Do you remember the first time you sent an important update to clients by email rather than regular mail?
I remember doing it in February, 1999. The USDOT had just issued the “Final Rule” changing some regulations that impacted highway contractors. I had prepared three memos when the Notice of Proposed Rule Making came out. When the Final Rule was issued I edited the memos to account for changes and began emailing my memos one by one to all of my clients. I remember thinking how incredible it was to be able to send an alert to clients the very day it happened.
I began practicng law in 1971. I like to tell people that more changed between 2000 to 2010 than changed from 1971 to 2000. Since 2000, clients have changed, the economy has changed and technology has changed.
Think about it: In 2000, Enron, WorldCom, and Lehman Brothers were “Blue Chip” clients. Financing was available to growing businesses. The Government was not bailing out major industries. On December 28, 2000 President Clinton posted: The United States on Track to Pay Off the Debt by End of the Decade. Read this and you will find the OMB said:
The United States can be debt-free this decade.
In 2000, law firms were fighting each other to recruit the best talent from law schools. Young lawyers were working harder for the greatly increased pay and were seeking balance.
In 2000, Google had just been launched.Lawyers did not have Blackberries or iPhones on their hip. Lawyers were not blogging, doing podcasts or webinars. Lawyers were not connecting on LinkedIn, friending on Facebook or tweeting on Twitter.
They say 2000 to 2010 was the decade of change. It certainly was. How did your firm change? How did your clients change? How did you change? What changes are you making now?