Nearly three years ago four law students sat around a round table in the law library beneath a slowly-turning ceiling fan. Phil Reynolds, Talia Levin, Ratika Ganti, and Jeff Klein, all second-year law students, sat with their evidence casebooks out, reviewing their first week’s worth of course material. The four had been in a study group for a year at this point and found that they worked well together as a unit. Jeff had once referred to the group collectively as “the Tortmasters.” The name never caught-on.
The four students were ready to leave for home after their study session. Jeff stood to empty and clean his now-cold cup of coffee when Ratika spoke. “Y’know, if we’re not doing anything better within a year of taking the bar exam, we should all start a firm together.” She was met with silence. “I’m just saying, we’re so good at working together, maybe we should start a firm.” Jeff and Talia both felt that they would more-than-likely be working at a “better” job after passing the bar. Certainly a better-paying job, they though.
Phil spoke first. “We do work well together. I’m in,” he said.
“If I don’t have a better job, then sure,” said Talia.
“It sounds like a good back-up plan,” said Jeff.
None of them had counted upon an unprecedented economic collapse which would occur in just a couple months. The legal market would radically contract, affecting the new graduates disproportionately.