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In Search of Perfect Client Service Why lawyers don't seem to get it

Monthly Archives: June 2005

Alternative Fees Should Go Beyond Specific Matters To Build Strong Relationships With In-House Counsel

Posted in Hourly Rates and Alternatives

I consider Nat Slavin, the publisher of Corporate Legal Times, to be a friend.  But even if he were not, I would be a regular reader of Corporate Legal Times simply because every issue contains at least one nugget of insight that really makes me think and reevaluate what I believe, and most issues contain… Continue Reading

Listening To Ourselves Through Unbiased Ears

Posted in Commentary

I’m not going to repeat all of the commentary about the “elevator speech” you need to have ready to give to anyone who asks what you do.  We all have experienced the need to have the “speech” ready and many of us have one at the ready.  But are we really ready? I recently wrote… Continue Reading

“Mr. Lamb, I have a great stock tip for you!” (Or Why Cold Calling Has No Place In Marketing Or Sales)

Posted in Client Service

Uggghhhhhhhhhhh!  I hate it when these stock brokers call out of the blue, trying to sound like they’ve got the best deal in the world.  I can’t hang up fast enough. You might be wondering how my encounters with cold callers is particularly relevant to client service.  When a broker calls me out the blue… Continue Reading

Talk About A Power Breakfast!

Posted in People, Places and Blawgs

This morning, I was fortunate enough to have breakfast with Jeff Carr, General Counsel of FMC Technologies; Peter Jenkins, the President of Law Partnering Institute and founder of  the Law Department Consortium; and Steve Lauer, Director of Integrity Interactive.  Jeff is one the most outspoken proponents of aligning the economic interests of clients and their… Continue Reading

Comfort Is Not A Recipe

Posted in Client Service

Many years ago, I did almost all of my work for two partners in a large firm.  They were good friends, but they could not have been more different to work for.  But what I am today, I am in large measure because of them.  Once, I was traveling with one of the partners and… Continue Reading

Response to Comment: Does Good Marketing Eliminate The Need For Sales?

Posted in Marketing, Branding and Sales

Anne Gallagher of Extreme Marketing comments that one of her favorite authors on professional services (probably herself or her equally insightful partner, Merry Neitlich) “says that when marketing is done right, ‘sales’ becomes superfluous.  Think this means that relationship selling is about developing and deepening relationships rather than using traditional ‘closing’ techniques to get commitment.” … Continue Reading

Blocking and Tackling=Sales

Posted in Marketing, Branding and Sales

I ran across the Revenue Roundtable blog the other day.  The Roundtable is made up a panel of experts, who describe their mission this way:  “The Revenue Roundtable team’s saying is “Be practical, or be quiet.” So, head off to academia if you want to read jargon-laden management theory. Stick with us if you want… Continue Reading

Courage. (And no, this is not a tribute to Dan Rather)

Posted in Hourly Rates and Alternatives

Much has been written here and elsewhere about the utter significant problems inherent in the billable hour system.  Indeed, there seems to be something meaningful happening, if only rhetorically.  The question remains, when will conduct match rhetoric?  When will inside counsel begin to insist on budgets with meaning, on alternative fees, on their counsel having… Continue Reading

Happy Fathers Day!

Posted in General

Happy Fathers Day to all Dads out there.  Today is worth a second or two to remember the important place our kids have in our lives.  Give ‘em a hug and let them know. 

“After The Mistake” Post Getting Some Play

Posted in Client Service

My June 3, 2005 post entitled “After The Mistake” has been getting some play in the blog world.  Jim Colloway featured the post in his blog, Jim Calloway’s Law Practice Tips Blog, on June 17.  Jim is the Director of the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Management Assistance Program and was the chair of ABA TECHSHOW 2005,… Continue Reading

RFP Responses and Client Service

Posted in Client Service

My LexThink friend Matt Homann has a really intriguing blog entry today.  In the [non]billable hour, Matt quotes a guy named Craig Arthur, who writes that you should respond to Requests For Proposal in this manner:  … [Y]ou should respond by sending a letter politely explaining why you don’t answer RFPs or bids and why… Continue Reading

Can Starbucks Improve Client Service?

Posted in Client Service

Earlier today, Tom Peters wrote: “I’ve written a lot positive about Starbucks … and will continue to do so. But the fact is that I am one of those “line intolerant” people … and for the life of me I can’t understand why so many people tolerate the long Starbucks lines (even though handled well… Continue Reading

Just Added–My Favorite Blogs

Posted in People, Places and Blawgs

With the help of Monica Bay ( editor-in-chief of Law Technology News, editorial director of Law Firm Inc. and Small Firm Business, and a rabid Yankees fan), I was able to figure out how to add a list of my favorite blogs.  Thanks Monica!  Anyway, I wanted to explain why each was chosen. In no… Continue Reading

Bucking The Merger Trend

Posted in Client Service

The June issue of Chicago Lawyer (not related to American Lawyer) contains the publication’s annual list of the largest firms in Chicago, as well as an interesting story on some top-notch small (by Chicago standards) firms that are not giving in to merger-mania.  Each of the firm leaders quoted in the article spoke about the… Continue Reading

The Mechanics of an Internal Client Service Audit

Posted in Client Service

You’ve seen the movies with military inspections of barracks.  Louis Gossett, Jr. does a great barracks inspection in “An Officer and a Gentleman.”  Some refer to it as the “white glove” test.   But at its core, a good inspection of any kind is a detailed, in-depth, painstaking examination of everything involved in the inspection, done… Continue Reading

Internal Audits For Client Service

Posted in Client Service

Congratulations, you’ve just been retained by a new client! Okay, now for  show of hands.  Having been retained, how many of you ask your new client the follow questions:  do you prefer emails or telephone calls when I am calling to update you on ordinary developments do you prefer emails or telephone calls when I… Continue Reading

Valuing Your Client’s Time

Posted in Client Communications

Although not written for lawyers or about the legal profession, Tom Peters’ blog had a great entry today about productive use of meeting time.  As lawyers, we spend our time in many meetings, some with clients and some about clients, that is, meetings for which a client is paying us.  Meetings can seem endless and… Continue Reading

Why might mid-size firms survive?

Posted in Commentary

Larry Bodine had an interesting post on his Professional Marketing Blog today entitled “The Abrupt Resurrection of Mid-Size Law Firms.  With mid-sized firm being defined as between 30 and 100 lawyers in a major city, Larry refers some recent thinking by Ward Bower of Altman Weil, and then he identifies several advantages of mid-size firms,… Continue Reading

The Importance of Leadership

Posted in Leadership and Management

I know for a fact that there are lawyers in many firms who “get it” when it comes to client service, but whose firms don’t.  In my experience and and from discussions with many in-house counsel, there aren’t many firms that “get it” on an institutional level.  From where I sit, the difference is one… Continue Reading

After The Mistake

Posted in Client Service

Interesting post on Ed Poll’s LawBiz Blog about how lawyers respond after the inevitable mistake.  Other than just noting the value of making recompense, the article doesn’t offer much real advice.  Perhaps because I have such great experience making mistakes, let me offer some thoughts on how to deal with he mistake when it arises:… Continue Reading

The Importance Of Time

Posted in Leadership and Management

No, not billable hour kind of time.  Rather, the importance of time to think. Changing how you do business, or changing with whom you do business are not easy decisions.  The decisions have to be justified, sometimes to people who have become your friends, to your CFO or even the CEO.  In other words, the… Continue Reading