Law Firms Own Image

Law Firms Own Image

Law Firms Improvement Image Importance

by Rene Ciria-Cruz

Among law firms big and small, projecting a prosperous image despite tough economic times is a business expense worth enduring. A nationwide poll of 809 law firms found that the overwhelming majority (83 percent) see “keeping up appearances” as important or very important.

Nearly one-fifth of the firms polled in the 2011 Legal Market Expense Management Survey, commissioned by Expense Reduction Analysts, are based in California.

Websites play a big and costly role in crafting a firm’s image. While more than 27 percent of firms view website maintenance and development as indispensable, a majority also predict that their online services will be the most wasteful technology expense in 2011. (Sixty-four percent of firms expect overall technology spending to rise this year.) Right behind the Web, old-fashioned marketing tools–including “prospect/client entertainment” and “industry memberships/sponsorships”–are considered indispensable to a firm’s appearance, even though these expenses are considered somewhat costly.

Although 43 percent of the surveyed firms deem physical libraries as the least essential research expense, the majority (55 percent) say they remain useful. Perhaps some lawyers are still grappling with online research resources and others find the gravitas of shelves lined with leather-bound books makes a law office look good.