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.
Stage 2: We get your point but no one cares.
Stage 3: But that’s not how WE do it, so it is irrelevant.
Stage 4: Playing Catch Up
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.