We’ve all been there. Your client is on the phone (or God forbid, in your office) and he or she is rapidly approaching the point of no return. Your client is frustrated by having to work or talk to an associate attorney, paralegal, or anyone else that’s not you! Does this sound familiar to you?
“I hired you, not your [associate/paralegal/unknown job title]!”
“It isn’t your [associate/paralegal/unknown job title]’s name on the door!”
“I wouldn’t have hired you if I knew you weren’t going to handle my case!”
There is no doubt that clients get upset when expecting to only deal with the partner or principal attorney that they met at the initial consultation. I am sure they feel like they’ve been misled, tricked, palmed off, you know the drill. That’s understandable and, to a degree, it’s predictable. But there’s only so much you can do about it, right?
Well, what if there was a way to deal with it and eliminate the issue entirely? I am not suggesting that you tell the client their case is going to be handled by an associate or paralegal. Lord knows, if you said that that the client would immediately pack up and walk out the door. However, handling every detail of every case all by yourself is simply not an option. But don’t worry; I have a simple solution that has never failed me.
Most clients, if not all, are not upset or concerned about being handed off to another attorney or having a paralegal work on their case. Clients are concerned about feeling neglected. There has never been a client in the history of the law that hasn’t wanted to be the lawyer’s highest priority.
To establish in the clients mind the idea that having a paralegal or an associate work on the file is not second-class representation, I spend a fair amount of time during each consultation talking about our team. Our team works together on all files, so that we can all be up-to-date with the latest information or concerns. Our team using a sophisticated Client Management System to securely monitor your case and concerns. Our team meets every Monday morning, for our weekly litigation meeting, to discuss each client’s case. The team works together to ensure that you can communicate with anyone and know that I get the message. Our entire team is here to assist and represent you!
Clients want to know what’s going on. When you delegate work to your staff and allow them to communicate with clients without establishing a team mentality, clients become concerned. If a client knows that his case is moving along and he or she is kept aware of new developments, you’re going to be less likely to get a phone call or impromptu office visit. That leads to a happier you, happier associates and, most importantly, happier clients.
Jared Pierce hung his own shingle right out of law school and has spent every minute since then discovering the joys and difficulties of chasing success. Anyone who has ever met Jared will tell you h