I think many firms have been panicked and are making mistakes during the recession. For example, many firms are:

  • Focused on decreasing costs rather than increasing revenue
  • Appearing to be either "needy" or "greedy" to clients who have no work to send them
  • Pretending like this recession has not changed how law firms will operate in the future

These are all mistakes and firms will pay the price for making them. Here is another one that I believe is a HUGE mistake:

  • Dictating that partners keep their billable hours up which results in partners hoarding work that should be delegated to younger lawyers.

Why is this such a Huge Mistake? There are a number of reasons. Here is my list:

  • Law firms make money by hours, rates and leverage. Partners doing work that should be delegated ruins the leverage component.
  • Partners are best suited for bringing in more business. If a partner spent 400 hours of non-billable time and was able to bring in $800,000 in additional revenue the firm would benefit.
  • Some partners may be doing work they are not best suited to do.
  • Clients will not be happy paying the partners rates for work lawyers with lower rates are best suited to do.
  • Associates become anxious, worried and ultimately resentful.
  • Morale goes in the tank.

Hopefully your partners are not hoarding work that should be done by associates.