Communicating with clients is an essential part of practicing law, from gathering the specifics of a case to updating clients and the court. Having a communication plan and creating better communication skills for lawyers starts before the case begins and continues through follow-up after the case is closed.
To get an edge in filings and arguments, you can’t miss a step. Here are a few ways to make the client communications easier and smoother:
Be clear and concise
Clarity is power. Lawyers should avoid using jargon and legal terms that their clients may not understand. They should also speak in a way that is easy to follow and understand. Be aware of the differences in cultures and languages between your clients. Knowing your audience is key to success.
Be honest and transparent
Tell it like it is with clients about the risks and potential outcomes of their cases and be transparent about the fees and costs associated with your services.
Be responsive and empathetic
Respond to client inquiries promptly and on time and be available to answer questions and address client concerns. Understand that their clients are going through a difficult time and be sensitive to their needs is essentia to achieve better communication skills for lawyers.
Be prepared to communicate in a way that’s convenient for the client
In a virtual era, you must dominate all forms of communication. This might include a mix of email, phone calls, text messages, and video conferencing.
Set up regular times for communication or reporting
This will help ensure you’re always up-to-date on the client’s case and that the client feels like they are being heard. Create a daily or weekly habit of reporting to keep your clients in the loop and make them feel you care about their cases.
Don’t be hard to reach
Busy people are also those who answer faster to emails. Responding to client communications promptly demonstrates that you care about the client’s case and is a sign of professionalism.
Keep a record of communications
“A short pencil is better than a long memory“. Have a register of all you have agreed with your client and the updates on their cases will be helpful if there are any questions or concerns down the road.
Finally, don’t try to keep track of everything yourself. Contact management software can help you keep abreast of case tasks and communications. And assigning staff to help manage your communications is another option.
Full disclosure, Admin Ops provides just such communications and document support for lawyers practicing in New York State, letting you assign staff to demand as you need it and when you need it.