Can every law firm be client-focused?
Virtually every law firm claims to be client-focused. (Perhaps everyone does, but I try to avoid categorical statements.) Can that be true?
Can a firm whose revenues rely to a considerable extent on the hourly rate make that claim honestly in light of the considerable disdain in which many in-house attorneys hold the hourly rate? If firms measure the productivity of their associates by the number of hours that those associates bill to clients, do they really value their clients’ interests above their own? When partners in firms divide the firms’ profits according to the amount of fees that each lawyer claims, do those clients’ interests predominate the firms’ thinking?
It’s time that firms really integrate their clients’ interests, including the clients’ interests in high-value legal service, into their entire operation. Client focus should not be relegated to the firms’ marketing efforts. It should permeate the firm’s entire range of activities, both internal and external.