Pros, and many more cons, of “beauty parades” according to Watson, Farley & Williams

For a presentation on February 10, 2004, three lawyers from the Watson firm presented on “Working Effectively with External Counsel.” Following three advantages to law departments of beauty parades – quick, efficient, and “you get an impression – they list as cons a full dozen.

The bullet points do not elaborate on the points against beauty contests, so I will interpret: (1) “orchestrated” – other firms fake their impression management; (2) “sometimes designed to conceal rather than explain” – other firms lie; (3) “who prepares them?” – marketing staff concoct them; (4) “’boiler plate’ material” – shallow, hot air, and worn thin; (5) “Rarely able to fully assess expertise” – hire us, don’t ogle them; and (6) “over developed propaganda” – their marketers lie.

The criticisms keep on coming: (7) “who is actually doing the work?” – their experts will bait and switch; (8) “who is available here to do the work?” – geographic bait and switch; (9) “suitcase lawyers” – yet another bait and switch?; (10) “what actually happens in practice” – firms lie; (11) “reliance on local counsel” – law firm bait and switch; and (12) “too price focused” – grabbing filthy lucre influences other firms instead of our pure professionalism

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