There will be many good ideas. See what works and what doesn’t. And then try scaling up the
concepts that work well in your own area, and possibly, other areas of your company or firm.
Step 1: Meet
The easiest way to start is for in-house counsel to pick their three best law firms or practice groups,
and for outside counsel to do the same with their three best clients. Arrange a two-hour bag lunch
with a single question for discussion.
Question: Working together, how do we improve the value of legal services?
This is the same question that was discussed at a number of regional sessions prior to launching the
ACC Value Challenge. The first hour typically was spent getting participants to realize that everything
was open for discussion, on both sides. Once the ice was broken, the breakthroughs were dramatic.
Step 2: Talk
Issues that might be considered in your discussions:
•;How can we re-establish trust and improve our relationship, on both sides?
•;How can we assure an adequate flow of work so that outside lawyers understand the client
better and can be more efficient in what they do?
•;How can we get junior lawyers better trained, priced at more reasonable levels, practicing law
more on the front-line, and less likely to leave?
•;How can we better budget and manage costs and staffing?
•;How can we better institutionalize the relationships?
•;How can we evaluate progress and performance?
•;How can we create a culture of continuous improvement, on both sides?
Step 3: Act
At the end of the meeting, agree to try out some of the ideas, even if on a
small scale, and to meet regularly to assess these efforts.
Excerpted from ACC
Briefing Package –
Over time, you can see what works and what doesn’t. You hopefully will find
some approaches that achieve the following or similar results–and by the way,
they really are not mutually exclusive:
•;Improve the value of legal services.
•;Keep the client out of trouble.
•;Maintain firm profitability.
•;Develop approaches that can be scaled up and attempted in other
•;Improve training and career satisfaction, on both sides, and reduce attrition.