Corporate Counsel Don't Buy All This Talk of a New Legal Model

By Kevin Fayle on July 02, 2009 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Corporate counsel are mad, and they're not taking it anymore.  And that includes all this discussion of a new legal model, according to a report in the ABA Journal.

About 75 percent of CLOs gave law firms low marks when asked how serious law firms are about changing their legal service model to deliver greater value to clients, according to a survey by legal consulting firm Altman Weil. At the same time, in-house lawyers are taking steps to tighten their own belts by laying off lawyers and cutting back on outside legal work, the survey showed.

The CLOs were asked to give firms a score ranging from a low of 0 to a high of 10 to indicate how serious they think they are about changing their legal models, according to an Altman Weil press release summarizing the June survey findings. Only 5 percent gave firms a score between 8 and 10, indicating the CLOs believe the firms are serious about change. Twenty percent gave firms middle scores of 5, 6 or 7. Another 75 percent gave law firms a rating between zero and 4, indicating the CLOs believe the firms have little or no interest in change.
So, while corporate counsel are generally unhappy with the way law firms are running things, they're also cynical about the chances for change.    Maybe the recent changes in the lockstep associate compensation model will give them a little faith.

Either way, it's shaping up to be an interesting year for the business of law.
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