So far we’ve come up empty in our search for that mythical client with the bottomless budget, that easygoing “hey, no problemo!” sponsor who never contests the bill. Not a single client has appeared with checkbook and pen in hand, ready to write checks with numerous numbers before the decimal point without complaint.
But there is one relevant update to report, a tale of one skeptical attorney who was shown the light by a client.
This chap sat through a Legal Project Management (LPM) training workshop rolling his eyes, doodling on his pad, and sneaking glances at the iPhone he held under the table. He clearly was not on board with LPM. After the workshop was over, he returned to his office and found several messages from clients. Annoyed that he had had to waste his time sitting through the LPM workshop, he called one general counsel client to apologize for being out of pocket. He spoke dismissively of LPM, saying that he did not think that LPM was relevant to his kind type of work or his clients.
The GC practically screamed at him: “Are you kidding me?” The client went on to say that his entire legal department was at that very moment actively implementing LPM internally. “And we’re looking for firms that understand Legal Project Management and realize how much it can contribute to predictability and efficiency.” For this client anyway, controlling the budget and responding to the pressure his company was putting on him to reduce outside legal spend were important drivers.
The attorney, not surprisingly, became an instant LPM fan.
What had he not known about his client? Lots. This doubting Thomas had not been attuned to his client’s operational pressures, much less his client’s internal efforts to manage costs. He is not alone. Maybe you need to talk more with your clients before assuming that they are unconcerned with efficient management of their matters, fee predictability or cost control.