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

Monthly Archives: May 2007

Execution Is Everything

Posted in Client Service

With thanks to Dan Hull’s What About Clients for bringing this my attention (here is the post), those interested in client service should spend time thinking about "Insight #1" on Leo Bottary’s Client Service Insights.  Appearing right on the top banner, it states "Client service excellence isn’t about doing what no one else can do;… Continue Reading

Negative Word Of Mouth Is An Absolute Killer

Posted in Client Service

Great story on Monday’s All Things Considered on NPR about the ramifications of poor customer service.  The key is that customers who have a negative experience are more likely to talk about it, and are likely to embellish it.  The story is based on a study by the Wharton School of Business.  The critical conclusion–those… Continue Reading

Nice Example Of Customer Focus

Posted in Client Service

From Guy Kawasaki and his wonder How to Change the World comes "Airline Boarding Pass Kiosk," a great example of someone thinking like a customer and then implementing the needed changes: The ability to print boarding passes for flights is a great convenience. Unfortunately, half the time you’re in a hotel room when you check-in… Continue Reading

Who Speaks For The Client?

Posted in Leadership and Management

During a conference several months ago, I found myself doodling.  Pretty soon, the doodle turned into a note to myself.  "Who is the voice of the client?"  I put the note on my desk, and I find myself staring at every day.  In a law firm, who is the voice of the client?  Is the… Continue Reading

California Firms Announce “Salary Increases Will Not Be Passed Along To Clients.” Can We Believe Them?

Posted in Hourly Rates and Alternatives, Leadership and Management

The Managing Partner of Morrison & Foerster, Keith Wetmore, is a fraternity brother.  Wettinger, as he was known at Northwestern in the the late 1970s, was a stellar President of the fraternity.  Because of our fraternal brotherhood, articles in which Keith is mentioned or quoted always catch my eye.  One gave me pause to think… Continue Reading

Our Forms Of Communication

Posted in Client Communications

With thanks to Matt Homann (the [non]billable hour) for the link, think about this information from William Glasser: How We Learn 10% of what we READ 20% of what we HEAR 30% of what we SEE 50% of what we SEE and HEAR 70% of what is DISCUSSED with OTHERS 80% of what is EXPERIENCED… Continue Reading

The Problem With Surveys

Posted in Leadership and Management

So I am flying to Houston, quietly reading the April/May issue of Law Practice magazine (see my next post).  I stop at ‘FrontLines" to examine their survey.  The question–How do law firms arrive at their partner compensation decisions?–is pulled from an Altman Weil survey.  I just started laughing.  On a 4 point scale, with 1… Continue Reading

More Associate Raises. More Client Distress.

Posted in Hourly Rates and Alternatives, Leadership and Management

The announcement of increases in starting salaries for associates in large California law firms (up to $160,000) led to this law.com headline today:  Corporate Clients Take Note as More Firms Announce Associate Raises.  The mind just reels, doesn’t it? Here’s the quote from the article that really caught my eye: The rash of raises has… Continue Reading

Time Sheets and Buggy Whips

Posted in Hourly Rates and Alternatives

Great post by Ron Baker on the Verasage blog.  Titled "Why we don’t need consultants!", Ron shows his rapier wit in responding to an article published in Accounting Today.   The article posits this point of view:  While you might argue that it’s the expertise of your staff and the product that you sell, the actuality… Continue Reading

Further Data Critical Of The Hourly Rate System

Posted in Hourly Rates and Alternatives

The May 2007 issue of Inside Counsel contains some interesting "Facts and Figures" (p. 24) on the views of Europe’s in-house counsel.  General Counsel who believe their outside counsel have padded their bills …73% In-house counsel who believe that billable-hour targets encourage padding …95% Law Firm partners who believe that billable-hour targets encourage padding …50%… Continue Reading

Affordable Mock Trials Now Available

Posted in Commentary

Sometimes great client service is passing along a tip or a tool.  Here’s one from me. One tool that trial lawyers love to use is mock trials.  You get a panel of mock jurors together and you try your case in some format that allows you test arguments, themes, witnesses, exhibits or whatever you want… Continue Reading

Great WSJ Article On Alternative Fees

Posted in Hourly Rates and Alternatives

                        Today’s Wall Street Journal contains an excellent article by Ashby Jones on alternative fees.  The article can be obtained here (sub. req.).  Yours truly is referred to in the article, which makes it a must-read.  The Journal’s law blog also has a related piece here. Here the real potential for these stories.  Jeff Carr,… Continue Reading