17 May 2013

Law firms pessimistic despite recovering economy

US law firm leaders remain deflated over hiring and demand even though the economy is recovering at a quicker pace than expected, a survey by Citi Private Bank has revealed.

By James Barnes

Confidence low at US firms

The majority of those surveyed agreed that confidence was rising with the economy overall, but still suggested that hiring and demand was stuttering in the legal profession.

Confidence

The survey, which took the views of partners at large and small US firms during March and April, asked partners to rate their confidence on a 200-point scale in around nine categories, including lawyer hiring, discounting, demand, expenses, revenue, profits, business conditions in the legal profession, the economy at large and overall confidence, reports the JD Journal.

Demand

According to the report, partners acknowledged confidence with the economy overall but dropped 20 points in confidence from last quarter 2012 in the area of lawyer hiring, and 14 points in demand.
The pessimistic outlook is further enforced by findings by Thompson Reuter’s Peer Monitor Index which revealed that demand for legal services fell 3.4 per cent in the first quarter this year.

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