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Law Firm Revenue Rose as Demand Dropped in the First Quarter of 2019

The legal industry saw greater revenue growth during the first quarter of 2019 than it did to start the strong year of 2018. However, the drivers of that growth were much different, as the demand growth that characterized 2018 gave way to a demand decline during the first quarter of 2019, and much of the revenue growth came in the form of cash collections from 2018 inventory.

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The legal industry saw greater revenue growth during the first quarter of 2019 than it did to start the strong year of 2018. However, the drivers of that growth were much different, as the demand growth that characterized 2018 gave way to a demand decline during the first quarter of 2019, and much of the revenue growth came in the form of cash collections from 2018 inventory. Billing rate increases continued at the elevated pace that we saw in 2018, and they retake their position as the primary revenue driver to begin 2019, as they have been for much of the post-recession period. Looking ahead, the industry maintains a strong inventory position heading into the second quarter, which should continue to provide momentum. This is important, as expense pressure, which had also been a theme of 2018, outpaced revenue growth and is likely to accelerate into the second quarter.

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