Recently, our CEO Lynn Foley spoke with Helena Lawrence, Senior Business Development Manager at Orrick, about creating innovative legal products. “Law firms usually sell services or talent, but they can also market products to open the door to their talent,” Lawrence observed in the Trends. “Technology makes this possible and scalable.”
Experts from the “2019 Trends” Share Insights
This interview is part of a series of discussions we had at the 2019 LMA Annual Conference with contributors to the 2019 Legal Marketing Trends. Each interview focuses on an important development in the legal industry. This is the first of four videos which we will be sharing to our Insights library. Check in next week for video #2: an interview with Ashley Galstan, Director of Client Development at K&L Gates LLP, on integrating a sales function into law firms.
Interview with Helena Lawrence, Orrick
What trends are you seeing in Legal Marketing related to Innovation?
Well, the legal profession is changing. General Counsel are looking for law firms that think differently. Innovation is one thing that is pushing this change. And legal products is one way to react to innovation. So legal products is a way to combat the change that’s going on, especially with alternative service providers. Some of the work that’s actually more commoditized is going away because they’re going to alternative service providers or cheaper forms of providing legal services. So if you’re able to find a way to commoditize it and offer it at a standard rate, you’re able to bring it in.
So what are the advantages to offering a ‘legal product’?
So with legal products, you’re able to create it once and sell it many times. That’s different than a service, which is individualized every single time. With a legal product, you’re able to create a marketing campaign. And with the marketing campaign you’re able to raise your profile, bring people in, create a relationship with your firm. You don’t necessarily want that lower cost work, but you want that strategic work that is talent based legal advice. So once they’ve created a relationship with your firm, when the work gets more complicated, then they already know you and come back for the complicated stuff. I do see legal products as being the next wave of the future because we’re all turning to technology, we’re turning to repeatable things, turning to artificial intelligence. And this is one way to combat that change. So I do see it going for the foreseeable future.
What new innovative products are you launching at Orrick?
Well at Orrick we just launched our CCPA readiness assessment in California, where new privacy law is coming out and this is a way for companies to assess does the law apply to them and if so, what is their state of readiness to help them come up with an action plan based on their risk tolerance and kind of what steps to do next. So the report that they get at the end is completely complementary. The way we came about this is that when Europe came out with their new privacy law, the GDPR, we came out with a readiness assessment for that because we see ourselves as an innovative law firm who wants to make the law accessible. We, at Orrick, work with a lot of companies that are lacking resources. So this is a way to give them a value add so that they can kind of figure out what their legal needs are and decide on their own to best use their financial resources. So we did come up with a GDPR readiness assessment for that law. So when we saw the CCPA come out, we decided to create a whole product line around privacy assessment. So we created our CCPA readiness assessment based on the same things as the GDPR and anybody can use our CCPA readiness assessment to help them decide does this new law apply to them, and if so what do they need to do to comply.
Check out this product on the Orrick website.
What do you see as the next step in your area of legal marketing?
Where I’m seeing things going, at least with marketing, is the rise of legal product marketer. I feel legal products as a way to market and raise your profile for your firm. If they use it or not it’s a way to have a value add conversation that’s a bit different for your firm. It is a differentiator. So it’s a way you can have a whole marketing campaign around it. Sometimes they can be big and global. Other times it can be just enough to get it out there, depending on what the product is, who the target market is, what your opportunities are, and what your resources are.