The announcement of the $2,000 per hour lawyer and the first-year associate starting salaries rising to $180,000 has stirred up a largely negative reaction from Biglaw clients, Above the Law reported. After the first-year salary news release, Bank of America’s global general counsel made their opinions very clear in an email that’s become public, “we are aware of no market-driven basis for such an increase and do not expect to bear the costs of the firms’ decisions” (Above the Law). According to BTI Consulting Group, the $2,000/hour billable rate structure reflects a shocking 25% increase from 2014’s highest rates, as reported in The American Lawyer.
According to Above the Law, the increase of compensation and rates at large law firms will likely open a door for “value” firms, making them more attractive to legal departments at corporations. The technology and tools available today make it possible for smaller firms to have access to the resources that Biglaw can provide to its corporate clients. Social media outlets and digital publishing software play a large role in making it easier for smaller firms or lawyers to make themselves more reputable to a larger audience. The release of these two pieces of news has created an optimal time for small and medium firms to take advantage of impressing corporate counsel (Above the Law).
For more information, contact Bill Sugarman.
Fifteen Southern California firms have just been featured by The National Law Journal as demonstrating “excellence in practice areas critical to the Southern California economy and legal community.”
Loeb & Loeb received the top honors in the Entertainment industry. Nossaman was crowned the winner for Government Contracts, and global giant DLA Piper took the Real Estate category. Morgan, Lewis, & Bockius won for Litigation.
Read the profiles of the winners and finalists here.
Innovative strategies are necessary for continued firm growth in the corporate legal market, according to a recent article from The American Lawyer. William Henderson and Evan Parker report that due to decades of organic growth, when law firms simply grew with their clients, the “supply of capable outside counsel [now] exceeds demand,” requiring firms to consider a new, focused approach for future expansion.
They posit that the Am Law 200 firms are now forced to grow solely by taking the market share. Henderson and Parker believe that focus is key to successfully doing so, quoting the approach that Apple’s Steve Jobs took of “starting with the customer experience and working backwards to the technology.” They encourage law firms to act similarly by exploring their particular niche and studying their existing clients in order to effectively take the market share.
The article also broke down market size by practice area, and found that “the largest market is the one most synonymous with large-firm practice: antitrust, corporate, securities, finance, and insurance”–essentially, the commercial world.
Henderson and Parker use the $15 billion labor and employment market as a case study to illustrate Jobs’ focused approach, attributing the L&E firms success to “working backwards from the needs of the client” in order to build “an ark that won’t sink.”