While the Citi Law Watch’s Q2 Report shows law firm partner confidence index to be overall positive and much better than what it was in 2008, at least, there’s a slight drop after two straight upward moves from Q3 2011.
Historically, however, Q3, 2011 was one of the worst for law firms with the partner confidence index dropping below anything it had experienced from 2009 Q3 onwards. The analysts have declared that the drop in the confidence index of law firm partners is not so much due to problems in operations or demand/supply, but due to lack of certainty in the economic scenario, that usually besets an election year.
Even though overall confidence index of law firm partners dropped by 7 points from Q1 to Q2, 2012, 46% of law firm partners did not find any difference between Q1 and Q2, and 28% of law firm partners felt that the situation was actually somewhat better than the previous quarter.
Considering the extremes, the market does seem to be better, if we consider that only 1% of law firm partners considered Q2 to be ‘considerably worse’ than Q1, as against 8% law firm partners who were convinced of the situation being “considerably better.”
However, when it came to questions about the economy at large, there were none who thought the situation was either considerably better or worse. At least 21% law firm partners opined that the situation was somewhat worse, against the opinions of 35% who felt the economy at large was “somewhat better” and 44%, who felt it was all the same.
Overall, partner confidence index showed a drop of 19 points when it came to the economy at large. Also, partner confidence in business conditions of the legal profession showed an overall drop of 10 points between Q1 and Q2.
So, the profession is definitely out of the recession, and in a position much better than 2008, but curiously, not in a position better than either 2010 or 2011 for the same period.