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2012 Not the Best Year for Pennsylvania Law

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The Legal’s 17th annual Managing Partners Survey for PaLaw is out and reveals that 2012 was a harder year for Pennsylvania than 2011. According to the Legal Intellgencer, part of the ALM network, we see that across the board, the stats paint a gloomy outlook for 2012, dashing the 2011’s optimism that 2012 would be a better year.

Some highlights of the survey include

* In 2011, 9.7 percent of survey respondents claimed to grow by more than 10 percent over the previous year, while in 2012 only 3.1 percent claimed the same.

  
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* No firms had shrunk more than 10 percent in 2011 but 6.3 percent had in 2012.

* Though 16.1 percent of 2011 firms anticipating growing more than 10 percent, 9.4 actually did

* In 2011, 6.5 percent of firms planned layoffs, but in 2011 18.8 percent respondents plan layoffs; indeed, in 2011, 12.9 percent actually did lay off staff, whereas in 2012 it was 21.9 percent.

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* Contract work is up from 38.7 percent in 2011 to 47 percent in 2012.

When the firms were asked what they had done in the last year to stay profitable, their tactics included increasing rates, focusing on higher-demand areas, and reducing their number of equity partners. But in fact, only 65.4 percent of firms raised their rates, compared to 73.9 percent in 2011.



With 2012 defying 2011’s hopeful optimism, we are wondering what to expect for 2013.

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