Shifting criteria for evaluating new law firms and incumbent law firms

From a large, web-based survey conducted for LexisNexis Martindale-Hubble (Counsel to Counsel, Nov. 2005 at 17) came an interesting nuance. When law departments were selecting a new firm, they rated expertise, client service, reputation in that order, with fees and budgeting in sixth place — which in turn were more important than a firm’s geographic location “and other intangibles.”

Once a law firm is retained, the survey found, client service becomes the most important factor, passing expertise and also that fees and budgeting vault from sixth to third place. Thus, once in the door, law firms need to re-focus how they please law departments. For more on law departments evaluating outside counsel, see my posts of April 14, 2005 (difficulties), July 21, 2005 (data mining), and Aug. 31, 2005 (Royal Bank of Canada).

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