Dispatches, but not from the brink

Something I used to do here at Law21 was to regularly gather and publish links to reports, articles and columns I’ve written elsewhere. It occurred to me that I haven’t done one of these roundup posts for a while, so this seems like a good time to pull one together. Here’s what’s new (and newish) from me in the written and spoken word, with illustrative excerpts.

When in doubt, release a Greatest Hits compilation.

1. Ask Your Clients to Help You Improve Your Client Experience, at Lawyerist:  “Only your clients know what it’s like to experience the delivery of legal services from your firm. So ask them to tell you. Invite them to your offices for a day and have them meet the secretary who handles their files and inquries. Then sit down with the client and do a review of his or her entire timeline of interactions with the firm, and ask, “What could I have done better for you? Where did I fall short? Be honest.”

2. Is Your Law Firm Fulfilling Its Purpose? at Slaw: “Law firms exist to do exactly one thing: to deliver outcomes to paying clients. That is their entire market rationale. That is why clients give them money and wait very patiently for a return on that investment. Yet I can’t name a law firm that systematically, at the end of each client engagement, tracks whether it has delivered on the promise it made to each client in the retainer agreement for that engagement. Does your firm do this?”

3. The Rise of the Millennial Lawyer: 14 Ways a Generation is Changing the Rules for Lawyers On Demand: “Millennial clients will want to know not just the fixed price of a firm’s services, but also how that price compares with others. They will routinely ask their peers how you stack up against the competition. They will use billing data to compare how a lawyer’s hourly rate compares with the industry standard. All this information will drive their buying decisions.”

4. Q&A with LawStrat of India: “For the consumer law sector, watch for the growth of ‘chatbots’ that dispense legal information and sometimes advice, whether or not that information is sound and that advice is wise. Everyone has a smartphone, everyone texts, and everyone has legal issues that they can’t afford to hire a lawyer to resolve. Someone’s going to create a wildly popular Law Chatbot and own this segment of the market, for better or for worse.”

5. Why Should You Care About AI? at FlipCat LLC: “The biggest mistake that incumbents in every industry make is saying, ‘My customers won’t want that.’ Never assume your customers or clients won’t be interested in something that’s faster than you and cheaper than you. Never assume that something faster and cheaper than you can’t also be as good as you, or maybe even better. And never assume that ‘quality’ — which is what I hear most lawyers say is their unbeatable advantage — is as important to your clients as you think it is.”

6. Do You Really Know Why Your Law Firm Has Partners? at Canadian Lawyer: “Take a look at all the partners in your law firm. How many of them are utterly indispensable to the firm? Consider each current partner in your firm, as well as each potential partner coming up the pipeline, and ask yourself: (a) If this lawyer left your firm to join a rival, would it be a serious blow or a manageable inconvenience? Why? (b) If this lawyer was at a rival firm and you had the opportunity to recruit them at some expense, would you jump at the chance or would you hesitate? Why?”

Then there’s a couple of recent podcasts that I was fortunate enough to participate in:

And hey, can I sneak in a couple of book reviews here as well?

Finally, if you’d like to get advance notice of my published work and receive exclusive original content not available anywhere else, sign up for the Law21 Dispatch, my free e-newsletter distributed the first week of every month. To be added to the Dispatch list, subscribe to Law21 today.

That’s all I’ve got. I’ll be back with a new post later this month.



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