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In Search of Perfect Client Service Why lawyers don't seem to get it

Black Monday: Economy Heads South. Will Law Firms Follow?

Posted in Commentary

Alan Greenspan appeared on This Week yesterday and indicated that the black cloud hanging over the US economy would not be leaving us anytime soon.  See his comments here.  These pessimistic comments led Gerry Riskin to restate his challenge to Law Firm leaders:

Punchline:  You are getting fair warning – are you acting on it?  This is not a time for traditional strategic planning – it is time for scenario planning that will create "dynamic resilience" that may become the life support system your firm will need should the economy worsen.

Gerry, you may recall, was one the earliest to raise the specter of economic meltdown and its impact for the legal profession in his Doom and Gloom For The Legal Profession from last August.  Those listening to Gerry had more than a year to prepare for today’s environment.  But with the likelihood that the economy will continue to worsen, law firm leaders who do not take the difficult but necessary steps to prepare will have only themselves to blame.  But beyond Gerry’s comments, in light of the comments by Alan Greenspan, the bankruptcy filing of Lehman Brothers, the meltdown of the banking industry, and all the other economic problems,partners who firms where leaders fail to pick up the phone and reach Gerry or others who advise law firms and talk through the difficult choices firms must make if they are to survive should reevaluate whether they are receiving the leadership they need.  As Greenspan said, it is a once in a century experience.

Is there a silver lining in this black cloud?  See my next post.