind of shows why law firms are so different now from how they were in the mid-20th century.


The Partners by James B. Stewart. Turks and Brahmins by Ellen Pollock.


There’s one about how evil Sullivan and Cromwell is, but I can’t remember the title


More Posts

Does EY GDS layoff or fire any employee??


I have left Infosys in the month of July. Will I get the performance bonus for the April-June quarter in August?

Final settlement of salary has already been done. But I remember reading some policy that performance bonus will be paid with the regular payment cycle. Can someone confirm?

Does experience candidate get KT after joining new organization? Or will get assign task directly?


Best consulting companies for Healthcare related projects ?

Which field of science do you think is underfunded, and why?


If my package is 10.5LPA fixed then how much i get in hand ?


Manager with a big 4 and finally have enough liquid cash to make some meaningful market investments. I am admittedly a newbie to trading and honestly don’t have a lot of interest in self-managing but would like a brokerage and/or CFP guided account (that understands/can accommodate independence requirements).

Any recommendations on brokerage or service to get started? Looking at Vanguard Personal Advisor service at the moment… Thanks for any advise


What app do you all use for home expense budget ?


Hello Fishes,
Currently working as a functional analyst in ERP (Oracle-JDE) at
Deloitte USI.
Looking to upskill and switch for better opportunities in the strategy domain.
Any leads ?

YOE - 1.16 years
Salary- 7.6 lacs


Do you know there are fun pages on insta
with lot of relevant memes on MBBs, try
them! Start with Ben & co.

I got a offer from Shell Bengaluru, And they mentioned it's Hybrid and depends on Team, so approx will it be mandatory 3 days work from office?

Anybody working in Shell can help me understand please.


Hi everyone

I have an offer from LTI as a
senior Software Engineer in the Banking and Financial Services (B1) BU and will be associated with our Powai Office or our proposed SEZ site

What I wanted to ask is will the working location be Powai or will it be somewhere else like client location


Inflation higher than expected. Buckle up for a solid hike. Likely >.50


Anyone from the animation industry? What sales strategies have helped you to get direct clients? What has helped you to get ad agencies as clients?


Anyone in GPS (Deltek not Mercury) have experience submitting CISSP material for reimbursement?


Goodies? Anybody received them? what were they?

It’s the discipline - the secret behind 100’s of Indian American companies is now automated and reduced to 1 hr a day job: 1. Post content, trainings to attract a candidate to your Bench 2. Share bench to other recruiters and clients 3. Connect with chat and close contract

Who are you people that get an overall 5 rating as a senior 1? Are you in specific situations? Or what do you think was the reason for your 5?


Additional Posts in Big Law

What office chair do you use? Max $500 please 😂


I accepted an offer to join a national firm after graduating this summer. The pay is decent, and I am relatively happy so far (it’s only been a month since I joined). Today I received an email from a bigger, more prestigious firm I applied to months ago. They’re asking if I am still looking for an Associate role. I would like to interview with them to see what they have to offer. Would that be considered ‘disloyal’ towards my current firm that I just joined a month ago?


What transaction related questions should I be expecting as a second year lateral? How do you talk about your work experience effectively in a lateral interview (beyond listing the tasks you had to do)? This will be for an ECM role. Any and all other lateral interview tips appreciated!


Anyone else’s fishbowl app not working when you click notifications?


For those in the US market, what are your thoughts on King & Spalding vs. Morgan Lewis. I am not in the US now but would be looking to return to the States eventually (probably in 2 to 4 years) so want to know what people in the US think of each in terms of future opportunities that lateraling to K&S or ML would provide. Both are corporate M&A roles.


Has anyone tried just not complying with RTO? I’m a C/O 2020 in a NY corporate group and my firm recently set a date for returning to office 3 days/week. I have never worked in the office since I joined, am confident that I’m capable of wfh effectively and would 100% prefer keeping it this way. Has anyone, especially corporate juniors tried negotiating with their group on wfh? Fwiw my group is suffering from heavy attrition (even my class is more than 50% gone) and I have a good reputation.


Special place in hell for associates that take 2 week vacations the last two weeks of December and leave you to cover their matters. Fine to take vacation but being completely out of pocket when your deal is blowing up, leaving the rest of the team to step up is ridiculous. We all want to spend time with our families


Any insights on Morgan Lewis in Chicago? Average billables, culture, etc.?


Trying to gauge my skill level. Rising second year who started in m&a this spring (so around 8 months experience). I know how to run all of diligence and the closing, do schedules, draft consents, releases, resolutions, terminations, escrow ancillaries, formation docs, support agreements, contribution and exchanges, etc and manage multi office teams. I handle diligence calls and some of the smaller ancillary calls. When should I start working on the purchase agreement beyond adding comments?



Was/is it worth it?



DLA Piper: I’m very interested in lateraling here but I’m about to go on parental leave until March. I had a recruiter reach out and I’m trying to decide whether to throw my hat in now or wait until after leave. Does anyone have any insight into their litigation needs? It seems like they’re recruiting across the board for litigators, so I’m afraid they might not be looking to hire more next year.

Mid 2020, I turned down an opportunity to jump ship from my small law firm to a big law firm. At the time I had 4 years of practice under my belt with managerial experience. I thought the offer was reasonable, come in at a 2nd year level, but with the uncertainty of the times I played it safe. Now I regret it. What avenues do I have, if any, to jump into big law from a small firm?


What time do y’all leave the office? I’m a junior, and all my colleagues stay until sunset. I, however, come in around 8am and leave around 5/5:30pm…


Any 2022 reopenings yet??


First year in big law realizing how much taxes hurt, what percentage do people normally get back via a tax return?


I am a junior biglaw lit associate who is extremely extroverted. Unfortunately, I’m realizing that so far litigation hasn’t been as great for extroverts as advertised. Is this just the nature of being a junior attorney in any practice anywhere? Are there specific specialties within litigation that extroverts particularly enjoy? I generally like what I do but working crazy hours in mostly isolation doesn’t seem sustainable long term for my personality type.


I offered to cover for someone for one day on something and somehow it ended up with me having to work all night on a Friday for a closing a month later...big L


Me: "We should say X and not Y in this letter, because I don’t think we have sufficient documentation to say Y"

Partner: Sends letter saying Y anyway

Opposing counsel: "It is outrageous that you are claiming Y without any documentation!"


How to prepare for a new firm as a lateral?




New to Fishbowl?

Download the Fishbowl app to
unlock all discussions on Fishbowl.
That was just a preview…
Sign Up to see all discussions
  • Discover what it’s like to work at companies from real professionals
  • Get candid advice from people in your field in a safe space
  • Chat and network with other professionals in your field
Sign up in seconds to unlock all discussions on Fishbowl.

Already a user?
Login here


Embed this post

Copy and paste embed code on your site


Download the
Fishbowl app

See what’s happening in your industry
from the palm of your hand.

A phone with Fishbowl app

Send download link to your phone


Scan your QR code to download
Fishbowl app on your mobile

By continuing you agree to Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Messaging rates may apply

Download app

Sign up for free to view this conversation on Fishbowl

By continuing you agree to Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Already have an account? Log in

Sign up for free to continue using Fishbowl

By continuing you agree to Terms of Use(New) and Privacy Policy(New)
Messaging rates may apply

Already have an account? Log in

For account settings, visit Fishbowl on Desktop Browser or