To say that for many being a lawyer today is difficult may very well be an understatement. Of course, there are lawyers who are doing exceptionally well and will probably continue to do so. Meanwhile, a significant and growing percentage of lawyers are finding it tougher to maintain their earnings capability, a situation that’s likely only going to get worse going forwards. And, for most newly minted lawyers, the outlook is looking increasingly bleak.
There are many reasons for the growing financial drought affecting lawyers. For example, individual and corporate clients are becoming more critical of the value of the legal services they’re receiving. This, in turn, is making legal bills more and more “voluntary” or better said, negotiable. In fact, consultants have sprung up whose job it is to evaluate and push down legal bills. We’re also seeing that technology in various ways is mitigating the need for many of the “hours” lawyers had previously billed. While the legal business environment is getting less friendly on a nearly daily basis, the law schools continue to turn our lawyers at a fairly precipitous clip.
To make sure we’re all on the same page, lets make three key assumptions:
- As a lawyer you want to continue with the practice of law as opposed to switching careers.
- You do not expect the commercial environment for legal services to change considerably for the better in the near future.
- You want to earn as much as possible while maintaining the highest ethical standards.
As a lawyer, if these assumptions seem reasonable to you, what do you need to do to excel? The approach you need to take is pretty straightforward.
We need to start by understanding which lawyers are the ones doing the best financially. The lawyers who are making the serious money