The international consulting firm Hildebrandt Baker Robbins just released its 2011 Client Advisory. The report predicts that law firms will enjoy only modest gains -- "lower single-digit rates" -- in profits per equity partner in the wake of a two-year lull in demand for legal services and that the industry will not be returning to pre-recession revenue levels anytime soon.
At the roughly 182 firms surveyed, the advisory shows, demand for legal services was down by less than 1 percent through the first three quarters of 2010 after dropping by almost 4 percent during all of 2009. As a result, the author predicts firms need to employ innovative methods of cost cutting and achieving efficiency just to attain modest profitability. How? One way, is further reductions in the equity partner ranks. The dreaded " de-equitization”…a fate worse than death, especially when many of these folks have high mortgages, have kids in college or are caring for aging parents. That’s why marketing is so important, even for equity partners who are excellent lawyers.
Another article I want to bring to your attention is by my friend and one of the experts in my Expert Audio Series, Stacy Clark. Her excellent article entitled: “20 Free Services Lawyers May Want to Offer to Clients” can be found at: http://www.law.com/jsp/law/sfb/lawArticleSFB.jsp?id=1202478384419&_Free_Services_Lawyers_May_Want_to_Offer_to_Clients
Stacy reminds us that just in any other relationship we have, you have give before you get.
Very good advice.