Don’t be a Victim of your Law Firm’s “No Small Business” Policy
Via MyShingle I learned about this telling article by a leading law firm consulting company. According to the article, small businesses are bad news for big law firms. Short of telling the client to hit the road, they recommend these ways to get rid of small business clients:
- Eliminate discounts. Most businesses provide price
discounts based on volume. But in law firms, often the lowest rates are
charged to the smallest clients. With the next bill simply charge the
client at full rates. Explain that the firm has large clients who
expect to enjoy most favored nation rates, which forces the firm to
bring the small client’s rate up to standard. Either the client will
pay the higher rates or they will seek other counsel–both good results.
- Push work down.
Hand off small client relationships to a junior associate. The
associate will charge lower rates and gain experience in client
relations and billing management. A year later if the firm still wants
to fire the client, it can do so with less political flack.
- Refer it out.
Refer the client to a smaller law firm. Set up a referral relationship
and explain to the client that they will be charged less and get better
service from the smaller firm.
- Cut out small clients at the source.
Change client acceptance procedures to eliminate small matters.
Prohibit acceptance of work that particularly attracts individuals and
small clients. If the firm must accept some individual work, establish
a fixed fee minimum for individual services such as will preparation or
residential real estate closings (and make it pretty high).
Emphasis (in red) added by me. Need I say more?
Picture courtesy of Fotomele protected under CreativeCommons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 License.