Two Surprises and a Story — The 2018 Midyear Report

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midyear report

At last check in January, the slow-moving transformation of legal services was accelerating. Demand growth for the average law firm was coming off another stagnant year (based on growth in worked hours) in 2017; and corporate law departments were bringing more work in-house. But a lot can change in six months — the same time frame it takes for the Earth to travel 292 million miles.

That being said, the end of summer is always a good time for reflection on the early happenings of the year. Not only individually, but within each’s respective law firm and the environment at large. It gives one a chance to take a breath, reset, and focus on the tasks ahead in the remainder of the year. After all, there are resolutions for the coming new year to be made in short order.

The 2018 Midyear Report: What’s the Story? does just that. The report takes a look back on the first part of 2018 and observes how the story of the legal services industry seems to be shaping up for this year and beyond, including two surprises in the midyear performances of law firms, as seen through the eyes of Peer Monitor.

Other observations in the report include:

  •        The framework of the legal services industry continues to be rewoven. Not in all-splashy, attention-seeking ways, but rather in small strokes from various participants.
  •        Great Scott! Is there an obligatory speed needed to activate the legal service industry’s own flux capacitor and be kicked into overdrive to the long-anticipated, heavily discussed future?
  •        Law firms found some success in the first half of the year, particularly the largest firms; but in the relatively lopsided current structure, what does a short-term gain do to the pace of change for the long-term picture?
  •        Innovation is a theoretical conversation until action is taken, and action doesn’t happen overnight — only then will clients be able to acknowledge the innovation efforts and their value to help alleviate the pressures they face.
  •        Ambassadors and evangelists are a main driver for any kind of change, but maybe it takes enlisting a little different perspective from some “bigger bugs” to truly break the inertia.

You can download “The 2018 Midyear Report: What’s the Story?” here.