Lawyers and industry consultants have wailed about the confl icting pressures between profits and optimal client service for years. Yet there has been little appreciable influence upon the rush by law firm leadership to adopt whatever changes in firm structure and operating procedures they thought would drive profits higher. How has the situation changed to warrant renewed discussion of the subject? This time it isn’t the consultants speaking out but the clients. Money issues on alternative fees that clients pressured for didn’t break law firm hubris about billing practices, though the movement has overcome inertial
resistance and begun to work change in that arena. Now it is professional and other ethics that are impacted, a sacrifice for the sake of law firm profit that drives to the very heart of the attorney-client relationship: loyalty, trust, and professional duty.
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