At times, attorneys have probably wanted the power to read clients’ minds to know what they want. It may be difficult to discern what clients expect and desire from their attorneys, but it is essential to your ability to provide difference-making legal services and to build a successful law firm.
Recently, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS), an independent research center at the University of Denver, analyzed 10 years’ worth of attorney reviews on Avvo to try to answer the question: What do clients want?
IAALS weeded through 700,000 reviews to find around 3,000 to analyze that met their criteria: the review had to be posted by a registered user who was an actual client of the attorney they reviewed. Based on their analysis of this data, they isolated five key areas that create client satisfaction:
Clients want lawyers who are good communicators. They want prompt responses to their inquiries and status updates on their cases. They want a lawyer who will take the time to help them understand their options and tell them which options are likely to result in a successful outcome. They want a lawyer who is available when needed.
Clients want lawyers who are professional. They want a lawyer who is ethical, honest, and has integrity. They want a lawyer who looks and acts professionally. They want to be treated with courtesy, respect, kindness, and empathy. They want a lawyer who is friendly and who treats their case as if it truly matters.
Clients want lawyers who are effective. They want a lawyer who provides sounds legal advice and can advocate effectively on their behalf. They want a lawyer who puts the client first and demonstrates they are dedicated to achieving a good outcome.
Clients want lawyers who provide value. They want a lawyer who can deliver the best possible outcome for their case. They want to know they are getting valuable legal help for their investment and that the lawyer did not accept a case just for the fees involved. They want a lawyer who is sensitive to their budgetary concerns and provides flexible options for payment.
Clients want lawyers who are persistent. They want a hardworking lawyer, one that sticks with the case and sees it through to completion. They want a lawyer who pays attention to details and works diligently to achieve their goals.
The bottom line is this: clients want more than just legal acumen from their lawyers. They expect the attorney they choose to be well versed in his/her area of practice but they want much more.
While law school teaches you to think like a lawyer, once you have that law degree in hand, you will only be able to build the law firm of your dreams if you learn how to think like a client.
At the Rainmaker Retreat, we teach attorneys not only how to think like a client, but also how to run their law firms like a business. Click here to see upcoming Retreats scheduled for 2020.