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Law Firm Industry Outlook for 2018 - Mild Growth to Continue

Posted on January 03, 2018 by Law Dawgs | Candidate Services
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The Law Firm Group at Citi Private Bank and Hildebrandt Consulting recently released their 2018 Citi Hildebrandt Client Advisory. Overall, the Advisory forecasts continued single-digit growth rates for law firm revenues and profitability in the coming year. The report also projects continued elevated levels of dispersion and volatility.

In short, the Citi Hildebrandt Client Advisory examines: the general landscape for the law firm industry, how firms are responding to industry challenges, and the best opportunities for firms to grow in the coming year. Please click here to view the entire Advisory report. Some of its key findings and projections are outlined below.

Mild Growth

According to Brad Hildebrandt, Chairman of Hildebrandt Consulting, “Despite the challenges outlined in this Client Advisory, we believe that the law firm industry will continue to grow, albeit modestly.” Hildebrandt added that, “we expect to see further consolidation and some law firm dissolutions as weaker firms lose their ability to compete.” In addition, we’re likely to see a growth in the gap between top tiered firms and those in the rest of the field.

Branding and Efficiency Keys to Success

The Advisory states that law firm branding and efficiency are the two elements likely to help firms succeed in 2018. As with 2017, the new year will favor those firms that have a powerful brand in specific practice areas and industries. Further, success will come to those firms that can meet client demands for a more efficient delivery of legal services. As advised by Gretta Rusanow, Head of Advisory Services, Law Firm Group at Citi Private Bank, long-term success will likely come to those firms that adjust their talent models to market forces and who focus on building more robust growth models to attract and develop the best legal talent in the industry.

The Growing Role of Technology

An interesting finding with this year’s Advisory is the heightened importance placed on technology when it comes to firm deliveries, functioning, and success. The Advisory essentially concludes that technology will help reshape the law firm industry in both 2018 and beyond. A large emphasis is placed upon emerging technologies that can protect firms – and their clients – from cybersecurity breaches.

The 2018 Client Advisory is based upon data collected from a sampling of mostly U.S.-based law firms. Its main contributing resources include: the “Citi Annual Survey Database” of 193 U.S.-headquartered firms, including 44 Am Law 1-50 firms, 34 Am Law 51-100 firms, 47 Am Law 2nd 100 firms, and 68 additional firms; the Citi Flash Survey,” including 40 AM Law 1-50 firms, 29 Am Law 51-100 firms, 47 Am Law 2nd 100 firms and 45 additional firms; the “Citi Law Leaders Survey” of 55 large firms headquartered in the US, UK, Australia, China and India; and, the “Law Firm Leaders Confidence Index,” which reports the forward-looking opinions of law firm leaders from 154 U.S.-headquartered firms.

Mild growth by no means equates to no growth for 2018. Growth is still on the horizon for the coming year. And, please note that LAW DAWGS is always here to deliver this growth to our candidates and our law firms. We’re always here to help. Simply contact us now and let’s get started.

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