One Vendor Takes A Novel Marketing Approach To Win Law Firm Business


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One Vendor Takes A Novel Marketing Approach To Win Law Firm Business

Law Office Management & Administration Report - December, 2004

How does a document translation service get a leg up on the competition? The answer for one such vendor, New York-based TransPerfect Translations (212-689-5555), is to borrow a page from the airline industry and launch its own version of a frequent flyer plan. Under the seven-month-old program, law firms that hire TransPerfect document translators or interpreters for their commercial cases earn credits that entitle them to a set amount of free TransPerfect hours in their pro bono matters. The exact formula for earning credits varies depending on how many lawyers and overseas offices a given firm has. "We try to look at a firm, and build a [pro bono] plan that really fits it," says Eric Elting, TransPerfect's director of global legal business development. But he notes that firms that do a hefty volume of document translation work can earn up to $140,000 a year in free TransPerfect services.

Since the program's launch in March 2004, more than 25 firms have signed up, according to Elting, including Baker & McKenzie, Cleary Gottlieb, Morrison & Foerster, McDermott, Will & Emery, and Foley & Lardner. And Elting says so far TransPerfect has provided some $50,000 in free translation and interpretation services for participating firms. One example: a pro bono case brought by Foley & Lardner on behalf of a 15-year-old Iraqi girl who is seeking political asylum in the U.S. "It's been a huge blessing," says Jeff Sullivan, a Foley & Lardner lawyer involved in the case, referring to the TransPerfect pro bono program. He adds that the firm has been able to earn credits for two other pro bono asylum cases as well, thanks to its having used TransPerfect on international patent filings work.

Other law firms that have signed up for the TransPerfect program are equally enthusiastic. Indeed, one director of pro bono for a large Chicago firm not only calls it a "great program," he says TransPerfect deserves credit for "the genius" of its marketing strategy. "This definitely gives the firm an edge over the competition," says this pro bono director, who did not want to be named for fear of alienating other vendors. Of course, that's exactly what TransPerfect was hoping for when it launched the pro bono program. "[Law firms] are making a commitment to TransPerfect, and we're making a commitment to them," says Elting.

About TransPerfect
With revenue of over $250 million, TransPerfect is the largest privately held language services provider in the world. From offices in 66 cities on 5 continents, TransPerfect offers a full range of services in over 100 languages to multinationals worldwide. With a global network of over 4,000 linguists and subject-area specialists, TransPerfect is the largest translation company to be fully ISO 9001:2008 and EN 15038:2006 certified. TransPerfect is headquartered in New York and has regional headquarters in London and Hong Kong. For more information, please visit our website at www.transperfect.com.

 

 
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