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October 06, 2011

Rule 2: Customers and Clients are the Main Event--not you, your employees or your profession.*

Curious cows 6819b.jpg

Above: Western professionals talking shop.

Rule Two: The Client is the Main Event.

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, and even with the best clients, generally 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. 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?

*Is there anything more myopic or prissy than lawyers who constantly talk about the "integrity of the Profession"? Suggestion: Start with customers; build your integrity from there.

Posted by JD Hull at October 6, 2011 02:36 PM


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