And which do your clients prefer? Can your clients or prospective clients determine which you are? Do they care?

Merrilyn Astin Tarlton has an entertaining piece on Attorney at Work that talks about clients being like kids in a candy store. If all candy looked and tasted alike, like law firms, how is a poor kid (or prospective client) able to make a choice. It would just be random.

As Merrilyn points out, all firms say they have the best lawyers, who went to the best schools, and the firm has the best offices this side of Mars "in an historic low-rise building" instead of a skyscraper. All that means very little to a client as it turns out. I’m sure she would agree, what clients want is a lawyer who has the experience to solve their personal or business problem. In other words, the client is not interested in a lawyer/law firm that looks and tastes like every other one.

Every client’s wants and needs are different, of course, and they want a law firm that solves their problem. So, a firm needs to clearly articulate their experience, so that the client is capable of making an informed choice on who can take care of their problem, not everyone else in the world’s problems.

So, it is important that law firms take a risk. No firm can be all things to all people. Merrilyn advises "[t]hink differently. Create something unique. It’s what they want."

Don’t be like a candy bar that looks tastes like all the others.