These are challenging times for law firms. There is great uncertainty in our financial markets. This in turn is making it much more difficult for business and individuals to obtain credit. If this continues for a protracted period of time, law firms are likely to see a significant drop in transactional legal work.
At the same time, tremendous losses in the stock market seem likely to fuel a large growth in litigation while a changing mood in Congress is likely to fuel new regulation over the financial services industry (which in turn will offer new opportunities for law firms to advise their business clients.)
Whether or not you believe that we are in a crisis, one thing is for certain: the need for legal services will be shifting in the coming twelve months and with that change will come opportunity for some.
So how do you best position yourself in this climate? What should you be doing to sure up your business relationships and ensure that you will continue to bring work to your firm?
There are two answers to this. First, if you are finding yourself with time on your hands, this is a very good time to take clients and potential referral sources to lunch or invite them to a sporting event or social function. Relationship building now means work in the future.
Second, this is also a good time to stop and reflect on your current firm experience. Are you getting all that you want from your current firm or might this be a time to consider a lateral move. To assist you in conducting this analysis, I have put together 20 questions that you can ask yourself to determine if you are in the right place or if it may be a good time to investigate a lateral move.