Law firms are some of the strangest organizations you will ever encounter. And many of them don't really work anymore if they ever did. They have large, inefficient staffs, waste time, money and don't get work done. In other words, they don't provide value to the client.
Clients question this structure as they should. The business world certainly is calling the law firm into question, and it has been for some time.
But it really comes down to the lawyers and whether or not they are willing to adapt to the modern marketplace. I've seen many lawyers who are afraid of progress or they embrace technology and quick fixes as if there are shortcuts to success.
One thing that hasn't changed is lawyers must work hard and be attentive to their clients. Lawyers who do this (as opposed to catering to the firm and its culture) will thrive and not "die" like the others inevitably will.