While I do not think that the law firm is fundamentally “broken” nor do I profess the end of lawyers, below are some interesting points from an article published in the National Law journal titled “A Broken Business Model,” by Joel Henning.
There is a lot of talk about moving away from billable hours, but alternative fee arrangements are neither new nor making much headway. Greater use of contract lawyers, offshoring, fewer equity partners, a cutback in associate salaries and more differentiation in associate pay and promotions — are all being discussed and even modestly implemented. But all of this has been around for at least a decade, and none of it has so far done much to make clients happier either about their legal bills or the quality of the services they pay for.
The concluding statements of Henning’s article note that law firms need to be run from more of a business perspective.
I particularly enjoyed the article since it emphasizes that outsourcing or other cost saving measures are not the solution in and of themselves. Rather outsourced legal and legal support services are component of a multipronged approach so for legal firms to better serve their clients.