Tulkinghorn understands that it’s all about differentiation these days – law firms all do pretty much the same thing after all – but has Harrison Clark gone too far?
The firm has chosen to compare itself to an animal on its website.
A dog, to be more specific. Indeed, a Dalmatian, to be precise.
“Why?”, Tulkinghorn hears you ask.
Over to you, HC: “You are bound to be wondering about our Dalmatian. Well, just like Harrison Clark, Dalmatians are well-muscled, mid-sized, elegant, active, and thrive on human companionship.”
Some lesser attributes include stubbornness and a genetic predisposition to deafness, but Tulkinghorn will let the reader decide which attributes Harrison Clark most has in common with this particular breed of canine.
Of course, Dalmatians are also known for their loyal nature, so whatever your legal needs, if you’ve got a ’spot’ of bother Harrison Clark assures you on its website that it is “with you every step of the way”.
Just be careful where you step.
So do Harrison Clarke’s lawyers smell their clients’ crotches?
The pervasive influence of management-speak is one of the banes of modern life. Most sane people have their favourite examples of gibberish that make the blood boil and encourage them to reach for the Glenmorangie before lunch.
Tulkinghorn has always been particularly alarmed whenever confronted with offers to ’circle back’, ’reach out’ or ’touch base’, being perennially unsure of where base was in the first place.
Some law firms, however, seem bent on bastardising our once great language in ever more loathsome ways.
Take, if you must, Lewis Silkin, which has chosen to identify its three core sectors by inventing words. Okay, ’landscape’ is fine, ’mediascape’ is borderline, but ’peoplescape’? What does it even mean?
If one squints it even starts to look like ’people escape’, which suggests that Lewis Silkin is less a law firm and more a minimum security prison. Or, perhaps to stick with the media theme, a television show: I’m a Lewis Silkin partner, get me out of here!
Flint Bishop has come up with a novel way of sorting the wheat from the chaff, at least when it comes to whittling down trainee applicants.
The Derby firm had around 750 applicants for four positions in this year’s round, interviewing a dozen. All were compentent, so how to make the final choice?
Well, HR head Angie Whittingham came up with the bright idea of giving each candidate two quid and sending them out to the local pound shop. Their mission? Choose two products that represent them and the firm, then present their reasons why to a panel.
One wise potential trainee popped back an hour later, pulled out an Etch A Sketch and explained her reasoning.
“It’s a blank canvas, which reflects my desire to learn, but it has tools on it already, reflecting my education and the experience I’d bring to the role,” said the lawyer wannabe. “It also has an eraser, because as a trainee I’ll clearly be making mistakes.”
Not this time though. Etch A Sketch girl was everyone’s number one choice, snaring not only a handy tool for drawing grainy pictures for a couple of quid, but also a berth at Flint Bishop.
Bet she can’t draw a circle though.
Sign of the times
Tulkinghorn is grateful to Christopher Jones of London’s CJ Jones Solicitors for this holiday snap that prompted him to contact this mighty organ with the following: “Could I ask The Lawyer, as a public service, to request that the profession ceases interrupting the ’shopping experience’ of customers at Whole Foods Market in Beverley Hills? We have clearly been getting on their nerves.”
Tulkinghorn thanks you Christopher. Request granted.