Law Practice Management Asked and Answered Blog

Category: Competitive Advantage

Dec 22, 2009

Is Your Firm Ready For the New Competitive Landscape


At a recent partner meeting we discussed the current economy and what changes we need to be thinking about both now and when we come out of the recession. What are your thoughts?


As law firms emerge from the current recession many will face many new business realities and be forced to consider whether existing business models are still appropriate for the future. Legal process outsourcing (LPO), off-shoring, virtual offices,  alternative billing, etc. We believe that the recession may accelerate the pace by which firms reevaluate existing processes and consider new business models.

Ten years ago (1999) the ABA hosted the "Seize the Future" conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

The conference predicted massive change fueled by the internet. Many of these changes we have already witnessed and experienced – others are yet to come – possibly in the near future. Richard Susskind's popular book "The End of Lawyers: Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services paints an interesting future. As we emerge from the recession pressures will exist that may excelerate some of the other changes that have been predicted.

Here are some changes that some firms are already implementing:

Here are a few examples:

Direct Law

Lawyers on Demand

FSB Legal Counsel

Virtual Law Partners


Talwar and Talwar

The key ingredent is to not get stuck in the past. Incumbancy and pass success has never been worth less. Ask General Motors.

John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

Mar 04, 2001

Differentiation From Other Law Firm Competitors


I find it very difficult to differentiate our firm from the competition with respect to marketing, etc. What specific suggestions might you have regarding methods and/or ideas that we could use to increase our market share?


You need to begin asking you clients about their needs and thinking from your client's perspective. Budgetary certainty and knowing in advance how much a matter is going to cost is important to clients. Efficient operations and the general office environment is important. Lawyers that can listen to their clients and understand their clients problems. We believe that satisfying client needs and expectations, providing outstanding service quality, and adhering to the highest level of ethical standards is a strong beginning.

John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC 

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