4 Ways to lose an in-house customer in 30 days or less!

Really enjoyed reading a post by Meyling “Mey” Ly Ortiz – in-house at Toyota Motor North America – on abovethelaw.com on the ‘4 In-House Pet Peeves Of Outside Counsel‘.

At first glance all 4 ‘peeves’ seem so obvious.

But that got me thinking: How many law firms have been dropped from legal panels for these offences?

The Business Developer in me thinks: Enough to make it worthwhile remembering what the four are:

  1. Lack Of Responsiveness
  2. Not Meeting Deadlines
  3. Last-Minute Requests
  4. Talking Down To Us

and take the time to read Mey’s post – you won’t regret it!

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photo credit Natalie Pedigo on Unsplash

Want to know what the ‘Witching Hour’ in legal is?

Ever wonder what time of the day it is when lawyers say “enough is enough” and down tolls?

Thanks to Joe Patrice from Above The Law, and the team at Clio – who did the actual research, we now know:

3am.

3am is the time when most lawyers say they would prefer not to work.

Which actually surprised me a little as I always struggled functioning in the 12am – 2am space and personally would have preferred to down tolls from 10pm – 2pm and be back on the tolls at 3am.

I will also add that while “working” between 10am and 4pm is great, very little real work got done then because I was either in meetings or on the phone – which often resulted in me working at 3am!

Enjoy.

As always, opinions are my own – so if you have something to say please do so in the comments section!!

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Are ‘support staff’ impacting on your law firm’s profits?

Interesting comment by the BigHand team on a post by them (Lack of Urgency in Firms’ Support Structures Risks Profitability) on the artificiallawyer.com website this week:

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.

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Photo credit to krakenimages on unsplash

Should lawyers tell their clients to get a second opinion?

You often hear of medical patients getting a second opinion on the diagnoses they have been given, but how often do you hear a lawyer tell their client to seek a “second opinion“?

My guess – pretty rare.

But this is a topic raised in a post by Jordan Rotham on abovethelaw.com recently and certainly worthy of consideration. I particularly like Jordan’s comment that:

All told, no one likes to be judged by another professional, and it can be annoying to answer questions and furnish materials so a client can get a second opinion. However, attorneys and clients alike should be more open to second opinions so that lawyers can provide the best representation possible.

Enjoy the day everyone

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Photo credit to  Steve Johnson on Unsplash

The Two Biggest Reasons Lawyers Are Afraid to Raise Legal Fees

Interesting article on abovethelaw.com on why lawyers should not be afraid to raise their rates even in times of potential recession (‘Don’t Be Afraid to Raise Your Legal Fees‘) by Roy S. Ginsburg.

In the article Roy sets out the following two reasons for why lawyers may be reluctant to increase their rates:

  • Reason No. 1: Fear of Losing Business to Competitors
  • Reason No. 2: Fear of Missing Out on New Clients

I’m going to put it out there and say Roy is right here, lawyers are scared/fearful of both those issues.

But, and there is always a but, only if they adopt competitor pricing – where they are always looking over their shoulder to see what their competitors in the market are charging.

My own thoughts on this issue though are this: Know your product; Understand your value; and Don’t give a damn about anyone else – you don’t have competitors, you have customers; always show them the value of your service and they will remain loyal to you. Period.

Which, to be fair, is kind of what Roy is also saying. So go over and read it – it’ll take you all of 10 minutes and it’s certainly worth it.

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One employee retention strategy for law firms to consider: Kill the billable hour!

Any law firm looking for innovative, ‘out-of-the-box’ ways to retain their lawyers during this period now known as The Great Resignation could do a lot worse than take onboard a Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath midlevel associate’s comments on the billable hour in the recently published American Lawyer’s 2022 Midlevel Associate Survey:

The billable hour is a cancer that will slowly eat away at you if you don’t get away from it quickly enough.

abovethelaw.com

Just a thought…

What’s the adoption rate of #LegalTech in Japan?

If you are sitting around wondering what the state of adoption of legal tech is in the Japanese private practice market, then wonder no longer. The graph above is taken from epiq‘s recently published White Paper: ‘The State of Legal Departments in Japan – Part One: Legal Expenses‘.

As I think you’ll agree, use of technology in the Japanese private practice legal market still has long way to go!

But I do wonder if this might also be a reflection of the fact that there is no meaningful legal tech providers in that market; or if it is really down to the users themselves?

Should lawyers blog or have a website?

Almost 10 years ago, when Apple were going hard on developing and expanding their App Store, I recall saying to my Managing Partner at that time that the days of websites were numbered and we needed to look for a new way to promote our expertise with our target audience.

Fast forward 10 years and I’m at a different law firm and websites are still very prominent as the online window for law firms to highlight their expertise – telling you that I know nothing!

Redemption, however, may still be mine!

In his excellent blog post today – ‘Solo Lawyers and Small Law Firms Better Off With a Blog Than a Website‘ – Kevin O’Keefe sets out many of the same reasons I had 10 years ago for why lawyers looking to build trust and a public profile should consider investing their time in blog over a website.

Redemption status – maybe. We will probably need to wait another 10 years to see if I achieve ‘validation’ status!

In the meantime, go take a read of Kevin’s post.

Image credit:  Florian Klauer  on Unslpashed

This is too difficult!!

If you ever hear a lawyer say: “This is too difficult, why did the client send this to me?“, then the answer can be found in today’s The Daily Stoic – 5/7:

If anyone could do it, it would have been assigned to someone else

Picture credit Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash

Quote of the week – Nick Perry, Managing Partner, Bird & Bird

My quote of the week is a comment I read by Nick Perry, Managing Partner, Bird & Bird in the latests LexisNexis publication ‘The Laws of Organic Growth‘:

“Clients are coming to us with problems which cannot always be solved by lawyers and so it’s becoming more and more common for teams of lawyers to collaborate with other professional staff to co-create client solutions.”

Nick Perry, Managing Partner, Bird & Bird