Sunday, April 17, 2011

Where we see the legal market moving

In our last poll we asked readers to vote on "How long it will take for attorney demand to return to a comfortable level?" Your responses were split evenly among two extremes with a small percentage voting for the middle ground. Specifically, 41% of voters predicted that within a year or two attorney demand will return to "the good old days" and on the flip side, 41% of voters lament that the legal market will never recover, and that an abundance of unemployed lawyers in the new norm. The remaining voters (16%) expect a full recovery in five years (presumably they are expecting many of those treading water to bail out of the profession by then). Which leaves no one having voted that the legal market has returned to a healthy, stable state. An unsurprising consensus in that regard.

About a year ago, we asked our readers to vote on a similar survey "How long will the drop in attorney demand and association salaries/ billing rates last," you can jump to that post here:
Interestingly, at that time, voters were split evenly among three choices: recovery in a year, 5 years, and never again.  Comparing that with this year's results, it appears that many who were middle of the road last year have become extremists at both ends of the spectrum. (And last year too, not surprisingly, no one voted for the most sunny of poll choices:  their rates increased and were earning more than ever.)

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