This is part 4 of a four-part series on the rise of the midsized law firm in litigation. Parts 1,2,3,4.
In the previous three parts of this four-part series, I have made the case that midsized law firms, those in roughly the 100-500 lawyer range, are being trusted with more and more large-scale litigation. This litigation used to go to large firms almost exclusively, and midsized firms have wrestled it away with attractive pricing. We have noticed this trend anecdotally, and everyone from the ABA Journal to the Wall Street Journal confirmed the shift by the end of 2013.
The challenge for midsized law firms is this: their clients expect big law firm results at midsized law firm prices. One way to achieve that success is to rely on litigation consultants who have been trusted for decades by large law firms and the same clients now hiring midsized firms. It's not usually talked about publicly, but there is usually a great litigation consulting firm behind a great litigation result.
To follow up on articles about litigation graphics, jury consulting and the use of trial technicians, this article offers nine more lessons that didn't quite fit into the previous three articles but are no less important for midsized law firms as they take on high-stakes litigation.
1. The Cost of Litigation Consultants is a Drop in the Bucket: Yes, litigation consultants cost money, but it is a complete myth that we cost a lot of money. We are usually a very small percentage of the legal fees in any case. And the difference between hiring an outstanding litigation consultant and a mediocre one can be the difference between winning and losing a trial – yet the difference in cost is hardly measurable.
2. Litigation Consultants Are An Investment with Measurable ROI: As we described in parts 1-3 of this series, there is real measurable value in what we do. Today’s litigation best practices include the extensive use of visual aids, the regular use of a trial technician to manage electronic evidence at trial, and the use of one or more mock-trial-type exercises.
3. Litigation Consultants Help Develop a Story and Theme: Developing your story or theme is one of the best things we can help you do. Most people understand anything more readily if it is in the form of a narrative. See Storytelling for Litigators: Building a Great Narrative for Judge & Jury
4. You Need to Know Who Is Really a Litigation Consultant: Find someone who is a real litigation consultant and not just a glorified technician. See Who Is, and Who Isn’t, a Litigation Consultant?
5. What is a Good Timeline for Using Litigation Consultants: For a major case, one year is not too long a period of time to plan ahead. See Sample One-Year Trial Prep Calendar for High Stakes Cases
6. You Need to Stay Educated by Subscribing to Blogs: Most blogs are free of charge and they can help you stay up to date in the rapidly changing field of litigation consulting. See The Top 14 Blogs for Litigators & Litigation Support Professionals. Our blog was recently chosen as one of the top 100 blogs in the legal industry by the American Bar Association. You can claim a free subscription here: http://a2.lc/safe_subscribe (opens new window).
7. You Need to subscribe to LinkedIn Groups: Discussions are going on all the time. Be a part of them, or at least get a sense of what is happening. See 21 LinkedIn Groups Litigators and Litigation Support Will LOVE
8. Social Media is Your Friend: This is an unparalleled resource. Make use of it. See [Free E-Book Download] Social Media for Litigators and Lit Support
9. Litigation Consultants can be your bridge in big cases. Firms like A2L Consulting and maybe four other firms nationally are in a position to help a mid-sized firm get results like a large firm does. Indeed, we are a repository of best practices. This may be one of the best reasons for in-house counsel to insist that a litigation consulting firm be used and create a preferred vendor program for this purpose.
Other articles related to the use of litigation consultants in high-stakes litigation:
- Free Download: The BIG Litigation E-Book
- Articles in this series on midsized law firms: Part 1: 16 Litigation Graphics Lessons for Mid-Sized Law Firms; Part 2: 8 Trial Technician-Related Tips for Midsized Law Firms; Part 3: 17 Trial Consulting and Jury Consulting Tips for Midsized Law Firms
- 11 Things Your Colleagues Pay Litigation Consultants to Do
- 12 Insider Tips for Choosing a Jury Consultant
- 5 Things Every Jury Needs From You
- 10 Key Steps After: "I've Got a Case I Might Need Help With”
- Accepting Litigation Consulting is the New Hurdle for Litigators