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Separating signal from the noise drives success. And this is exactly what top legal decision makers are encountering right now. Clients are sorting out:

  • Streams of new information
  • Scientific and unscientific opinions
  • Evolving regulatory frameworks
  • Potential new variants
  • New workforce demands
  • New and recurring questions from management

All this in the face of their day jobs and ongoing work. Clients are trying to get ahead of all the decisions streaming their way. They want help from their law firms in 5 key areas.

1. Planning

Clients want to develop a systematic approach for their litigation, regulatory issues, and M&A. These workloads are at peak levels across all fronts. Top legal decision makers expect their law firms to help prioritize matters, develop systematic approaches, and set up ongoing protocols to keep things in order. This not only brings order and saves money — it offers a golden opportunity to be first in line for the prime work.

2. Early Assessment

Clients want to draw on law firms’ experience to know what they are getting into — before they get started. They are looking to law firms to assess the risk, pitfalls, cost-benefit analysis of defense strategies, and budgets. While some law firms indicate events are too unpredictable, clients — and a growing number of market-leading law firms — realize they can assess risk and provide parameters. Clients believe law firms bring vast experience and can apply this experience to the most novel situations.

3. What Other Companies are Doing

Clients value the insight into what other companies are doing. The more companies they can learn about the better. These clients want to inform their own opinion and top management about where they stand on the spectrum of the decisions they make and plans moving forward.

4. New and Relevant Ideas

Clients want new approaches to old and new issues. Even a kernel of a new idea works. They know one idea generates another — and so on. These clients want ideas to further develop their own thinking. And they enjoy brainstorming with outside counsel. Almost every single partner can share one idea on how to tackle the workload, rethink regulatory frameworks, improve the M&A process, or manage the department. Share one idea — and you have a new friend who wants to hear your continuing ideas. And, to be sure, you can share these ideas in 15-minute conversations.

5. Ongoing, Meaningful Personal Communications

Everyone loves email. But it can’t compare to a meaningful voice-based connection. Voice-based communication demonstrates heightened investment in the relationship and client success. Use an email to summarize your ideas after a conversation. You will see how many clients write back to continue the initial conversation. But it only happens when you start with your voice.

Most importantly, you can’t deliver on the 5 things clients want most right now without personal voice-based communication. Most attorneys say they don’t have the time to talk to clients. But they put themselves at risk to lose business to the attorneys who make the time to talk to clients about these issues — even when demand exceeds supply. In good times or bad, clients always remember the attorneys who share their best thinking — whether it be about early assessment or new ideas. And these distinguished attorneys win a lot more work than everybody else.

I will be talking about this and much more at noon today in our annual webinar: The BTI’s Market Outlook and Client Service Review 2022. There are a few spots left as of press time — please join us.

Best in the market ahead!

The Mad Clientist

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