Let’s look at law firms’ historic expenditures. Obviously, befitting a business that lives or dies with the quality of its personnel, talent has always been the number one largest cost, and regardless of the strength of the winds buffeting the legal industry, that’s not changing. 

But numbers two and three on the list aren’t nearly as settled. It used to be that firms’ second largest budget item was the space necessary to house this talent. But, as Cushman & Wakefield legal sector advisory group leader Sherry Cushman reminded me on a webinar we participated in earlier this week, the cuts in square footage that smart firms are making in response to the new realities of office work are threatening that place in the hierarchy.