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Yesterday I noted in passing the client objection to paying for meetings. This is also a question that has come up repeatedly at recent training courses I've done.
In all my years on the client side, I usually pushed against paying for meetings involving, say, three or more people. I'm very aware that many meetings - probably the majority - are poorly run, inefficient, and often an excuse to act like you're working on something without really accomplishing much. (See yesterday's footnote on the physics definition of "work.")
A well-run meeting can be the most efficient way of working on a given aspect of a matter. Here are two examples:
I think a good lead attorney can make a case for billing for effective meetings.
Can she make the case stick in today's economic environment? That's another story, of course, but it's certainly worth discussing and negotiating. Some clients recognize just how important good communication is to the outcome of a matter.
The key is to make the meetings effective. I have some tips on running effective meetings in my book Legal Project Management, and I've begun incorporating more content on this topic into some of my courses for those clients recognizing that the efficiency and productivity gains of Legal Project Management stem from a wide variety of sources.
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