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WHAT WE’RE WATCHING

THE COST OF COST CUTTING - Last month, in our year-end Law.com Trendspotter slideshow, we called 2020 the year in which law firms “learned what they could live without,” from physical office spaces to in-person meetings to certain staff functions. Still, despite the tantalizing cost-savings potential of either permanently eliminating or at least drastically shrinking those line items, the debate rages on about how much might be irrevocably lost if the industry leans too heavily into remote work, automation and outsourcing. With the financial outlook for 2021 still considerably clouded by the lingering fog of the pandemic, firms will remain on the hunt for expendable expenses this year, which will lead to a difficult question we explore in this week’s Law.com Trendspotter column.: how much cost can you cut before suffering the consequences?

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