Over at What About Clients?, Dan Hull wonders whether a how to marketing seminar on how small firms can snag big clients would catch on? Of course, Hull knows the answer to that. He writes:
GCs are now smarter
and bolder. Smaller firms can and do land and serve top clients. At top
rates, too. It’s about service, not price. No point not getting rich
just because you start a new, smaller and more client-centric firm.
Keep your high rate; savor your lower overhead, if you can achieve one.
You deserve it. So a serious course on getting (okay, stealing) and
keeping high-end clients (Fortune 500 companies and large
Asian and European companies) might actually fly.
The one place where I take issue with Dan’s idea is his proposed title
– “Stealing and Keeping Biglaw Clients.” I don’t think solos need to
antagonize large firms, because there are situations where large firms
may refer solos and small firms lucrative clients.
I was particularly gratified to see Dan’s post because making solos realize that we can compete with the big boys has
been one of the driving forces behind MyShingle. As I wrote here over three years ago, I hoped that MyShingle would address a huge gap in the “starting a law firm” genre of books and articles:
Moreover, much of the information available on-line about
solo and small firm practice is geared primarily towards starting,
operating and marketing a traditional general practice law firm. Few
resources exist for lawyers who start non-conventional small firm or
boutique or corporate practices which directly compete with large firms.
In fact, the more I blog about solo practice, the more I come to
realize that it’s the preference of the ABA, and to a lesser extent the
legal trade media, to keep solo practice “small time.” Yet there are
solos and small firms who are competing with biglaw everyday, whom we
never hear about – and that the biglaw dominated ABA would prefer to
keep under wraps.