Strengthening Client Relationships During COVID-19

Client needs are evolving. Has your service model kept pace?
Learn how to innovate and adapt to build better, sustainable relationships.

This program will focus on:

Identifying changing client needs
Becoming more client-centric
Advancing client service through technology
Adapting your communication style
Maximizing social media and website content to reassure clients
Developing flexible fee arrangements and billing practices
Improving client retention and renewing relationships


Wednesday, December 2, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time.  This is a live, online webinar. 

Register Now!

Registration is open for Strengthening Client Relationships During COVID-19.

Who Should Attend?

Lawyers, legal staff, conflict managers, or office administrators – anyone interested in improving client relationships during challenging times.

Group Discounts

Discounts available to firms who wish to register 5 or more attendees. Contact organizer to arrange a discount code before registering:

Does the Program Include Written Materials?

Yes. Written materials will be distributed electronically to attendees.

Questions, Live Polling, and MCLE

Questions are welcome during the live event.  Attendees are also encouraged to participate in live, anonymous polling. OSB MCLE credit pending.

All Rights Reserved 2020 Beverly Michaelis

Last Chance to Register for 7 Steps to Building Better Client Relationships

Last Call to Register for “7 Steps to Building Better Client Relationships”

Join me for a CLE on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 about how to cultivate your network, balance client expectations, proactively control social media content, meet client needs, and become more client-centric by exploring the 7 steps to building better client relationships:

  • Capturing better clients
  • Polishing communication skills
  • Advancing client service through technology and staff
  • Managing social media
  • Improving client satisfaction
  • Strengthening client retention
  • Renewing relationships

Topics include how to CYA the right way, how to say “no” gracefully, dos and don’ts when responding to negative online reviews, how to thank clients as part of your everyday, the simple six-step process to stay in touch, and why you should modernize fee arrangements and billing.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time. This is a live, online webinar.

Who Should Attend?

Lawyers, office administrators, or staff – anyone interested in building better client relationships.

Group Discounts

Discounts available to firms who wish to register 5 or more attendees. Contact organizer to arrange a discount code before registering:

Does the Program Include Written Materials?

Yes. Written materials are distributed electronically with your registration confirmation.

Ask Questions/Live Polling

Questions are welcome during the live event. Attendees are also encouraged to participate in live, anonymous polling.

Registration Fee

$25 – Visit the Upcoming CLE page, click here, or choose the Register button below. Secure payment processing powered by Eventbrite. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted. Program materials included in the registration price.

Eventbrite - 7 Steps to Building Better Client Relationships

MCLE Credits
1.50 practical skills pending.

Can’t Attend?

Video and audio recordings of 7 Steps to Building Better Client Relationships will be available to download along with the program materials following the December 6 CLE. Price: $25. Contact me or visit my online CLE store after December 6.

All Rights Reserved [2017] Beverly Michaelis

Missed Opportunities

Are you missing out on opportunities to grow your practice, improve client retention, or expand marketing?  quoteBefore you rush to answer, “No, of course not!” take a little time to reflect….

First things first: What am I talking about and why should you care?

In this context, a “missed opportunity” is an opening where you could have done something, but didn’t. The “something” could be complicated and expensive, which is a justifiable reason to let the opportunity pass.  But more often than not, the “something” is easy and free (or very low-cost).

Missing out on a free or inexpensive marketing opportunity that takes minimal effort is practically criminal.  And with that statement, I’ve answered my other question: why you should care.

Simple, no-cost marketing opportunities

A simple, no-cost marketing opportunity is any opening where you can leverage existing client communication to your advantage. Consider these examples:

Better client closing letters

The typical closing or disengagement letter conveys fairly perfunctory information: “Dear Client, I’m done.  Here’s my bill.  I’m closing your file.”

If you don’t mind missing out on marketing opportunities, continue sending routine, mechanical closing letters.  If you prefer to leverage this existing client communication to your advantage, do the following:

  • Take three extra minutes to humanize and personalize your closing letter.  Show appreciation for something the client did or said during the case.  “I know it was tedious to sift through all the pages of discovery we received, but finding (the smoking gun) completely changed the outcome of the case.”  “I know listening to the testimony of (defendant) wasn’t easy by a long shot, but you kept your composure and it paid off.”
  • Close the door on the task at hand, but not on the client.  Invite the client to call you ANY TIME he or she is in need of help.  Even if it isn’t your area of expertise, you can be the conduit to other lawyers who can assist the client.
  • Cross-sell other areas of practice.
  • Ask for and invite referrals.
  • If you use eNewsletters or Constant Contact marketing add the client to your mailing list (or extend an invitation).  [For a comparison of email marketing services, see this review on attorneyatwork.]
  • Consider enclosing a client satisfaction survey.  More on this next.

