Dr. Noelle Nelson

Win Your Case by Winning Client Cooperation!

It’s often said that the practice of law would be great if it weren’t for clients. Clients, of course, are what drive your business, so like it or not, part of a successful practice is learning how to deal with difficult clients.

Most clients don’t set out to be difficult, but in their frustration, anxiety or fear, they are difficult. Given that understanding, one way to assure easier interactions with your clients is to tell them upfront what to expect. This will allay their fears to some extent, which in turn will usually make them less difficult to deal with.

Let your client know, at the beginning of the relationship, that the unexpected will crop up as you handle their case. This isn’t a maybe, it’s a guarantee. Every case has its unanticipated events. Sometimes that unexpected situation will be to your client’s advantage and sometimes not. Let your client know that you will promptly inform them of the bumps and hurdles as they come along and how you expect to deal with them.

Ask your client how they prefer to be informed: by email, phone, never on a Friday, only in the afternoon, whatever. Don’t assume that the way you like to communicate is satisfying to your client. Respect their preferences. Your client may not like what they hear from you, but they will feel kept in the loop in the way they like to receive information. This, in and of itself, will often soothe a fitful client. You will have acknowledged and respected their wishes, which in turn is likely to make things a little easier for you through the life of the case.

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