The one complaint heard most often from clients is that they receive little communication from their attorneys. The most important thing attorneys can do for their clients is keep them informed on how their case is progressing. Keeping your clients informed makes them feel in control, knowledgeable, and makes it easier for them to trust you. Having your clients’ trust will make the case run a lot smoother for both of you. This is their case, and their problem that needs to be resolved, you are there to help them along.
Steps to take
There are steps a lawyer can take to ensure that you are communicating well with your client throughout the entire process.
* Put yourself in their shoes – Consider if the tables were turned. How would you want to be treated? When would you want to hear from your attorney? In what type of manner would you want to be spoken to?
* If you deliver bad news, stop acting like a lawyer. In Marjorie Corman Aaron’s book -Client Science: Advice for Lawyers on Counseling Clients through Bad News and Other Legal Realities, she explains that once bad news is received, you are now counselor. Try to calm them and stop explaining or allow them time to calm.
* Have a welcoming front office – Those who you hire to represent you from the beginning can make a difference. You want your clients to be comfortable with the atmosphere as well as all of the staff.
* Explain the process to your client – Many clients may not have ever dealt with the law before. Take the time to explain how the process works, how there can be hiccups, and how you will do everything you can to help them.
* Send weekly or bi-weekly updates – Make sure your client always knows what has already happened, what will happen next, and then the possible future plans.
If you follow the above steps you will have a great legal relationship with your client. The key to any successful attorney-client relationship is trust. If they trust that you will treat them and their case with respect, and you do, you are both set on a path towards success.