We lawyers like to believe that we deliver intellectual services tailored to specific client needs — not a packaged product easily available from a number of sources. We like to believe that we build professional relationships with our clients based on mutual trust and respect — not vendor-customer relationships based on price. We like to believe that if we perform well today we will be hired again tomorrow — not that we have to re-justify our hiring with every new matter.

The good news is that these optimistic beliefs carry a great deal of truth. Clients value good advice, want counsel they trust and respect, and are inclined to hire successful performers on a repeated basis. But what some outside counsel fail to realize is that we do not live in an either/or world. Simply achieving the typical markers of success is no longer enough. In addition, outside counsel must reconcile the tension between the old model of trusted adviser and the new client emphasis on cost-saving metrics.

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