Is your firm winning or losing -- Altonji hits two grand slams!

I have collaborated on client projects with Joseph Altonji in the past, and think that he is a very honest and insightful consultant to law firms. It did not surprise me, therefore, when I saw Altonji had a hand in writing two very good recent articles about how law firms are doing and how they could do better in this tough economy.

In the first article, "Winners and Losers," Altonji joins his Law Vision colleague Mike Short (whom I have never met) to unpack the details behind data showing the legal market as a whole has been pretty flat. Their data and charts demonstrate that actual firm performance has generally not been flat; rather, firms have experienced greatly varying performance. The bottom line:

Of the 119 firms represented on [Short and Alonji's chart], only 48 actually had one up year and one down year between 2010 and 2012.  Thirty-seven firms saw two “up” years in a row, with cumulative gains ranging from 2% to almost 40%.  The remaining 34 firms (29%) had two consecutive “down” years, with cumulative declines ranging from 3% to almost 20% (see the following chart).

In the second article, "2014 -- The Year to Try Something Different," Altonji writes solo and offers three piece of advice for firms: allocating marketing funds to partners actually good at originating business, having firms that are actually performing standardized legal work embrace this reality and maximize their performance instead of fighting it, and having successful practices join firms with successful business models. 

Writings like these suggest to me that Altonji is off to a very good start. I commend both articles to my readers.