Saturday, November 04, 2006

Legal Billing is part of Attorney Marketing

Amtrak could have saved millions of dollars in legal fees by simply reviewing their invoices more carefully, according to an article in today's Wall Street Journal.

Amtrak spent more than $100 million on lawyers between 2002 and 2005, according to government records. In many cases the attorneys working on the Amtrak account have close links to the country's leading passenger rail, adding to the difficulty of independently managing legal expenses.

Questions raised in a government audit revolve around invoices that do not fully describe the services rendered. The names of major law firms are identified as having questionable billing practices on the Amtrak account.

This situation underscores the importance of transparency, responsiveness and customer service in all aspects of law firm management. Client satisfaction is measured in many ways when it comes to legal services. Why run the risk of seeing your firm's name mentioned in a Wall Street Journal article on less than best practices when it comes to billing?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Attorney marketing over lunch

The start of a new month is a perfect time to get out your calendar or PDA and look at your lunch schedule for November. Lining up two lunches per week with prospective or current clients each week is a good way to keep your pipeline full.

Consider an "off the clock" lunch with existing clients. Offer them "free" time to talk about new product ideas they may be developing or a thorny competitive situation they face. You may be able to identify some additional opportunities to be of legal service that would not otherwise come to your attention.

Members of your referral network also might enjoy a lunch meeting to catch up on the latest news in the local legal market. You may learn of new legal engagements, pending litigation or the latest courtroom news.

Stay in touch personally outside of your office and away from your desk. It will be time well spent.