Article: David Lat Recovers, Returns to an Industry Upended by Contagion reports

hen he emerged from a 17-day hospital battle with Covid-19, legal news pioneer David Lat learned the legal industry had been turned upside down, again.

A dozen years ago, Lat, 44, was founding editor of Above the Law, a provocative legal news website launched in 2006 on the cusp of a global financial crisis when thousands of lawyers lost their jobs in Big Law layoffs and cutbacks.

“I covered the Great Recession, and I do see a lot of similarities now with a sense of great crisis and great concern over what is happening in the economy,” a convalescent Lat told Bloomberg Law, his voice raspy after spending six days on a ventilator to assist his breathing.

When he was hospitalized on March 16, the coronavirus had shuttered law firm offices in major cities, but hadn’t yet forced firms to adopt serious cash-saving measures. By the time Lat emerged, a number of Big Law firms had announced moves like pay cuts and furloughs to pare back their financial exposure to whatever economic damage the pandemic will bring to their business.

“I went into the hospital when things were booming, and now a month later, it’s a time of uncertainty,” Lat said. “But it’s not in freefall.”

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