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Dear full service law firms:

This is an intervention. I am concerned about your health. I am a general counsel, an in-house lawyer. If you want to stay viable, put me out of business. That is, give your clients a reason not to hire me. This is not a joke. Hear me out.

It is axiomatic that the number of in-house lawyers has grown faster than the number of lawyers in law firms over the last quarter century, and it is not hard to understand why. (See, for example, Altman Weil Flash Survey, 2018 Law Firms in Transition). Law firms have failed miserably to address the one major concern of their clients—cost. In response to the growing frustration with rising billable rates and the refusal of law firms to embrace change, companies have preferred to build up their internal legal functions. More than 85 percent of law firms are finding that their strongest competition is coming from their clients (Altman Weil, p. 1)).

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