BigHand’s Market Research Confirms Law Firms Response to Declining Demand Includes Evolving Support Staff Structures

Chicago, August 15th, 2023 –The insightful series of research reports from leading technology provider BigHand sheds light on how law firms are responding to the decrease in client demand. With responses from over 800 law firm leaders, the comprehensive research is eye opening to the state of the legal sector today.

Law firms are trying to figure out what is the best way to reduce costs while maintaining excellent service to their clients. Support staff is where a lot of cost-cutting initiatives inevitably land, however, the trend of staff attrition is expected to continue as many highly skilled secretaries near retirement. Replacing like-for-like has proven to be costly and an overhaul of the flow of work for support staff has been a priority for many law firms as they try to safeguard their profitability and maintain the level of efficiency expected by clients.

Hybrid working has added more complexity to the issue as firms are seeing the consequences of an inefficient staff structure and lack of workflow tools that can support flexible teams. BigHand’s findings include:

  • 93% of firms have made changes to their support staff structure in the last 2 years
  • 63% of firms plan to increase their secretary to lawyer ratios in the next 2 years
  • 35% of firms are moving to a team model of 50% support staff centralized

It’s clear that the traditional model of support staff structures is being phased out due to how costly it is to replace and retain staff. More firms are moving to a more centralized way of working to support hybrid environments. With advancements in workflow technology, law firms are able to evolve their support teams and create more value and efficiency in how work is allocated. Lawyers shouldn’t be doing administrative tasks and outsourcing that work to manage staff attrition is costly.


Gain more insight into how the legal sector is working through these much-needed changes to maintain competitiveness and profitability by accessing the full report here or contact

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