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May 21, 2012

Cross-Selling: Are Law Firm Partners Really Partners? Or Are You Guys Just All Sharing Space?

Few law firms cross-sell partners effectively. Lots don't even try. And then there's this problem: most law firms of any size, depth or sophistication have been reduced to an aggregation of several (or many) smaller fiefdoms or, if you will, "collection of boutiques". Each individual boutique-fiefdom is disturbingly insular, with little overlap on anything--including issue-spotting for either client work or marketing operations.

In these firms, partners are "friends" (with fiduciary duties to one another) and space-sharers--but not true partners in an entrepreneurial sense. Such firms have a built-in prejudice against growth by cross-selling. They are territorial--and often even wary of each other. But they generally do have a few highly frustrated principals or leaders who recognize the problem. That's a start.

Listen up, folks:

1. We can't imagine anything in law firm management more difficult than getting partners to discipline themselves on a long term basis--i.e., institute it as a "habit" that drives everyone all the time--to cross-sell each other.

2. We can't imagine anything more personally or financially rewarding when it works.


Posted by JD Hull at May 21, 2012 12:00 AM


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