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YouTube Friday:  Legal Services as a Credence Good

YouTube Friday  Legal Services as a Credence Good

Seventeen and half-days – it’s the time between legal work performed and time entry.  There’s a parallel between the time that elapses and the size of the legal invoice – or velocity.

“The longer you wait, the more you inflate,” says D. Casey Flaherty driving home a message of his key note talk the recent 2015 CounselLink Customer Conference.  It was just one idea among several he pointed out for putting measurements in place to manage what is otherwise a “credence good.”

In-house lawyers tend to be “generalists managing specialists” he noted, which is in part what makes it so difficult to put a value on legal services.  Citing a framework championed by Jeffrey Carr – counsel, advocacy, process and content – he says corporate counsel is willing to pay for counsel and advocacy because of the value, but has far less enthusiasm for process and content.

It’s not because process and content aren’t important, according to Mr. Flaherty, but rather “these shouldn’t be so expensive.”  He likened process and content to re-inventing the wheel, and once a firm creates a few wheels, it “should be able to mass produce them.”

He sets up his discussion with a powerful analogy from another time and another industry yet is entirely relevant to legal services today. A video recording of his complete presentation is embedded nearby for this week’s Friday Share. It runs just about 30 minutes and no matter your side of the table, is well worth setting time aside to watch or listen.

5 Worthwhile Posts on Metrics and Legal Operations

We have also published several posts related to the conference including three based on an interview with Mr. Flaherty.  These cover a similar subject matter and in some cases reflect views expressed by corporate legal views during some of the conference sessions:

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Infographic: Update to the Legal Industry Scorecard

Photo credit:  Screenshot from Mr. Flaherty’s key note presentation

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About Frank Strong

Frank Strong
Frank Strong is the communications director for the LexisNexis software division located on NC State’s Centennial Campus in Raleigh. In this capacity, he leads communications efforts in support of software products for law practice and law department management and also litigation tools – across large law, small law and corporate counsel segments. With more than 15 years of experience in the high-tech sector, Strong previously served as director of public relations for Vocus, which developed marketing, PR and media monitoring software. He has held multiple roles both in-house with corporations, ranging from startups to global organizations, and has also endured the rigors of billable hours, having completed gigs at PR firms including the top 10 global firm Hill & Knowlton. A veteran of two year-long deployments, Strong has concurrently served in uniform in reserve components of the military for more than 20 years, initially as an enlisted Marine and later as an infantry officer in the Army National Guard. Strong holds a BA in Film and TV production from Worcester State University, an M.A. in Public Communication from American University, and an M.B.A. from Marymount University. He is a PADI-certified Master Scuba Diver and holds a USPA "B" skydiving license.
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