Law firms on the leading edge know that they, like their business clients, have to come up with products and services that their clients (aka ”professional service customers”) want to buy. Products that clients want to purchase would be the first “P” in the four P’s of marketing: Products; Placement; Promotion; and Pricing.
Now at least one firm has taken an entrepreneurial dive into developing a legal product for which there is a clear demand, but as of yet, no law firm competition. According to a recent story by Corporate Counsel magazine, Drinker, Biddle & Reath has created, funded and staffed a subsidiary to do the mining of electronic data in litigation. By doing so, the firm will be able to sell a combination of data mining and legal services to a multitude of professional clients, including those whose current allegiances may be to other firms that do not offer this solution.
This bold venture is a reasonable risk that could pay huge returns. Why? Litigation costs are the biggest legal component in corporate client budgets, and they are rapidly rising as the volume of electronic discovery mushrooms up with the explosion of electronic data.
To stay competitive, law firms in the future will increasingly have to ask themselves: What do we have to sell?
For those that want to stick with the traditional model of selling “time,” the market will shrink as more clients pursue more creative alternatives for solving their legal problems. For those who want to sell “solutions” to client problems, the market is a wide open, expansive place, limited only by their imaginations.