It’s time to issue an APB on missing demand for legal services from law firms. Put pictures on the backs of milk cartons. Someone check the Upside Down. We have a serious situation on our hands. The 2017 Report on the State of the Legal Market, presented by The Center for the Study of the Legal Profession at Georgetown University Law Center and Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute, has concluded, “The past decade has been a period of stagnation in demand growth for law firm services.”

But a closer reading of the report reveals that it may be too soon to panic. According to the report’s methodology, “Demand for ‘law firm services’ is viewed as equivalent to total billable hours recorded by firms during a specified period.” To reiterate a point I made in a previous column, “Falling demand for Big Law services is not the same as falling demand for all legal services.” The missing demand growth cited in the Thomson Reuters/Georgetown report only refers to legal services from law firms. Demand for legal services more broadly is safe and sound.

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