Still, it's always a little intimidating when numbers come out that confirm dire predictions so resoundingly.
San Francisco fared better than other markets, with demand dropping by only 1%, but the managers of the index cautioned against reading too much into that result. Since two major law firms failed in SF, the slightly better figure might be the consequence of those partners bringing new business to the law firms left standing.
Demand in other US markets . . . well, why ruin your day, right? The numbers, they ain't good.
In addition to the drop in demand, law firms also slowed the pace at which they increase their billing rates. Usually, firms average a 7% increase each year. So far in Q1 2009, the rate is 3%.
That little tidbit, combined with the index's finding that attorney productivity has fallen by 11.5% compared to this time last year, means that the rising tide of attorney lay-offs isn't likely to subside anytime soon.
In order to end on a positive note, however, I feel like I should mention that work for bankruptcy attorneys was up by 15%.
That's something? Right?