Law firm productivity has continued to fall, with multiple analysts pointing to historic lows in billable hours per lawyer. But are law firm attorneys actually doing less valuable work in the end?

Yes, there are continued demand concerns in Big Law, with some law firms still over-capacity in their lawyer ranks. But analysts also say that law firm productivity may be evolving with the rise of technology that’s allowed (or forced) lawyers to pack more work into less time, a greater openness toward alternative fee arrangements, and a broader profitability push that’s improved leverage. Now, there may be even greater emphasis on the profitability of a practice, not just hours.