Many law firms are focused on differentiating themselves from competitors. But what separates one firm from another in the eyes of the client, talent or the market? Years ago, many firms cited culture or quality as the characteristics of their firm which distinguished it from others. However, in today’s legal industry, most clients view quality as ‘table stakes.’
Following the recent release of public reports on law firm financial performance, it is easy to become preoccupied with year-over-year changes to key metrics. However, an even more interesting perspective emerges when we step back and analyze the changes in the legal industry over multiple decades.
In an effort to better align services with client needs and differentiate the firm from competitors, many law firms have adopted some form of an industry focused strategy. These efforts have seen varying degrees of success, in part driven by the firm’s internal organization of the industry effort. Like many aspects of running a law firm, there is no one size fits all model.
As part of our strategy work for law firms we have interviewed hundreds of clients of firms. Despite variations in perspective, one theme has been particularly consistent – companies have very clear views about which firms or types of firms are best suited for particular segments of their work. Their message to law firms is: stay in your lane.