September 25, 2007

Register Online or In Person for 2007 Bench-Bar Conference

width=125, height=110, align=left, vspace=3, border=0 Attorneys wanting to register for the 2007 Bench-Bar Conference can sign up online until Wednesday evening or in person at Bally's Atlantic City for the Sept. 28 and 29 program.

The Bench-Bar Conference offers 14 different seminars and and the opportunity to receive up to 7 CLE credits.

This year's conference, "Saddle Up to a Bench-Bar Bonanza," has a Wild West theme and includes a black tie and blue jeans reception on Friday evening, Sept. 28. Sponsors for the 2007 Bench-Bar Conference include USI Colburn Insurance Service, LexisNexis, PNC Wealth Management, Trial Technologies, JAMS, Veritext and Kroll. Register now for the Bench-Bar Conference here.

Tickets Available for Lawyerpalooza October 25

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On October 25, the YLD will host Lawyerpalooza at Kildare's Headhouse Square (2nd & South streets). The cost of $10 includes drink tickets, heavy hors d'oeuvres and drink specials. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., lawyers who moonlight in bands, such as A Band Called M, Class Action, Brand New Gods, ProBonos and Pray for Mojo, will be featured. There will also be a performance by Brad Shuttleworth. You've seen them in court, now see them on stage!

Lawyerpalooza is sponsored by Esquire Deposition Services, LLC and Summit Court Reporting, Inc. Click here to purchase tickets.

width=16, height=16, align=left, vspace=0, hspace=2, border=0 Listen to "Salieri" from Pray for Mojo.

YLD A-Scare-Ium at the Aquarium

Saturday, October 20

11:30 a.m. &mdash 1:30 p.m.

Admission is $25 for adults and $15 for children and includes lunch, an animal encounter, a pick-your-own pumpkin and painting activity and a special showing of SpongeBob SquarePants 4D ride at 2 p.m. Children are encouraged to come in costume.

Register now.

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Plaintiffs' Firms to Speak on Hiring Sept. 27

Representatives from plaintiffs' firms will discuss hiring practices and the promotion of diversity at the Thursday, Sept. 27 meeting of the Minorities of the Profession Committee.

Speakers for the program include Mark W. Tanner, president of Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association; Ruben Honik, immediate-past president of Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association; Laura Feldman, co-chair of Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association's Diversity Committee; Bernard W. Smalley, co-chair of Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association's Diversity Committee; Shanin Specter, co-chair of Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association's Diversity Committee; and Nadeem A. Bezar, member of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association.

The meeting begins at 12 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch is available for $7.50 for those members who register in advance. Click here to RSVP for this program.

Client Service Is Not One Size Fits All by Lisa Goldstein

"Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning." -Bill Gates

I was in the checkout line at Target when I heard the cashier state, “Have a nice day honey,” to a middle-aged female customer. The next customer was a young woman in her early twenties. As she paid for her purchases, the cashier said, “Have a nice day sweetie.” Finally, it was my turn to check out. The cashier repeated, “Have a nice day sweetie.” Although I replied, “Thank you, you too,” I couldn’t help but feel somewhat offended by the overly familiar term of endearment.

I am sure that the cashier believed that she was giving exceptional customer service. Some customers might actually appreciate being referred to as “sweetie.” However, I can’t imagine that Target’s customer service training incorporates referring to all female customers as “honey” and “sweetie.”

The thing about good client service is that it requires more than cookie cutter solutions. What one client believes is good service may be completely inappropriate to another client. For example, lawyers know that clients need to be kept informed regarding their matters. Good client service dictates that the level, type and delivery methodology regarding client communication will vary depending upon the client, however.

In a recent roundtable discussion, Ramona Romero, manager of litigation for DuPont, expressed that she does not want to hear about every detail of a lawyer’s minor success via a personalized telephone call.

Keep your client’s perspective in mind. Although you may be very excited about your recent defense verdict in a case valued at a million dollars, the client who is juggling company exposure of hundreds of millions of dollars may not be that eager to learn about the gory details of your win.

How can you determine what is good client service for your clients? The simple answer is to ask each client questions such as the following:

-How often would you like to be contacted regarding your matter? (Even if the client’s company has written guidelines regarding this; your actual client may have additional information to provide)

-Would you prefer that I contact you via email, telephone or letter?

-How detailed should my reporting be?

-How would you like to be addressed?

-What would be a successful outcome in terms of budget for this matter?

-Should I consult you before I make any changes in legal strategy?

-What is an acceptable time period to return your call?

-Do you like to go to dinner or lunch with your legal team?

-Can you accept gifts?

Most importantly, the thing about bad client service is that clients don’t usually tell you they are unhappy with your service. Instead they just take their work to the competition. For that reason, you should proactively conduct formal or informal client surveys after each matter concludes. Also, be prepared to make changes if you learn that the client is not happy with any level of service. The goal is not to always be perfect, but to improve according to your client’s needs.

Remember, it’s much easier to grow your business with an existing client than it is to retain a new one. Exceptional client service will pave the road to your rainmaking success.

Law School Outreach Volunteers Needed

The Law School Outreach Committee is seeking volunteers who are able to attend the following events: Monday, Oct. 1 at Temple University, Tuesday, Oct. 9 at Villanova University, Monday, Oct. 15 at Widener University and Saturday, Oct. 20 at Rutgers-Camden University.

If you are interested in one or more of these events, please contact Jennifer Coatsworth.

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