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

Category Archives: Client Service

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Is your firm filled with open-minded people?

Posted in Client Service, Commentary, Leadership and Management

Pedantic is defined as “narrowly, stodgily, and often ostentatiously learned a pedantic insistence that we follow the rules exactly” and “unimaginative, dull.” You’ll see in a minute why I began with this definition. I read an interesting article in today’s Chicago Tribune on the signs of greatness in companies.  One of the key signs is… Continue Reading

Vanilla. Tastes good, but it’s a bad way to market.

Posted in Client Service, Commentary, General, Uncategorized

If you spend any time reading law firm websites, you soon come to one conclusion: all of them were written by the same person.  We know this because all law firms say the same things–best schools, best lawyers, client-focused, great client serviced, alternative fees, focused, collaborative, efficient, blah, blah, blah.  Some websites use more words… Continue Reading

The quality of your questions determines the quality of the answers.

Posted in Client Service, Client Surveys and Audits, Commentary

Back in January, I copied a portion of an article that provided a list of questions lawyers should ask themselves. It was an interesting list of questions, but I was struck by how the wording of the questions could cause lawyers to avoid taking a sufficiently critical look at themselves.  I have been unable to… Continue Reading

BigLaw: Another step in a relentless, vicious circle

Posted in Client Service, Commentary, Hourly Rates and Alternatives

When lost in the desert or a thick forest terrains devoid of landmarks people tend to walk in circles. Blindfolded people show the same tendency; lacking external reference points, they curve around in loops as tight as 66 feet (20 meters) in diameter, all the while believing they are walking in straight lines. Livescience.com This… Continue Reading

McDonalds creates its own ad agency. Can bespoke law firms be far behind?

Posted in Client Service, Commentary, Trends and Innovations

Several years ago, I was part of a proposal to a large tech company to create a custom, build-to-suit, build-to-serve law firm to handle the company’s IP work.  The company showed interest, but ultimately it was too big a leap to make. That was then.  Crain’s Chicago Business is reporting today on an ad created… Continue Reading

Six Pricing Action Items from Buying Legal Council Procurement event

Posted in Client Service, Commentary, Pricing

Anyone who sells legal services to corporate America knows the important role procurement professionals play in the acquisition of legal services.  Dr. Silvia Hodges Silverstein leads the premier group for legal procurement, Buying Legal Council. The group allows procurement professionals to learn, from each other and from outsiders Silvia brings into group discussions.  The group… Continue Reading

Valorem Honored to be Named to 2017 BTI Consulting Client Service A-Team

Posted in Client Service, Commentary, Selection of counsel

  My Valorem colleagues and I are honored to have been named to the 2017 BTI Client Service A-Team.   This is our fifth consecutive year to have been named to the A-Team. BTI’s identified the firms awarded this distinction based on over 330 in-depth interviews of General Counsels, direct reports to GCs and other key… Continue Reading

Prevention Is The Answer To The Question of How Law Departments Can Do More With Less

Posted in Client Service, Commentary, Prevention

According to a survey of corporate counsel at large U.S. corporations reported by Law.com, nearly 70% of law departments expect their annual operating budget to be flat or decrease in 2017. Let me say that again—nearly 70% of law departments expect that annual operating budget to be flat or decrease in 2017. And we know… Continue Reading

Consulting? A natural way to share the many lessons we’ve learned over the years.

Posted in Client Service, Client Surveys and Audits, Commentary, Hourly Rates and Alternatives, Marketing, Branding and Sales, Prevention, Trends and Innovations

Something interesting happened recently.  Jeff Carr, Nicole Auerbach and I consulted with a client about how to improve the law department’s performance and save money.  Shortly afterwards, Nicole and I consulted with a law firm about moving to alternative fee arrangements.  The interesting thing was that we found ourselves enjoying being consultants.  We found, in… Continue Reading

Valorem recognized as one of the best at delivering Alternative Fee Arrangements

Posted in Client Service, Hourly Rates and Alternatives

Last week, BTI Consulting reported that alternative fee arrangements have “soared to an all time high,” noting that AFAs generated savings of nearly 14%, or an average of $2.7 million for law departments.   These savings are significant, but as I have often said, much greater savings are possible if AFAs are deployed with other important… Continue Reading

AFAs are finally catching on, but so much more is possible

Posted in Client Service, Commentary, Hourly Rates and Alternatives

Michael Rynowecer of BTI Consulting had a great, must-read post today on his Mad Clientist blog. In the post, which I strongly recommend, Michael makes these points: Spending on AFAs is way up—nearly 20% CAGR over 4 years Outside counsel spend under AFAs jumped to over 35% Almost 70% of companies The reported savings from… Continue Reading

Is the time coming when an innovative Law Department will custom design its law firm?

Posted in Client Service, Commentary

Most complain that their law firms are not meeting their needs. Some law departments bring work in-house.  Some change law firms.  But the problems persist. Outside the law department, companies solve this kind of problem by creating a solution. Often, the company’s engineers work with a willing vendor to find the right solution. Is the… Continue Reading

The Noise of Client Service

Posted in Client Service, Commentary, General

I wrote a series on Signal and Noise here, here and here.  The problem clients confront is that most law firms look and sound alike.  When we started Valorem in 2008, no one was talking about alternative fees, no one was offering alternative fees and the world, by and large, thought we were crazy.  Now,… Continue Reading

ValoremNext presents Jeff Carr discussing the value of prevention. Join us in Houston.

Posted in Client Communications, Client Service, Commentary

  If you want to learn how a prevention program can help a law department add value to its company (with metrics), join us in Houston on October 28 at 5:30.  Jeff Carr will present his experience with prevention and the value it creates for law departments and their companies. Details can be found at… Continue Reading

Do in-house lawyers care less about second opinions than people who don’t care about second opinions?

Posted in Client Communications, Client Service, Commentary

50% of Americans do not get second opinions for important medical diagnoses. 30% of the time the second opinion causes changes in the diagnosis or treatment. Do the math. I don’t know the data on what percentage of in-house lawyers get second opinions about a strategy.  But I bet it’s pretty darn small.  I  have… Continue Reading