We all know that clients don’t like surprises. In litigation, they want to know what matters will cost and the likelihood of an adverse outcome. For lawyers to add value then, we need to figure out ways to control or account for a range of variables.

Copyright:  / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo

Today’s clients don’t just want lawyers who get good results. They want lawyers who can deliver those results efficiently and on budget. That was the message from a seminar I attended this morning by Timothy B. Corcoran, who writes Corcoran’s Business of Law blog.

The laws change. Judges make unpredictable rulings. Opposing lawyers take unreasonable positions. (Not me, obviously.) So maybe we can’t precisely quantify every variable that impacts a litigation budget.But we need to get better at telling clients what to expect and not waiting for the next bill to let them know if our predictions were off. After all, law firms expect their vendors to deliver at the budgeted price. Why should our clients expect less from us?