Getting out of law school, there are a lot of things that they never teach you. One of them being, how you're supposed to handle your first clients. There can be a painful period of understanding what to expect from the real life client-attorney relationship. Here are a few things that Lee G. Lovett can tell you about first meeting with, and choosing to take on a client:
Always trust your gut.
When you first meet with a client, if it feels like things aren't adding up, you're probably right. Always go with your gut, and if you feel like there's something more to the story that you don't want to be involved with, it's best for you to just walk away.
Understand how clients choose you.
This is important for the future. Studies have shown that 58% of lawyers are chosen because of a personal recommendation. That means you want to always be professional with your clients, and do everything in your ability to serve their needs. In a business where word of mouth is worth more than anything, you can't afford to get a bad review from one of your clients.
Don't get your client's hopes up.
Everybody has that dream of a lawsuit winning them 40 million dollars, and having a case that can make the global press. However, keeping things reasonable is the most important. You have to be able to impress upon your clients the potential realistic outcome. That's the best possible way to ensure that they don't end up disappointed by the result of a case, and you can show that you're being totally open and honest with your clients.
Be exclusive, and exclusionary.
This is more about taking the power, and controlling what happens at with your clients. Meaning, have an idea of what you need from a client, in order to take on a case. If the client doesn't meet those requirements during the evaluation, then you move on. This is one of the best ways to ensure that you end up with a client that's going to be easier to work with, and easier to serve, during what could end up being a lengthy trial process.