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Setting the next year’s billing rates follows a simple formula at most firms: last year’s rate plus a common percentage increase across all lawyer cohorts. A more disaggregated approach is needed. Specifically, firms should set higher percentage increases for senior lawyers and lower increases for junior lawyers. Why? Because, over the next 10 years, hours leverage (i.e., the number of associate hours per partner hour) at elite law firms will decline as more of the lower value-added work is handled not by junior lawyers but by enhanced technologies, in-house counsel, and alternative service providers. To maintain profitability, the margin that was earned on the displaced junior lawyer time has to be recouped through higher margins on senior lawyer time. Failure to increase senior billing rates differentially, and thus to rebalance the source of margin from junior to senior lawyer time, will result in a calamitous decline in profitability. It can be avoided if firms start now to gradually change their billing rate structures.
By J. Mark Santiago
Outsourcing is supposed to be the new wave of the future that will fundamentally change the way that law firms provide services to their clients and partners. But is this so?
By David J. Parnell
Aggressive Poaching In the Market Is Forcing Leadership to Contend With the Delicate Balance of Equality, Culture and Compensation In their Firms
Many leaders are no longer focused just on business development but are also trying to figure out how to continue making money and structure their firms in a way that allows them to spend the requisite money to pay top talent.
By Kelsi Maree Borland
Phil Jelsma, a partner and chair of the tax practice team at a San Diego-based commercial real estate law firm talks about the changes to carried interest, how this will impact commercial real estate investment and what investors should do now to comply.
By Mark Sangster
A survey of more than 160 law firm executives (from medium to large firms) found that law firms are among some of the highest spenders on security yet were susceptible to some of the most common risks. And the issue will grow over the coming years as the demands of the business drive the adoption of emerging technologies, such as cloud and Artificial Intelligence (AI).