Why Would Any Client Continue to Trust Their Law Firm Once They Realize that Firm Is Under Severe Financial Stress
We all know how it works. Law firms start to see workloads lighten, and they start generating a bunch of "make-work" for their partners and associates. The work that is generated has little or no value to the client. It is designed exclusively to generate revenue for the law firm. Law.com recently posted another "layoff list" setting forth a long list of law firms who are laying off partners and associates.
What I don't understand is this. Why would these clients, knowing their large law firms are under severe enough financial stress that they are having to lay off large numbers of lawyers, trust those law firms to avoid "make-work" billing. One of the many challenges posed by hourly billing is that it requires a high degree of trust between the law firm/attorneys and their clients. In a growing economy, a client might believe that the law firm has more than enough work to keep it busy and will only allocate hours to things that are meaningful. If I were a client of any of the law firms on the layoff list, I would actively be seeking other alternatives in the market from firms which are financially stable or growing. There is no way I would trust that my law firm was going to put my interest ahead of their own instincts for survival.