Lawyers and law firms often consider themselves as client-centric. But what the clients of private legal services think of “client-centrism”? In this episode Henna and Nina talk to Juha Saarinen, Head of People & Operations Legal in Nordea Bank Finland, to find out what end-users really want from their legal services.
Law firms only exist because of their clients. But do law firms really put their clients first? Are they constantly looking for new ways of working to provide better and more efficient customer experiences, or are they actually happy with the same old, same old? Many law firms advertise themselves as client-centric, but the reality may not be more than just a buzzword on the brochure. Impressing the client by bringing an army of lawyers to a meeting may actually just be the most expensive cup of coffee he or she ever had.
One reason why private legal services are slow to change is the billable hours business model logic. To put it roughly: the more hours a lawyer works, the more money he or she can charge the customer. But shouldn’t quality defeat quantity, also in legal work? Do people really need lawyers interpreting other lawyers by writing walls of text, or would the tailored user experience and legal tech solutions be the new money making machine for the legal industry? Would that also help lawyers to live more balanced, happier lives?
Legal expertise is not enough to guarantee competitive edge for any law firm. Legal end-users want something more from their legal services than just legal knowledge: openness, sense of ownership and control. This is where Legal Design can help law firms to win their clients’ hearts. Instead of assuming that lawyers and legal services are client-centric by nature, maybe we should start asking our clients what they really need. If you haven’t asked that in a while, you can start by listening to this episode.
Juha Saarinen works at Nordea as a Head of People & Operations Legal and he is in charge of the legal operations in the legal unit of the Nordea Bank Finland. Juha is an experienced legal counsel with a history of working especially in the retail and financial industry. Juha’s goal is to take the legal unit to a new era by experiencing the wonders of legal tech and legal design and also enforcing some new thinking within the legal and financial industry.
Juha is now pushing onwards with legal operations and targeting the day-to-day efficiency and effectiveness of the legal team, facilitating change, controlling costs and managing external service providers.