Client Interviewers Increasing in Popularity

While Ballard Spahr was the latest Pennsylvania firm to add a client interviewer, it isn’t the only one to have such a position.

Duane Morris, well known for having one of the largest marketing departments in the country relative to its lawyer headcount, has had a dedicated client relationships manager for more than four years. The former attorney has been doing the interviews for about three years and has spoken with between 40 and 50 clients, the firm’s chief marketing officer, Edward M. Schechter, said.

Five other senior marketing team members assist the manager in talking to several people in each client organization. The firm asks the client who it should meet with in the company in addition to the in-house attorneys, and that can often lead to anywhere between two to 10 interviews per client, Schechter said.

The firm then asks the attorneys who work with those clients to address the concerns within 10 business days with the understanding that they may not all be resolved in such short order.

Duane Morris also has business developers working in a sales function who sometimes act in a client relations capacity, Schechter said.

He said the goal has nothing to do with selling — it’s all about listening and responding.

According to Schechter, the client interviewer role is being utilized country-wide on a much more frequent basis than it had been even two years ago.

As previously reported, Reed Smith has a director of general counsel relations. The firm started the position in 2005, but the original director was hired away by a firm client. Reed Smith filled the spot in December 2006 with a former general counsel.

Ballard Spahr brought on a former reporter to handle its new client interviewer post.

~Gina Passarella, Staff Reporter

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