Lawyers Find a Partner in Quality


Blodgett, Nancy   (1998, QC Solutions, Inc. (847/202-0857 - phone;   Palatine, IL

Quality Progress    Vol. 31    No. 5
QICID: 13337    May 1998    pp. 83-90

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Article Abstract

The quality-in-law project initiated by Samuel Welch seeks to identify the needs of legal services clients and to use these data to redesign law school programs. One phase of the project analyzed surveys from 151 clients of nine lawyers and small firms. The survey process included defining the business dynamics of small and solo law firms as well as developing qualitative and quantitative surveys. Survey results focused on four areas. First, on the marketing of legal services, clients stressed the importance of initial interviews at no-charge and referrals from peers and friends. Only 55% of business clients and 40% of nonbusiness clients were very satisfied with the marketing of legal expertise and availability. Second, the most highly valued character traits and abilities of lawyers were honesty, integrity, and factors like understanding the client's business. For honesty and integrity, only 50% of the clients were very satisfied with their lawyers' performance. Third, the most important competency characteristics listed by clients included pragmatism, delivering results, and problem solving skills. Less than 35% of nonbusiness clients and about 55% of business clients were very satisfied in these areas. Fourth, clients described a great lawyer as being knowledgeable about business dynamics as well as being honest and ethical. Upon delivery of these results, the lawyers have begun to make improvements, such as instituting initial meetings at no charge; surveying clients at the end of projects; and focusing more on owning clients' problems.


Customer satisfaction (CS),Quality improvement (QI),Legal services,Customer surveys

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