Creating strong attorney-client relationships is crucial to your firm. It is more likely you will be recommended if your clients have a good experience. It goes beyond simply being professional. And, SimpleLaw is here to help. We’ve created a list of five things that we believe to be central to building strong attorney-client relationships.
Every relationship is based on trust. It’s important to create trust between an attorney and client. Therefore, attorneys need to listen thoughtfully to each client’s story. And, take note of their concern. Remember to reply quickly to their requests, as well as answering questions thoughtfully. In other words, treat clients the way you would like them to treat you. A client trusts you to provide them with options, if available, and answers. Not to mention using your expertise to help them make the best possible decision. Clients need to feel comfortable knowing their attorney will handle their case professionally and in a timely manner.
Clients aren't likely informed in the law. Particularly legal terminology. So, make sure your discussion rely on the most common language possible. Sure, sometimes it isn't possible. But taking the time to explain the concept, application, and how it affects their personal situation is always a good idea. Balance that with treating your clients with the utmost respect. Clients come from many backgrounds, experiences, and education levels. You don't need to dumb it down. Just explain it in easy to understand, clear terms.
Put the Client First
Clients should feel at ease with their attorneys. The client needs to know that their needs are important to their attorney. No one wants to feel like just another thing on someones list of things to do. So, show your client that you’re there for them. Even if that means taking random phone calls, emails and more. Be prepared to give clients advice that is in their best interest. Advocate what is best for them, clearly laying out the options and explaining your perspective and how the law may affect the outcome. Recognize the unique needs and interests of each client. Make good on your promises. Project confidence. Seek feedback. And, most importantly, be open to the feedback.
It’s commonly known that people like to be around happy and upbeat people. If you’re dreary or have low energy, your client might question your dedication or feel that you may not be able to handle their case. So, your attitude greatly affects how a client sees you. When a client seeks you out, they are going through troubling times and need you to lighten their load. It’s important to let your clients know that you are listening to them. And let them know you will do everything you can to support them through the process. By having a confident disposition, especially during the first meeting, you can greatly reduce a client’s worries.
Be Open to a Broad Relationship
Be open to your clients interest in getting to know you. And their openness to letting you get to know them. Some clients prefer a strictly business relationship. Likewise, others prefer a more personal aspect as well. So, be open to getting to know your client beyond their legal case. There are many possible benefits. First, it builds on the trust in your relationship as it shows clients that you care about them. Second, this helps you to build a more broad relationship with your client and make communication easier. Finally, it reassures clients that you are more than just an attorney. However, make sure it doesn’t become too personal. You client isn’t looking to make a lifelong friend. Be able to find that balance.
Each client-attorney relationship is unique because, well, each attorney and client are unique. Spending some time to focus on the quality of the relationship builds bridges beyond the case at hand.