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.”
Every successful business has to differentiate itself in some manner, and law firms are no exception. Large law firms do very good legal work, and small firms are usually more affordable; but our “sweet spot” – the place we occupy with few others – is providing high quality legal services at a reasonable cost.
There is a good reason for this. First, we insure the delivery of high-quality legal services by recruiting talented attorneys who focus their legal skills in relatively narrow practice areas, by encouraging and rewarding excellence in the practice of law, and by fostering a culture of mentoring and training the next generation of practitioners.
The “reasonable cost” component is likewise a result of our culture. Our compensation system rewards more than just billing maximum hours. We encourage our attorneys to have a balanced life. We encourage efficiency and discourage excess billing. We think in terms of what’s best for the client and how we can accomplish the client’s goals in the most efficient manner. Our focus on “happy client” requires quality legal work, but also requires that we concentrate on the cost/benefit to our client in the strategies and tactics we employ.
I have advised countless clients to resolve their dispute by talking – consider settlement – other than litigating. The client often does not like this advice as they want “justice”. I spend significant time explaining why this approach is in their best interest. There is no better way to build trust and respect than to have a professional trying to talk you out of paying him or her a lot of money.
This approach has been a great differentiator for 38 years. Let’s make sure it stays that way for the next 38!