Client satisfaction surveys

Are you meeting your clients’ needs?  Or do you assume that client needs are met because you haven’t received any complaints lately?

If the latter is true, it’s time to screw up your courage and start sending out client surveys. A well-written client survey will quickly let you know what you’re doing right and what you need to improve.  Send them with your closing letter, or shortly thereafter.

For free resources and samples, see this post.

TREAT clients well: before, during, and after representation

After slaving over emails, pleadings, contracts, and billings – the “tangibles” of your law practice – you may be surprised to learn that clients place higher value on timeliness, responsiveness, empathy, and assurance.  This phenomenon is encapsulated in the TREAT approach to interacting with clients.  Following the principles in TREAT costs you nothing, but makes a huge difference in how clients perceive you and your firm. Read about how to use TREAT before, during, and after representation in this post. [Online client intake can be managed with services like Lexicata.]

Thank clients for referrals

Nothing says “I take you for granted” more than failing to thank your client for a referral. In reverse order of preference:

  • An email or text is okay, but can come across as cold or aloof to some clients. Use this approach only when you know it fits within the client’s milieu.
  • A handwritten note or card is a nice touch that stands out – hard to imagine any client who wouldn’t appreciate it.
  • A call is even better.  Over the phone the client can hear your tone and true appreciation for the referral. Use this chance to reconnect.  “How are you?  How is (spouse’s name)?”  Yes, it is always possible the client may share news that isn’t 100% positive, but the point is to stay connected.  You may learn that the client you were calling to thank also needs your help.
  • A call followed by a handwritten note may just be the one-two punch of all “thank yous.”  Yes, it involves the most effort and also takes a bit of expense.

Remember: the point here is to thank the person who thought enough of you to send a friend or family member your way.  Keep that in mind when you choose how you’re going to thank clients.

Parting thoughts

This is just a start.  Look for other opportunities in everyday practice to build client relationships, improve client retention, and leverage marketing.

[All Rights Reserved 2016 Beverly Michaelis]


Effective Communication in 3 Simple Tips

A must-share post from our friends at NW Sidebar:

Communicating with others is critical for becoming a successful lawyer. Doing it right is as easy as these three tips:

  • Listen actively to build trust
  • Understand differences
  • Appreciate and adapt to how others think

Read the full post here.


Learning the Ropes 2013

Are you new to private practice? Then I have just the ticket for you!

Attend our three day conference – Learning the Ropes: A Practical Skills & Ethics Workshop – for a mere $65.  Attendance at the full program satisfies the MCLE requirements for new admittees’ first reporting period.

Choose from these concurrent sessions:

  • Domestic Relations or Criminal Law
  • Tort Litigation or Estate Planning
  • Civil Motion Practice or Bankruptcy
  • Creating a Firm or Joining a Firm

Can’t decide?  All tracks are recorded for later viewing at no charge.

Plenary sessions include:

  • How to Develop a Successful Practice and Avoid Legal Malpractice
  • Client Communication and Other Practice Management Survival Tips
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • The Ethics of Practice Management
  • Recognizing Child Abuse and Fulfilling Your Duty to Report
  • Negotiation Tips, Tricks, Traps, and Tools
  • Courtroom Do’s and Don’ts
  • Employment Law and Conscientious Communication
  • Bridging the Cultural Gap

Day 1 includes a “Meet the Judges” luncheon.  Day 2 features a networking luncheon with bar leaders and respected practitioners in the fields of Appeals, Criminal Law, Employment Law, Intellectual Property, Business Litigation, Debtor/Creditor Law, Estate Planning, Litigation, Business Transactions, Elder Law, Family Law, and Real Estate.

All meals, including the luncheons, are included in your $65 workshop fee.  The program is at the Oregon Convention Center November 6-8, 2013.  Register here or visit the PLF Web site > Upcoming Seminars (under the heading Loss Prevention – CLE).  Sign up early.  Space is limited!

Copyright 2013 Beverly Michaelis