Building a Better Legal Profession is a national grassroots movement that seeks market-based workplace reforms in large private law firms. By publicizing firms' self-reported data on billable hours, pro bono participation, and demographic diversity, we draw attention to the differences between these employers. We encourage those choosing between firms — students deciding who to work for after graduation, corporate clients deciding who to hire, and universities deciding who to allow on campus for interviews — to exercise their market power and engage only with the firms that demonstrate a genuine commitment to these issues.
BBLP is a California non-profit corporation. It is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and donations to BBLP are tax-deductible. Click here to donate now.
Building a Better Legal Profession was founded in January 2007 by Stanford Law School students and quickly spread across the country. In winter 2007, the membership of BBLP drafted its first white paper, Principles for a Renewed Legal Profession, which laid out the negative effects of increasing billable hour requirements at private law firms. On April 2, 2007, the organization then sent copies of the document to the hiring partners and recruiting coordinators of the Amlaw 100 law firms. The effort was reported in various media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal.
BBLP began its next big project later that year, in summer 2007. Using publicly available data reported by firms and collected by the National Association of Law Placement (NALP), the organization examined the largest law firms in six geographic markets by several important quality-of-life criteria. BBLP produced a set of rankings for each market -- New York, Washington, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco / Silicon Valley -- for billable hour requirements, demographic diversity, and pro bono participation.
The organization released these reports on October 10, 2007 at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC the goal was to provide law students a new set of rankings to help them decide where to work after graduation. As more law students began to select firms based on quality-of-life criteria, rather than simply prestige or compensation, the top law firms would face increasing market pressure to reform their workplace culture in order to attract the best recruits. This project also received significant media attention, including from the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, CBS News, New York Law Journal, American Lawyer, and Above the Law. BBLP has subsequently been featured in over 100 newspaper and magazine articles.