Fifty percent (50%) report that they are “very concerned” about the concentration of client relationships among senior lawyers. Another 36% are somewhat concerned. Yet, only thirty-five percent (35%) have plans in place to help transition senior lawyers toward retirement.
Which begs the questions: ‘How good is your law firm’s Key Client Account Program?‘; or, probably more importantly: ‘What processes do you have in place to ensure the clients of your firm are firm clients, not partners of the firm clients?‘
And, if you are not sure how to go about securing your firm’s key clients, check out some tips on this from Kim Tasso or Kevin Wheeler.
I would hazard a guess that every single law firm website you looked at globally would make some mention of that firm’s values. And in most cases, they are very noble – questionable as to whether they are mere words on a page, but noble.
With the above in mind, I read with fascination a post on the Closer Group’s blog recently on ‘BUSINESS ETHICS? REALLY?? YES!‘ in which they set out the following from the American Marketing Association Statement of Ethics from 2014:
Honesty: be forthright in dealings with customers and stakeholders.
Responsibility: accept consequences for marketing decisions and strategies.
Fairness: balance justly the needs of the buyer with the interests of the seller.
Respect: acknowledge the basic human dignity of all stakeholders.
Transparency: create a spirit of openness in marketing operations.
Citizenship: fulfill the economic, legal, philanthropic, and societal responsibilities that serve stakeholders.
I had not seen these previously, but now I have I can say with authority that law firms don’t need to spend lots of $$$s trying to come to collective agreement on what their firm values are; just adopt, live and breathe these from the American Marketing Association and you will be streets ahead of your competitors!
As always, opinions are my own – so if you have something to say please do so in the comments section!!
Lawyers don’t want to spend time figuring out how to get work to a competent, properly skilled support team member. Firms want lawyers to prioritize billable hours and profit. This is an expensive and untenable stand-off.
For what it is worth, my experience here in Australia is that lawyers are more than happy to embrace working with Allied Professionals (my preferred term for ‘support staff’ and one I see Greg Lambert uses on The Geek In Review Podcast so it cannot be all that bad) and that most lawyers now work collaboratively with all parts of the law firm to maximise the profit of the business (while adhering to the firm’s values and social contribution).
To that end, my experience has been that most lawyers know very well who is in their support team or, at minimum, know who the quarter-back is who they can chuck the ball to (Legal Project Management 1-0-1 anyone??).
In short, it is not a one man game any longer (if it ever was), it’s a team sport and views like the one expressed by BigHand above are outdated. But, as always, these are just my views.