- "do more with less"
- "everyone has to wear multiple hats"
- "times are tough"
- "budgets have to be cut in hard times"
- "clients just aren't paying for that any longer"
- we can't afford to continue 10% or greater increases in subscriptions any more
- we just don't recover as much as we used to from clients
- my budget is slashed because of the bad economy
Here are a few of the headlines that the Am Law 100 press releases have been bragging about lately:
- Profits and Revenues Hit Record Highs
- Very Big Year
- Bump Up in Profits
- It's Back to 2008
- Profits Surge
- Rise in Revenue, Profits
- Profits, Revenue Rises
We all know that administrative cuts were deep over the past two to three years. Quite frankly, it'll be a long time before we ever see 2008 type budgets or staffing again. In fact, many of us believe that the downturn in the economy helped weed out some serious inefficiencies and helped us streamline the overall administrative side of the house. That being said, many of us also believe that we cannot continue to cut services without it eventually catching up with us, and potentially biting us in the butt. It is also pretty obvious that the excuses we've been using for the past two years are hard for others to accept when we're also slapping ourselves on the back for record profits.
We're at a cross-roads right now on developing ways to improve services provided by the administrative side of a law firm, without slipping back into the pre-2008 sloppiness that caused so many cuts in services and staffing. Vendors will probably think that it is "business as usual" in the legal industry; Partners will think that "we still need to run a lean operation"; however, it is those of us in the "non-lawyer" side of things that have to start developing ways to keep costs down while at the same time bringing services back up to an acceptable level that provides the firm with the resources it needs.
Time to put away the excuses of "we don't have the money" and time to start developing the new business model of "we can't afford to waste our time, effort and money on _____, any longer."