Law firm business models are under a lot of pressure. And this has been true for quite some time. When I was a young lawyer at a regional corporate firm, I would go to the office early in the morning, leave in the evening, and bill almost every minute in between. And clients would pay for all that time. But it’s increasingly difficult to get clients to oblige.
Companies have long complained about the ever-increasing hourly rates charged for legal work. And during the recession in the late 2000’s, they began to push back on rates in a big way. They also started pulling more of their work in-house. Companies were able to do more of their own legal work because there was simply less to do during the recession. Plus their in-house lawyers were willing to work extra hard in light of market turmoil and job insecurity. Then, when business began to pick up and corporate legal departments once again needed help with overflow, they simply hired new lawyers rather than sending the work to their outside firms.
[click to continue…]
The billable hour is bad for your law business. It’s also bad for your career, it’s bad for your clients, and, yes, it’s bad for your soul.
The billable hour is the basic economic unit of most corporate law firms
From the traditional law firm perspective, billable hours are what they sell. Sure firms advertise the skill and pedigrees of their lawyers, the depth and breadth of their practice areas, their geographic reach, their success stories, and their best clients. (And, of course, every law firm is responsive, cost-effective, and client-centered.) [click to continue…]
theContractsGuy is a new blog and I’m still finding my voice. So far I’ve pretty much kept to the topic of contracts and the process of contracting. But those who follow my Twitter feed, Facebook page, and LinkedIn updates know that I’m also interested in other areas of business law, legal services technology, the changes the legal profession is undergoing, and law firm business models. (I’m also interested in Latin, but I don’t tweet about that very often.)
I’ve often been tempted to cover those topics here, but, other than this brief description of an area in the nether regions of the blog where I’ve posted links to interesting discussions about law firm business models, I’ve resisted the urge. That might change, but not today. [click to continue…]
There’s such a good discussion bouncing around a few law blogs that I couldn’t resist a quick post on a non-contracts topic. Toby Brown, one of the “geeks” at 3 Geeks and a Law Blog, and Ron Friedmann, the writer of the Strategic Legal Technology blog, started the discussion Tuesday with this post, which appears on both blogs. Mary Abraham chimed in with this post at the Above and Beyond KM blog, and Stephen B. Levy contributed to the discussion with this post at the Lexician blog. More good discussion is sure to come.