The Mindset of a Good INDUSTRY FOCUSED Lawyer.
In-depth expertise in your clients' industry inherently attracts more interest in your advice and counsel, but there are some other things to keep in mind.
• It's about Providing Total Business Solutions and NOT just Solving Legal Problems.
The best don't just offer advice on legal questions; they are able to connect their expertise and the counsel of their industry focused colleagues to help the client achieve a total turnkey solution. Clients expect you to know your business, but what really matters to them is how much you know theirs. You should be able to articulate specifically how your solutions can help the client achieve the success they are striving for.
• Get to Business Solutions of Value, by Digging Deep.
You should be aware of problems your clients face that you can help them with and get involved EARLY in shaping solutions. This is when you can offer some of your most valuable advice. You cannot be shy or reluctant to explore with your client the tangential issues that go beyond the scope of some current legal matter. That would be like a Physician who only treats your headache, but neglects to examine any contributing factors. While you may not want to be viewed as fishing for further work, if you stop advising your client because it is not within the expressed scope of their current need, don’t be surprised if they look for someone to provide more holistic counsel.
• Share Your Thinking.
Lawyers are taught how to devise the best remedy to the legal problem, but don't always see the value of sharing the thought process that goes into formulating a proposed course of action. Yet the evidence is clear that a trusted business advisor is valued for their thinking, not just their answers. What does an industry focused mindset entail? It starts with a deep curiosity that leads to a habit of continuous learning. To complement your strong analytical skills, you recognize the need to appropriately frame the problems or opportunities you're trying to provide counsel on, in a broader context than the limits of your expertise. You are driven to determine not simply what needs to be done from just a legal perspective, but what ultimately needs to be accomplished — with your success defined not by how well you performed, but by the outcomes you help the client achieve.
• Give your Clients What They “NEED.”
Some mistake client service as giving clients what they want. That's the order-taker mindset. Trusted Industry focused advisers are more concerned with giving clients what they need. Sometimes, this may involve some persuasion – but persuasion based on deep industry knowledge. You don't help the client achieve success without being willing to push back at times and argue for a better way. It's hard for clients to learn to trust your point of view if you shrink back from it whenever the client is thinking otherwise.
Agree or disagree with my observations?
PLEASE share your experiences.