Magazine article Strategies: The Journal of Legal Marketing

President's Podium

Magazine article Strategies: The Journal of Legal Marketing

President's Podium

Article excerpt

Talk to your clients if you want to get ahead. When I was publisher of "InsideCounsel" (previously "Corporate Legal Times"), I wrote a monthly column that explored the relationship between general counsel and the law firms that serve them. One of the greatest challenges the GC always faced in successfully doing his or her job was to truly know who the client is. Is it the CEO who hired him or her? The board of directors? The shareholders and investors? The answer, of course, is all of the above.

Those of you working in law firms in any of the myriad roles supporting the economic success of the firm face the same challenges. For those of you serving as a consultant or service provider to the legal industry, your challenge is no different.

On any given day a law firm is "run" by the most dominant partner, the partner who has the job of managing partner, the COO or executive director or the most senior non-lawyer administrator. But what really drives and motivates the firm is the client. The client sets the direction of the firm. For a diversified firm, when the economy is thriving, the corporate group is running at 100 percent; when the economy is soft, it's the bankruptcy and reorg groups. In an election year it's the lobbying group, and when a trend like IP litigation is hot, that's where the energy goes. Different practice areas, but the client will always be the client.

The point is that while many of you work for your senior partners or CMO and marketing director, it's the ability to understand what the client thinks that is so important. …

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