|Partners and associates competing for work|
“Of Counsel” roles. Some of the definitions are too harsh and depressing to repeat. But the counsel role is a win-win if the firm gets to keep valued talent who lack a client base and the attorney gets more work-life balance.
- 46% of respondents indicate that firms are beginning to introduce project management
- Recruiting is focused on experienced lawyers with both project management experience and knowledge of clients industries.
- Three quarters of respondents had reduced support staff in the last year and 50% expect this continue in 2014
- Over next three years Legal Process Outsourcing is expected to increase for 19% of respondents ( but we don’t know if this is their first round of outsourcing or if they are extending ououtsourcing into more functions)
- Reliance on contract lawyers is slowing, down from 29% 2011 to 20% in 2013.Respondents indicate that the revolving door of contract attorneys too hard to manage.
- 44% of respondents want to increase permanent associates. Only 1/3 indicated firms should increase partner track associates.
- Complaint that partners are hoarding work from associates.56% respond that partner are doing more work than associates.
- Non equity partners continue to increase.
- Since clients are refusing to pay for associates, associates are receiving less training and hands-on experience
- Partners spending time on marketing rather than training associates. Associate training squeezed out.
- In associate recruiting, practice expertise more important than Ivy league education or GPA.
- Top factors impacting morale “failure to eliminate dead weight, lower compensation than other firms and too much work for current staff levels.
- Firms have brought in CFOs and COOs but don’t’ give them the authority to implement financial reform. Firms not planning beyond the end of the fiscal year.
- Predicts a volatile staffing picture will continue. Top challenges are Hiring and retaking talent and establishing right partner associate leverage ratios.