Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's All About the Client!

In his article entitled An Increased Focus on Improving Client Satisfaction Is Your Formula for Success, Jim Calloway writes:

So, who is the most important person in your office?

In a large firm, this question may invoke thoughts of the founding partner or managing partner. The staff in the solo practitioner’s office may believe the most important person to be the lawyer, while the lawyer may think of the office manager or the employee who makes sure that the bills go out each month. The new lawyer, brimming with confidence and excitement about law practice, may think (but, hopefully, would not say) “it’s me.”

But no matter what size of law firm is involved, the most important people are the clients. For without the clients, there really is no private law practice. (Yes, I know that many of you reading this column immediately answered this question correctly.)

During the recent New Lawyer Experience program, I discussed with those setting up new law practices how important it is for clients to be satisfied with how they are treated by the lawyer and the lawyer’s office, even if they may not be satisfied with the result in their legal matter. After all, in litigation, for example, there are winners and losers. Hopefully all law firm personnel understand that a commitment to excellent client service and communication is an integral part of operations of the successful 21st century law firm.

But there’s a bit more involved than just doing great work and having great client communications. Generally speaking, we are satisfied when our expectations are met and dissatisfied when our expectations are violated.

So with every new engagement, some time should be devoted to ascertaining both the client’s expectations with the substantive legal work at hand and making sure that the client has reasonable expectations about the process and the law firm’s methods of operations. It is certainly no secret that some legal matters take some time to complete. The client should understand after the initial engagement what a reasonable time frame is and what types of contingencies might cause that time frame to be even longer.

There are more gold nuggets in the remainder of the article. Please click here for the entire read.

Please be sure to visit www.hardinglaw.com, the website for the law firm of Harding & Associates, for more information on California family law.

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