Legal Profession Values

Rules of professional conduct require that lawyers i) have independence of judgment, ii) protect the confidentiality of client information, and iii) be loyal to clients through the avoidance of conflicts of interest. In addition, lawyers must be iv) competent. These requirements have nothing to do with clients. These are about the lawyer, about being a better lawyer technically!

These were the opening comments of Stuart A. Forsythe, Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Bar Association as the keynote speaker today at the LegalTech Show in Los Angeles, CA.

Where is there service to the client on this list? It isn’t! This is not even in the curriculum of law schools. We’re problem solvers, not relationship people. In fact, two-thirds of our population are extroverts while 2/3 of lawyers are introverts, says Stuart. This makes communication between lawyers and clients difficult. And, failure to return phone calls is still the number one complaint against lawyers. Satisfied customers are not a high priority for lawyers, according to Stuart’s analysis.

Courts are developing relationships directly with clients in many cases. For example, both in Los Angeles County (CA) and Arizona, most family law matters are in propia persona … with no lawyers involved.

Unless we begin to focus on The Business of Law�� and better relate to their clients, focus on their needs and their wants, more work will be taken from us.


Categorized in: