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

Monthly Archives: April 2005


Posted in Leadership and Management

I am a big fan a accountability.  There is a lot that doesn’t happen when no one is accountable.  Create a committee and there will be a bunch of meetings.  Tell someone they are responsible and will be rewarded (“carrot”), punished (“stick”) or both (“carrot and stick”), and something will get done. In my experience,… Continue Reading

The Ostrich Syndrome

Posted in Client Communications

I was having lunch with a close friend the other day.  He’s now the Managing Partner of a pretty large, well-established, regional law firm.  He was telling me a story about how he went to dinner with the CEO and General Counsel of a client he had just won a case for, and the CEO… Continue Reading

An example of service

Posted in Client Service

Last night, I was staying at a hotel in Houston.  My cell phone was running out of juice, and I had forgotten my charger cord.  I called down to the front desk and asked if there was a store nearby where I could buy one.  The person on the phone asked what my problem was,… Continue Reading

The chicken or the egg?

Posted in Hourly Rates and Alternatives

My kids are now old enough to ask questions to which I have no answers-Which came first, the chicken or the egg-type questions. (At least we’ve moved on from why did the chicken cross the road types!)  But McGuire Woods’ shocking discovery that client service is a good thing and newfound commitment to alternative fees… Continue Reading

Is McGuire Woods walking the walk?

Posted in Hourly Rates and Alternatives

I woke up this morning to this headline in the Business Section of the Chicago Tribune: “Hourly Legal Fees Under Attack.”  I thought to myself-finally!  But the article is simply a puff piece on how McGuire Woods is starting an advertising campaign touting its willingness to use fee arrangements other than straight hourly rates.  The… Continue Reading

The dirtiest word in law

Posted in Client Service

Is Budgeting!  I went through 3 years of law school and the only time I heard the word “budgeting” was when my mother told me I had to budget for food and beer money.  I joined a firm that grew to be one of the 50 largest in the country, and as an associate, the… Continue Reading


Posted in People, Places and Blawgs

Remember the scene in the movie Analyze This where Billy Crystal is prentending to be Don Viti’s consigliere?  And Chilly tries to correct him and the Billy Crystal character slaps the crap out of him and tells him to never correct him in front of other people?  Everyone should have a client service consigliere–someone to… Continue Reading

Here We Go!

Posted in General

Lawyers, it seems, can’t do anything right.  Our marketing, for the most part, is early 20th century.  Most of us rely on a financial system (hourly billing) that places our economic interests at odds with those of our clients.  And as a group, we generally fail to satisfy our clients and very few of us… Continue Reading