Survey: Large firms surpass small firms in strategic change efforts

Tech surveyAccording to Altman Weil, Inc., its sixth annual Law Firms in Transition Survey shows broad consensus among law firm leaders on the changing nature of the U.S. legal market in 2014, as well as an emerging gap between larger firms and smaller firms in their response to those changes.

“Many firms, especially firms with fewer than 250 lawyers, are not making sufficient investments in a future they acknowledge will be different—and different in seemingly predictable ways,” says Altman Weil principal and survey co-author Tom Clay.

When asked about the most likely change agent in the legal market over the next 10 years law firm leaders chose the following as most likely to lead to change:
  • 34%corporate law departments;
  • 32%technology innovation;
  • 15%non-law firm providers of legal services; and
  • 10%law firms will take the lead in reinventing the legal market.
Firm leaders also agree on the consequences of the shifting marketplace, although with less unanimity. Most expect to see smaller annual billing rate increases, fewer equity partners, more part-time and contract lawyers, reduced leverage, and slower growth in profits per partner.



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