What do clients want from their law firm, other than legal services?

Over the last ½ decade a lot of law firms made the effort to understand their client’s business. The marketing message: “More than legal counsel, we are your partners.”

trusted-adviserStill others were asserting their role as a “trusted adviser.” These firms go as far as claiming a willingness to share some of the risk.

I often used these phrases in marketing copy and found that it was easy to say, and hard to make sure it got done. Speaking generally, it may not even be in the best interest of the client. Sometimes objective counsel requires looking from the outside in, rather than from the inside out.

I wonder if a new model, and a new marketing phrase, will surface during the next year(s) while the economy is righting itself? Could clients be willing to shed that “relationship” based service in favor of economies such as lower rates for less hand holding? Did clients receive benefit from having a trusted adviser?

I don’t claim expertise in the business of law, nor do I conduct client interviews for law firms so I can’t say I have an inside read on any of this. I don’t own a crystal ball either.

I am, however, curious to know what others are thinking about the “we know your business” mantra. Will it intensify, remain the same or be replaced by something entirely new? If so, what?

Here is the question I think we need to be asking.

What do our clients want most from their law firm today? Are they telling you? Or, are you waiting for the message in a bottle to drift ashore?

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