Posted by: johnocunningham | February 3, 2012

Legal Service: Still More Than a Commodity to Many

Lawyers can take some comfort in knowing that – for most corporate clients – legal service is still more than just another commodity distinguished only by price.

JKS & Company has an informative posting on this point, based on client interviews they have conducted with lawyers for some of America’s top companies.

My own experience interviewing clients (and having been a General Counsel) affirms what JKS & Company found:

  • That clients like you to understand their industry and their business;
  • That clients value loyalty, integrity and trust;
  • That clients want to work with people they like;
  • That being “smart” or “smarter” is not enough; and
  • That personal attributes, and especially listening skills, count for a lot.

Personal attributes are not “commodities” and lawyers should be pleased to know that they count for much more than where they went to school or other paper credentials.

If you are trading on paper credentials, then you ARE a commodity because every almost every lawyer has them. It is a profession full of smart people. It is not necessarily a profession full of people with shared values, industry-specific knowledge, or people skills that are sharply honed over time.

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