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

Monthly Archives: November 2009

The Pace Of Change

Posted in Commentary

Richard Susskind uses a graph in his book, The End Of Lawyers?, and in his speeches that shows the pace of change as a "knee curve."  The graph shows that we have experience comparatively little change until now, but we stand on the cusp of a period of great change.  What does this mean?  Try… Continue Reading

A day of thanks.

Posted in General

I woke up this morning thinking how very lucky I am.  Valorem is almost two years old, and my worst day in those two years is still significantly better than my best day in the previous 25 years, at least from the standpoint of practicing law.  So I want to take a moment to thank… Continue Reading

Rules of Attachments: How not to use email

Posted in Client Service

As National Litigation Counsel for a number of clients, I receive emails from local counsel around the country.  A few, but enough that I have noticed, send me emails that contain nothing other than an attachment of their status letter.  So I have to click through the attachment, wait and then read a report on… Continue Reading

Alternative Fees: So how’d you come up with that number? Part II

Posted in Commentary, Hourly Rates and Alternatives

Following up on my last post on how clients can determine whether the alternative fee quoted is a good one or not, I invite you to read this article from Corporate Counsel, United Technologies Takes a Stand, Puts Billable Hour ‘On Life Support.’  Here’s the punchline from the story: These days it’s easy to find… Continue Reading

United Breaks Guitars. A Classic Lesson In Client Service

Posted in Client Service

Sometimes, you see something that is just a wonderful poignant reminder that you cannot win a battle with a customer, whether the customer flies your airline or purchases services from you.  Here’s the story: A musician named Dave Carroll recently had difficulty with United Airlines. United apparently damaged his treasured Taylor guitar ($3500) during a… Continue Reading

Are best practices really best?

Posted in Commentary

Law firms frequently strive to identify and adapt "best practices" in whatever area is under examination.  I used to think that this approach was laudable.  Not anymore.  The Harvard Business Review just posted Why Do We Ignore Best Practices?, which suggests some reasons why companies (firms) ignore best practices. I take issue with the fundamental… Continue Reading

Change and organizational risk

Posted in Commentary, Leadership and Management

One of the explanations often offered by managing partners to explain why lawyers (really, their organizations) are so slow to change is lawyers’ well-establish aversion to risk.  Change involves risk, to be sure, though the assumption implicit in the statement–that the status quo does not involve risk–is demonstrably untrue.  That debate, however, can be had… Continue Reading

Example of WWGD? in action

Posted in Commentary, Marketing, Branding and Sales

I strongly endorsed a new book by Jeff Jarvis, What Would Google Do?  If you want to see Googley thinking in action, check out Michelle Golden’s post, Think Your Clients Use Your Firm’s Website?  Here’s the advice: Firms also talk about putting valuable content and tools behind this client-only wall. This is exactly opposite of… Continue Reading

Preservation Of The Past Is Not A Strategy

Posted in Commentary

In my recent post, Want To Think About The Future Of Law?. I referenced Jeff Jarvis’ fantastic new book, What Would Google Do?  Listening to my tape of the book this morning, Jarvis made two great points.  One is what the calls the "cash cow in the coal mine," a play on the idea of… Continue Reading

Ed Reeser, Bruce Lee and the Corsican Mouse

Posted in Commentary, People, Places and Blawgs

Ed Reeser is a fantastic lawyer and a great guy.  We were teammates during Professor Bill Henderson’s FutureFirm 1.0 contest last April.  Largely because of Ed’s insights and wisdom, our team prevailed.  Ed, Jeff Carr, Patrick McKenna and I recently co-authored 4 articles together, largely because Ed played the role of the rancher, sitting on… Continue Reading