Approaching the end of 2015, law firm leaders are positive about the coming year, but uncertainty is rising, results of The American Lawyer’s 13th Annual Law Firm Leaders Survey suggest.

While hopeful, managing partners and chief executives are increasingly wary of economic and legal industry trends, including moderating economic growth, slowing demand for legal services and discounting pressure from clients. Thirteen percent of respondents said that they were “very” optimistic about 2016 with respect to their firms, the highest percentage in years, and 68 percent said that they were “somewhat” optimistic. But the percentage of leaders who said that they were uncertain about the year ahead jumped to 13 percent from 2 percent a year ago, and another 5 percent said that they were pessimistic. The growing uncertainty could be at least partly the result of volatile financial markets this summer. Respondents filled out the survey in early September.

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