Legal Client Management has been one of the important skills for law firms to hone. ‘People,’ when it comes to management, is all the more difficult subject to study, particularly in the legal arena. As far as difficulties are concerned, most of the client management work starts where we interact and discuss the problems related to the case until the work is done. The problems can arise anywhere in between. Let’s take the example of discussing the legal fees. As a good pricing agenda, the following points should be kept in mind before taking any initiation:
- Not all clients are right for your firm.
- You are not the right lawyer for all clients.
- Get to know your clients and their needs before you try to solve their problems, not after.
- Value is the place where pricing, efficiency, and meet quality.
Right after evaluating the above pricing basics we need to take further steps like transparency carefully, pricing options for the client, the right way to advertise and much important of all handling the whole price war till the end. Which brings us to the next question- How is it like tackling a difficult client?
A Difficult Client:
A difficult client may be the one who is a pain, or we can say it is ready to offer you problems for daily morning breakfast in your entire relationship period. But that is what Lawyers are there for when it comes to working in a top law firm or else making a law firm, a substance to exist in a competitive market with its own good place. To tackle a difficult client, all we need to focus on is staying calm while handling such clients. Of course, there might exist some good paperwork, but that is essential to play safely while handling difficult clients. But by being thoughtful and aware, we can sail through while remembering that if there is a huge pitfall, there is no harm in calling off the match.
Tackling some common problems:
One must know who the client we are dealing with which includes individuals, as well as corporations too, is, and the least we can do is have proper verifications of the legal as well as identity documents provided by the client. At the same time, it is important to know the client’s background as well as to discuss the legal terms framed to work that are explained in a sorted manner.
This is one of the main areas where lawyers face problems that is, the problem of getting the client engaged. Many people believe that while hiring good lawyers, their chance of getting things done in their terms increases. Well! The good lawyers are those who make this belief intact while getting their own job done even if they see a settlement they make sure it must protect the client’s interest. This can be done through good communication, knowing what are your clients’ conflicts of interest, handling tough decisions on behalf of the firm, and above all, getting the client engaged in a rightful manner.
A lawyer must pay attention to all the details as well when it comes to his client’s background. A client must remain transparent and true to its case and must not conceal any information related to his case. Consider the example of a client hiding some concealment of funds from the lawyer, which may lead to making both of them under the threat of Money Laundering in the future. A thoughtful and alert lawyer must detect this problem at an early stage by his thorough analysis, or otherwise, it may harm the credibility of his firm.
The last one is very important to client management is the level to which a firm deals the case ethically. Consider the ethical implications of using and not using computer technology. While the Code of Conduct does not require lawyers to be masters of technology, it does expect them to [adapt] to changing professional requirements, standards, techniques and practices and [maintain] office staff, facilities and equipment adequate to the lawyer’s practice. On the other hand, hacking someone’s data and using computer technology unethically is what we need to look upon as well as make our client focus because it is not always about winning but winning through the right methods and practices.
Along with that, this list of problems while tackling with clients keeps going, and some other problems which any of the law firms encounter when managing clients, is :
5. Providing value, quality, and excellence of service –
In many of the renowned fraternities' opinion, knowing the firm’s point of differentiation is very important, constitute a set of questions like – “Why will clients come to you? Do you have any of specialist areas that your law firm is recognized for, etc.? In our digitized, fast-moving environment, being able to articulate clearly, whether on your website or any other social media forum about who you are and what you do, have a very important role to play.”
Along with that, knowing the client’s industry, products, and services are just important for any of the firm. Because “Clients who are approaching the law firms have some expectation in their mind with the law firm in which they seek help, and they were just expecting from you to aware of the laws for which they in need. and If you don’t have strong knowledge of their business, or products and their strategic plan, then the whatever services you provide will meet the current needs but may not go the extra mile for future needs.”
As much as we deal with numerous problems while dealing with clients, one of the important things a lawyer needs to learn is to face the problems when they are in their infant stage, and that can be done through good monitoring and proper analysis of the case in depth. Another way or as we can say that another aspect to improve relationship management could be a review of a current retainer letter to ensure it provides the necessary information to clients so that issues don’t arise in the future.
At last, a self-assessment on our cases handled is necessary to be elastic to the problems arisen during client management. This makes our work even more polished in the near future.
“The ultimate outcome as a trusted legal counseller to your clients is to satisfies your clients refer business and seek help proactively” – By Hockaday.
Nowadays Many of the “Law firms have shifted from ‘we are a law firm practicing in law’ to ‘we are a law firm practicing in the business of law,’” observed by most of the legal fraternities and also “Most of the law firms are undergoing at some level of transformation to keep pace with the speed of innovation, not just for themselves, but providing exceptional services for their clients.”