But as I consistently state on this blawg and others; all of that is about to change.
If you're a lawyer working today for yourself or as part of a firm, the way I see it you have 3 choices:-
Number 1 - Do Nothing.
This is the usual route taken by mature or stagnating industries, hoping that somehow things (income) will go back to the way it was. Hoping that the past will somehow equal the future.
And with this thinking - usually by men over 50 - there is no reason to change anything. If we keep on doing what we've always done, we'll keep on getting what we always got.
Except that you're not getting what you got before, are you?
You still put in the hours but the income has dropped. Or you have to put in more hours to get the same income.
Doing nothing is always an option. This is not a chess game. You don't actually have to make a move at all.
Number 2 - Outsiders wil start to replace large sections of the profession
Joseph Schumpeter wrote about "Gales of Creative Destruction" and to some extent that is already happening.
The changes in the Legal Services Bill when it comes in, will mean that other organisations - mainly ones that are great at customer service! - will start to woo the buyers of legal services and start to show that they care, thereby nibbling away at the overall pie that feeds lawyers.
Number 3 - Innovate and become your own creative destroyer
Bring in new thinking. Forget about how things were done in the past. Start offering customers what they want, not what you want to provide and give them
a dozen ways to pay.
I discussed this with a couple of lawyers the other day, and to them, none of these options were terribly attractive. Why? because it was not that they didn't want to do the changing but that they felt that no one else would want to.
This crazy situation is like "keeping up with the Joneses"...they wish that you would stop so they could stop.
But hey ho. The way to change the world is one person at a time and with that in mind the next target is the Law Society seminar on 14th October where I shall present to a room full of people and then on a one-to-one basis.