Charlie Green and I were recently interviewed by Matt Homann of LexThink and the [non]billable hour blog on the subject of trust and the legal profession. Among other things, Matt wanted to know how lawyers can deal with difficult clients (is firing inevitable) and how to embrace non-traditional pricing models.
Rebel with a Cause
Matt joins Mike McLaughlin on the list of people Charlie suggested I follow on Twitter—and I’m once again grateful. Matt is a self-described Legal Thinker, Innovational Keynote Speaker, Creative Facilitator, and Dad. He’s also the founder of LexThink LLC, a legal innovation consultancy (cool phrase!) that delivers conferences, retreats and workshops for lawyers and other professionals who want to get creative about growing their businesses and serving their clients better. In 2009, Matt was named a “Legal Rebel” by the American Bar Association Journal.
Matt’s [non]billable hour blog posts are refreshing, creative, and provocative. I was hooked when I read his blog about using Haiku as a way to quickly develop an elevator speech that responds to the question, “What do you do?”
Other thought-provoking posts include:
- Rethinking your firm’s bills: If your clients designed your bills, what would they look like?
- Time to change your clients: When is it time to replace a client with a better client?
- What’s in your firm’s garage?: Imagine if a law firm set up a “Garage” for lawyers (along with invited clients) to think together on ways to bill differently, serve clients better and explore new practice areas.
Q & A
Matt asked us some challenging questions, including:
- In this down economy, where clients seem more focused on price, does trust matter more or less than before?
- How can lawyers leverage trust to embrace more collaborative pricing models, where risks and rewards are shared between client and lawyer?
- If I’m a lawyer with a difficult client, what should I do? Isn’t it just easier to fire them?
- When should law firms start teaching Trust?
- What specific advice do you have for solo and small firm practitioners with a general practice who feels compelled to take nearly every client who walks in the door?
- What questions were you expecting and haven’t yet been asked about your new book, The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook? How would you answer them? (Charlie answered, “Why don’t people trust lawyers? And is it a bum rap?” I answered, “What one chapter would we advise people to read, if they could only read one chapter of the book?”)
Check out Matt’s blog post today to find out how we answered.