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November 28, 2005

Rule Two: The Client Is The Main Event. "The Big Obvious."

Rule Two: The Client is the Main Event.

This one, I think, is more intuitive. Rule One--the November 19 post Represent Only Clients You Like--struck 3 people I received e-mails from as impractical if not counter-intuitive. That's okay, but for now let's keep that as Rule One. Rule Two, that the client is everything, and the main event, makes almost too much sense. We all know that clients pay our fees, give us interesting work, and that we have professional, financial and fiduciary duties to clients. We tell clients they are "everything" to us. But is it true? Is the notion that the client is the main deal chiefly something we eagerly tell our clients (and ourselves) while we pitch for work?

My sense is that lawyers, except on a strictly marketing and PR level, from time to time, and even with the best clients, forget that and won't create what quality improvement guru W. Edwards Deming years ago called a "constancy of purpose" about true service. So Rule Two becomes the obvious "yeah-of-course-our-firm-knows/does that!" rule that may get more lip service than actual delivery in all the details of our work for clients. My question for now is this: If client (or customer) "primacy" were really the organizing principle for everything we do, isn't that in our interest, too? Doesn't that mean that the work is better, law firm staff and attorneys are pulling in the same direction, morale is good, we spend less time and money on marketing, we keep good clients and we attract new ones?

And if we really get it, are really we doing it?

Posted by JD Hull at November 28, 2005 09:09 AM

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