Richard Susskind wonderfully described the 4 stages of change:

Stage 1:  “What you’re saying is worthless nonsense.”

Stage 2:  “What you’re saying is an interesting but perverted point of view.”

Stage 3:  “What you’re saying is true but quite unimportant.”

Stage 4:  “I have always said so.”

There is truth in what Richard says, and if you think about it from the laggard’s perspective, he’s right.  But I received the latest issue of American Lawyer in the mail yesterday and it caused me to think about how Valorem has experienced these 4 stages.

Stage 1: It’s 2008. Valorem announces it will use alternative fee arrangements to bill its clients.

The reaction went just a bit beyond Susskind’s stage 1.

Idiot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stage 2: We get your point but no one cares.

No one cares

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stage 3: But that’s not how WE do it, so it is irrelevant.

Irrelevant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stage 4: Playing Catch Up

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With AmLaw now saying clients want non-hourly fee arrangements, you can bet on two things:

1)   Every firm will be saying they have been doing AFAs in a big way for decades.

2)   These same firms are scrambling to figure out how the heck they can do anything without reference to 6 minute increments.

Yes, we were crazy way back then. We still are.