When lost in the desert or a thick forest terrains devoid of landmarks people tend to walk in circles. Blindfolded people show the same tendency; lacking external reference points, they curve around in loops as tight as 66 feet (20 meters) in diameter, all the while believing they are walking in straight lines.
This natural tendency appears to apply to law firms as well. Yesterday, Above The Law reported that yet another large law firm has raised the associate hours requirement as a result of salary increases awarded in 2016. So what does this mean?
Law firms do not have the ability to “just create more work,” so the extant work now has to support that many more hours. Won’t clients just love that. Now they will have to go on high alert to review invoices with that much more diligence (their favorite thing to do). Then what happens? Clients object to portions of the bill and resentment builds while firm realization decreases. This has been going on, and firms, apparently, are not taking the hint.
Will this vicious circle ever end?