Demand for legal services in Australia is flat – so what can I do about it?

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Yesterday’s [4 July 2014] Australian newspaper Legal Affairs section published an article – “Top-tier firms axe hundreds of jobs” (subscription required if you wish to read the full article) – that opened with the following paragraph:

THE nation’s biggest law firms are in the midst of an employment shake-out with hundreds of jobs disappearing as the firms slash costs in the face of flat demand and intense competition.

The point of this post is not to opine on whether or not demand for legal services in Australia is truly flat, nor whether indeed demand among, so-called, ‘top-tier’ firms is intense, which I’ll leave for another day, but rather to comment on whether or not such flat demand, and indeed intense competition, should lead to the loss of hundred of jobs.

First off, anyone who has a memory even slightly longer than a gold fish, will recall that most (if not all) international firms (of whom most make up this so-called ‘top-tier’ level here in Australia) who entered the Australian market post the GFC cited “flat demand” in their domestic jurisdictions, and the need to grow revenue from other jurisdictions, as a strategic reason for doing such.