While walking the streets of Missoula last week, we came upon a store. The sign in the window with the hours of operation concluded, “… Saturdays by Chance …”
Too many clients believe that lawyers are only “…open by chance.” They know lawyers work hard, work long hours, and are generally not available to clients when they need them. Why? Because the number one complaint against lawyers with State Bar disciplinary boards is still failure to return phone calls. When we first meet with clients, there should be a conversation about how to communicate. How long the lawyer will take to respond (90 minutes, 24 hours, etc.) and how the client wants to receive the communication (email, telephone, etc.), among other issues.
And make sure you understand the client as well as the client understands you. Some people call this “active listening.” Without it, you are talking at each other rather than to/with each other.