More and more it seems that in-house counsel are expecting their law firms to ask for their feedback. Even though “most general counsel and consultants say those law firms (seeking client feedback) are still in the minority and there isn’t nearly enough of this type of dialogue going on” according to an article on Law.com’s In-House Counsel. I realize this is an old saw of mine, but it does appear that, with the growing popularity of the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Value Challenge, it will become the norm.
Dan DiLucco of Altman Weil relates that when the attorneys at one of its clients were asked whether their “largest client was forced to cut” its legal budget this year, no one had a clue. As DiLucco put it:
“So what does that tell you… And that…is reflective of where a lot of firms are. They don’t have these discussions. I don’t know what they are thinking.”
The managing partner of one firm mentioned in the article, that has sought feedback through a client panel, said that “reaching out to clients in a proactive way shows a firm cares about their opinions, isn’t afraid to hear them and isn’t going to wait for the clients to take the first step.”
A wise model to follow, I would say, for those firms that want to be out there ahead of the curve. Not only do clients want to provide feedback, they don’t want to have to initiate the discussion.