No surprise here: Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group released its 2008 first quarter Managing Partner Confidence Index this week, and overall, it depicts a gloomy outlook on the economy’s impact on law firms.
This is the fifth index released by Citi Private Bank, which first began polling managing partners about their faith in the economy for the first quarter of 2007. Since then, each index has shown a steady decline in confidence, but this most recent survey marks the first time that managing partners were, on average, more negative than positive in their responses.
Respondents ranked their confidence in the future of the economy, using an index that scales from zero to 200, with 100 representing a neutral position. This quarter’s survey shows an average confidence index in the economy at large of 50. That’s a 19-point drop from last quarter. Managing partners also reported an average index of 67 for confidence in business conditions of the legal profession. That’s an 11-point drop from the last survey.
Dozens of U.S. managing partners participate in the survey, and this quarter, U.K. managing partners were also included for the first time.