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KNOW THYSELF - In yesterday’s Law.com Trendspotter column, we noted how difficult it can be for firms to know how they’re viewed by their attorneys and staff, which can lead to misguided and misunderstood messaging when it comes to things like, say, office returns. But that lack of self-awareness can also be highly damaging when it comes to plotting an overall firm strategy, Law.com’s Patrick Smith reports. If you don’t know how you’re viewed by your clients and in the market place, you don’t really know who your peers are, which means your entire approach may be based on a misconception. To avoid this, Precious Owodunni, founder and CEO of legal consulting firm Mountaintop Consulting, told Smith she puts the law firms she works with through a process-oriented benchmarking system to find whether the law firm perceives itself the same way clients do. “The typical outcome is that we have a more refined view of who their clients and stakeholders see as their peer group,” she said. “And that is an important sanity check. Once you know that, you can make more thoughtful decisions and build on your existing brand.”