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Invite to a competitive presentation only the associates who will work on a matter

Bait-and-switch is an ugly term for an unfortunate practice: the suave and senior partner stars at the competitive presentation, but if the firm is selected other lawyers actually work on the matter. Some law departments, those who favor core team (See my post of Dec. 8, 2006, 2007 and my recent article.) might try a variation.

Ask that the two or three associates who will work mostly on the matter present on their own. By that device, a law department can get a better sense of the interpersonal style, intellectual ability and experience of the lawyers who will account – presumably – for most of the hours billed.

Yes, certainly it is the partner or partners who bring the judgment and connections and experience, but they can have their say in a separate presentation. To bifurcate the levels is to gain a better understanding of the workhorses and to underline how important to the department is the core team of associates.