Legal Marketing: Yesterday's Competitor, Today's Collaborator
Joy Newton Martini, New York Law Journal, 10-6-2005
Numerous law firm acquisitions and dissolutions have led to changes in the industry. An article written for the New York Law Journal, by Joy Newton Martini, examines these changes and the implication for attorneys and the law firm market.
Mergers have recently dominated the market. The first half of 2005 has already seen 34. These mergers have created huge “megafirms.” New global firms are a new trend, creating law offices with the capability of handling numerous practice areas on a worldwide basis. These firms are hiring.
In the U.S., even the lesser firms (based on revenue) have many lawyers. Here, the 100th firm still has more than 410 lawyers and more than $161 million in revenue. This can be dangerous for some firms due to the fragmented market. A loss of a large client or a “rainmaker” can cause numerous problems, including “dissolution.” In addition, the author suggests that firms are not used to marketing their services as different from competitors. The challenge of all these mergers and lateral movement is to retain the culture of the firms: not neglecting the “soft stuff” that appeals to clients.
Martini continues to examine the changing market’s implications for the client relationship and offers suggestions on how to better serve the client while maintaining a competitive edge.
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