Instead of typical season’s greetings from grateful clients flooding lawyers’ offices, a more ominous wave of seasonal messages are streaming in to lawyers’ inboxes. The message from clients is “Thanks for your swell work last year. If you want to continue working for us next year, you’re going to have to bite the bullet and take a cut in pay.”
Numerous surveys of corporate counsel recently conducted consistently report that corporations intend to reduce the amount spent on outside counsel in amounts ranging from five to ten percent and sometimes even higher. Corporations are turning to regular outside counsel advising them that next year’s legal spend will be lower. Outside counsel are being told pretty bluntly to either be part of the solution or be identified as part of the problem, with obvious adverse consequences to the firm.
Reductions in demand for legal services obviously means a shrinking pie and firms need to grab a larger slice of that reduced pie in an increasingly competitive and price sensitive market.
Here are some practical steps to take to meet law firm client’s needs.
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