Today I was asked about my recent Five-minute lawyer series of posts. To me, these sorts of posts add lots of value for readers who have these questions at little real detriment to me; after all, I already know the answers to these general questions.
Is sharing knowledge a good strategy? I obviously think so, particularly when what you share is just an introduction AND when potential clients realize that their circumstances do matter and can’t be addressed in a few hundred words (or more) on incorporation.
Giving tools to my clients helps them become better consumers of my services. I don’t want to charge someone $250 to spend an hour explaining the same answers to the same questions. Not only is that not very interesting, but it’s fundamentally not my value proposition (there’s a reason I point certain people to Nolo.com for books) and, therefore, actually devalues my services in the eyes of clients.
In my field, competence is assumed; for my clients, excellence is required: they trust me with their most complex problems as well as the straightforward management of legal issues. I can’t imagine having any client who I didn’t respect enough to teach.
Recently, Wilson Sonsini released a “term sheet generator” tool, that allows start-ups to create a menu-driven term sheet that serves to guide a conversation with a [WSGR] lawyer. I think it’s a great idea — why not teach our clients to be educated consumers, not only of the contracts and deals and transactions that third parties bring to them, but of our own services as well?
Teaching my clients is part of who I am: it shows them that I respect them at the same time as it shows them my appreciation for the issues they’re facing.