Client Interviews: Pre-Interview Preparation – Two or More Weeks Prior

Colleagues and management are on board. The target list has been determined. The client has been contacted. The interview is on the calendar. You are clearly in the home stretch! That said, there’s still some work to do. LPC can attest to the fact that interviews are more successful and informative when the interviewer has a clear-cut understanding of the client relationship. This understanding is gained through internal and external research.

Clients appreciate and recognize when they are talking to a well-informed interviewer, rather than an outsider who is merely asking routine questions. Further, the attorneys or members of your interview committee will oftentimes have specific questions or concerns they want the interviewer to pursue.

We recommend that an interviewer is familiar with:

  • How long the firm has been working for the client
  • What attorneys handle the client’s work
  • The client’s business
  • How the client initially came to work with the firm
  • The “key players” in the client’s organization.
  • Who makes the decisions about outside counsel
  • If the client uses other firms and if so, in what areas
  • Billing history
    • Revenues over the last 3-5 years
    • Realization
    • Profitability
    • Write-offs
    • Billing/collection issues
  • The firm’s perceived level of client satisfaction

We even recommend holding a pre-interview meeting with attorneys who have worked on the client’s matters to discuss:

  • Current or past performance issues
  • Relationships (good, bad, potential)
  • Trends in the client’s business and industry
  • Trade organizations that are important to the client
  • Topics to pursue or avoid
  • Interviewee’s personality
Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson is founder and principal of Law Practice Consultants, LLC of Newton, MA. Law Practice Consultants offers consulting, coaching and training services that help law firms respond to the challenges of today’s highly competitive legal marketplace. For more information visit www.lawpracticeconsultants.com.
Peter Johnson

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