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Lawyering 2.0: Shifting to a “customer”-focused model

April 09, 2013

Fenwick managing partner Kate Fritz is interviewed by the Thomson Reuters Legal Current Podcast on Fenwick’s client-centric approach to pricing and billing.

She says that whereas the traditional law firm billable hour is based on the model that the client is paying for the lawyer’s time, Fenwick’s approach “takes a page from what our clients are doing” by thinking about legal services through the lens of consumer products. Fenwick hired a Product Manager.

“We all want some amount of certainty in our business transactions even in those that we recognize have elements of unpredictability,” she says. “And clients’ consumption and use of legal services is really no different.”

The product manager and his team use historical data around common variables in past engagements to provide clients with accurate estimates for a range of costs for each aspect of a matter “so we could build really deep budgeting and pricing estimating capabilities for clients.”

The product manager also looks for areas where groups of services are often used together. The firm is able to present various service options and approaches so that clients can make choices around costs.

“I do think that quality continues to be a baseline expectation because clients have a wide variety of legal resources available to them,” she says.