LISTEN TO YOUR CLIENT: What does a client look for in a Law Firm?

Author: Fatima Iniestra

When a new client approaches a Law Firm seeking advice, it is necessary to define and identify his interests; but what will differentiate this Law Firm from others? It is known that the Lawyer needs to exercise judgment, empathy and detachment to be able to deliberate wisely and understand the client’s position from the inside and in an objective manner. A lawyer will always have as his purpose to favor the client’s objective in the best possible manner, interpreting the legal tools and anticipating the way in which the judge will act. However, what do clients look for in a Law Firm? What are the skills and characteristics that they see in lawyers?

Clients lean toward the following characteristics in the selection of a provider of legal services, this in addition to the professional aspect:

  1. A good relationship with clients, among lawyers and a positive environment in the workplace. A client likes a Firm with a positive working environment because it creates confidence in clients to see an atmosphere of collaboration, teamwork and a positive state of mind in the law firms. Clients actively seek a Law Firm with a friendly environment and one in which lawyers see clients as people and not as numbers.
  2. A personalized service is valued. In our customer service industry, clients aren’t businesses but groups of people. They all have different demands and service must be provided to them in different manners and at different hours; some by email, others prefer WhatsApp, what is more, even the tone of voice is different for each. Clients like their demands to be met and, although this does not seem to be any secret, sometimes we don’t do this.
  3. Most people want things to happen immediately; well, clients also want this. They are looking for a Law Firm that provides the fastest possible service. They want speed in responses, in queries, in messages, in solutions.
  4. They seek constant communication. Clients want their affairs to be followed up on, that is, that the lawyer keeps them constantly informed on the status of the matters that he is in charge of without the need for requesting that he do so and, if it has been requested from him, that he provides an immediate answer.
  5. Clients want us to work as a team with them.  Clients want to be informed about how long the project will take, even if this is longer than initially expected or promised.  That is, to be informed by the Firm, overcoming the fear of the clients’ reaction, because they also understand that things take a certain time and they do not wish for us to try to impress them, they want to be able to calculate things together with us.
  6. Listen to your client! Take their feedback into account and don’t be afraid to ask for feedback, it is more important for them than you think. It is important for clients not to be invisible to their lawyers and this is something that they will take into consideration.
  7. The Availability of Information. They seek a Firm in which there is easy access to information and a Firm that does not give them the run around. They look for honesty, that the information is sent at the precise moment and that they can see the undisguised reality. They prefer Firms that provide direct access to information.

I was able to see that the way in which we treat our clients must be more comprehensive and humane. Sometimes we lose sight of the fact, as they say: that we are not machines, and our clients are not numbers.