2014 State of the Legal Market

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on January 5, 2014

Georgetown University Law Center and Peer Monitor issued their 2014 Report on the State of the Legal Market. The report highlights recent trends in the legal market, as well as factors that will likely impact the market in 2014 and beyond. The report warns that unless law firms re-examine their traditional business models and embrace change in how legal services are delivered, they will not be able to successfully adjust to the significant outside forces that are reordering the industry. The report argues that the strategy of “growth for growth’s sake” that has appeared to drive the law firm market in recent years is the wrong strategy for most law firms. It recommends that firms instead focus on developing new business models and service delivery models that will enable them to provide more efficient, predictable and cost effective legal services. Optimizing management of legal talent and effective pricing strategies may be more important than achieving economies of scale. The law firm market has become much more intensely competitive over the past five years. The supply of legal services has significantly exceeded demand with the result that the only way most firms can expand market share is by taking business from others. In addition, the market for legal services has shifted from a sellers’ market to a buyers’ market. Fundamental decisions about how legal services are delivered – including staffing, scheduling, strategies and how firms charge for their services – are increasingly being made by the clients, and not by the law firms. Clients are increasingly pushing back on these issues and more.”

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