We’ve all seen or heard about the high-end law firms, the ones with the well-appointed offices and the high billable hour fees. Large or small, some of these firms are harboring a secret – one that can affect how they treat and bill their clients. Now, Edwin Reeser, a California business lawyer, has pulled back the curtain in his February 4, 2015 article for the ABA Journal titled, 9 ways to change the carnivorous partnership model and save BigLaw firms.
In his article, Mr. Reeser poignantly describes what really goes on in some law firms. He touches on incoming associates’ “blind faith” in the system, the “competitive” nature of making partner, the “attrition” problem that inevitably follows, and the costs to the firms of this supposed “search for excellence,” including the loss of some of the “best and brightest.”
For legal consumers, the article provides a peek into what really goes on behind those law firm doors. And while that information is enlightening, Mr. Reeser is also disclosing who really pays for this “game” – the clients. It is the clients who “subsidize” this industry practice in the form of inflated fees. After all, when the cost of doing business is “unnecessarily” high, the cost of the products and services will be too.
Hopefully those law firms will heed Mr. Reeser’s advice and change the decades-old “carnivorous partnership model.” It would be a win for the partners, a win for the associates, and most importantly, a win for the clients.