This week for our monthly Gold Call I interviewed the president of a $3mm company that manages over $30mm of its clients' money. The question I posed to him was "Why in the world would a muti-million dollar company ever want to hire a solo lawyer?"
And then of course the group peppered him with a barrage of politically-incorrect, direct and some downright scary questions you'd love to know answers to but you'd probably never want to ask anyone would could be a potential client or referral source. Or probably anyone else who knows you!
Some of the highlights from his criteria:
It's NOT about saving money. He acknowledges that he doesn't necessarily save money by hiring a solo or a small law firm over a big firm.
It's NOT about being able to pick up the phone and call a solo lawyer anytime he wants vs. scheduling a telephone appointment in the same way one would expect when calling a lawyer at a big firm.
It's NOT about prestige of a big firm or a fancy office – he expressed no qualms about hiring a home office lawyer, if s/he's the right lawyer.
It's NOT about the allegedly "full service" offered by big firms.
It's NOT all about legal advice.
It's NOT about Bar Rules. In fact some advice he offered the group about how he'd like to be contacted by prospective new legal counsel was in direct violation of Bar Rules of every State I've studied. This was a surprisingly valuable bit of insight because it reminded the Group (and me too) that clients don't know about, or care about Bar Rules. Here we had the President of a mult-million-dollar client who purchases nearly a hundred thousand dollars of legal services most years and influences the spend of more than $30mm of his clients' money. And he said that what he'd REALLY like is if a lawyer would pick up the phone and call him to offer a free legal audit to demonstrate familiarity with his business and industry.
Post a comment below & let me know what you think about that!
p.s. The Microsoft-sponsored "National Solo & Small Law Firm Success Tour" is picking-up speed with tour dates in Atlanta, St Louis & Minneapolis happening in November and two webinars for Canadian Bars in December, so I suppose we'll have to change the name to "International" next year when we hit Boston, Houston, NYC, LA, San Fran, Hawaii, Chicago, New Orleans and about 20 other cities I don't have the list of right now!
If you're in any of these cities I hope we'll get a chance to meet in person soon.