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WHAT WE’RE WATCHING

DIFFERENT DAYS – It’s human nature to look to the past for analogues as a way of trying to make sense of the present and predict the future. Many have attempted to liken the pandemic-induced dip in legal demand we’ve seen this year to the struggles law firms faced in the early 2010s. But, as Prince might have sang if he moonlighted as a legal consultant, “Nothing Compares 2 the Great Recession.” And that’s encouraging. As Andrew Maloney reports, legal demand did drop over the past two quarters by levels we haven’t seen since the beginning of 2013, according to the Thomson Reuters Peer Monitor Index report. But that’s where the comparison to the past ends. For one thing, as the report notes, many law firms are “lucratively positioned as year-end approaches” after cutting costs and scaling back hiring, which was not the case earlier in the decade. For another, as Bill Josten, manager of enterprise content for Thomson Reuter, told Maloney, although demand is still down from where it was in 2019, it did increase between Q2 and Q3. “It’s a situation where less bad is good,” he said.

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