Monday Practice Tip

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  It’s just another manic Monday, which means today I dole out a practice tip for young attorneys.

During the first two weeks of practice tips, we have been focusing on the issue of having a proactive approach to your practice.  In week one we discussed proactivity in general.  Last week, we applied that theme to a young attorney’s development of key skills. 

Today, we apply a proactive mindset to another essential part of the legal practice — establishing confidence and trust in the attorney-client relationship.

Early and often communication with the client is the golden key to establishing confidence in your relationship.  Being proactive is a mindset.  Once you identify actual tasks that will help you win, you must make sure you have authority to engage in those tasks.  That authority comes from the client.  Communicating with the client is an art.  You are not just asking permission.  You are advocating your recommendation just as you would advocate to the court or to a jury. 

Make this a rule of thumb whenever communicating to the client:  First, alert the client to any updates in the status of the case (i.e., we just received discovery requests, we have a hearing on our motion to compel set next Tuesday).  Next, remind the client of the long-term goal (i.e., set the case up for summary judgment, shock and awe the opponent in discovery and set up a fast and favorable settlement).  Then, when you pitch your idea to the client, always demonstrate how your idea (the short-term goal) advances the long-term goal.  If you cannot do this, your idea is not worth implementing.  Finally, remind the client that the decision is theirs.  This type of effective communication is a key building block to a solid attorney-client relationship.  You will find clients to be far more supportive when you pitch your ideas in a way that makes them realize that you have the overall goal of the case in mind.

Tune in tomorrow for my Tuesday pop review!

Explore posts in the same categories: Practice Tips for Young Attorneys

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