Daddy Warbucks on the sad state of law firm client service.


Fishman Marketing, Inc.

Little Orphan Annie’s  Commentary on Law Firm Client Service.

I came upon this “Annie” comic strip somewhere decades ago and have discussed it ever since in my Client-Service training classes for lawyers.  If even Daddy Warbucks can’t get lawyers to return his calls promptly, it must be an industry-wide problem.

Or, more accurately, if even Leonard Starr, the creator of “Annie” felt that the problem was so omnipresent that the average reader of the comic strip would find “Daddy’s” situation amusing, our industry has a real problem.


In just three panels, Starr conveys the relative value of Skills versus Service.

Here, billionaire “Daddy” has chosen a responsive but “barely competent” lawyer over his “brilliant” lawyer who didn’t return phone calls promptly.  The strip contains barely 50 words, but its powerful message should be reinforced in every law firm marketing and professional-development curriculum.

It’s this profession-wide service flaw that enabled us to develop effective client-service marketing initiatives like our Client Service Guarantees for both Ungaretti & Harris (1994) and Sandberg Phoenix (1998) and Two-Hour Response for Laner Muchin (2000), and many others since then.

As a marketing and branding strategy, client service works.

If you sincerely make the extra effort, if your firm strives to go the extra mile, clients recognize and appreciate it.

It’s not easy. But it’s effective.

[“Annie” cartoon Copyright (c) Leonard Starr]


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Ross Fishman, Fishman Marketing, Inc. | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Fishman Marketing, Inc. on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.