Lawyer Monthly - February 2023

Where recruitment and marketing have not yet fallen victim to tightening budgets, legal teams in 2023 will continue to explore new avenues of reaching target audiences. This of course means well-targeted advertising, which is embodied in the idea of social recruitment. Emergent modes of social recruitment go beyond job listing websites such as Monster and Indeed, which law firms have been using to source candidates since their inception. This year, recruiters expect to place greater emphasis on proactively identifying and engaging with ideal candidates through social media forums. LinkedIn is an obvious source of talent, but firms are now beginning to utilize the potential of messaging candidates directly through other sites such as Facebook and Twitter, the latter of which can also be used to advertise vacancies and services using hashtags. Better still, the use of social media can buoy other forms of marketing too, as 73% of buyers are more likely to consider a brand if the salesperson reaches out via LinkedIn. 42% of small law firms have also confirmed that their active use of social media has resulted in an uptick in clients. Every new entrepreneur and every newly trained lawyer will have vast experience of using social media; every legal marketer ought to be conscious of this and devoting their resources accordingly. As the American Bar Association noted in 2019, “Almost every recession has coincided with some significant change in the [legal] profession”, with evidence to suggest that this pattern has been extant since 1960. Now that fears of widespread economic downturn are once again swelling, it is no surprise that law firms are taking every opportunity to push cash a little bit further and tackle rising costs where they can still be cut back. Legal fees are at the forefront of many firms’ profitfinding strategies. A report from Wells Fargo indicates that law firms will be looking to raise fees by an average of 7% to 8% this year, yet how practicable this will be remains doubtful. There is mounting pressure from venture capital and private equity firms to curb legal costs, with 80% of respondents in a Coleman Parkes survey complaining of a lack of transparency in fees and 40% saying that bills are always higher than expected. Several methods are being employed to reduce costs incurred by outside counsel. Upwards of 60% of legal departments now employ at least one legal operations specialist for the purpose of improving departmental efficiency, with a similar proportion having negotiated payments for counsel in a form other than hourly billing. This same cost crunch will likely fuel many of the other trends expected for 2023, such as a renewed focus on AI ‘outsourcing’. 14 LAWYERMONTHLY FEBRUARY 2023 Expanded Marketing Tightening Costs

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