Surveys & Statistics

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Surveys & Statistics

According to surveys of law firm leaders and clients, applying proven legal project management techniques is an urgent need at law firms:
  • Efficiency is the number one trend in law (p. 1, LFiT). Law firms must become more efficient.
  • Discounting legal fees is rampant among law firms, as over half receive 21% or more of their legal fees from discounted hourly rates (p. 45, LFiT)  Receiving hourly rate reductions from outside counsel is the #1 way that in-house counsel controls costs (p. 26, CLO).
  • Law firms fail to differentiate themselves from other law firms (p. 5, LFiT).
  • Alternative fee agreements are here to stay (p. 9, CITI). Law firms must learn how to make these types of engagements more profitable.
  • Nearly half of law firm leaders say that discounted, capped, or alternative fees are not routinely linked to changes in how work is staffed and delivered (p. 47, LFiT).  Lower fees mean lower margins if no changes are made to how the work is staffed and delivered.
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LFiT p1 snippet b

Adapted from LFiT, © 2020, Altman Weil

  • Law firms overestimate the satisfaction of their clients, as nearly 7 in 10 have seen their corporate clients pull work in-house (p. vii, LFiT).  4 of 10 clients have shifted a major portfolio of work ($50,000 or more) from one law firm to another to obtain lower fees, while 4 in 10 have shifted work due to client service (p. 50, CLO).
  • Very few law firms (3%) are highly committed to changing the way they deliver legal services (p. 9, LFiT).
  • Partners resist change efforts, as 7 in 10 law firm leaders say their firm is not doing more because of partners’ resistance (p. 13, LFiT).  This result is somewhat surprising given that efficiency tactics have been proven to work (p. 39, LFiT).
  • Nearly 6 in 10 law firm leaders say most partners are unaware of what they might do differently (p. 13, LFiT).

If you want to learn how legal project management can be used to address these and other challenges, please contact us to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

NOTE: These findings are from three major surveys which summarize data collected from over 500 law firms and 250 law departments: (i) Altman Weil’s Law Firms in Transition survey (“LFiT”); (ii) Altman Weil’s Chief Legal Officer survey (“CLO”), and (iii) the CITI Client Advisory report (“CITI”).