Could it be that many clients prefer a new model law firm to an old style one?
I read in the Wall Street Journal recently that old style law firms continue to cut partners as financial pressure mounts – financial pressure to pay equity partners sky high compensation!
These old style law firms often charge as much as $1,000 an hour for equity partners, and typically many hundreds of dollars per hour for associates and young partners. They then insist that their partners bill out over 1,500 hours a year – and their associates even more. It’s crazy when you stop to think about it.
The article mentions that demand for legal services performed by these old style law firms has never fully bounced back after the downturn of the last decade. In turn, more and more of the former equity partners of these old style law firms no longer make the grade, and are being demoted to being employees, not owners, or are jettisoned altogether.
Could it be that clients no longer want to pay for the inefficient delivery of legal services provided by the old style law firms? I think so.
I am guessing that the very largest businesses, public companies where executives are spending “OPM” (other people’s money) and protecting themselves at all costs from possible criticism, will continue to rely on the largest old style law firms for the provision of their legal services.
That said, I am guessing that many privately-owned businesses are very likely eschewing old style law firms because they see no reason to tolerate the inefficient delivery model that these firms represent.
Here at Calkins Law Firm, we employ a new model for the delivery of legal services. A model that has well-educated top-rated and highly-experienced attorneys assisting our clients with their legal needs and requirements, most typically at a fixed fee. If we do need to operate on an hourly basis, it is at a dramatically lower hourly rate than old style law firms are charging for comparable attorneys. This is possible with a more efficient delivery model and lower overheads.
Change is inevitable and the rate of change is accelerating, even in the staid legal profession. Luckily for our clients, they stand to benefit from the coming changes!
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