Imagine being completely clueless while going through a legal process while working with a lawyer you’re not comfortable working with. Comfort, clarity, and mutual trust are a must in every client-lawyer relationship.
Every client expects their lawyer to be 100% committed to their case. Clients go through a complex legal process so it only makes sense to work with someone who knows how the legal environment works. For instance, divorce lawyers have a huge responsibility to handle the marriage separation of their clients. In turn, the client trusts the lawyer to make sure everything goes smoothly from handling the divorce petition to the final steps of the case.
Maintaining a good client-lawyer relationship is vital to the success of any case. It’s also the key aspect of attaining the client’s objectives during the representation. That’s why it’s important to establish and maintain a good working relationship with any client from the commencement of the case to its conclusion.
Although not all people want to rely on legal counsel, most people will be needing them at some point. To ensure a solid client-lawyer relationship, here’s what most clients are expecting from their lawyers.
One common concern between clients and lawyers is the lack of communication. Clients need lawyers who have the initiative to update them about the case progress. Cases that involve a high-stake subject can sometimes leave clients anxious about how their case is faring with the opponent’s side. Most of them would even call the lawyer regularly to stay updated.
But lawyers are often the busiest people. They deal with a handful of clients on a regular basis that it’s natural for them to show up at several meetings each day and receive numerous calls and messages. While it’s never easy to accommodate all clients at the same time, it’s essential to create a uniform communication system with clients and those within your business network.
Clients hate it when their call gets unreturned or their email or text message gets unanswered. Lawyers also want the same thing, especially if they need important information from the client.
Unprompted communication, or communicating without being encouraged or assisted is very easy to do, but not all lawyers do this. Reach out to the client by sending regular updates, whether’s it’s important or not. This is a great way to establish a relationship and demonstrate strong involvement in the case at hand.
But if you’re too busy to answer a message from the client, leave a short message by letting them know you’ll return their message within the day.
All lawyers have a legal responsibility to stay diligent in representing a client. Lawyers have a set of rules to follow according to professional conduct, where they have to act with promptness and reasonable diligence on the client’s behalf.
The term diligence covers a range of professional behavior from managing reasonable workloads to arriving for meetings on time. They also need to communicate with clients promptly even during inconvenient situations.
Beyond the usual commitments, lawyers have to deal with a lot of heavy demands in response to being diligent. For instance, the lawyer must pursue all matters related to the client despite obstruction, opposition, and personal inconvenience. This means the lawyer has to abandon everything, including personal matters to accommodate the needs of their client.
Whether it’s about managing daily commitments or major obligations, developing a consistent routine can help monitor and attend to all obligations.
Arrives on time
Aside from communication, arriving on time is one of the biggest issues among clients with their lawyers. No matter the situation, most lawyers often have a tough time appearing early on appointments and staying committed to their schedule.
One main cause of this issue is when the lawyer has unreasonable workloads. To stay committed with clients, it’s vital to have a manageable workload. Don’t be like lawyers who take several clients at the same time, making it difficult for them to respond to calls and show up on their appointments.
Missed dates and late appointments can easily damage the client-lawyer relationship. Although it doesn’t affect the client’s interests in essence, unreasonable delays can cause the client stress and anxiety, which can also affect their trust in their lawyer.
Every client-lawyer relationship is unique, so it’s important to adopt different approaches when establishing professional relationships within the legal sector. This can make a big difference in creating trust and comfort for both parties. So whether you’re fighting for a client or working with a lawyer, remember our suggestions above to ensure a quality relationship beyond the case at hand.