The Road Ahead: Report on personnel, marketing, fee structures, growth trends
December 15, 2015
Every year Altman Weil issues a detailed report about law firm marketing trends, staffing, practice efficiency, fee structures, personnel — a snapshot of the business. I finally got through it this week. Here are some highlights I think you might find of interest, as well as a link to the complete report below.
1.Smaller firms (in the report “small” means less than 250 lawyers in total) market and handle client service differently than larger firms. But what they do differently may surprise you. Larger firms employ “management visits to key clients” twice as often as smaller firms, with 90% travelling to client offices. (We’ve consistently found that most lawyers get new assignments after visiting clients.) Larger firms also use client service interviews and conduct formal client satisfaction surveys twice as often as smaller firms, with 78% doing individual client interviews and 48% conducting satisfaction surveys. Larger firms also conduct post-matter reviews twice as often, with 37% reporting they do this.
2. In 63% of law firms, partners aged 60 or older control at least one quarter of total firm revenue, but only 31% of law firms have a formal succession planning process.
3. Firms of less than 250 lawyers report that 52% of their equity partners “aren’t busy enough.”
4. However, those firms report that 75% of their associates are “busy enough”.
5. The growth strategy for all firms is through lateral hiring, not mergers, establishing branches or hiring first years.
6. Firms of all sizes report about 10% of their work is not billed by the hour.
Click here for a link to the entire report.