In 2019 the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System and AVVO partnered up to better understand what clients value in their lawyers. The result?
A 32-page report reflecting client preferences, needs, and expectations. Here are some of the key findings:
It’s no surprise that what matters most to clients is promptness. When you can’t respond promptly, ask staff to reach out. Use outgoing messages or auto-replies that provide information about your availability then follow-up as promised.
Keep clients informed. Don’t make the client ask you for a status update. This is another area where staff can help. Let them make calls or draft emails and memos. If the client has a legal question, you can follow-up. Always copy the client on documents and case activity as the matter proceeds.
Fully answer client questions, give an honest evaluation of the case, discuss options, and review case strategies. Clients want to be in the know.
Professionalism, tolerance, sensitivity, compassion, sociability, courtesy, and respect are all part of demeanor in the client’s eyes. Clients want their lawyer to take a personal interest in their case and demonstrate qualities associated with integrity and trustworthiness.
Clients who reported positive experiences felt the lawyer’s fee was fair, reasonable, affordable, or competitive. Flexibility, including willingness to set up an alternative fee arrangement, was appreciated. Many clients emphasized the need for billing transparency and avoiding surprises.
More to Learn
As you might imagine, there is more to learn on the subject of thinking like a client. View the full report here.
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