This article appeared in Accounting and Financial Planning for Law Firms, an ALM/Law Journal Newsletters publication covering all financial aspects of managing law firms, including: building a law firm budget; rates and rate arrangements with clients; coordinating benefits for law firm partners; and the newest strategies to grow your firm and your career.

The economic outlook for firms heading into 2023 is, as we know, challenging. By the end of 2022, there was substantial slowing in demand growth, so much so that overall demand contracted by 0.1% by the end of the year, according to the latest data from Thomson Reuters. Transactional work was falling off and clients started pulling more work in-house, placing considerable strain on law firm financials which, quite frankly, were already under pressure from a 24-month long war for talent that resulted in the highest associate pay increases on record and ensuing increase in overhead.