Author(s): Stuart Dodds , David J. Parnell , Hélène Russell , Peter Lane Secor , Rupert Hawke , Paige Keith , Manish Khandelwal , Ariela Tannenbaum , Katherine Thomas , Srinivas Vadali , Thomas Van Der Moere , Zev J. Eigen
Publication date: May 2018
The legal profession, like so many other fields, has continued to reel from the deep-reaching and significant impact of the 2008 financial crisis. In the years following the crash, a general downward turn in the demand for legal services compelled firms to tighten their belts, make tough decisions, and come up with innovative strategies in order to survive. One of these was an increased focus on profitability and different means of managing and improving it, a relatively new development for the legal industry. However, in recent years there have been small but positive signs of improvement, manifested in a gradual pick-up in client engagement, as global economies continue to slowly but steadily recover from the crash. It is definitely a better time to be a lawyer, as latent demand begins to manifest in parallel with growing client confidence in a stabilizing market, fast-paced disruptive technological innovations, and significant changes in laws and regulations.
However, this does not mean that firms can afford to be complacent. The legal landscape continues to be in flux, and improvement is slow. Increased revenue and client demand does not come to firms that do not proactively seek it, nor is it achieved by those who are not applying innovative and cutting-edge techniques and strategies to the management of their firm. Of course, delivering the best service to clients should always be a top priority; however, there should also be an emphasis on running the firm like a business, which includes intensive scrutiny of expenditure and coming up with new and inventive ways to generate profit. Managing and growing a firm’s profitability should not just be an exercise for difficult economic periods, but instead must be a priority at all times. Rather than being perceived as an irksome bolt-on, it is necessary to see it as a great opportunity in these times of increased business.
Existing and persistent cultural norms amongst lawyers, however, means that the reform of current business practices does not always come naturally. Nor is it necessarily easy to find the right practical advice that can carry a firm through the transition. Emerging Approaches to Law Firm Profitability aims to be the ideal tool to assist with implementation, providing essential guidance for those seeking new means of maximizing their firm’s capacity. Featuring advice and reflections from a wide variety of contributors, ranging from business and finance professionals to thought leaders and consultants, this book offers in-depth, intensive insight into the challenges generated by today’s dynamic and hypercompetitive legal landscape. Most importantly, Emerging Approaches to Law Firm Profitability moves past the identification of these obstacles and supplies original, innovative ways of tackling them. Expert guidance is complemented by compelling case studies and effective real-world examples, supplying principles that can be applied to firms of any size or capacity.