Predictions and Resolutions are everywhere this time of year so we thought why not add our own for the Legal Industry in 2017? Looking into the official Nimble magic eight ball, here are our 8 predictions for the Legal Industry in 2017:
1. De-equitization of partners will continue. But after this short term fix, how will law firms fix the long term profitability issue?
2. There will be a significant increase in law firms conducting client satisfaction surveys. "Made possible by a satisfied client" used to be printed on our law firm paychecks - law firms would be surprised by how quickly they could fix some client relationships from the data provided in client satisfaction surveys.
3. Law firms will begin to address operational inefficiency. Law firms have spent the last 8 years cutting costs to the bone. They'll figure out in 2017 that operational inefficiency and a focus on profitability will be the way to establish a competitive advantage.
4. Law departments will re-evaluate their staffing levels. n the last decade, the size of law departments has increased significantly. As General Counsel are tasked with ways to reduce costs, law departments will consider whether they've grown too large and their staffing is out of balance.
5. General Counsel will continue to have budget constraints. The stock market might have benefited from a "Trump Bump" but law department budgets for 2017 have not.
Legal Market Overall:
6. Litigation demand will increase for the first time in years but no where near pre-2008 levels.
7. Outsourcing of work to non-law firm vendors by both companies and law firms will continue to increase in frequency.
8. The polarization of rates will continue. The result of which will drive law firms to #3 above in search to do work more efficiently and price matters using value based billing.