Law Firms in Transition 2011: An Altman Weil Flash Survey
The Altman Weil Law Firms in Transition Survey 2011 finds confidence high among US law firm leaders in firms of all sizes. Overall economic performance is rebounding, with two thirds of all firms surveyed reporting increases in gross revenue in 2010 and nearly three quarters reporting increases in revenue per lawyer and profits per equity partner. Standard hourly billing rates are up significantly this year, with firms reporting or planning a median 4% increase in billing rates for 2011. Continued reductions in overhead costs and the strategic shrinking of firms’ ownership ranks are contributing to profitability.
However, if firms are finding their feet again post-recession, it is on new ground with a number of new factors in play. And although large majorities of law firm leaders seem to recognize those changes, it’s not yet clear whether they will be able to manage them effectively.
Conducted in April and May 2011, the survey polled managing partners and chairs at 805 US law firms with 50 or more lawyers. Completed surveys were received from 240 firms including 38% of the 250 largest US law firms.