Header graphic for print
In Search of Perfect Client Service Why lawyers don't seem to get it

Monthly Archives: January 2010

Responsiveness is damned important

Posted in Client Service, Commentary

I have a new matter on which I inherited local counsel.  I send emails asking simple questions, like "did you do a choice of law analysis before saying State A’s law applies."  Days later, I’m still waiting for a response.  I am waiting for, literally, a one word response.  The fact that I haven’t gotten… Continue Reading

Change And The Art Of The Possible

Posted in Commentary

I can change things I have control over.  I cannot force others to change things that others control.  I cannot force clients to forsake their rule that lawyers must submit timesheets.  I cannot force every court I practice before to abandon their practice of relying on heavily on timesheets when reviewing fee issues.  I can discuss… Continue Reading

Timesheets. Are They Core To Your Business Model?

Posted in Commentary

Yesterday on Twitter, a query was made as to whether there were any truly new law firm business models.  A highly regarded legal consultant identified Valorem, Bartlit Beck, Traverse Legal and Shepherd Law Group as examples.  There ensued a debate whether any of these firms other than Shepherd Law Group were different.  According to the… Continue Reading

Storytelling … and Client Service

Posted in Client Service

It is amazing how one well-written sentence can communicate volumes and engage the reader to think beyond the sentence.  My friend Dan Hull writes my favorite blog, What About Clients?.  He had a post the other day with the simple title, Storytelling.  The entirety of the post was this quote from Anton Chekhov: Don’t tell… Continue Reading

Great Article On The Ethics Of Ediscovery: Implications for AFAs?

Posted in Commentary

  Consider this simple fact: because of the way duplicate electronic documents are handled (or, more appropriately, mishandled), clients overpaid or grossly overpaid for their documents review nearly half of all productions.  This comes from a survey that is discussed at length in a terrific article, Ethics and Ediscovery Review, published in the ACC Docket. … Continue Reading

Writing plainly is good client service

Posted in Client Service

I am a huge fan of Ken Adams‘ blog, Adams Drafting. His post, The Perils of Definedtermitis, wonderfully illustrates both clear writing and the cost to clients when lawyers write like, well, lawyers.  Here’s the setup: I was reviewing a clause in a software sale agreement with a major third-party distributor. I got to the assignment… Continue Reading

Document Review: People or Machines?

Posted in Client Service

One of the great battles law firms have fought with their clients is over e-discovery.  Law firms have wanted to have their people do the document review because they then capture the profit associated with that review.  Smaller law firms that do not have the manpower to conduct internal reviews have urged use of outside… Continue Reading

Alternative Fees: “This, too, shall pass.” Really?

Posted in Commentary, Hourly Rates and Alternatives

Let’s start with a huge caveat.  The guy doing the talking in this interview, Stephen French, is the Managing Director of Legalbill.  According to the firm’s website: Legalbill is committed to providing corporations worldwide with unsurpassed solutions for legal cost analysis and management. So, in real world terms, Legalbill manages hourly billing data, slices and… Continue Reading

A Call For Benchmarks II: comments and response

Posted in Commentary

I received a couple of interesting comments in response to my earlier post, A Call For Benchmarks, and it seemed prudent to share them in the most public way. Comment 1 was from Steven Levy, renowned expert on Legal Project Management, with whom I will be presenting in March: Many of these are substitute metrics, which… Continue Reading

A Call for Benchmarks

Posted in Commentary

We live in a world that is increasingly data driven. And that includes the world of law. Some may want to debate whether that is good or bad, but that it is so is beyond debate, at least in my view. With that in mind, I ask this question: when making a decision to buy… Continue Reading

Watchwords for 2010? Project Management

Posted in Commentary

As 2010 begins, I am making one more prediction (earlier predictions here).  I wanted to make one more.  The watchwords for 2010 are project management.  Project Management skills are sorely lacking in the legal profession, but they may do more to help lawyers more efficiently and effectively represent their clients than any other tool.  I… Continue Reading

Optimism Trumps Gloom

Posted in General

2009 is over. “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”  Friedrich Nietzsche The men and women of the legal profession are stronger today than they have been in quite some time. “I will survive.”  Gloria Gaynor So will we all.  2010 is here. Work hard. Life will be better.