In determining how a law firm might beat the competition, it can help to take a realistic look at exactly who the competition is, what they do, and how they get their clients. During this scrutiny, the firm should take note of its strengths and weaknesses, compared to those of the competition. This is the time to search for gaps that may appear in the market that the competition may not be aware of.
It is important to keep in mind those factors that attract prospective clients and to emphasize whatever they are in an advertising campaign. This can be achieved by conducting a clear assessment of a firm’s success rates, and by figuring out why those particular successes have occurred.
After successfully evaluating the competition, determinations can be made about improving the market visibility and service levels of a law firm that can result in increased numbers of clients. The firm should keep a careful watch on the marketing campaigns of other law firms by keeping tabs on competitors websites, promotional events, and press clippings, and to use them as guides for how to keep the competitive edge.
From another perspective, the American Bar Association Journal reports that the greatest competition for any law firm comes from in-house counsel, rather than from other law firms. A recent survey found that in 2010, law firms spent up to 6% more on their in-house legal departments, and decreased the amount of money they spent on outside counsel by 3%. Since that time, those numbers have continued to rise. This phenomenon can be attributed to the mounting pressure on existing law firms to reduce their fees, as well as to the information revolution that has reduced the need to rely upon traditional legal services.
Since law firms now do less screening and monitoring of lawyers than in days past, they are no longer considered as reliable as they once were, regarding being intermediaries. As a result, more corporations are hiring lawyers directly and dispensing with the middleman.
The bottom line for any law firm is to continually question the ways in which things are done within the firm and to seek ways to do them better to attract new clients.
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