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Rees Morrison’s Morsels #96 – additions to earlier posts

Nice folks shouldn’t be expected to finish last. “People tend to see warmth and competence as inversely related.” As explained in the Harv. Bus. Rev., Vol. 86, Feb. 2009 at 24, being nice doesn’t mean being incompetent. Nor, of course, is being mean a sign of effectiveness. Unfortunately, both inferences correlate too often with gender (See my post of Nov. 10, 2007: gender differences with 10 references.).

Obstacle to professional networks if IT blocks access. At a client recently, where I had access to the Internet through the corporate network, I was unable to log on to Twitter. A message chided me that “This site is blocked under the category of ‘Social Networking’’”. If many companies clamp down on access to professional networks from work, the value they might provide to in-house lawyers will decline significantly (See my post of Sept. 22, 2008: professional networks such as Legal OnRamp, with 7 references.).

Law firm discounts don’t make a difference on longevity of client relationships? Here is another odd statement from the Redwood Analytics’ research, by Bo Yancey, Director of Professional Services at Redwood Analytics, on March 9, 2009, about RFPs. “[D]iscounting, or lack thereof, was not a factor in the longevity of client relationships.” Surprised? So am I, especially now. A law firm today that refuses a request for discounts throws a seven.

Newsletter for primary law firms. A technique that I have not heard of before, a newsletter for network law firms, is referred to in Ann Page and Richard Trapp, Managing External Legal Resources (ICSA 2007) at 60. The brief mention says that the Carillion Legal Network News is “used to set out changes, issues and successes across the Network.” I suspect that is a bit much for most law departments, even if they have a panel or set of preferred firms, but perhaps I under-estimate the benefits and over-estimate the work involved (See my post of Sept. 4, 2006: general comments on purpose of in-house newsletter; March 13, 2007: examples from BMO and Lucent; Sept. 22, 2006: one way a law department markets its services; Sept. 1, 2008: electronic newsletter of an insurance company’s law department; and Oct. 3, 2008: Lockheed Martin ethics newsletter.)