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

Monthly Archives: February 2009

The Fine Art of Overbilling

Posted in Commentary

Brian Baxter of American Lawyer has a post on lawjobs.com called The Fine Art Of Overbilling.  It begins with this: A tongue-in-cheek look at how to pad your bill, unless of course you don’t mind getting arrested or disbarred Except, as I read it, it wasn’t tongue-in-cheek.  Let’s look at the eight overbilling schemes and decide… Continue Reading

Finally, an honest engagement letter

Posted in Commentary

It comes from Australia.  Of course, because you wouldn’t expect this from a US lawyer. It begins this way: "I am writing to you quite frankly because I am being made to and for no other reason."  Okay, so maybe it’s not totally serious.  But it is honest.  And very funny. Here are some more highlights:… Continue Reading

How Do Boutique Law Firms Deliver Greater Value With Alternative Fees

Posted in Commentary, People, Places and Blawgs

Jim Hassett, who writes he influential Legal Business Development blog, will be moderating a discussion of how boutique firms are delivering greater value using alternative fees.  The West Legalworks webinar will take place on March 17 at 12:30 Eastern.  Details are here.  I honored to be on the panel that Jim assembled, which also includes… Continue Reading

Seller Must Adapt To Buyer

Posted in Commentary

Just a few days ago, I posted You Must Understand Their Expectations Before You Can Meet Them, the latest is a long line of posts in which I articulate my basic premise that Clients have the power of the Buyer and that law is, inherently, a Buyer’s market.  In this same vein, Seth Godin has… Continue Reading

The Problem With Most Fixed Fee Proposals

Posted in Commentary

Jim Hassett’s latest in his series of of posts on alternative fees is now available.  This is a very important post on how to set a fixed fee.  Jim notes that there are two ways of getting to a fixed number, cost plus pricing and value pricing.  In the former, estimate what you think it… Continue Reading

An Ode To My Partners: We Is More Than Me

Posted in Commentary

From time to time, you’ve heard me mention my Valorem partners.  I have tried (unsuccessfully, I realize) to keep this blog from being too Valorem-centric.  But as my partners and our spouses gather tonight to celebrate our first anniversary, I want to use this space to share with them some things I’ve learned during our… Continue Reading

Example of Great Client Service

Posted in Client Service

Last evening, Valorem had an open house to celebrate our first anniversary.  I had opposed the idea of the party and was persuaded by my partners that it was the right thing to do.  Boy, were they right.  We had a grand time and visited with many of the people who helped in our evolution. … Continue Reading

On The Importance Of Writing Well

Posted in Client Communications, Commentary

More litigation results from bad drafting that one can possibly imagine. Excellent writing is a critical component of excellent client service. My friends at What About Clients have two terrific posts on good writing.  The first reminds us that writing well is hard work.    The second discusses client-centered writing and advances the argument that over-reliance… Continue Reading

Bad News? Don’t Ignore the Gorilla.

Posted in Client Communications

You can’t.  But it’s amazing how people keep trying to ignore that old gorilla. As I’ve mentioned, I was listening to a panel of General Counsel share some stories last week.  This story was told by one of them.  The took a case to trial.  And got hammered.  Way beyond what trial counsel had predicted… Continue Reading

The Harmony of Alternative Fees

Posted in Commentary

I heard a story last week to the effect that many larger firms are offering fixed fee arrangements in response to RFPs issued by prospective clients.  Just a few days before, I had been talking to some lawyers at a large firm who were investigating the possibility of their firm quoting more alternative fees to… Continue Reading