Washington Lawyer - September 2016 - 8

PRACTICE MANAGEMENT Tips, resources & inspiration for your practice. FIRM TO TABLE: PLATING THE BEST INGREDIENTS By Thai Phi Le In a saturated legal market, what are some key ingredients to make your business stand out from the rest? For some law firms, running their business like a restaurant could pave a path for success. Chef Mike Isabella 8 WASHINGTON LAWYER * SEPTEMBER 2016 * EXPERIMENT WITH NEW FLAVORS Twenty years ago, fine dining meant French cuisine, says Washington, D.C.-based chef and restaurateur Mike Isabella. Today we've gone global. German. Greek. Moroccan. Ethiopian. It's time to stop following the same recipe and cook up something new. For law firms, a large portion of innovation leaves clients satisfied. Allen & Overy offers alternative fee structures for different legal services, instead of sticking to the usual expensive hourly rate that has been the cornerstone of the industry for decades. According to the Financial Times, the firm's profits have increased 133 percent over the past 10 years. The term "virtual" doesn't just apply to video gamers. Potomac Law Group has found great success as a virtual law firm, where more than 40 of its lawyers telecommute most days, reducing overhead and increasing employee satisfaction while landing big clients who seek an alternative to big law firms and high legal fees. Some flavor profiles may not seem like a natural match, but be willing to take risks. Morrison & Foerster LLP embraced its nickname MoFo to show that a law firm with serious talent also can make fun of itself. The rebrand increased its name recognition and was even featured on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 2010. HIGHLIGHT THE MAIN COMPONENT: YOUR CLIENT The minute a guest walks into a Mike Isabella restaurant, he wants them in full control of their dining experience. Law firms should adopt a similar mentality. Clients want control over how they get legal advice, says Jack Newton, founder of Clio D.C., who spoke at the D.C. Bar's Practice 360ยบ | A Day for Lawyers & Law Firms. If you serve them the meal they want and how they want it, they're likely to come back for seconds. Customer expectation is shifting, Newton says. According to a study by the CEB Institute, consumer loyalty is not created by exceeding expectations. It's tied to creating an effortless experience - easy and convenient. Research shows that the majority of customer behavior is not driven by what you sell, but how you deliver the service. Many clients do not want to come into your office or talk on the phone. They want to interact with you online. You will have a competitive advantage in the marketplace if you can offer online service, payment, and collaboration, Newton says. VIDEO Hear more from Jack Newton at dcbar.org Photos: Greg Powers https://www.twitter.com/hashtag/UDCLaw?src=hash http://www.dcbar.org/bar-resources/practice-management-advisory-service/2016-practice-360-descriptions.cfm http://www.dcbar.org http://www.dcbar.org/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - September 2016

Contents
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Washington Lawyer - September 2016 - 1
Washington Lawyer - September 2016 - Contents
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