Amenities Of The Attorney-Client Relationship, Part One
The following tips are related to certain amenities that attorneys must offer prospective, current, and former clients. Attorneys must present themselves to the public in a courteous, dignified, professional manner during the workday whether they are in court, in a meeting, or even casually at lunch.
*Always carry enough high-quality professional business cards. Be prepared to deliver a concise yet comprehensive answer to the question: “What kind of law do you practice?”
*Be prepared to deliver brief, summaries of the law to the questions asked by prospective clients whether on the phone, at the courthouse, or at a dinner party. These “questions” are marketing opportunities.
*Be wary of prospective clients who have frequent complaints about former attorneys. Determine the underlying reasons for their dissatisfaction and decide whether they are reasonable.
*For use as referrals, collect a list of attorneys who practice in other legal areas. No attorney does everything. A client will appreciate and feel a sense of relief receiving the prompt referral of a more qualified legal professional. Any client will remember this. More importantly, follow up with the client after the referral and ask whether the client received the necessary assistance. When receiving a referral, always send a handwritten thank-you note regardless of whether you accept the matter.
*Once a legal matter has concluded, send a letter to the client summarizing the case and its conclusion while thanking the client for the opportunity to provide services. This is a priceless opportunity to explain and offer any other kinds of services that the attorney’s firm provides. This is also a good occasion to ask that the client recommend the law firm to family, friends, and other acquaintances.
*Attorneys must know what it is about them that pleases clients and what does not. When clients recommend an attorney, the attorney must know why. Ask clients about their level of satisfaction with legal services. Using short questionnaires provides a simple, useful way of collecting data related to client satisfaction.
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