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Just One Word: Bankruptcy!

Lawyering through the downturn.

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A bad economy means good times for bankruptcy lawyers, and budding barristers want a piece of the action. At corporate-restructuring powerhouse Weil, Gotshal & Manges, which has handled more big Chapter 11 cases than any other firm this year, including the bankruptcies of Steve & Barry’s and the Sharper Image, 70 percent of this year’s summer associates opted for a bankruptcy-group rotation, up from 55 percent last year, and the group is hiring fourteen first-year associates this fall, double last year’s incoming class. It’s a “hot and sexy” field now, says Ronit Berkovich, a Weil, Gotshal associate who moved to bankruptcy from corporate law. “Lawyers like to see their deals on the front page of The Wall Street Journal,” she says. “These days, bankruptcy makes great cocktail conversation.”

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