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

Monthly Archives: July 2005

The Importance Of Passion

Posted in Commentary

Its one of those things you know when you see it.  Its one of those things that doesn’t really fit on a bio, that can’t be readily marketed.  But its one of those things that is so important that clients should really look to see whether lawyers working for them have that trait. What are… Continue Reading

Clients: Avoid “Kiss Up, Kick Down” Lawyers

Posted in Commentary

I have to admit that I first heard this phrase used to describe John Bolton, President Bush’s nominee to be US Ambassador to the United Nations.  I do not mean to engage in any political discussion regarding the wisdom of the President’s choice, or even to suggest that the term is an apt description of Mr…. Continue Reading

“But that’s the way its always been done.”

Posted in Commentary

Eight words that should be banned from the English language-at least when used in combination with one another.  I was thinking about this post from Michelle Golden’s Golden Practices blog, when it hit me. BAM!!! Well, not really a BAM, but more a gentle reminder that these words and the mentality they represent should be… Continue Reading

The Importance Of Managing Client Expectations

Posted in Commentary

It is human nature to warm to pleasant surprises.  It is an axiom of legal practice that clients hate surprises, at least the “bad news” kind.  Smart lawyers do two things consistently:  they keep their client’s expectations realistic and they almost always over deliver.  In this vein, look at this post from Tom Kane in the… Continue Reading

Godspeed Discovery

Posted in General

I watched Discovery lift off yesterday.  The explosion into the sky no longer seemed routine.  I heard this morning that there are concerns about lost heat shield tiles.  Join me in praying for a successful flight and a safe return home.  

Yours, Mine and Ours: Why Clients Benefit From Deep Relationships With Their Law Firms

Posted in Leadership and Management

Ed Poll, who writes LawBiz Blog, makes some interesting points about succession planning in his July 20 post, Keeping Clients After A Lawyer Retires.  Among the many valuable points Ed raises are: – Have the rainmakers introduce younger partners to their client contacts– Build teams around the top 20 clients, and to let the client… Continue Reading

Amazing Firms Blog Added To Blogroll

Posted in People, Places and Blawgs

Gerry Riskin of Edge International writes the terrific blog Amazing Firms Amazing Practices.  It consistently provokes me to think, to reflect, to reexamine.  I like that.  So I’ve added Gerry’s blog to my blogroll of favorites. Here’s an example of why I like Gerry’s blog so much. Gerry’s July 18 post attaches an article entitled… Continue Reading

Litigation And Service

Posted in On The Inside

Interesting post on The Wired GC about how CEOs look at their GCs.  One part of the post reminded me of a truism for corporate litigators:  There are virtually no businesses that are engaged in the business of litigation.  The CEO valued the GC who could help the business look at problems creatively and resolve… Continue Reading

Legacy Litigation = Service Opportunity

Posted in Client Service

Rees Morrison of Hildebrandt writes a blawg named Law Department Management.  He had a recent post entitled “Legacy litigation: relative difficulty of managing.”  Mr. Morrison writes: “Legacy litigation – lawsuits arising from discontinued operations or sold assets where the seller remains liable for associated lawsuits – can bedevil law departments. One view is that legacy… Continue Reading


Posted in Trends and Innovations

I love The Common Scold.  Yes, Scold, not cold.  (Who could ever love the common cold?)  Why?  Because Monica Bay always makes really good points  in a very compelling way.  Take her post telling the story of Jane Smith and her encounter with a vendor.  Read it.  Learn. The first point, not using a woman’s… Continue Reading

Client Service: Separating Fact from Fiction (Part III)

Posted in Client Service

This series of posts began with a discussion of how almost every firm these days claims to provide exceptional quality service.  A discerning client can ask some probing questions to separate performers from pretenders.  Today’s questions circle around fee issues, hourly rates and related matters. 7.   Is there a minimum billable hour requirement for the… Continue Reading

Commitment Must Trump Doubt

Posted in Commentary

Gerry Riskin of Edge International recently posted a fabulous entry about commitment and doubt.  Read the entry here.  Gerry’s comments in the context of firm leadership are very insightful.  The key is not the resolution of doubt about an objective, but rather once a decision is made, the commitment to make the decision work.  He… Continue Reading


Posted in Hourly Rates and Alternatives

This appeared recently on Adam Smith, Esq.: At a meeting at Milbank yesterday, a senior partner had occasion to recount the tale of the pencil-sharpener, which was an actual employee at the firm decades ago. The pencil-sharpener’s role was to circulate throughout the office collecting used pencils and replacing them with sharp ones. So far,… Continue Reading

The Morphine Made Him Say It! Service Lessons From A Hospital Stay

Posted in Client Service

Absolutely great post on Larry Bodine’s Professional Marketing Blog today.  Larry had to spend some time at Edward Hospital in Naperville, Illinois, having his shoulder repaired.  Apparently still enjoying the morphine they gave him, Larry took advantage of his new Speech Recognition Software to post some suggestions for service professionals.  Let’s review them! Larry woke… Continue Reading

Peace At Last? Who’ya kidding?

Posted in Commentary

The 16th Annual Corporate Legal Times/Lexis Nexis Martindale Hubbel Survey of General Counsel is included in the July Corporate Legal Times.  The results are fascinating, although not as surprising as the title-“Peace At Last.”  The subtitle goes on to say: “The GC-law firm relationship was once marked by tension and downright hostility.  Those days are… Continue Reading