November 2008

For the past several nights as I have been driving home, I’ve heard the local NPR announcer say that this programming was brought to you by "Blah, Blah & Blah, a national law firm with offices in 12 cities."  Every time I hear this, I wonder whether anyone ever hears the announcement and says "wow, that

  The message of my recent posts on law firms raising hourly rates this year (here, here and here) is that the firms that raise their rates are tone deaf.  The explanations for raising rates when client law department budgets are being slashed is self-absorbed.  They have ranged from "we can" to

Everyone talks the client service talk.  To hear the law firms’ side of things, our profession’s clients are the best served group of customers in the history of service providers.

Well, we know better, don’t we?  Few clients (the judge that matters on this issue) believe their lawyers provide elite client service.  With that level

My friend Paul Lippe at Legal On Ramp asked me to share this important information that may be of great interest to associates (and partners) who have become the victims of the economic downturn:





"I don’t care what you raise your rates to, just make sure you quote me a 10% discount."

In a number of meetings I have attended recently with leaders of large firms, similar stories are being told.  The firm proposes an alternative fee and the client declines to pursue the alternative fee, instead asking

"I have been skeptical that the global megafirms, in fact, provide the claimed superior service, quality or price.  Indeed, the relationship between the big law departments and big firms is often bedeviled by prickly issues relating to power, money, culture, and, ultimately, the foundational question of who controls the corporation’s legal matters.  These questions have