My predictions for 2011

first_img Get connected or get out of the kitchen Visit the Gazette’s blogs page for more In Business blogs Related articles This time last year I wrote a blog for the Gazette that predicted a major change in 2010. I suggested that solicitors firms and new legal service providers would be divided into two broad groups – those that used web-based systems to deliver services to clients and those that didn’t. I was wrong – that divide hasn’t been clearly seen yet and other marketing management questions have had a higher profile. As with all research and development work, a negative result should be as valuable as a positive one. What analysis led me to that prediction, what was wrong with that analysis and how can it help us work out where to concentrate on in 2011? Looking at this now I picked the wrong issue. While I maintain that web delivery will be a significant differentiator between firms in the future, what has emerged as the choice in 2010 is the promotional groups and other businesses offering to connect firms with new and existing clients. Quality Solicitors, High Street Lawyer, Contact Law and several others have offered solicitors promotional solutions to protect their firms from the ABS-type businesses already here and planned for 2011. To join or not to join has been a question debated in many partners’ meetings around the country in 2010. This is still a valid marketing management question for 2011. What resources can your firm buy in to, to help protect and develop your firm’s market share? This remains a central question for senior and managing partners to consider. The one issue that struck me while re-reading the article from January 2010 was the consumer or demand side of the legal services sector. The general consumer and SME business are still mostly unaware of the benefits of solicitors’ services, use them too infrequently to care or retain information, and are often afraid of the costs or consequences of instructing a solicitor. The Ministry of Justice’s ongoing and other consumer surveys may provide an indication as to whether the consumers and SMEs are changing their views on using solicitors. For 2011 this lack of consumer understanding remains both a threat and an opportunity, while providing a valuable target for all concerned with delivering legal services. If your firm can regularly inform your past satisfied clients about the benefit of the services you offer while providing easy access for them to start to get a solution to their legal needs then you have the ability to compete in the market. There are many ways to achieve this, and lots of businesses able to help you understand and implement the changes needed to compete. However, the central point I missed in my prediction for 2010 was the slowness of solicitors’ firms to change and adopt new methods of working for clients. Speed of change will remain a barrier to firms’ future success, so senior and managing partners need to consider this alongside the other marketing management questions. How quickly and efficiently can we change our firm to take advantage of the changing market? I would suggest there is still an ‘early mover’ advantage for some firms that take decisive steps forward in marketing management. For 2011 I will attempt another prediction and again review it in a year’s time. The arrival of ABSs in October 2011 will come and go, but not with a big bang. We will continue to see innovations in the delivery of legal services and new businesses setting up to provide easy consumer and SME access to their legal services needs. Competitive pressure on prices and margins will only increase and we will see a lot more general legal advertising. Whichever side of the ABS fence you are on, efficiently and effectively providing legal services profitably to clients will remain the central management and marketing challenge. It’s still all to play for in 2011. The end of the article 12 months ago still remains true for 2011: ‘It will be the focus on servicing clients’ needs that will be the mark of success in 2010.’ Legal services reform: baseline surveylast_img read more

Utah Utes basketball: Drca hopes to stay hot, lead Utes to MWC title

first_imgSALT LAKE CITY — For Luka Drca, it’s his last chance as well as his first.As the only senior playing on the Utah men’s basketball team — now that Kim Tillie is sidelined for a couple of weeks with a knee injury — Drca wants to make the best of his senior season and perhaps take home another Mountain West Conference championship.Drca and his teammates get their first chance today to show off their MWC title when TCU pays a visit to the Huntsman Center for a 1:30 p.m. contest.The 7-7 Utes are coming off a pair of their best performances of the season, which also happened to be perhaps Drca’s best two games of the season.In a 69-47 win over UT-San Antonio, Drca scored a career-high 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting. And in the come-from-behind 61-59 win at LSU, Drca led the team with 14 points, 5 assists and 2 steals and was the best player on the floor, according to coach Jim Boylen.”We’re all excited,” Drca said. “We, as older guys, know about conference play and talk to the younger ones about it. It means a lot to me because it is my last conference play.”Drca feels his team has played solid defense most of the year but has to play better on offense. Going 13-for-21 from the field in the last two games is a big improvement for Drca; he shot 37 percent before that.”I’ve picked up my game,” he said. “I was struggling with the shooting at the beginning of the season, but it’s coming around. I think I put too much pressure on myself earlier in the year.”TCU (8-7) is coming off a 59-50 victory over Air Force in its conference opener Wednesday night in Fort Worth. The Horned Frogs are just 1-4 in road games this year, with their win coming at SMU, 60-53.The Horned Frogs are led by forward Zvonko Buljan, at 14.6 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Point guard Ronnie Moss is right behind him at 14.5 points per game and leads the MWC in assists at 6.5 per game. Other starters are guard Edvinas Ruzgas (13.1 ppg), forward Kevin Butler (6.7 ppg) and guard Greg Hill (6.5 ppg).”Their team’s quickness has always bothered us, and they’re fast again this year,” said Boylen. “They have team speed and multiple ball-handlers. Buljan is one of the better players in the league, and Moss is a very difficult guard to cover. They’re very disciplined on the offensive end, they’re difficult to guard and they’ll put a lot of pressure on us.”With Tillie out, the Utes are expected to start true freshman Shawn Glover at forward in a lineup that includes David Foster, Jace Tavita, Marshall Henderson and Drca. Carlon Brown and Jay Watkins will come off the bench and play major minutes, along with Jason Washburn.Utah is 11-4 all-time against TCU and has won the last three games against the Horned Frogs.Following today’s game, the Utes go on the road for a game next week against New Mexico on Wednesday night and one at UNLV next Saturday. They’ll play TCU again in Fort Worth on Feb. 10.Utes on the airTCU (8-7, 1-0 MWC) at Utah (7-7, 0-0)Today, 1:30 p.m.; Huntsman CenterTV: The mtn. Radio: 700 AMe-mail: [email protected]last_img read more