Feb. 28th, 2016

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When it comes to the latest managerial trends and cutting edge breakthroughs, the traditional law firm is twenty to thirty years in arrears; especially in areas of generating revenue streams and talent retention.

The larger regional firms and AMLAW 200 firms, that is over a hundred attorneys, seem to be slowly adapting; which is to say that the survivors of both the dwindling regional firms and, figuratively speaking, the AMLAW 50.

The mid-sized firms are profiting in this age of adaptation, that is between ten and thirty attorneys, focusing on a small core group of staff with a precise targeted clientele. It is not a matter of adaptation, rather finding a market with ten to twenty year projection for that market. That is, until their clientele finds breakthrough technology or methodology and compels the mid-sized firms to adapt; which will result in smaller firms or less mid-sized firms.

What is left are the small law firms. The most prolific of all law firms in the world. Two to five attorneys, one or two paralegals, possible a secretary and a support staff. In order to survive, a small firm uses a lot of creativity to compete or complete with the case demands; compatible technologies, or templates, or personnel juggling multiple roles. However, that creativity does not lend itself to finding cutting edge breakthroughs or utilizing the latest managerial trends to retain and groom talent or generating more revenue with less effort. What occurs is the same trends as the larger firms - obtain more clients to generate revenue without greater technology or breakthroughs. This leaves a smaller staff to produce a work product at the same level as a larger regional firm without the personnel or technologies, at a greater fragility of financial loss. Case in point, my workload is four times the average workload of my colleagues - with a cap of fifty hours a week in pay but expected to bill roughly one-hundred and twenty hours a month. Without more effective technologies that fit into a small firm without an active IT department, without additional personnel and with only one full-time attorney. The mathematical calculations, regarding input versus throughput versus EBITA, would make any business consultant shy away and declaring this venture a pig.

Almost makes a person want to say, "would you please, make up your silly little minds?!"


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September 2017


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