Blueprint for a better profession

cats_yawnThe New York Times supposes that the silver lining to the mass layoffs at law firms across the company may be that “the legal world may be inspired to draw blueprints for the 21st century.” The Times editors’ imagination of what those blueprints may look like, however, is pretty much limited to salaries, fees, and law school tuition. Ho hum.

I hope our profession can think outside the box better than the Times editors. Lower fees, salaries, and hours are probably inevitable, given the glut of laid-off and new lawyers on the market, but lawyers must be willing to rethink more than just billing and salaries.

Most lawyers advertise the same, bill the same, and go after the same clients. There is plenty of room in the market for lawyers who use new fee structures, new ways to market their services, or who are looking to represent different clients. The current abundance of talent must drive innovation in the way we provide legal services, whether at large, public interest, or small firms, or in solo law practices.

Innovation in the profession is what Lawyerist is all about. We will keep talking about what it means.

With the Downturn, It’s Time to Rethink the Legal Profession | New York Times

(photo: fofurasfelines)


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  • I was surprised that the NYT editorial didn’t address the issue of associate leverage. One of the biggest structural issues related to large law firm economics is determining the proper strategic balance of partner:associate ratios.

    It’s a tricky topic, and one that large firms analyze in many different ways.

    Here’s a comment I wrote on the topic to a post by Minnesota Lawyer: