State of the Legal Market: The Tipping Point

5–6 minutes to read

As the end of 2022 draws closer, now is the time to take stock of your firm’s performance against the challenges the last years have thrown at the legal market.

Thompson Reuters recently released their “State of the Legal Market Report” for 2022 highlighting four major challenges facing today’s top law firms.

Those looking to become (or remain) competitive in the rapidly changing legal landscape only have a short amount of time to adjust to these major — some even counterintuitive — trends that will shape the next year:

  1. Fierce competition for legal and other professional talent
  2. The crisis of retaining the talent firms already have
  3. Successfully navigating the hybrid work model
  4. Remaining operationally flexible in responding to further changes that may emerge in the market

Here’s a deeper look at the issues and how you put your firm on the right side of these shifts.

Shannon Law Group

1. Addressing the fierce competition for legal and professional talent

The pandemic forced many professionals to take a step back and reevaluate their relationship to their work.

What emerged was a new emphasis on work-life integration, declining employee loyalty, and a market that heavily favors job seekers over employers.

Compounding the issue is the flood of new legal graduates that had their timeline postponed by the pandemic.

In response, firms are spending massive amounts of money trying to recruit the best talent on the market.

But is this the best approach?

Even as average salaries climbed over the last few years, turnover rates also reached a new high at 23.2% — putting many firms’ profits at risk for only modest returns, at a time when profits are increasingly important to attorneys hoping to build an investable firm.

What’s clear is that firm satisfaction is not equal to compensation.

Josh Nelson

2. The crisis of retaining the talent firms already have

The new talent on the market also indicates an increase in the number of attorneys and legal professionals thinking about “making the move.”

Ask yourself this: are you creating a Stay Firm or a Go Firm?

Culture, vision, and leadership are all crucial components of creating a Stay Firm.

Without them, your high turnover rates could become costly.

Reuters estimates that Go Firms bill an average of 51 fewer hours per year per lawyer than Stay Firms.

At the average hourly rate of $533, that’s over $27,000 per lawyer per year — the true cost of poor leadership.

Duana Boswell-Loeschel Case Study

3. Successfully navigating the hybrid work model

It’s clear that hybrid work environments are here to stay.

Firm owners need to find a way to adapt their operations and culture to provide a world-class client experience and stay competitive in today’s legal landscape.

While hybrid work poses a challenge, it also presents new opportunities to change the working model of your firm and open up to new business and new markets.

Game Changing Attorney Podcast

4. Remaining operationally flexible

Facilitating remote work isn’t the only operational consideration for today’s firms. Even with expense cuts, law firms increased their tech spend 7% during the pandemic. That trend points to the continuing reality of prioritizing innovation in today’s legal industry.

A few ways law firms have adapted operationally in the past year:

  • Professional staff resources and support via wellness and mental health programs
  • Adequate technology and administrative support for flexible work arrangements
  • Policies and procedures to provide adequate oversight for remote and hybrid teams

These changes also brought the introduction of new technologies to the market and places more emphasis on how working hours are tracked and billed.

Reaching the Tipping Point

Addressing these coming challenges comes down to:

There’s only one place in the industry where this all comes together to put your firm on the fast track to success — the Game Changers Summit.

This two-day event November 2-3, 2022 brings together over 5,000 of the nations top law firm owners, industry experts, and market leaders to network, learn, and create the future of the legal industry.

GCS22 all speakers

Hear the latest insights from:

Arnold Schwarzenegger (elite bodybuilder, actor, producer, and former governor) on turning vision into reality by overcoming every obstacle.

John Morgan (founder of the largest injury firm in America, Morgan & Morgan) on building a recession-proof law firm of the future.

David Goggins (best-selling author, former Navy SEAL, elite endurance athlete) on hardening your mind, building resilience, and cultivating the mental fortitude to push past every barrier.

Cy Wakeman (workplace drama & leadership expert, best-selling author) on eliminating workplace drama, improving your firm’s culture, and leveling up your leadership.

Laura Wasser (entrepreneur, elite divorce attorney) on how to attract the best clients and get the most exclusive cases.

Joe Fried (renowned trucking lawyer) on finding your niche and positioning yourself as a thought leader.

Jan Dils (leader of the largest female-founded law firm in America) on the power of betting on yourself and going all-in.

John Uustal (nationally-recognized trial lawyer) on leaving a positive legacy by taking on the “unwinnable” and holding corporations accountable to improve consumer safety.

Jessica Mogill (Head of Coaching Strategy at Crisp, who’s trained 1,000+ businesses nationwide) on fostering communication and collaboration with your team to build the most productive environment within your firm.

Michael Mogill (Founder & CEO of Crisp, best-selling author, law firm growth expert) on what the most successful firms in the nations are doing right now to grow their practice.

Eric Chaffin (personal injury and mass tort attorney) on building a successful practice around a single motto: “Doing Good by Doing Right.”

Jesse Cole (marketing magician and Owner of the Savannah Bananas) on how to separate yourself from the competition and provide a frictionless client experience.

Andre Norman (author & founder of Academy of Hope) on leading a purposeful life that transforms the lives of others.

Camille Vasquez (defamation & litigation attorney who represented Johnny Depp in the Depp v. Heard trial) on how to manage the media in high-profile cases, stay cool under pressure, and attract the highest-profile clients.

Alexander Shunnarah (dominant market leader) on how to manage the media in high-profile cases, stay cool under pressure, and attract the highest-profile clients.

Bob Tharp (leader of one of the largest family law firms in America) on building a practice around leading with data, managing with metrics.

Anthony Johnson (America’s Techiest Lawyer) on harnessing technology and innovation to build the law firm of the future.

This world-class event will take place on the field of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA and also includes an exclusive VIP Party, private concert featuring Boyz II Men,, and the opportunity to drive away in a brand new G-Wagen — just for showing up.

Build an unbreakable culture, adopt cutting-edge strategies, and learn to lead a law firm that only knows how to move forward.