I've never really used the term BigLaw. It seemed a bit pejorative and I tend to think lawyers are lawyers, no matter their practice setting. In a recent New Republic article “The Last Days of Big Law - You can't imagine the terror when the money dries up” author Noam Scheiber defined them as the largest 150 and 250 law firms in the United States. In these firms PPP (Profits per Partner) are often in the 7 figure range. As you might assume from the title, this piece was controversial and generated some strong push-back. AmLaw Daily with “Don’t Bury Big Law Just Yet” and The National Law Journal rushed to refute the claims with statistics. Then Bruce MacEwen on his AdamSmith Esq blog and Patrick J. Lamb in this New Normal feature responded to those numbers and came to different conclusions. Many more postings followed.
This is all great fun, unless, of course your life and livelihood depends on who is right.
If you have some interest, but not the time to read all of these articles, a nice summary of the major points can be found in this post on The Last Honest Lawyer blog.
If you are a lawyer in a different practice setting and care more about your future than BigLaw's, I direct you to my recent blog post Big Ideas in Law Practice: Your Handbook for The Future. In the referenced material there, we tried to talk at least as much about solutions as challenges.