This story may give you a clue. Some California real estate lawyers, especially on the residential development side, are not fully utilized, so they are using the time to work on restructurings, risk management and other related projects. The major California dirt boutiques mentioned in the story (interestingly filed under "small firms"...LOL) all say they are doing all right, and that while they may take some flat revenues or per partner profit hits, there are no plans to pull a Cadwalader. Heck, Allen Matkins is even larger by 15 lawyers!
As I have said before, this is a smart strategy. In the 1990s there was a dearth of junior real estate talent because no one joined the field for several years running. By maintaining numbers and not going nuts with growth and layoffs, there's more stability. In short, these firms learned what some firms (you know who they are!) did not learn in the last layoff debacle or two.