Young Lawyers Client Services

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What Every Client Wants, and Why Law Firms Refuse to Deliver

In the past month, I have moderated multiple in-house counsel panels (both in public forums and at private law firm retreats), interviewed more than a dozen in-house counsel and led client service workshops at law...more

Law Firm Business Development: Be Confident and ASK

Speaking with a client today, I was reminded of one of the most common mistakes lawyers make when it comes to business development. They forget to ask for the business. My client, a young partner with an outstanding book of...more

The One Thing You Must Do to Get Hired

More important than showing expertise, know-how, skills and experience - Ask most inside counsel why they hire the lawyers they do and they’ll tell you it’s for their specific expertise. Many take a rational approach to...more

Building a Network of Referrals

Every Saturday morning, five baby boomers including myself join together for a 4- to 5-mile run. We’re not fast, but we are committed and make it whenever we can. Four of us work in legal: one is a solo practitioner, two work...more

How Gretzky’s Advice May Teach Us Much More Than Hockey

Wayne Gretzky is famous for being one of the greatest hockey players in history. He is also known for inspiring thousands with his quotes. One of my favorite Gretzky quotes is: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not...more

How to Fail at Collaboration

We all know that many law firms send mixed messages to their lawyers (and often to their clients, too). They talk the talk, but they don’t walk the walk, particularly when it comes to the informal norms and values that...more

Why Prevention? From a Litigator’s Point of View

Generally speaking, litigators are fire fighters. Fire fighters are told there is a fire; they are told the jurisdiction of the fire; they gather their standard fire-fighting tools (hose, ladder, fire truck) and they react. ...more

Talking with Clients about E-Discovery

With the growing prevalence of e-discovery issues and cases in both state and federal courts, lawyers and firms have adapted to include specialists who handle many of the technical issues. Newer attorneys who attended law...more

Seven Communication Truths from the Courtroom

I recently had the opportunity to perform my civic duty as a juror. While the timing was inconvenient and the case not all that interesting, the experience provided a great perspective on the dramatic impact of strong...more

The Future of Client Service

I was recently challenged to explore what client service will look like in 2026. The good news is the conversation has already started, but the bad news is law firms have a long way to go. It is great that the idea of “client...more

Reflections from a former Deputy General Counsel - How the Legal Landscape is Changing & the Real Secret to Job Security

I have seen the nature of legal services transform over the 20+ years of my career as an attorney. The evolution of the global business environment has driven some of it, but lawyers were slow adapters and we now find...more

Four Common Themes from Client Development Coaching Sessions

In my work over the past year with individual associates and partners on client business development, I have noticed several common themes that are worth sharing: - 1. In law practice client development, many lawyers are...more

A Response to: 'Forcing Lawyers to Perform Pro Bono Services'

In his article in Verdict (July 18, 2016), Prof. Ronald Rotunda, responding to comments on pro bono delivered by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor at a national conference of the American Law Institute, rightly states...more

What’s Your Definition of Lion’s Share?

I recently conducted an interview that reminded me of one of my favorite client feedback interview experiences and the importance of knowing your clients’ legal budgets. As part of the interview process, we always...more

Lead Change or Hang On for Dear Life

Change is. Years ago, many people debated whether the legal industry was changing. Truth be told, the debate was silly. Change is. The only question is the speed of change. It used to be slow. It took years to move from...more

Tips for Maintaining a Positive and Productive Attorney-Client Relationship

Retaining legal counsel can be overwhelming for many clients. The attorney-client relationship frequently begins at a difficult time in a client’s life. As lawyers, we are charged with not only helping clients work through...more

The Right Time to Visit a Client

When discussing client relationships and client service with law firm leaders, we are often asked a question I find surprising: When is the best time to go visit a client? Before delving into the answers to that...more

Client Development Tips from an In-House Counsel

I began my legal career like the majority of law school graduates—by joining a law firm as a fresh-faced associate. My primary job responsibilities were to represent the firm’s financial institution clients in litigation...more

From Sponge to Trampoline: Putting the “Active” in Active Listening

Early in my law firm marketing career, I held an in-house position at a Pacific Northwest law firm of approximately 150 lawyers. I was asked to speak at the firm retreat. I shaped my presentation around the basics: Focus on...more

“Be in the Space You Want to Be in.”

My friend John Chisholm sent me an article on why diversity programs in law firms are failing. (Talk about a small world–An Aussie sending an article from a Canadian publication to a guy in Chicago!) The article includes...more

Clear Writing Makes a Difference

Clear writing makes a difference. For the skeptic, we now have proof. Using 50 readability measures, the study’s authors found that by a huge amount, a more readable, easy to understand brief is more likely to prevail over a...more

The Four Essential Rules of (Zombie) Loyalty

As mentioned in a recent blog post, we at Wicker Park Group love to read and love to share favorites with each other and with clients. Amid the many excellent books that address the client experience, we picked one...more

Who Will Be The Owners of Law Firms in the Future?

We are often asked what we think law firms will look like in the future. What will the leverage model be? Will the Equity Partner class be larger or smaller? How will the changes in the business impact staffing? These are all...more

Nailing the Fundamentals: The Value of Rehearsing

While in NY recently, I found myself outside Carnegie Hall. Whenever I find myself there, I often think of the old joke attributed to Jack Benny that goes “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” To which Jack replied “practice,...more

What Executives Want from Go-To Outside Counsel

Last week, a friend of mine here in New Orleans asked me for a referral for a good internal medicine physician. Being a corporate lawyer by training and practice, I don’t know which internal medicine physicians have the best...more

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