We live in a world with lots of lawyers and lots of law firms chasing after fewer clients who have less money to spend on outside law firms. Now, more than ever it is important to differentiate yourself from the many lawyers out there in your field. How can you do it?

You likely have read my thought that one of the best ways is to identify potential problems and provide solutions before the other lawyers do, and better yet, before the client realizes there is a problem.

When I joined my old law firm, I had all my files and books on moveable book cases in the hallway. I marched off to two days of orientation. When I returned late Friday afternoon, I met a young man named Mason. He worked for our facilities management group. He said to me:

Mr. Parvin, I know you need everything organized so you can hit the ground running on Monday. If you would like, I would be happy to come in on Saturday and help you get organized.

I was blown away. Mason clearly understood the problem and offered a solution before I mentioned the problem.

I learned the same lesson later that year. I had invited executives from my largest client and their spouses to Dallas to a Cowboys football game. On the Monday preceding the game, I got a call from Jan in our marketing department. She said:

Cordell, how would you like for me to drive with you to Texas Stadium, show you which exit to get off the freeway, show you our assigned parking place, where to enter the stadium, which elevator to get on, where to get off the elevator and how to find the firm’s suite?

Jan did not say it but she could have added:
I am willing to do this so you do not make a complete fool of yourself in front of your most important client.

Once again, I learned the importance of identifying a problem and offering a solution.

You likely remember people in business who identified a potential problem you might face and offered a solution before you even thought of the problem. Those people are memorable and stand out in the crowd.