I'm a sucker for the Calvin & Hobbs comic strip - its author, Bill Watterson, captures perfectly the trials and triumphs of every day life.
The article below uses a frame to illustrate his argument that law firms are selling something clients increasingly do not want.
His argument makes an interesting read. It is not about the demise of the billable hour, or its variations. It is about legal tech.
Corporate clients are increasingly buying legal services from the blossoming legal tech sector, turning to their law firms only to supplement that.
And how are law firms responding - often buying the same packages and offering them onwards.
Perhaps law firms could take a leaf out of their larger technology clients books, and buy those legal tech start-ups themselves.
Lock out the competition, create a more diverse client offer, and with it a genuine point of differentiation. Now that would be interesting.
If law firms want their clients to spend more money with them, they need to start stocking their shelves with all the other things clients now want to buy. They need to purchase legal technology startups and sell their products or services under the firm’s name. They need to acquire or rapidly build an analytics functionality and provide clients with its insights. They need to radically rethink the purpose and nature of lawyer secondments, maybe creating a “permanently seconded” lawyer trained and paid by the firm but embedded in the law department. They need to start offering fixed-fee “packages” of legal services in every industry group.