While I would never suggest I hold the key to any universal truths that would position me to speak as an expert on how any law firm, other than my own, needs to conduct its business and operations to effectively serve client needs, I feel pretty confident about making this suggestion: Law firms need to stop operating like law firms. To put it another way, we law firms need to start operating like our clients: It’s time to “go corporate.”
Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t an indictment of the way we all do business, it’s an acknowledgement that the legal industry used to operate in a relatively noncompetitive environment, especially in comparison to that of our clients. Now, we share the same key challenge of vying for a piece of a pie that’s not big enough for everyone, and we build our customer bases often at the expense of the next firm, down the street (if not on the other side of the planet!). In short, we now operate in the same competitive environment that our clients do, and that requires an entirely different operating mentality than what we are used to.