People who know me, know that I once co-owned a litigation support company in Seattle, Washington. This company does litigation copying and scanning for law firms in the greater Seattle area. It’s a highly competitive business.
I had great people who ran and operated this company so it did not take much of my time or attention. Thanks to them once again!
Even before the economy crashed, the company began marketing the ” Select Firm Program.” The concept was simple; use our company for all of your outsourced litigation copying and scanning work, and you will get the lowest prices in town. The same high quality work product for less money.
The sales team presented this as a tool firms can use to demonstrate to their clients that they are working to deliver high value and help reduce litigation costs.
One problem, and it’s a big one.
Almost every law firm that our sales team pitched this cost savings proposal to respond that they did not care about price because their clients pay, not the firm.
“We don’t care what it costs. Our clients pay.”
Yes, you read that right.
Ironically, and even more shocking, a few law firms that rejected the cost saving proposal with the “we don’t care, our clients pay” response, later asked for lower prices when they could not pass the bill through to their clients.
This is just one example of how law firms look for cost savings and efficiencies to reduce overhead, but do not do the same to deliver greater value to their clients. The economic interests of the law firm, especially big law firms with large overhead, are not aligned with the economic interests of the law firm client.
This is offensive. Law firms owe their clients a fiduciary duty, and surely this includes spending the clients' money wisely. If anyone offers our law firm a way to save our clients money, our ears are wide open. This is an integral part of our law firm culture. If it is not a part of your attorney’s law firm culture, get a new attorney.
Mark D. Walters | Copyright 2009
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