- A shift from “a sellers’ to a buyers’ market, one in which clients have assumed control of all of the fundamental decisions about how legal services are delivered and have insisted on increased efficiency, predictability, and cost effectiveness in the delivery of the services they purchase” is cited as the most significant market change in the 2015 Report on the State of the Legal Market, published by Georgetown Law center for the Study of the Legal Profession.
- Firms should expect to structure themselves “around their clients, innovating wherever possible, and showing clients how their firms are different from their competitors.” (Hildebrandt/Citi report)
- Corporations continue move legal work in-house; over 90% of the firms surveyed see that as a current or future threat.
- Potential clients also have access to technology they can use themselves, such as “online tools for drafting legal documents, that “reduces the need for lawyers and paralegals.” Well over half the firms surveyed see this as a current or future threat. (Altman Weil)
- A third threat comes from “non-law-firm providers of legal and quasi-legal services.” (Altman Weil) These include legal process outsourcing companies.
- Although the recession is over, many firms find that their partners still don’t have enough work. Despite “cuts made during the downturn, many firms” still have too many lawyers.” (Altman Weil)
All the surveys find that firms should take “a longer range view of the changes impacting the legal market and restructuring their services to meet likely client expectations in the future.” (Georgetown study) Very few are taking this new strategic approach.
The most successful firms ARE changing pricing models, and improving efficiency and staffing models. (All sources report this, but see Hildebrandt/Citi report p. 9-10 for a good discussion.)
Firms have consolidated and reduced their summer associate programs as well as hiring of first year associates.
Some are now “responding to RFPs and participating in competitive selection processes,” are better at “developing and working under project budgets and in responding to client demands for alternative fee arrangements,” and “have begun to develop project management capabilities as well as the skills needed to partner with other providers in disaggregated service settings.” (Georgetown study and see more discussion at Hildebrandt/Citi report).
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We have saved companies tens of thousands on their telecom and utility expenses with our proven cost reduction process. The results from the LT~CRS Process allow our Clients to reinvest the “savings” into growth initiatives or apply these “found profits” to their bottom line.
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