It's relationships, stupid. That's one of the mottos of our firm. It came about from an experience Michael Goldring and I had while at our prior law firm. The law firm was holding a weekend retreat, to encourage, among other things, marketing. Michael, who loves technology, used his bulky cell phone extensively. (This was in the late 90s.)
Michael spoke about one of his techniques at attracting and keeping clients. He pulled out his telephone and said he was available to his clients 24-7. He explained that in the health care world, some of his clients worked odd hours, and needed to contact him at night or on the weekends. Michael's responsiveness was a key component in gaining clients' trust and loyalty.
Later, one of the senior partners addressed the firm and said that no one needed to carry a cell phone like Michael did. He was somewhat condescending in his critique of Michael and it showed. As this lawyer droned on, Michael responded, "It's relationships stupid."
Michael, Bob Fishman and I left the law firm for the greener pastures of Fishman, Larsen & Goldring. It was the best professional decision of my life. And as we started, then grew, the law firm, we have emphasized to the incoming lawyers that it is indeed about relationships. We encourage our lawyers to develop professional relationships with clients. We want to get to know our clients' workplaces, their industries, their challenges and concerns. We believe that we can better serve our clients when we understand their circumstances.
We think this has been a successful strategy in our business plan. Not only is it a good marketing strategy, it is the right way to practice law and do business.
Michael, who is an expert in health care law, has been offered an opportunity to become a Senior Vice President at Children's Hospital Central California. He has accepted the offer and will start his new duties in February. Improving health care in the Valley has been Michael's passion. He has very personal, as well as professional, experience in the health care delivery system. These experiences will serve him, and our community, well as he assumes his postion at Children's Hospital.
We wish Michael the best. Of course, we will miss him in our office. But we will retain many things that he has taught us, including "It's relationships stupid."