Competition, Innovation & the Death of the Billable Hour
The billable hour model of decades past where firms experienced little pushback on rates or number of hours spent is effectively dead, and the traditional law firm franchise is increasingly at risk. Law firms must either find ways to effectively adapt to these and other evolving competitive conditions or risk further erosion of their market positions. At the same time, the changing market dynamics present opportunities for firms that are willing to challenge conventional thinking, take risks and innovate new approaches to the delivery of legal services.
Those are among the findings of the “2017 Report on the State of the Legal Market” just issued by The Center for the Study of the Legal Profession at Georgetown University Law Center and Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute.
Firms face significant challenges, including client pricing pressure and increasing competition from non-law firm legal service providers. At the same time, the report notes that firms “that are able to adjust to the new market realities…and redesign their approaches to client service, pricing, legal work processes, talent management, and overall structure will enjoy an enormous competitive advantage.”