Data Points: What General Counsel Want

For your reference, here are two recent items that offer insights into what general counsel want from the law firms that serve them. Worth your time:

1. New Realities in Delivering Legal Services

The first is a recap of the LMA Bay Area’s recent Silicon Valley program: ‘In-House Counsel Summit: New Realities in Delivering Legal Services.’

Robert Cullen (VP and General Counsel at JSI Logistics) moderated a panel of in-house counsel, including Clare Badaracco of Sungevity, Sue Gomez of SanDisk Corporation, Andy Kryder formerly of NetApp, and Eleanor Lacey of SurveyMonkey.

GC takeaways from the above video:

  • Learn about our business.
  • Conduct surveys with us on how you are doing, how you might improve your service.
  • We like law firm newsletters and client alerts; we read them regularly (“a savior.”) Make them less than a page and get right to the point. A very good way to get our attention. Email delivery is good.
  • We have hired people based on their content and communications.
  • Don’t send us unexpected bills.
  • I am your client; don’t go over my head.

The LMA Bay Area chapter offers a replay of the entire In-House Counsel Summit here. The program is free for LMA members – and worth a watch in full.

2. A Focus on Quality and Efficiency

Also worth your time: a recent AdvanceLaw survey of general counsel, as summarized by the Harvard Business Review in Why Law Firm Pedigree May Be a Thing of the Past. I suggest reading the article in full (you might need to sign up for a free HBR account, which is a good idea anyway) – and in the meantime, highlights:

  • “…general counsel are laser focused on value, namely quality and efficiency.”
  • “GCs are increasingly willing to move high-stakes work away from the most pedigreed law firms … if the value equation is right.”
  • “…top talent is increasingly dispersed, not residing solely at the most pedigreed of firms.”
  • “When we examined revenue per lawyer (a proxy for a law firm’s ability to command a price premium) across a sample of firms, we found that growth was highest among non-pedigreed firms.”

Kevin O’Keefe has also written about the AdvanceLaw survey in his piece Blogging more important as general counsel move from pedigree law firms.

The links: