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

Category Archives: Commentary

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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

A man hears what he wants to hear…

Posted in Commentary

I am sure Simon and Garfunkel never thought their lyrics would find their way into the law (this line has been used by judges in their opinions, so I am not breaking new ground) but when a line fits so perfectly, it is hard not to use it.  In August, I wrote a New Normal… 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

Forbes: 5 Minutes Early Is On Time; On Time Is Late; Late Is Unacceptable

Posted in Commentary

Here’s just a flavor for the reasons the author provides in this must-read article: Disrespectful: Being on time is about respect. It signals that you value and appreciate the other person. If you don’t respect the meeting’s participants, why are you meeting with them in the first place? Inconsiderate: Unintentionally being late demonstrates an overall… 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

Every assertion of client ownership weakens a firm

Posted in Commentary

“It’s my client.”  “I get the billings.” Even the magnanimous say, “I”ll share the billings.”  In court, you often hear lawyers refer to “my client.” Each own of these assertions of ownership weakens everyone involved. Most lawyers believe it strengthens them, especially in any intramural fighting over control and billing.  It doesn’t.  Everyone knows. Saying… Continue Reading

Litigators: What’s your story?

Posted in Commentary, General, Uncategorized

Trial lawyers see a case as a story.  They are constantly thinking about the story and why the jury should care about it. Litigators see a case as a series of motions and briefs, depositions and documents. The stuff litigators see as the point of a case is just a road to the end.

Law Firm Signal and Noise: The Art of Saying Nothing

Posted in Client Service, Commentary, General

I was reading this interesting Fast Company article about what the 2016 Presidential candidates talk about when speaking of income inequality.  This statement was interesting: Does all of this talk about inequality render the term meaningless? Especially at a time when wealthy donors have unprecedented sway on elections, the idea that government must work to… Continue Reading

Why ValoremNext?

Posted in Commentary, General

A lot of people have asked why we chose this name for our prevention platform. I wanted to answer those many inquiries. My new partner Jeff Carr, the iconic former General Counsel of FMC Technologies, sometime ago defined the four stages in the evolution of law. The first stage is what Jeff refers to has… Continue Reading

The 4 stages of change.

Posted in Commentary, Hourly Rates and Alternatives

Richard Susskind wonderfully described the 4 stages of change: Stage 1:  “What you’re saying is worthless nonsense.” Stage 2:  “What you’re saying is an interesting but perverted point of view.” Stage 3:  “What you’re saying is true but quite unimportant.” Stage 4:  “I have always said so.” There is truth in what Richard says, and… Continue Reading

Take 2: A lesson from the healthcare industry

Posted in Client Service, Commentary

There are certain mistakes made by doctors or other healthcare professionals that result in the need for further treatment. An example is sponge that is left behind during surgery, which generally necessitates further surgery.  Insurance companies and government payors have determined that mistakes like these are easily avoided and refuse to pay for the second… Continue Reading

Valorem Law Group’s Why

Posted in Commentary

One of the most-watched TED talks is by Simon Sinek. Called “Start with Why,” Sinek compellingly argues that why an organization exists is more important to its success that what it does or how. Sinek offers Apple as an example, demonstrating its ability to enter and remake markets including music, MP3 players, cell phones and… Continue Reading

PaleoLaw.

Posted in Commentary

Words matter. I have chosen mine poorly. I am here to correct my ways. For the longest time, I have written critically of “BigLaw,” as if size itself was the problem. To be sure, most large law firms suffer from the problem, but so do many smaller law firms. The problem goes beyond size. The… Continue Reading

What were they thinking?

Posted in Client Service, Commentary, General

I can’t even make stuff like this up. Lawyers and invoices are a toxic combination, but the AmLaw 200 firms that are responsible for these examples have people who are supposed to prevent the lawyers from revealing their invoicing stupidity.  Here a couple of my favorite illustrations from an article too good to pass up:… Continue Reading