At the Edge with Gerry Riskin

I came across the consultancy called Edge International that fixes law firms around the globe in a previous incarnation as a highly strung young candidate attorney. I found some copies of Edge the magazine they publish somewhere in my law firm and thought it had some great ideas. Never one to be a wallflower, I promptly emailed the senior partner of the firm with my suggestions for improving various systems in the firm, based on what I’d been reading. Surprisingly, and to his credit, the senior partner was pretty receptive. (Most senior partners would have swatted an upstart like me away without a further thought!) It turned out that he had worked with Gerry Riskin, the creator of Edge International, somewhere along the line and had a lot of respect for him.

Once I’d made the decision to leave the law firm after completing articles, I started desperately wondering what I’d do next. As I had noticed what a significant proportion of my time in the firm was spent figuring out how to change things, I wrote to Gerry Riskin about possibly joining Edge International.   And he wrote a kind response. When I again contacted him at the end of 2011 and referred to this exchange of emails in 2005 –I was impressed he still had them and knew what I was on about.  It’s not clear how this will unfold but I would like to work Gerry someday.  I want to work with him because he is a man of whom someone said:

“When Gerry speaks, he reaches parts of your mind that have never been used before.”
–Sue Stapely, Solicitor and Media Professional; London, England

If you’d like to find out more about Gerry, he has his own blog called Amazing Firms, Amazing Practices. The website for Edge International is also a wonderful resource. There is much I could say but for now I just want to mention what it says under their “values” section.

Our guiding philosophy is “to provide clients with more than they are paying for, more than they expect and more than anyone else would provide under the same circumstances.” We live that philosophy by extending to you our “satisfaction guarantee” that allows you to always measure whether our fees match the results being achieved, and by our very serious undertaking to provide ongoing support even after the formal assignment has concluded.

Edge International’s work is unconditionally guaranteed to the complete satisfaction of the client. If the client is not completely satisfied with the services provided by Edge International at any stage of this engagement, we will, at the client’s option, either completely waive our professional fees or accept a portion of those fees that reflects the level of satisfaction.

Wow.

Imagine if more law firms had values like this? What a different sort of place the world might be. I think it’s possible.  I want to work with lawyers and law firms that believe it is possible.

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