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The Difference

Are All Law Firms Alike?

We can all agree that there is no shortage of lawyers. The question for in-house counsel is how to select the right firm or attorney for the matter at hand and for a relationship that may last for years. Truth be told, on the surface most law firms look a lot alike.

Most lawyers will tell you they are smart. And for the most part, they are. They will tell you they are experienced, and indeed, they have lists of clients and cases to prove it. They will tell you they are successful, and again, they have a track record of courtroom victories they can hold up for you.

Shipley Snell has all of those things. We’re smart, experienced, and successful. But if you listen carefully to what in-house counsel say they want from the outside counsel they engage – and we do listen – they will tell you that these things are just the basic qualifications for admission. Without them, you would never be considered in the first place. These things don’t differentiate law firms. 

Lessons from the ACC Value Challenge

A few years ago, The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), in partnership with a number of law firms, initiated The ACC Value Challenge “to reconnect the value and the cost of legal services.” According to the ACC, “There are many ways to improve value in the firm–client relationship,” and some of the “value levers” the association lists are:

  • Aligning relationships
  • Value-based fee structures, i.e. alternatives to the “billable hour”
  •  Staffing and training practices
  • Budgeting and project management
  • Process improvement and use of technology
  • Data and knowledge management

These are some of the issues that can drive a productive partnership.

The Shipley Snell Difference

Shipley Snell is not like other law firms. The whole reason Shipley Snell was formed in the first place was to be different. We wanted a different kind of relationship with our clients and with our colleagues. So here are a few of the ways to describe our differences: