Economy has shifted law firm leaders' attitudes

May 16, 2012
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The downturn in the economy has led to more law firm leaders accepting legal market trends that many had dismissed several years ago.

According to Altman Weil’s 2012 Law Firms in Transition survey, the legal management consulting company found that the emerging market trends that were viewed with skepticism in 2009 – when the company first produced this survey – have become majority opinions this year.

In 2009, 42 percent of those surveyed believed that more price competition will be a permanent fixture of the post-recession legal market; 92 percent believe that now.

In 2009, 23 percent of firm leaders believed that there would be fewer equity partners in law firms than in the past; this year, 68 percent believed that.

This year, 84 percent of those surveyed believe more commoditization of legal work will be a permanent change; in 2009, only 26 percent of respondents thought that was the case.  

Smaller first-year classes are most likely here to stay. This year, 55 percent responded they believe that, whereas back in 2009, only 11 percent did.

The survey also looks at the confidence and concerns law firm leaders in the U.S. have. The leaders gave themselves a median rating of seven on a scale of zero (not at all confident) to 10 (completely confident) regarding their overall confidence that their firms are fully prepared to keep pace with the challenges of the new legal marketplace. Last year, the median rating was eight.

Altman Weil found respondents’ primary concerns for the next two years include sustaining and growing profitability, succession, and attracting and maintaining talented lawyers.

The full 75-page survey is available on Altman Weil’s website.
 

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  1. "Am I bugging you? I don't mean to bug ya." If what I wrote below is too much social philosophy for Indiana attorneys, just take ten this vacay to watch The Lego Movie with kiddies and sing along where appropriate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etzMjoH0rJw

  2. I've got some free speech to share here about who is at work via the cat's paw of the ACLU stamping out Christian observances.... 2 Thessalonians chap 2: "And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last."

  3. Did someone not tell people who have access to the Chevy Volts that it has a gas engine and will run just like a normal car? The batteries give the Volt approximately a 40 mile range, but after that the gas engine will propel the vehicle either directly through the transmission like any other car, or gas engine recharges the batteries depending on the conditions.

  4. Catholic, Lutheran, even the Baptists nuzzling the wolf! http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-documents-reveal-obama-hhs-paid-baptist-children-family-services-182129786-four-months-housing-illegal-alien-children/ YET where is the Progressivist outcry? Silent. I wonder why?

  5. Thank you, Honorable Ladies, and thank you, TIL, for this interesting interview. The most interesting question was the last one, which drew the least response. Could it be that NFP stamps are a threat to the very foundation of our common law American legal tradition, a throwback to the continental system that facilitated differing standards of justice? A throwback to Star Chamber’s protection of the landed gentry? If TIL ever again interviews this same panel, I would recommend inviting one known for voicing socio-legal dissent for the masses, maybe Welch, maybe Ogden, maybe our own John Smith? As demographics shift and our social cohesion precipitously drops, a consistent judicial core will become more and more important so that Justice and Equal Protection and Due Process are yet guiding stars. If those stars fall from our collective social horizon (and can they be seen even now through the haze of NFP opinions?) then what glue other than more NFP decisions and TRO’s and executive orders -- all backed by more and more lethally armed praetorians – will prop up our government institutions? And if and when we do arrive at such an end … will any then dare call that tyranny? Or will the cost of such dissent be too high to justify?

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