See the ABA Journal that predicts a 20% drop in legal revenues and a 50% drop in associate billings, spurred primarily by technology and client resistance.
There are opportunities in the market. Thinking optimistically may open you to them. Thinking pessimistically certainly will cause you to miss them. How much of today’s firm layoffs is because of pessimism, not because of critical analysis of the firm’s position and client (and prospective clients) needs? Like much else in the law firm environment, I suspect that this is much of a knee-jerk reaction rather than serious review and strategic planning.
I’m reminded of a statement from one of the recent TED speakers who said pessimism will certainly cause you to retract while optimism will at least allow you to see the opportunities, no matter how few, that are there. Seeing the opportunities is the first step to taking advantage of them.