What lawyers can learn from other industries: retail and accountancy

What lawyers can learn from other industries: retail and accountancy

I have a clear memory of the first time I worked with consultants on a deal I was involved in. Having joined a private practice firm as a trainee fresh(ish) from university and law school, I had seen little of the working world. The consultants just seemed so… different, certainly to the lawyers I encountered daily. It wasn’t that they weren’t nice people or did not know their stuff – quite the opposite – but they went about things in a manner that was entirely alien to me.

Bubbling away in my mind ever since then has been the question of what makes people successful in their field and how can that be applied to what I do? A lot boils down to the person rather than the industry and you can all too easily make sweeping statements, but there are some generalisations that I would suggest have a practical application to the life of a lawyer.

I am going to explore some of these and how we might benefit from looking at practices outside of the legal world. This is part one of three blog posts on the topic (yes, I know, three whole blog posts on the same issue, but I will try not to repeat myself!), and we’ll start by looking at valuing customers and a different kind of value – financial literacy.

Retail: client is king

The phrase “the customer is always right” was coined in the world of department stores around the turn of the last century, the mantra being that customer service and satisfaction are paramount.

Being a pedant by nature (who would have thought?), I struggle to admit that other people are always right. However, I have no issue with the nuanced concept that what we do should always be for the good of our clients – be they your fee paying clients if you are in private practice or your business col

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