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You and Your Customer – Do the Work

Kathy Robertson’s cover story in The Sacramento Business Journal is about how partners at big law firms now have to bring in clients and do the work. In the good old days, partners had to bring in new business, but the actual attorney work was done by associates. Partners didn’t do the grunt work. That’s all changed.

As new lawyers pound the streets for work, senior partners are finding that their own path to Easy Street is more elusive than before. The three-martini lunches, regular golf dates and card-room competitions enjoyed by their predecessors are gone.Now everybody has to pull their weight in an increasingly competitive legal market — and this new reality has fundamentally changed the rules for those at the top of the food chain as well as those at the bottom.

The economics of lawyering, like everything else, has changed. Now many partners do the basic work they used to delegate. Clients are demanding that the attorney they know do the work.

Alan Weiss, an wildly successful management consultant and prolific writer, has no employees, works out of his home, makes over a million dollars a year, and he advocates this model when he mentors consultants.

By doing the work yourself, you not only shed the costly overhead of staff and unnecessary accoutrements like a big marque office, but you remove the middleman and forge deeper direct relationships with your clients and customers. This is what they want and really what you need.

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