When clients tell your attorneys how they prefer to have their legal services delivered, how do your attorneys respond?
Reporting on a judicial conference panel discussion, last month The Am Law Daily told of a large law firm managing partner saying that believed that law schools should turn out project managers. He and his clients really need attorneys to be project managers because front-line opportunities-such as trials for litigators-are disappearing.
However, another panelist, a general counsel of a Fortune 100 company, disagreed: "I don't hire lawyers to be project managers. I want their best judgments and special skills."
According to The Am Law Daily, the partner rebutted, saying that perhaps the GC didn't really know what he wanted or needed.That partner needs to start listening to clients.
Some clients would agree with that managing partner. For example, in Strategic Client Interviews:
The president of a national auto parts company talked about an IP attorney who was the point man: "He comes in here and we meet face-to-face every other month. Because IP is such a complex area, he brings his lists of to-dos, where we are on projects, and who's got the ball. That works out well."
The general counsel of a health care services company complained that he didn't get the same kind of reporting from other attorneys as he has from a particular litigator. "They are not on top of the cases," he added.
Some clients, however, would disagree with that managing partner. The first one is the client representative on the panel.
The point is: Deliver service however each client prefers. The only way to find out a client's preference is to ask and to listen, one client at a time. "Other firms should do this, too," said the president of a health care management company in a Strategic Client Interview. "None of the other firms we used to use were listening to us. I would think your services for a law firm would be invaluable.
"Last year we spent $1.5 million in legal fees, which were our average fees at our previous firm. They did our deals and other types of work. But they wouldn't listen to me, so they lost us."
For more information on Strategic Client Interviews, contact Joyce K. Smiley at 561-775-9755, or email@example.com. On the web at jkscompany.com.
Verbatim: What Clients Say is published electronically by JKS & Company LLC/Strategic Client Interviews. Copyright 2010 JKS & Company LLC. All rights reserved.