Thoughts on Good Client Communications

April 19, 2023

Attorneys, for the most part, do a pretty good job getting back to their clients, but many fail at this easy but extremely important task. The number one complaint about attorneys made to the State Bar is lack of communication. 

We all know frequent and clear communication is important in all relationships–whether they’re personal or professional. As attorneys, our main goal is to help our clients, but often, we focus on getting them a perfect result instead of nurturing the relationship along the way. Clients come to us anxious about their case and want answers about what they might expect going forward. In this flurry of anxiousness, it’s important that we, as attorneys, set aside time to communicate with our clients, keep them up-to-date, and help them overcome any anxieties surrounding their case. Additionally, if you see that your client has called you, maybe more than a few times, it’s important that you return that call. While it might seem silly to some, it can make a huge impact on your client when you return their call and explain to them what’s going on–even if not much has changed since the last time you spoke.  

Some attorneys never return client calls, leaving their clients guessing what is going on with their case. In fact, many of the new cases that come to me are people who have already enlisted the help of an attorney but are extremely upset with them for not communicating what’s happening with their case. I am often told, “I have an attorney, but they won’t call me back,” or “I can never talk to my attorney, and I always get an assistant who knows nothing about my case.” 

For over 30 years, I have made it a priority to call my clients back the same day or at least within 24 hours. Cases can drag on for months, so I also find it very helpful to make sure I reach out to them on a monthly basis if they don’t reach out to me. They always appreciate the update. 

Lastly, I always level with my clients and give them the good news with the bad (if there is any). In my time as an attorney, I’ve learned never to sugarcoat the truth and to always be honest. Author and motivational writer Theo Gold once said, “communication is your ticket to success if you pay attention and learn to do it effectively.”

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