Our Service Pledge: We understand that the legal business is a service business built on meeting customer expectation and solving problems. To keep cases and legal solutions on track, we document legal goals and strategies from the outset, define phases of representation and set legal budgets which fit within our clients' means and expectations. We are not afraid to answer the tough questions and welcome client contact and participation as part of a true team effort. There is a reason why our clients come back. Customer service does make all the difference.
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Dennis Kennedy reports a great link to a great article which covers a range of topic. My reading suggests an unspoken premise that most traditional firms will soon perish. He links to an article titled The Tech Evolution: Change or Die, By Laura Owen, Law Technology News [January 4, 2005]. Ms. Owen sets forth a wish list for corporate clients and projects the future of legal practice. Some of my favorite quotes [and there are many]:
Move your legal work to low cost firms located in the Midwest, South or other regions away from high cost centers. Doesn't sound like technology here, but it is. Extranets provide ways for companies to work with firms across the country (and the world ). Web-based worksites are always open, always on. Work flow tools -- putting the right person in the right order at the right time -- can dramatically improve productivity and reduce costs. ...
Bundle work for leverage. A solid request for proposal (RFP) process can achieve incredible results. If you combine your buying power by bundling all of your legal work into one bid, i.e., all real estate work in the U.S., or all legal work in all practice areas for a particular country, legal departments can improve the quality of work they get from outside counsel, and decrease costs.
Coupled with a consortium of legal departments, a combined legal spend that represents a ready-made set of customers can motivate outside law firms to acquire the right technology to get the work done in a more efficient, price-conscious manner. With a volume of similar transactions over which to spread the work, firms can be more aggressive on pricing than if they bet the ranch on one transaction, while improving their profit margins. ...
Move 80 percent of your fees to a non-billable hour basis. Hourly rates hinder progress -- there's no incentive for firms to improve productivity if they make more money by billing more hours. In-house counsel must demand fixed prices for work; firms must learn that a fixed price is not based solely on time.
Fixed prices encourage firms to use more technology to improve productivity while clients save in legal fees. ...
Both links are a must read for anyone considering the future of legal practice for solos and mega firms alike.
Since when did lawyers and law firms become exempt from the laws which govern other service industries?
The fact is, even if you are very, very good at what you do, that circumstance will not set you apart from, or above, your competitors. Most of them are pretty good, too. And moreover, your clients are not really capable of distinguishing between an A-plus or a C-plus attorney or financial advisor. They aren't qualified.
But every one of your clients considers him- or herself to be an expert on customer service. They know when they are being ignored, or treated rudely. They know when someone doesn't return a phone call, or keeps them waiting 20 minutes past the appointed time. They understand when your office looks like a pigsty and your staff is condescending and your phone answering system is a nightmare.
At Traverse Legal, we put the 'service' back in legal services. We offer leading edge communication technology and collaboration tools at our cost. And don't be afraid to call us. We don't charge for most phone calls with our clients because we like to know what is going on with you. We have removed the traditional barriers which law firms have raised to customer service. Traverse Legal is focused on providing you with the customer service which you deserve.