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									    The ACC Value Challenge
               Reconnecting Cost with Value
                     www.acc.com/valuechallenge




INSERT EVENT          INSERT DATE                 INSERT PRESENTER

                                                               Rev. 2/2009
What is the ACC Value Challenge?
• The ACC Value Challenge is an initiative designed to
  bring together law firms, law departments, and other
  legal community leaders and service providers to
  discuss how to:
   – Reconnect the cost of legal services to the value
     provided;
   – Assure better and more efficient relationships;
   – Help improve client service;
   – Focus on practical improvements to legal service
     processes that increase value to the client.
Why Now?

   Why should we change longtime service
  models that have served us for decades/with
           which we’re comfortable?
Dissatisfaction and Rising Costs are Not New
 The In-House Perspective – A“Tipping Point”
   … “inelastic” firm costs, despite law departments’
   increasing efficiencies - steady 6-7% increase/year
   … associate salary increases – firms choose pay scales
   … PPP - profit per partner – an unwelcome driver that
   controls behaviors in the leveraged law firm model
   … the $1,000/hr partner (usually worth every penny) vs. the
   $350/hr associate (usually not that valuable)
   … The waste of time and relationship arguing over bills
   rather than focusing on results
If they’re currently profitable, should firms care?
    … what impact will the economic downturn have on firms?
    … where is client and partner/associate loyalty in today’s firm?
    … firm managers know they can’t sustain current returns.
    … fees can’t continue to rise without repercussion.
    … continuing / increasing problems with firms’ primary asset:
    the talent pool - both partners and associates.
    … increasing competition from vendors / off-shored services.
    … the difficulty of aligning behaviors/business culture to reward
    lawyers for client service rather than hourly billing or book.
    … clients who are turning to corporate procurement practices to
    manage firm costs.
    … making the practice of law something lawyers love again.
  Who’s to “blame”?
• All of us – it’s about responsibility for change, not
  finger-pointing
• In-House Counsel must own the challenge:
  … we asked for the billable hour; we got it in spades.
  … many IHC would rather live with problems they know,
  than aggressively manage risk or change.
  … “No one ever got fired for hiring biglaw.”
  … IHC are often “of” the firms they manage.
  … IHC, too, often resist establishing business processes.
  … Lack of skill/experience in executing needed changes.
The ACC Value Challenge
      A (R)evolution in the inside / outside
             counsel relationship

 (Defined as: Revolutionary Thinking – blowing up the box, combined
     with Incremental Progress via Evolved Practices over Time)
The Project Drivers
• This is not about blame; it’s about responsibility to do better.
• While lower costs will result, this is not a cost-cutting project;
   value is not cheap. But it’s always worth the money.
• Proposed change must be institutional / large-scale
• A focus on value re-defines quality; it does not sacrifice it.
• Tools, education, resources to equip lawyers
• Momentum and acceptance to create comfort zones
• Departments/clients reward performance (and risk)
• Firms deserve to profit; new models must combine incentives
   for profit, efficiency, quality, value
Anticipated Outcomes
• FOCUS ON VALUE: Firms will win work from clients based
   on value: value is defined in the eye of the beholder.
• HIRE THE FIRM, not the lawyer. Create relationships/loyalty.
• INCREASED RETENTION: Associates and mid-levels
   focused on counseling and client service / success evaluated
   on efficiency, client satisfaction and performance.
• MANAGED COSTS: Managing the clients’ spend more
   efficiently: better budgeting/predictability/accountability.
• PROFESSIONALISM / CAREER SATISFACTION:
   Rediscovering the inside / outside relationship based on
   defined goals and excellence, rather than arguing over bills.
Current Activities:
• Develop models: create conversation platforms
• Collaboration between individual decision-makers, practice groups,
  vendors, and firms/departments
• Regional / ACC Chapter discussion groups in 2009
• Creating practical tools for immediately implementation
• Aggressive Metrics: Measure / Move the Needle
• Re-focus the AmLaw 200 to rate value (not just size and profit)
• Establish an ACC Value Index to promote scores for “value firms”
• Improve Law Firm/Client Relationships through Covenant / Sign-Ons
• Empower a New Culture and Sustain Our Momentum: Yes, we can!
The ACC Value Challenge –
Talk! - Meet! - Act!
           Open Discussion Topics Could Include:
                        • Evaluation Practices / Metrics
                  • Alternative or Innovative Billing Practices
                           • Shared Knowledge Mining
           • Retention/Engagement Process (Setting Expectations)
                         • Communication Techniques
        • Retention, Promotion, Compensation, Team Building Tactics
              • “Global” or Coordinated Service Delivery Options
                        • Internal Process Improvement
                            • Innovative Staffing Ideas
     • Value and Values: pro bono, diversity, professionalism & balance
For More Information:


 The ACC Value Challenge and its online
 community are online and open to everyone at:
     www.acc.com/valuechallenge

    Or email Susan Hackett -hackett@acc.com or
     Renee Dankner - dankner@acc.com

								
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