Key to any type of marketing is knowing your clients (and potential clients). Knowing their needs, how they want to be served, and what the deliverables are. This is true at a micro day-to-day client service level, and also on a larger industry-wide basis.
So when the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) stands up issues a challenge to the value equation and seeks to the re-engange the parties (CC, firms, academia, consultants, media…) within the conversation, will those counterparts, and especially law firms, take a seat at the table? Oh boy, let’s hope so!
Both the details of the initiative and the language are very interesting. See the ACC’s definition of “the problem“:
ACC believes that many traditional law firm business models and many of the approaches to lawyer training and cost management are not aligned with what corporate clients want and need: value-driven, high-quality legal services that deliver solutions for a reasonable cost and develop lawyers as counselors (not just content-providers), advocates (not just process-doers) and professional partners.
And the mission goals:
- dialogue “driving an alignment and focus on value”;
- Develop methodologies and metrics “to assess the strengths and weaknesses of law firm vendors” (SM: standardized metrics anyone?);
- create tools “that in-house counsel and firms can share to drive change in the performance of value-based legal services” (SM: time to question hourly billing?);
- Enhance awareness and communicate success stories in achieving value and alignment.
Some firms who have their act together will see this as an opportunity, and should be making contact asap, I think. Others are going to see this as a threat to revenues. I get that. However, the time to get involved and see the light on your client’s needs, it would seem, is right now.
Even at a stakeholder scale of discussions, a voice at the table for this conversation should prove enlightening. If your firm serves (or wants to serve) large corporate clients, why wouldn’t you get involved?
Many thanks to my twitter friend Jonathan Kash (@time2simplify) for the relay! Great stuff.