The American Lawyer's Aric Press has a warning for the nation's business lawyers. He read over 400 verbatim comments of corporate counsel about their expectations for the next few years and reports his thoughts in "Defining and Measuring Value for Clients."
Press concludes that because clients and lawyers speak different languages in their respective environments as a result are "stuck" with talking about fees
because that seems to be the only subject where both sides have a
common, if limited, vocabulary. The result, he says, is fraught with peril for lawyers who don't figure out a better way to communicate with their clients:
Corporate clients now swim in a sea of metrics. They and their business-side mates are measured routinely on all sorts of performance scales: skill; speed; problem-avoidance; teamwork; managing up, down, and sideways; and any other yardstick that creative human resources staffs can develop. But when it comes time for these metric-encumbered clients to measure their law firms, what's the one set of metrics that law firms provide?
Hours and rates. Boxers call this leading with your chin.