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

Monthly Archives: January 2009

GCs Speak: Will You Hear Them?

Posted in Commentary

In today’s world, there is little doubt that, with very limited exception, the business of law is now a buyer’s market.   The number of layoffs at large firms, and the demise of several prominent firms seem to confirm this.  Certainly the anecdotes of revenue declines in 2009 do as well.  But not only are we… Continue Reading

Take the Plunge II–It’s about time

Posted in Commentary

Well, to be precise, it’s not about time.  That’s why it’s time to take the plunge.  There are some lawyers out there—you know who you are—sitting in your large comfortable offices wondering what will happen to your firms as this economic cataclysm continues.  You know your firms are pursuing the wrong business model.  You know… Continue Reading

“You Are Too Efficient. You’re Fired.”

Posted in Commentary

Fred Bartlit tells a story in a Legal On Ramp post that bears publicizing: Last night a young lawyer from a top school told me about one of his best friend’s experience in a large Chicago firm (Now – this IS hearsay because it is second hand, but I know the source well and believe… Continue Reading

Wheat and Chaff: Juries and Litigation

Posted in Commentary

Let me tell you a short story. A senior in-house lawyer is meeting with the CEO to talk about a problem the in-house lawyer had been asked to solve.  The in-house lawyer describes how his efforts at negotiation had failed, so he had taken steps to find a random person off the street so that… Continue Reading

Take The Plunge!

Posted in Hourly Rates and Alternatives

72 1024×768 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE For quite a while now, Pat Lamb, my partner in Valorem Law Group, has encouraged me to write a “guest blog” entry (we affectionately call it a “glog”) on his blog.  Never one to shy away from either a platform or a new adventure, I… Continue Reading

She’s coming soon!!!!

Posted in General

  My partner, Nicole Auerbach, has finally agreed to be a regular guest blogger on In Search of Perfect Client Service.  If you like some of the material I post, I guarantee you will love Nicole’s offerings.  She is much smarter than I am, funnier and definitely a better writer.  She is one of a… Continue Reading

Informative Survey: How Clients Buy

Posted in Commentary

RainToday.com has published a new report, How Clients Buy: 2009 Benchmark Report on Professional Services Marketing & Selling from the Client Perspective.  The report, which runs 57 pages and provides data from more than 200 buyers of accounting, financial, legal consulting and other services, costs $345.  Among the many highlights and insights: 52% of the buyers… Continue Reading

Value, Like Beauty, Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

Posted in Client Service, Commentary

Ed Poll of LawBizBlog and LawBiz Management has been advising lawyers for 25 years.  Ed is one of the people I look to regularly for ideas and inspiration.  His recent post, Corporate Counsel Want Value, frames an important question.   The post discusses comments by Susan Hackett of the Association of Corporate Counsel about ACC’s Value Challenge. … Continue Reading

How Do Big Law Firms Teach This?

Posted in Commentary

What About Clients? periodically reviews its 12 Rules of Client Service.   Rule 10 is one of the most nuanced.  From today’s WAC?: Rule 10: Be Accurate, Thorough and Timely–But Not Perfect. Ah, devil perfectionism: it’s the curse of eldest children, professionals, many knowledge workers, most lawyers, all spouses, your Mom, and the geek classes, or… Continue Reading

LL Bean and Trusted Advisors

Posted in Client Service, Commentary

Charles Green has a wonderful post on his Trusted Advisors blog about LL Bean: Urban Myth Or Rural Superstition.  Pulled from The Consumerist, it tells a story of the Maine Outfitter’s legendary customer service.  Guy’s wife orders 3 monogrammed shirts for him for Christmas.  Oops.  Wrong size.  She calls to place the order again with the… Continue Reading

What About Clients? Shines Through

Posted in Client Service, Commentary

From time to time, Dan Hull and his colleagues at WAC? repeat some of Hull McGuire’s Rules of Service.  I love this post summarizing Rule No. 9: Lawyers aren’t special. We’re in a service business. Get used to it. Rule 9: Be There for Clients 24/7. Snippet:       Returning telephone calls promptly and keeping your… Continue Reading

Dear Cool Law Firm.

Posted in General

Like a proud parent, I feel an irresistable urge to share some "Valorem highlights" from our first year.  I’ll save you the case highlights–can you imagine a fun post on lawsuits?  We just got a letter from a management consultant in New York.  His salutation was "Dear Cool Law Firm."  For us, that ranks up… Continue Reading

A Brief Look Back. A Sober Look Forward.

Posted in Commentary

As Valorem was celebrating its first anniversary on January 1st, I spent a bit of time thinking back on the things that shaped our birth.  One of those things was a prescient post by Gerry Riskin way back in August 2007.  Gerry is, in my view, the world’s foremost consultant/advisor to law firms.  He also… Continue Reading

Fred Bartlit Spices Up Legal On Ramp Discussions On Hourly Rates and Big Firms

Posted in Commentary, Hourly Rates and Alternatives, Leadership and Management

Before founding Bartlit Beck in 1992, Fred Bartlit was "the man" at Kirkland & Ellis.  As big and impressive as K&E is now, it was that and more when Fred was there.  His departure to set up Bartlit Beck was big news.  Few have seen big firms, big clients and small firms and big clients as… Continue Reading

Cravath To Declare War On Billable Hour?

Posted in Client Service, Commentary, Hourly Rates and Alternatives, Leadership and Management

  When legendary CBS Evening News Anchor Walter Cronkite announced his opposition to the Vietnam War in February 1968, President Lyndon Johnson is reported to have said, "That’s it.  If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost middle America."  It was a turning point in the war. Evan Chesler is a senior partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore  … Continue Reading

2009 Marketing Partner Forum just weeks away!

Posted in General

The 16th Annual Marketing Partner Forum is being held on January 28-30, 2009 at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort and Spa in Dana Point, CA.  The theme of this year’s conference is "Lighting the Way: Strategies For Influencing Change.  In the current environment where change is as necessary as breathing, its hard to imagine… Continue Reading