In Chapter 15 his new book, Tomorrow’s Lawyers, Richard Susskind imagines a young lawyer interviewing for a job at a law firm and wondering whether he/she can envision making a long-term commitment to the firm.  Susskind suggests seven questions for the young lawyer – questions such as “Do you have a long-term strategy” or “Do you have a Research and Development Capability?”

But what about young law firm marketers or salespeople contemplating a long-term commitment to the law business generally, and any one law firm in particular?  What questions should they be asking?  Susskind’s seven questions apply to marketers and salespeople just as well as to lawyers, but here are seven additional questions that marketers might ask as they evaluate their decisions.

  1.  Are you in favor of those without law licenses sharing in the ownership of the business, and what are you doing to encourage bar associations to move in this direction?
  2. Who are the highly respected business people at your law firm currently and how are you ensuring their professional development and advancement?
  3. Can you give me examples of lawyers at the firm who can both lead with distinction in their areas of strength, and also who can follow with enthusiasm when out of their comfort zones?
  4. How willing is the firm to “expose” its business people to current and prospective buyers and referrers of legal services?
  5. Can you name the companies and individuals that you desire to have as clients of the future?
  6. What does ATL say about the identity and character of the firm?
  7. What is your assessment of as it relates to the future of commercial legal services provided by firms like yours?

 Please feel free to add to the list.