Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute – Building a Professional Sales Team within Your Law Firm

[S]ale professionals take some of the burden of sales away from the partners, and thus remove a great deal of anxiety and stress related to originating business. And yes, while the word “sales” is still dreaded by some partners, those who have experienced the value that true sales professionals can bring to a law firm, become cheerleaders for this role.

 It can take up to a year to align everyone’s expectations, for the sales pro to learn about the firm and the firm’s practices and get to know the clients and the partners. After that, great things will happen with the right people in place.

“As a General Counsel and client, the sales/client relationship people often know me, my company, and our proclivities, and can assist in getting to their firm attorneys who are the right fit for our needs and corporate personality. Of course, we also have direct relationships with many attorneys, but the client relationship professionals are part of the team.”

Engineering, architectural, accounting and consulting firms rely on their sales people to retain and expand business as well as to find new leads for generating new business. Simply put, it can work. Now that this trend has started in law firms, we expect to see a sharp growth curve of sales people joining firms.

“There is no room in a law firm for a big sales ego. For a seasoned sales pro coming into a law firm you must be prepared at all times. Law partners are some of the smartest people you’ll ever meet, and they will test you. When you walk into a meeting be well prepared across the topic, be concise, confident, and to the point. Over-prepare, ask good questions. It’s like a sales process — internally and externally. It’s essential to figure out what the lawyers do for a living — e.g., go sit in the due diligence room, watch them plan for a trial. You’ve got to earn credibility and trust with partners.”

The American Lawyer – Billable Hour Haters Academy? New Curriculum Launches for Legal Pricing Pros

The Monday launch of the Legal Pricing Academy is another step forward in the professionalization of legal pricing roles, which have become popular only within the past decade. Last summer, a group created an accreditation standard for pricing professionals.
That accreditation, launched by the True Value Pricing Institute, had no set curriculum. But leaders of that group said the new, unaffiliated Legal Pricing Academy’s courses would count toward putting “ALPP,” as in Accredited Legal Pricing Professional, in your email signature. Nearly 60 professionals have attained that status so far, according to TVPI’s website.

“The buyers need to understand how law firms make money so that they can understand what are the pain points for the law firm and where might they be able to compromise,” Silverstein said. “Because, contrary to how law firms often believe that procurement people just want to push and prod the law firms, they want to have good, strategic partners.”

Bloomberg Law Big Law Business – Venture Capital Tempts Law Firms, But Ethical Concerns Surface

As clients demand better technology solutions from their law firms, some of the largest and most prestigious firms in the U.S. and U.K., including Dentons, Latham & Watkins, and Orrick, have turned to different forms of venture investing. That business model allows law firms—typically risk-averse operations compared with the players in Silicon Valley’s VC culture—to purchase equity stakes in legal tech startups.

It makes sense for law firms to use VC investments to promote legal tech, said Mike Bryant, operating partner with Knox Capital Holdings, a private equity firm—especially as firms face consistent pressures from the likes of the Big Four accounting firms, which are strong tech innovators growing fast in the legal space.

The American Lawyer – Husch Blackwell Conducts Lawyer Challenge to Develop Innovative Client Services

“Clients want innovation[.] One of the things you have to do is make that innovative culture [at the firm] where there’s a free flow of ideas and no fear of failing.”

“We look at things like firm commitment, client service, how involved they are on our client service teams and other client development and industry structures[.] And one of the things we look at is innovation. … We are looking at that as behaviors we want to encourage beyond the billable hour. From a client perspective, it [billable hours] doesn’t move the needle at all.”

Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute – Is It a Lawyer’s Duty to Be Technologically Competent?

[T]echnology provides lawyers with an opportunity to increase efficiency; therefore, clients expect law firms and lawyers to have a baseline understanding of technology.

The Global Legal Post – Norton Rose Fulbright in tech practice launch

Norton Rose Fulbright broadens offering to clients with the launch of technology consulting practice headed by computer scientist.

Computer scientist and professor Peter McBurney has been appointed to lead the new practice, which will provide technical expertise to help clients take full advantage of new and emerging disruptive technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) including blockchain, and cryptocurrencies.

 The firm’s new technology consulting practice is dedicated to helping financial institutions, corporations and start-ups develop and implement these new businesses processes.’ The firm says the technology consulting practice is one of a number of new initiatives created as the firm continues its focus on client value, technology and innovation. These include NRF Transform, the firm’s global change and innovation program; The Institute, an exclusive client knowledge site; Regulatory Compliance Consulting, providing risk and compliance advisory services to clients; Risk Advisory, leveraging industry expertise to provide legal and regulatory guidance; NRF Parker, a chatbot powered by artificial intelligence designed and built by Norton Rose Fulbright in-house technology experts.