Since I started the BigWigNetwork Twitter account, I’ve been finding interesting legal people and firms to follow. I’m delighted that some of these are now following BigWig too. Whenever I can, I spend some time browsing their sites, looking for ideas and approaches that chime with my hopes for BigWig and for the UK legal profession.
Of course, the simple fact that they’re using social media already indicates awareness that online affordances can support, enhance and in some cases transform business for solicitors. Other initiatives, not specifically related to being online, also suggest that people are realising that even lawyers need to do business differently in the 21st century.
Most of us didn’t need the Clementi report to tell us that legal clients are becoming more sophisticated, more demanding and more able to compare costs for legal services from several different providers. However, it is very difficult to change the assumptions and customs of any established profession and particularly of one whose lifeblood is “precedent”. One thing that helps is to study the example of pathfinders who are already succeeding through doing things differently.
The BigWig Network exists to facilitate the transfer of any knowledge that makes legal practices more efficient, productive and profitable. Some of this will be provided via formal training slots in our monthly meetings and half-day sessions, but much can be learned simply through networking with other likeminded people, both in the physical meetings and online. So I want to showcase on this blog some of the exciting things that BigWig Twitter followers and followees are already doing, in order to promote a culture of learning from each other.
I’m going to start with a simple but very important thing: presenting the human face of your people. Clients no longer treat either their doctors or their solicitors as “gods”. Their trust in you no longer comes from an automatic belief that one in your position must have awesome superior knowledge that is infallible. They want to know that you are qualified, yes, but they also want to know that you are human like them, have earned your stripes in the school of life, and can empathise with their particular problems. This kind of trust develops in relationship and begins with presenting yourself as approachable. See the Good People page of the Goodmans Solicitors site for a great example (click each name to see the individual’s profile). Each profile gives useful facts about their professional experience, but also presents the person as an engaging individual whom you might like to know.
Of course, there are many ways of doing this. Each firm is unique and must present themselves in ways suitable for their niche and clients, but the general principle of approachability applies. If you come across other good examples, please feel free to share them in a comment below.
BigWig Legal Network
What is BigWig Legal Network?
The deregulation of UK legal structures will have a huge impact on how Law is practised and new legal services are offered. BigWig Legal Network is the UK’s first membership development organisation for fee earners in legal practices, priced for membership affordability, that will offer what legal professionals desire most of all: Accurate, dependable new insights and techniques for developing the legal services of the future.
Find out more at our Last Wednesday meetings.