“Creating Value in the Legal Marketplace: The More Things Change, the More They Remain the Same”
U.S. News/Best Law Firms 01/01/11 By John W. Daniels
Over the past several years, the corporate legal industry has been grappling with important changes to the business model by which law firms have traditionally operated. Until just a few years ago, attorneys were less subject to the market forces that have driven their corporate clients: They enjoyed working relationships that were often free from competitive forces, frequently inherited rather than won in the open market, and rarely lost to another firm in the absence of some unusual development. Furthermore, for the most part there was as much work available as there were hours to devote to it, so sales and marketing were of lesser import. Perhaps more significantly, the need for legal services was generally so great, year in and year out, that hourly rates tended to rise with little or no business rationale. In short, low competition, combined with high and inelastic demand for services, allowed many lawyers to think much more about the practice of law and much less about the challenges that most corporate businesses face every day.
Originally published in U.S. News/Best Law Firms, 2011-2012 Edition