Adapting to future needs.

There is always a ray of light

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its problems; it empties today of its strengths.” – A stranger

With the economy at its lowest point in decades, the legal industry is taking its share of the worst. More and more companies are downsizing, some with drastic measures, and even law schools are getting new graduates in record numbers. So what should a lawyer do? Start an emergency fund and duck until things get better? Certainly that is an option. It all depends on how you look at it.

Economic turmoil is not pleasant, but with turmoil there are always opportunities, and the opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses to build their commercial businesses is better than ever. Businesses are tightening their belts in search of better and more affordable legal services. A recent study by BTI Consulting, a leader in legal industry research, suggests that now is the time for small and medium-sized businesses to step up their marketing efforts to pursue the legal business of large companies. According to BTI research, companies are moving away from the services of large companies in favor of the more affordable and flexible services offered by small and medium-sized companies. In fact, the top 100 top-earning law firms in the nation went from serving 64% of the 550 large companies surveyed in 2007 to just 36% in 2008. The next 100 firms picked up some of the top 100 losses through from 13% of those in 2007 to 26% in 2008. But the big gains in market share were also for those companies that were in the top 200, which went from 26% in 2007 to 38% in 2008. Why the change? More and more companies are looking for innovative ways to stretch their legal money. Smaller companies that are not burdened with large associate salaries, heavy staffing infrastructure, and considerable overhead have the flexibility to offer more innovative billing, staffing, and communication practices.

So what does this mean? There has never been a better opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses to break the glass ceiling and take on that top-notch legal work. The recent economic crisis not only encourages large companies to look for cheaper alternatives now, but it will also go a long way towards breaking the pattern of many executives who feel compelled to opt for big-name firms, if only to hedge in case. that they contract the decision is questioned. Companies are no longer expected to stick with the big boys, and indeed there is a shift in mood toward greater appreciation for executives who are innovative and willing to make smarter legal services decisions.

What should you do to take advantage of this opportunity? BTI Research suggests that expensive marketing campaigns are not necessary. It turns out that the combination of traditional and cyber networks, expert positioning through association activity, talks, and whitepaper publishing can get you there … a good old-fashioned effort, that is. How about that for a bright side?

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