A potential upside to the latest financial downturn is that many beforehand accepted enterprise fashions are being revealed as in want of considerable reinvention and even whole elimination. The billable hour/leverage regulation agency mannequin for authorized companies is certainly one of these more and more maligned enterprise fashions, and is now showing to be in peril of ending up within the dustbin of historical past. Particularly, even those that profit handsomely from the billable hour, such because the Cravath agency’s many $800 per hour legal professionals, now notice the basic irrationality of charging a consumer for time spent as an alternative of worth supplied. This alone ought to sign that change is within the air Casselle Law Firm.
However the rising dialog concerning the want for different consumer service fashions, I worry that almost all of IP regulation corporations will both attempt to ignore the need for change or will reply by providing solely incremental modifications to their present strategies of offering authorized companies to their shoppers. As somebody with appreciable expertise coping with IP legal professionals, I imagine that, sadly, the conservative nature of most IP attorneys implies that IP corporations will possible lag behind in consumer service improvements. Thus, I’m of the opinion that many prestigious and traditionally extremely worthwhile IP regulation corporations will within the foreseeable future stop to exist.
I attain this conclusion on account of numerous salient experiences. In certainly one of these, a number of years in the past, I approached a managing associate of a widely known IP regulation agency with ideas of lower the variety of legal professional hours expended on consumer issues. At the moment, the agency was starting to expertise appreciable push again from shoppers about the price of routine authorized companies. I famous to the managing associate that he might decrease the fee non-substantive e.g., administrative consumer IP issues, by assigning such duties to decrease billing paralegals. His response to this concept: “If paralegals did the work, what would the first and 2nd yr associates do?”