I'm reading "Good to Great" by Jim Collins at the moment (buy it on Amazon). The premise of the book is that there must be some specific things that companies do, in order to make the transition from good to great. I won't detail too much here about the book, there's more on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_to_great ).
However, one quote caught my eye and it made me think about whether the period law firms are in now is the same "transition point" at the US banking sector.
Good to great compares the fortunes of pairs of businesses in various sectors, in the banking sector its Wells Fargo v Bank of America. From the start of the transition period to the end (1983 - 1998) the ROI on the Wells Fargo stock price outperformed Bank of America by 500%.
The quote that caught my eye was from the CEO of Wells Fargo, Carl Reichardt. He said :-
"Sorry, fellow bankers, but we can preserve the banker class no more. We've got to be businessmen with as much attention to costs and effectiveness as McDonald's."
Do we think the current period in the legal sector is a similar "transition" point for law firms? Who will follow the path of Wells Fargo and make their owners massive returns, who will be the Bank(s) of America?