Deliver Outstanding Legal Advice - Maria Speth
JW Way Fundamental #1: Deliver outstanding legal advice.
"Find the smartest and most efficient way for clients to achieve their goals, while maintaining a healthy respect for their budget and ability to pay."
There is good reason for this to be the number one JW fundamental. There may be many reasons for a prospective client to choose us as their law firm, but the number one reason is usually because they want outstanding legal counsel. Even if we delivered on all of the other fundamentals, if we failed to deliver outstanding legal advice we would be unlikely to attract new clients.
We define outstanding legal advice as finding the smartest and most efficient way for clients to achieve their objectives. Importantly, it is the client's objectives that we strive to achieve, not our own or what we think should be the client's objective. Delivering outstanding legal advice takes intelligence, skill, careful planning, team work and the ability to listen and learn.
We also modify our definition with the clause, "while maintaining a healthy respect for their budget and ability to pay." Achieving our fundamental then becomes even more difficult. Achieving clients' objectives with an unlimited budget is far easier than doing it within the constraints of limited time and money. And yet, this is what we do best. Indeed, I believe we do it better than any other law firm in the valley.
Delivering outstanding legal advice is not just something that the lawyers in this firm make happen. Sure, only the attorneys deliver that advice directly to the client. But, every member of this team helps make that happen. Sharon and I were just talking on Friday about how much lawyers learn from our legal assistants. Many legal assistants here at the firm have more experience litigating than many of the lawyers. Legal assistants often give valuable advice to lawyers and always help us deliver legal advice to our clients. Paralegals are key to providing efficiency to the process; providing some of the same services to clients, but at a lower rate. Other team members help deliver efficiency to the client by greeting visitors and fielding telephone calls, providing critical document and file management, managing accounts payable and receivables and marketing us to new prospective clients.
We are an awesome team and together we do deliver outstanding legal advice!
About the Author: Maria Crimi Speth is a shareholder and intellectual property attorney with the Phoenix law firm of Jaburg Wilk. She is the department head of the intellectual property group and has expertise in copyright law, trademark law, and Internet law. She focuses on litigation involving intellectual property rights and First Amendment rights. Ms. Speth is the author of the book, Protect Your Writings: A Legal Guide for Authors