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

Category Archives: General

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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

Have You Done Something Innovative In Law?

Posted in General, Trends and Innovations

You have? Fantastic. Let us know about it and you may be recognized with an InnovAction Award. Details for Entry The preferred formats for entries are Word and PDF via email to dcurtis@colpm.org. Prior approval is required for other formats. Please contact the College Administrator at dcurtis@colpm.org or 224.337.9033 to discuss alternatives and to receive… Continue Reading

Goodbye for now, Mr. Carr, but not forever.

Posted in General, Uncategorized

It is now public information that our colleague Jeff Carr has been named Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Univar, Inc.  Univar is the “leading chemical distributor in the United States, providing more chemical products and related services than any other company in the marketplace.”   We view Jeff’s departure from ValoremNext with mixed emotions. … Continue Reading

Discovery by boilerplate. Can we end it?

Posted in Commentary, General

I have long hated boilerplate objections, which frequently are made to “kick the can” down the road. That is, if you object to a request are “unduly burdensome” or “overbroad,” you can avoid answering for now and have more time to figure out what the answer is. Or maybe your opponent will forget about the… Continue Reading

Valorem is in Wikipedia! How cool is that?

Posted in General

Sorry, but I just found out that Valorem is mentioned in the Wikipedia entry on Alternative Fee Arrangements. So I have to take a minute to celebrate this “achievement.” Various firms and corporations are credited with leading the way in AFAs. Leading the charge are corporate clients such as Du Pont, Cisco, and FMC [Technologies]…. Continue Reading

Are you an innovator? Call for InnovAction Award entries

Posted in General

Have you developed a cool new product for the legal market?  An app?  An efficiency process? If you’ve done something that makes law practice management better, you should consider submitting an entry for this year’s InnovAction Awards.  Here is the link to read about the InnovAction awards and download the entry form.  The firm deadline… Continue Reading

Dream big. Why not?

Posted in Commentary, General

As a young boy, I vividly remember following Bobby Kennedy’s Presidential campaign. Like his brother Jack, Bobby was greatly admired in my Irish-American household. His death was met with great sadness. I sat riveted during Teddy’s eulogy, and my mind was seized when he said this: As he said many times, in many parts of… Continue Reading

An example of where elite businesses go, but law firms fear to tread

Posted in Commentary, General

The title is simple enough: success = experimentation.  Here is Peter Diamandis’ thesis: Today’s most successful companies, the ones that are “crushing it,” started as a series of crazy ideas, followed by experiments to test just how viable those ideas might be. Experimentation is a crucial mechanism for driving breakthroughs in any organization. If you… Continue Reading

Valorem turns 9!

Posted in Commentary, General

    Today, my partners and I celebrate Valorem’s 9th birthday. When you celebrate a big birthday like this, you have to turn to the Chairman of the Board for insight. One of my favorite Frank songs is “That’s Life.”  While not perfect for the occassion (the message would be better if it were written… Continue Reading

Clear writing makes a difference

Posted in Commentary, General

Clear writing makes a difference. For the skeptic, we now have proof. Using 50 readability measures, the study’s authors found that by a huge amount, a more readable, easy to understand brief is more likely to prevail over a less readable brief. So what is clear writing? For me, it means avoiding adjectives. Adjectives are… Continue Reading

Some thoughts on the importance of word choices

Posted in Commentary, General

I feel like I am under assault. From CNN: Somebody else, who has never shown any regard for workers, has never fought on behalf of social justice issues … they don’t suddenly become a populist because they say something controversial in order to win votes,” Obama said. “That’s not a measure of populism. That’s nativism,… 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

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

Valorem Law Group’s Press Release regarding Jeff Carr

Posted in General, People, Places and Blawgs, Prevention

September 8, 2015                                                                                      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Iconic General Counsel Jeffrey Carr to Join Valorem Law Group Chicago, IL – Jeffrey W. Carr, former General Counsel of Fortune Top 500 FMC Technologies, Inc. has joined the Valorem Law Group to lead ValoremNext, a platform designed to diminish the need for legal services by preventing problems before… 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

Some thoughts on the Top 5 Bad Excuses for Resisting Legal Project Management

Posted in Client Service, General, Leadership and Management, Trends and Innovations

Pam Woldow and Doug Richardson penned a terrific post, Top 5 Bad Excuses for Resisting Legal Project Management.  I wanted to compliment them and share some thoughts on the 5 excuses. 1. My clients don’t want or need LPM.  I had to laugh when I read this.  Most lawyers who talk about what their clients… Continue Reading