My company is LexThink. I have a unique &#x201C;job&#x201D; I get to work with lawyers and law firms, often as a &#x201C;fly on the wall&#x201D; during their conversations about client service, billing, fees, etc.
I also get a chance to work with senior executives of big companies as I facilitate their meetings.
Once they find out I&#x2019;m a lawyer, I get to hear a litany of the things they hate about their counsel.
My goal for today is to give you a few more ---- ideas.
One of the big challenges with lawyers, is that we spend all of our &#x201C;creative thinking time&#x201D; solving our clients&#x2019; problems.
Ideas than you had before you got here -- and to challenge you to think a bit differently about the relationship between lawyer and client. &#x201C;client&#x201D;
So, I challenge you to ignore &#x201C;precedent&#x201D; for a bit. Don&#x2019;t ask &#x201C;what other firms&#x201D; are doing that? Instead, think about how you (or the firms you work with) can be first/innovative/etc.
First mover advantage
Firms run by other lawyers just like you. They&#x2019;re scared, too....
A bunch of inventors waiting to be the second to have a great idea. Innovators.
So, why innovate? Economy&#x2019;s on the rebound. Consumer (and lawyer) confidence is up. Even the Schwag is better. Who wants to go back to the same model as before? Sure would be easier. but the Genie has left the bottle.
Can we even go back? Some big changes.... Only partially driven by the economy Truth is, it seems like everything has changed.....
Things seem different. I recently witnessed the managing partners for a large firm, in a firm-wide meeting, predict the demise of the billable hour. With a straight face, and to thunderous applause.
What does the time spent have to do with the result? Overhead of time?
I&#x2019;m no economist or spreadsheet guru, but even I can figure out this one. A spreadsheet chart nobody should have to see again.
Still, that doesn&#x2019;t mean we shouln&#x2019;t try.... Retreat for BR
Instant collaboration, required. File metaphor.... Home experience drives work expectations.... Facebook, Twitter,,, want to know what counsel is thinking as they&#x2019;re thinking it.
&#x201C;I&#x2019;ll have to look at the file and get back to you&#x201D; doesn&#x2019;t fly. Let&#x2019;s look at it together. Or, client has seen work first.
If apple&#x2019;s only innovation was selling five year ipods using a different pricing scheme every year, who&#x2019;d keep buying them? Yet lawyers do the same thing.
Want to wail about costs/fees/profits/etc.?, prepare to share them.
Lawyers worth not measured by a stopwatch. Time to think... Think when you need to, not when you want to make more money Also, when lack of speed is difference between a bigger profit for a lawyer and bigger bill for a client, struggle
Uncertain outcome with an uncertain delivery date for an uncertain price.
The first three phrases they teach in law school? I don&#x2019;t know, it depends and maybe. Although &#x201C;I don&#x2019;t know&#x201D; often goes by the alternative term: &#x201C;Let me research that....&#x201D;
Constantly hearing &#x201C;we hire lawyers, not firms&#x201D; from clients, but from lawyers at even mid-sized boutiques, I hear &#x201C;we hire firms, not lawyers.&#x201D; Which is it?
Obvious, but true. The best businesses are built to serve the best customers. And looking around the room at some of the lawyers and sponsors here, I&#x2019;m guessing they&#x2019;ve identified you as the best customers.
Apologies to Joe Jackson, but ...
If you&#x2019;re law firms aren&#x2019;t asking &#x201C;How can we serve you better?&#x201D; Tell them, here&#x2019;s our wish-list and our non-negotiables.
What should be easier than it is? What&#x2019;s your biggest headache? What do you do now, but wish you could get legal advice for before you do?
What&#x2019;s your biggest fear when you call or meet with our lawyers?
Our lawyers should ...
Our lawyers are ...
Once you know what matters, share it with the firm and make certain you&#x2019;re measuring the same thing.
And share the result. Firms, you should be doing the same thing.
Growing lawyers. Brain drain. Cost/
Incentivize use of young lawyers by firms, not discourage it.