Most law firms talk about being client focused. It's all over their website, their literature and pitches and pretty well the place they start in any dialogue they have with potential clients.
But there is compelling research that has recently been undertaken by Lexis Nexis that suggests otherwise.
What clients want and what law firms want to deliver really are at odds according to this research:
1. Client wants a solution; law firm wants to give advice.
2. Client wants 'good enough'; law firm wants to provide perfection.
3. Client wants cost and time predictability; law firm wants .......
Read on, it's interesting stuff and worth downloading the report from the LexisNexis website (you will need to provide your details to access it).
The LexisNexis survey cites three persistent causes of the client/firm disconnect: (1) clients want solutions and law firms offer advice; (2) law firms strive for perfection while clients generally want a ‘good enough’ basis to solve a problem--this varies with the value a client assigns to a matter; and (3) law firms fail to provide cost and time predictability--they have not invested in project and process management capability that is common among their clients (and, more recently, in-house legal departments). The divide between clients and firms is more profound than firm delivery and pricing deficiencies; it also involves a knowledge gap. A stunning 40% of clients in the LexisNexis survey noted that senior partners of their law firms lacked more than a basic knowledge of their businesses. No wonder there is convergence and a willingness to look beyond incumbent firms.