National leaders have called this “The Great Recession”. Since the fall of the real estate market on the mainland in 2008, our national economy has been in rough shape. Hawaii has also been hurt by this economic downturn.
The legal profession has also suffered from this tough economic climate. Several large law firms, including my former firm in New York City, have gone out of business. In a recent Los Angeles Times article, it was noted that like other industries, small agile law offices have been able to adapt more quickly to this new legal climate. Boutique law offices, like this one, were simply considered to be more “consumer friendly”.
This does not suprise me. When I started this office in 1997, I knew that the future of the legal profession was more efficient, smaller law offices. In my opinion, the $700-1000 hourly rates charged by some major law firms are simply unsustainable.
Practicing law is like any other business. As we all try to navigate our way through the “Great Recession”, the law firms that survive will be those that are most able to adapt to the changing market and be responsive to our clients.