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

Monthly Archives: March 2010

Paul Lippe, Lewis and Clark, and Google Maps

Posted in Commentary

Bias disclosure upfront.  I consider myself a disciple of Paul Lippe, the CEO of Legal OnRamp.  He’s a very smart guy (and much taller in person) and a visionary (and a member of Valorem’s advisory board).  I always learn a lot when he speaks. So here’s the latest.  I am in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico… Continue Reading

Getting to the end sooner

Posted in Commentary

Imagine this scenario:  Bill, the General Counsel, walks into the CEO’s office.  "Jane, I have great news.  You know our problem with ABC Widget?  I have figured out a great way to get rid of those problems.  I am going to walk out on the street and find a stranger walking by and have her… Continue Reading

Note to GCs: It’s Your Money. Act Like It!

Posted in Commentary

I just saw an article from my rebel buddy Rachel Zahorsky in the ABA Journal reporting on an event featuring Chief Legal Officers at Foley & Lardner.   The article states: The pressure to reduce costs has also pushed general counsel to become more assertive when voicing billing and staffing concerns to their outside lawyers. It seems… Continue Reading

Yet another firm sacrifices its young at the alter of hours

Posted in Commentary

Above The Law is reporting that my old firm, Katten Muchin, has made an announcement on associate salaries.  Apparently the firm has decided that for an associate to advance a pay level, the associate must have met the firm’s target hours requirement. Unimaginative management in action.  Defaulting to an hours standard only reaffirms the premium… Continue Reading

The “good old days” are not coming back

Posted in Commentary

In the opening paragraph of its 2010 Client Advisory, the joint Hildebrandt-Citi advisory ominously notes: While the year ended with some hopeful signs, we enter 2010 with little prospect of a robust recovery and with mounting evidence that the profession is entering an era in which the fundamental economics of legal practice are likely to… Continue Reading

Client service lessons from a legendary scoundrel: email is not a good substitute for conversation

Posted in Client Service, Commentary

"Don’t write anything you can phone.  Don’t phone anything you can talk.  Don’t talk anything you can whisper.  Don’t whisper anything you can smile.  Don’t smile anything you can nod. Don’t nod anything you can wink." Former Louisiana Governor and legendary scoundrel Earl Long. Normally, one does not turn to scoundrels for lessons in client… Continue Reading

How do you treat your best customers?

Posted in Client Service

Once again, the real world provides wonderful lessons. My wife calls to tell me to cancel a credit card–the bank had raised our interest rate to 30% "because we didn’t carry a balance."  Our primary card is at 9%, so 30% isn’t going to cut it.  I call the bank (which I won’t identify ,… Continue Reading