Possible words of warning for people working in bankruptcy law firms, boutique or not:
"If it's tough to be tiny, it's even tougher to be small and specializing in insolvency.
"San Francisco bankruptcy boutique McNutt & Litteneker began shedding attorneys in the summer of 2005 in tandem with a drop in business. The firm several years ago had 10 full-time lawyers -- eight of whom were associates. Last month's departure of its three remaining associates have name partners Scott McNutt and Rebecca Litteneker not just running the show -- they are the show.
"Lawyers in the bankruptcy field say it is a rare boutique that is growing -- or even holding steady -- today. Even at large firms, bankruptcy specialists have retooled to handle other types of work until the next upturn. Notorious for running counter to the general economy, the bankruptcy practice booms in recession and wanes when business is strong."