Posted by: johnocunningham | June 18, 2013

Anemic Growth at Big Law Firms

A pair of reports that came out this spring, one by the ABA Journal, and another by the American Lawyer, show that a slow but steady economic recovery has not done much for law firm revenues or growth.

Clients are still exerting downward pressure on pricing in their search for value, and big firms are not able to make it up on volume.

The ABA noted that the top 350 law firms collectively grew their head count by only 1.1 percent, down from a tepid 1.7 percent last year, as associate hiring remained soft at these firms. Furthermore, 40 percent of these firms actually lost lawyers last year.

Similarly, the American Lawyer reported that revenue per lawyer increased only 2.6 percent last year among the AmLaw 100, despite the use of more sophisticated marketing and business development techniques at these firms. In addition, only 76 percent experienced any gross revenue increases last year, down from 80 percent in the prior year.

The challenges of serving clients faster and more cost-effectively to maintain revenue, market share and profitability are only getting greater with time. Next up on this blog – some highlights from the Legal Sales and Service Organization’s June 4-5 RainDance conference on the latest innovations that are growing sales and improving client service at law firms.




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