Acritas, a leading provider of research in the UK, Europe and the US, provided an insightful glimpse last night into what’s on the mind of global elite buyers of legal services. The final study will incorporate 1,000 interviews of an impressive cast of companies. The survey participants include public and private companies in all of the major rankings and stock indices including Forbes, Fortune 1000, FT 500 US, NASDAQ 100, NYSE Composite, AMEX 100, Dow 30 and the S&P 500.
The study will be a cold bucket of water for many major law firms. But bottom line it is information any savvy marketer would want to have at their fingertips. It can help you understand your competitive set and know how your firm is perceived. The amount of data that can be drilled down and analyzed is impressive.
In 2002, I was totally dismayed when a senior partner at an AmLaw 100 firm dressed me down for recommending they spend their hard earned money on the World Wide Web. He described the Internet as a passing fancy for geeks. Fast forward to a week ago when once again I was in a major law firm and this time just got blank looks when I talked about the impact of social networking on business to business marketing. A highly talented lawyer, in his early 50s, said social networking was for high schoolers. (In all fairness I think this lawyer still has his secretary print out his emails for him to read).
So we have decided to start formally collecting the stories about how people have become connected in business through social networking whether it be general sites like Facebook or restricted networks for lawyers like Martindale Hubbell Connected. Stay tuned for what we learn.
The New York Times wrote a great article recently about the “foodie culture” in Portland, Maine. I enjoyed the article because Portland is my current hometown and for years I thought the food scene had been largely confined to buzz about Fore Street’s Chef Sam Hayward. Chef Hayward was named Best Chef: Northeast by the James Beard Foundation. Now don’t get me wrong – Fore Street is certainly a good restaurant (although I prefer the sister restaurant, Street and Company). But last Saturday night, I had an amazing meal. In fact, it rivaled a meal that I had at the Inn at Little Washington in 1991.
Six of us nestled into a table at Five Fifty-Five or 555. I had asked Chef Steve Corry to prepare a birthday dinner that included as many of my husband’s favorite foods as feasible. I also provided some other hints such as he prefers savory over sweet, robust over subtle and spices of all kinds. The five course dinner unfolded in a way that is impossible to describe without blathering on. But suffice it to say everything from the wine pairings to the food to the service was perfect. So my advice is if you come to Portland, plan ahead and order a tasting menu at 555. You will have an experience that rivals everything from Nobu to August to Boulevard.
Many of my colleagues know that I have been restoring a rustic 1814 New England inn for the last several years. It is nestled in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and my ATT fancy iPhone still doesn’t work there. Plus our dial-up connection at 1995 speeds discourages the use of the Internet. So I do something novel when there — I mostly just think. It is a skill we are all getting rusty in as we spend most of our time in perpetual motion.
So recently I read with delight how many legal luminaries actually value the art of thinking. If you haven’t picked up Bright Ideas edited by Leigh Dance now is the time to do so. This collection of 26 essays from legal luminaries — in-house counsel, law firm managing partners and service providers in the legal industry — is a thought provoking book. Perhaps my favorite part is the book’s objective to advance the structure, management and transparency of corporate legal services. Learn more about the book at www.BrightIdeasGlobalLaw.com.