Thursday, April 12, 2007

How General Counsel Measure Law Firm Success

The Legal Marketing Association ( recently held its Annual Meeting in Atlanta. One of several programs I attended was entitled "Measuring Up: How Clients Evaluate Outside Counsel and How Your Firm Can Achieve Top Marks." Panelists were drawn from the General Counsel's office at ING Insurance, Georgia Pacific and Coca Cola.

Here are a few insightful suggestions about how law firms can stand apart from the competiton:

1. GCs are not looking for a "suit off the rack." Lawyers need to take the time to understand the prospect's business, industry and unique challenges. GCs want to see a cohesive team that invests the time to recommend strategic solutions to the client's issues.

2. Corporate clients are less price sensitive if they believe that they are getting good value. Attorneys should develop an approach that says, "Here are 5 ways we can help you win in an cost-effective way."

3. Bring solutions to the table, like "Here are 4 things you can do to avoid problems of e-discovery."

4. Offer insight into future trends. What does the GC need to anticipate in 2008 and beyond? What steps should they be taking now?

5. Published articles can influence attorney selection! When a GC reads a well written article written by an attorney on an issue they face, the GC is likely to contact the attorney for further information.

NEXT: Law firm billing practices can make or break the engagement. Coming soon.