Hirschler President Courtney Paulk was among the national law firm leaders to lend insight on what 2020 will bring for midsize law firms in an article published by ALM’s Mid-Market Report published on December 20, 2019. Courtney addressed numerous issues midsize firms should respond to, including the tumultuous election year ahead, a competitive legal marketplace and providing the best legal services for clients.
“The political and economic uncertainty of the coming year should motivate middle-market firms to review their core competencies and shore up practice capabilities that may be needed by their clients in the event of a downturn,” Courtney explained. “Though the story of 2020 has yet to be written, firms that anticipate—and insulate themselves against—potential threats will be more likely to weather any negative forces. To bolster their defenses, firms would be wise to cross-train lawyers for countercyclical skills that may be in higher demand during times of economic distress; evaluate current staffing models and capacity; prioritize large expenditures; and analyze the firm’s capitalization under different scenarios.”
Courtney added her thoughts on an increasingly competitive landscape in the legal industry and how firms can differentiate themselves. “To compete effectively in 2020 and beyond, middle-market firms must continue to differentiate themselves to grow existing relationships and win new business,” said Courtney. “Good legal advice and competitive rates are table stakes. To thrive—not simply survive—firms must demonstrate ongoing value in the form of innovation, flexibility and service quality.”
“As a multi-specialty (versus full-service) firm of 80 lawyers, we recognize that we can’t be ‘all things to all people,’” Courtney said of Hirschler’s own strategy. “Instead, Hirschler focuses on being all things to each client. In 2020, we will maintain laser focus on our strategic priorities: expanding our deliberate service model in the areas of greatest need for our client base; and delivering a client service experience that truly differentiates us from both large and small firm competitors.”
Stephanie A. Hood