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Study: Many law firms unprepared for future challenges

January 12, 2018

Are law firms simply fighting the last war? Are they preparing for the future, or are they stuck in the past? Those questions are at the center of a report released Thursday that focues on stagnating demand growth, declines in productivity and a rise in expenses.

Those potential trouble spots are highlighted in the “2018 Report on the State of the Legal Market.” The study says the average lawyer is now billing 156 fewer hours than they did just over a decade ago, costing their firms $74,100 per year.

Also of primary concern to the study’s authors was law firms’ ability to withstand future economic downturns. They note that since the financial crisis of 2008, firms have held their own by most metrics. Yet the sluggish recovery points to an overall loss in market share.

The study was released by the Center for the Study of the Legal Profession at Georgetown University Law Center and Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute and relies on data from Thomson Reuters Peer Monitor.

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