Law Firms in Transition (Survey by Altman Weil)

Altman Weil, a US-based management consultancy for legal organizations, conducted a survey in March and April 2015 polling Managing Partners and Chairs at 797 US law firms with 50 or more lawyers. Completed surveys were received from 320 firms (40%), including 47% of the 350 largest US law firms. 

Key findings of the survey include:

  • Increases in law firm profitability are clearly linked to strategic changes in lawyer staffing, efficiency of legal service delivery and pricing approaches.
  • A high level of decision-making authority conferred on law firm leaders correlates with better economic performance.
  • Overcapacity of equity and non-equity partners, especially in larger firms, is endemic and a drag on profitability.
  • Non-traditional competitors are actively taking business from law firms and the threat is growing.
  • In 63% of law firms, partners aged 60 or older control at least one quarter of total firm revenue, but only 31% of law firms have a formal succession planning process. 

A summary of the survey and the response data can be found here.