For the Firm, who and what its Clients are and the relationship between the Firm and its Clients are issues of major importance. The Firm views the professional services that it provides not as a business but as a profession, a vocation. While the Firm necessarily cannot ignore the financial aspects of its profession, the Firm is founded on a fundamental belief that if the Firm remains focused on serving its Clients in the truest professional sense, the dollars will take care of themselves.
The Firm is in the profession of law, not in the business of law. The Firm prefers to operate on a handshake. The Firm does not ask its Clients to sign engagement letters except in those discrete instances required by the Canons of Ethics and in the transition of a professional joining the Firm who is serving clients under unexpired engagement letters. The ties that bind the Firm to its Clients are not contractual. The Firm is first and last a “relationship” law firm. The Firm is not the right law Firm if there is not going to be a real relationship with the Client. Once the Firm decides to accept a Client, the Firm is making a commitment to that relationship which, for the most part, is a commitment that is made regardless of the Client’s ability to pay for the professional services provided by the Firm at various points in the relationship. The Firm serves its Clients through good times and bad times. The Firm is not a “fair weather” law firm.
If the Firm is going to make that kind of commitment and is prepared to give up the evenings, the weekends, the vacations, and the personal lives of its professionals and staff, the Firm needs to have a relationship with its Client that motivates the Firm to want to subordinate its own time and financial interests to the needs of the Client. From the Firm’s point of view, that motivation needs to be driven not by the desire to be paid a fee, but by the desire to carry out the professional commitment to serve its Client and solve the Client’s problems. The Firm would like to think that a Client cannot buy the Firm’s commitment with a check.