Facts and Stats

Facts and Stats

What’s an Ambitious Associate to Do?

According to a 2017 Citi Private Bank and Hildebrandt Consulting Report, equity partner headcounts have remained relatively flat in recent years even as firms enjoy a state of modest demand growth. That poses a problem for associates waiting in the wings — and for firm retention and succession planning. Are the retiring Baby Boomers (more than a third of partners said they expected to retire within 10 years of 2016) enough the placate them, or is a different trajectory in store?

Read more in “Pursuing a Non-Partner Role.”

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Ways to Modernize Legal Support Staff

The tradition of one-legal-secretary-to-one-attorney is no longer ideal. Here are some alternative approaches:

  • Team model: A group of legal secretaries supports a number of paralegals and attorneys, especially associates.
  • Differentiated teams model: Each team is staffed with legal secretaries of differing specialties of experience levels, freeing senior secretaries from spending 20 to 40 percent of their time on lower-skilled tasks that don’t required special training.
  • Hybrid models: Some firms, especially those with senior partners or rainmakers who rely heavily on legal secretaries, blend the one-to-one model with the team approach.

Read more in “Teaming Up: Adopting New Approaches for Today’s Legal Secretary,” and be sure to download ALA’s newest white paper, “The Changing Role of the Legal Secretary.”

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The State of the Legal Industry

Altman Weil has released the 2018 Law Firms in Transition Survey, which queried about half of the United States’ law firms with 50 or more attorneys. Here are some of the key statistics:

Competition
  • 70 percent of law firms reported losing business to in-house legal departments
  • 26 percent of law firms have lost business to improved technology tools
  • 16 percent of law firms have lost business to alternative legal service providers
  • 9 percent of law firms reported losing business to the Big Four accounting firms
Change
  • 69 percent of firms have partners who resist most change efforts
  • 85 percent of firms are talking with clients about pricing
  • Nearly 80 percent of respondents believe nonhourly billing is a permanent trend
Work
  • 49 percent of firms failed to meet their annual billable hour targets in 2017
  • 51 percent of firms say their equity partners are not busy enough
  • 45 percent of firms reported their revenue per lawyer rose in each of the last three years