Thursday, December 14, 2017
In contrast to a recent regional report that reflects great optimism from law firms about the coming new year (at least with respect to hiring), Citi's annual Private Law Firm Group report for 2018, which reflects a more national perspective, is not quite so sanguine when it comes to what the new year might hold. The Citi report, which is generally targeted at larger law firms, predicts, among other things, the following:
- Modest revenue growth in 2018 with an increase in profits-per-partner only in the single digits;
- Continuing pressure within the legal sector generally for law firms to consolidate;
- Continued economic pressure from alternative legal service providers (the Citi report notes that these providers are growing rapidly and are picking off "low value" legal work ordinarily done by lawyers);
- Artificial Intelligence will continue to encroach upon work that otherwise would have been done by lawyers;
- Modest growth with respect to the demand for legal services; and
- Continuing downward pressure on billing rates for legal services.
Yikes. You can read the full Citi Private Law Group report for 2018, prepared in conjunction with Hildebrandt Consulting, here.