An interesting article to share with you this week:
Law Firms Leaders’ Moneyball Mistake: (registration is required to view the article) Written by Steven Harper, author of the can’t-miss book The Lawyer Bubble, this article points out the problems with large firms’ “aggressive inorganic growth” via lateral hires. Harper quotes Group Dewey Consulting’s Eric Dewey’s observation that, “An attorney needs to bring roughly 70 percent of their book of business with them within 12 months just to break even,” and that “more than one-third bring with them less than 50 percent.”
Why should you care? If you’re in a large firm, understanding these issues is important in considering firm growth and your own professional options. If you’re in a smaller firm, the lessons may still attain.
More importantly, the article offers the reminder that clients are not property. Whether you’re planning to bring or receive portable business, or whether you’re planning to inherit a book of business from a retiring attorney, it’s important that you understand that successfully requesting any kind of client shift depends on trust and a strong relationship that extends to the new situation.
And so it’s important to be building trust and relationships with your clients even if you have no intention of asking them to follow you to a new firm or to work with your designee when you leave practice. It’s too late to do that work when a change is imminent, and in the absence of a trusting attorney/client relationship, you may find your client shifting work to another lawyer or firm.
What will you do with this information today?