Magazine article Strategies: The Journal of Legal Marketing

Learning from the Outsid: In His P3 Presentation, Jeff Carr Explained How Lawyers Should Take a Page from Other Professions' Books

Magazine article Strategies: The Journal of Legal Marketing

Learning from the Outsid: In His P3 Presentation, Jeff Carr Explained How Lawyers Should Take a Page from Other Professions' Books

Article excerpt

Jeff Carr, of counsel to the Valorem Law Group, took the podium as a featured speaker at LMA's P3 Conference in Chicago on May 17-18, 2016. Carr, a longtime general counsel at FMC Technologies, joined Valorem last year and is one of the leading proponents of radical change in the legal profession.

"I'm not a lawyer. I'm a race car driver," Carr told the audience. Actually, he is both a lawyer and a race car driver, a Georgetown Law graduate who, in his spare time, runs a stable of vintage cars in Texas. His point was that both lawyers and drivers are by temperament "independent, competitive and individualistic" but need to collaborate with their teammates if they are to succeed.

To Carr, the first set of three P's that any organization needs to develop and cherish are principles, people and platforms. Principles are the core values of any organization; in a law firm, they include client satisfaction as well as the need to make money. People are the life blood of the organization and must promote the core values. Platforms are the day-to-day ways in which work gets done, such as technology. They are the backbone of the organization.

Within principles, Carr said, there are three more P's: planning, performance and perfection. Project management is not as complicated as some people make it sound--it's simply about creating plans and sticking to them, or changing them with changed circumstances. Project management is also a portion of the platform of any law firm since it enables the firm to get things done.

Carr also discussed another P that has become a law firm watchword lately--pricing. "Pricing must represent value to the consumer of legal services, not the number of hours that have been spent. The billable hour doesn't even exist in the real world; it only exists in law land, and it has nothing to do with value to the consumer," Carr said. …

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