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Many law firms seek corporate clients as much for prestige as for potential revenue and profits. In the process, they overlook the fact that often, a corporate client is interested in cost containment as well as effectiveness. Consequently, the negotiated fees end up being on the low side of current market trends. For certain tasks, some will consider and negotiate value billing. In speeches, panel discussions, and journal articles by corporate counsel, it is abundantly clear what they want. In attracting corporate clients, brochures can be practically valueless, particularly if they are just sent out in a random search effort. This is because the attorney or firm must respond to specific client needs. A brochure is normally too general to do this and can only be a supplement to a client-based approach.
In-house attorneys continue to make top dollar. Their base salaries have risen between 2.2% and 9.5% nationwide, according to a recent Altman Weil, Inc., survey.
Corporate counsel are looking ahead to the election and perhaps liking what they see: prospects for full employment. That's because most counsel expect a dramatically more expensive corporate environment, with plenty of legal challenges that will only become bigger. And bigger challenges lead to more work. The rest of the given counsel's company may suffer, however.