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Survival – A Bad Season for Israeli Lawyers‎

law firms survival IsraelDuring 2014, the total number of licensed lawyers in Israel exceeded the unbelievable number of 50,000 (!) and to them joined a few thousands of new attorneys, qualified by the Israel Bar Association

For quite some time, Israel holds the ‘lawyer density’ world record: one lawyer per ~130 residents, with at least one lawyer per ~70 residents in Tel-Aviv area (central Israel). In addition, the majority of practicing lawyers in Israel are under the age of 40

Thousands of lawyers are competing for the ‘hearts’ – or rather the wallets of potential clients. As a consequence, legal fees are decreasing rapidly in certain practice fields of the profession, among others, in the heavily dense Real Estate practice. This competitive landscape pushes lawyers to handle more and more cases per day. The higher number of cases, the bigger the chance to achieve a decent income. I need not mention the abysmal service the clients receive

A survey (link in Hebrew) conducted last year by the Israeli company of ‘Stinger Systems’ – calculated the salaries of 1,750 lawyers in Israel. Aggregating this date, the survey revealed that the wages of interns and newly graduated lawyers declined, in both central and peripheral regions

More than that, in Israel of 2014, lawyers must confront the phenomena of ‘mega’ law firms. More than 60% of the largest Israeli firms are a product of mergers. 10 ‘mega firms’ employ more than 100 lawyers; the 3 largest employ 200+lawyers. Such firms have between 30 – 80 (!) partners

To make matters worse, lawyers must now compete against new players in the market such as tax consultants, accountants, mediators and miscellaneous businesses which offer legal representation across areas such as torts, real estate and debt collection

Generally, we see portents of a bleak future for the legal profession

law firms survival Israel2From one hand, employees receive a very low wage that does not reflect the hard work and time invested

On the other hand, self-employed lawyers will likely continue to lose income whilst struggling to preserve and recruit new customers. However, this phenomenon is not unique to Israel – in the United States, lawyers suffer even gloomier prospects –Link

The legal profession slowly becomes more business-like. To survive this emerging reality, lawyers will need to adopt innovative strategies to ‘stand-out’ from the crowd. Some lawyers do not accept the changes; others receive it with joy. In this game of survival, who learns to adapt, wins

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