A Quick Guide To Running A Law Practice: Client Relations
The California Desert Trial Academy is a progressive law school tailored to meet the needs of those who may be limited to seeking a legal education on their own time rather than a set schedule. The CDTA emphasizes an academic experience that focuses on a practical approach to becoming not just a lawyer, but an attorney-advocate. Learning the skills to be an advocate gives students an expedient path to a successful and rewarding legal career.
Managing a law firm in an inefficient manner can cause professional, personnel, and financial issues. These issues include the following:
- low profits
- lost revenues
- rampant spending
- high turnover
- low morale
- poor productivity
Not only does the relationship between attorneys and clients involves communication between the parties, but it also involves the attorney’s listening skills. These skills go beyond sitting quietly, paying attention, and not talking while the client describes his or her problem. Listening skills consist of the ability to make the client feel that an attorney is tuned-in, empathetic, and genuinely caring. Attorneys may think of their listening skills as their “bedside manner.”
First and foremost, the attorney-client relationship is based on trust and the concept of attorney-client confidentiality. Clients must be honest, forthright, and always keep the lawyer current on any changes in circumstances.
Clients should expect their attorney to behave in the following manner:
- Act with no conflicts of interest;
- Act ethically according to the applicable Rules of Professional Conduct;
- Act without abusing the justice system;
- Advise clients of their legal rights and responsibilities;
- Advise clients of fees and payment procedures in a timely fashion;
- Answer the client’s questions and phone calls promptly;
- Inform the client of settlement offers and any other possible resolutions;
- Keep client matters confidential;
- Keep the client updated on case progress;
- Meet all deadlines;
- Perform the research necessary to support the client’s case;
- Perform an independent professional analysis of applicable facts and law;
- Propose a legal course of action to resolve the client’s problem;
- Provide copies of necessary and important documents to the client in a timely fashion;
- Provide the client with an honest assessment of success;
- Write and submit legal documents in a timely fashion;
- Respect and communicate the client’s decisions regarding the case;
- Treat clients with patience, courtesy, and respect; and
- Represent the client’s interests zealously, competently, and diligently;
The last two actions are much general but should help any attorney achieve success serving the needs of clients. Feelings of neglect and unimportance should never be conveyed by an attorney to any client. Successful lawyers know how to treat their clients well, in addition to providing quality legal work and representation.
The California Desert Trial Academy is a 21st Century law school tailored to meet the needs of working people. Any lawyer must study and know the law. We believe that practical experience in tandem with legal knowledge is the best road to a successful, rewarding, and prosperous legal career. At CDTA, we train, educate, and develop students to be exceptional attorneys and trial advocates. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.