A recent survey by InsideCounsel (published by Summit Business Media and fka “Corporate Legal Times) revealed that more than 500 senior legal executives are giving their outside law firms a grade of “B” with lots of room for improvement.
The 20th Annual Survey also revealed a number of specific concerns:
- More than 50 percent say that law firms don’t understand the client’s budget constraints (a figure likely exacerbated by refusals to do or adhere to matter budgeting);
- Nearly 2/3 say that law firms don’t actively seek ways to reduce costs for clients (a figure that could be greatly improved if more law firms utilized automated discovery tools, project management software, collaborative technologies, and contract attorneys where appropriate); and
- A stunning 40.9 percent say that their law firms actually understand their business (not surprising when you consider how little attention is paid by law firms to industry-specific legal concerns despite the fact that 86 percent of clients rate this a “high priority”).
Law firms might also like to know what’s hot and what’s not in the survey. Governance, compliance and litigation are among the growth areas in client budgets, while anti-trust, environmental and securities issues are shrinking for most clients.
The InsideCounsel publication has some excellent materials on-line that are available for browsing, and could be a nice bookmark for many legal readers.