Think Client, Not Just Another Case.
How different might your practice be if you became your clients’ personal attorney for life, rather than just their lawyer for a specific case or legal issue?
Many lawyers are specialists, or at least limit their practices to one or two areas of the law: personal injury, traffic tickets, family law, wills and estates, real estate, etc. and most, when asked to handle a case outside of their “area,” will refer a client to another lawyer who is better qualified to handle the case.
That’s the better way to handle it. With the complexity of today’s practices, we actually recommend attorneys limit their practice to one or two areas of the law, so they can become the “go to” lawyer in their community for that type of case – the lawyer everybody thinks of when they have a legal problem that is within that lawyer’s practice area.
Be The Lawyer Past Clients Call, Regardless Of The Type Of Case
Regardless of whether you handle the type of case, you still want clients to call you when they have a legal problem or issue. You want to be their lawyer, the lawyer the client calls when they need help – to be top-of-mind when they realize they need a lawyer, even if it is not a case you typically handle – you are the trusted advisor, the lawyer the client knows will help them through a difficult time or help them with a a legal problem. By being their lawyer, you know that they will contact you first when they have a matter that you can handle for them.
Always Remember Your Clients, So They Remember You
This can occur only if the client remembers your name and regardless of how well you handled their previous legal matter, it’s possible they will have forgotten your name unless you’ve given them a reason to remember you – and, the best way to ensure they remember you is for you to remember them – to maintain contact with them after their matter is concluded – to stay in touch with them and become the gatekeeper for all of their legal issues.
You Need A Database | “Past” Clients Rather Than “Former” Clients
This is why we encourage lawyers and law firms to maintain a client list/database that includes contact information for all clients, past and current. We advise you use the term “past client” rather than “former client,” to remind you and your staff that you want to maintain a relationship in the future.
Don’t Allow The Relationship To End
Yes, your representation for a particular legal issue or problem might be complete, but that doesn’t mean your relationship has to end. You need to stay in contact with the past client, through newsletters, email messages, holiday or birthday cards and any of the almost unlimited ways you might think of to help remind the client that you are their trusted source for legal help for any problem they might have.
So, always remember: your clients are much more than their cases – they have trusted you to help them with a legal matter at a particular point in time – they may have another matter in the future, or they may be able to recommend you to a friend or loved one to help them with a matter – they can only do so if they remember you as a specific lawyer, rather than “what’s his name” or “that lawyer whose office is downtown, across from the courthouse.”
If You’re Interested In Learning How To Become Your Clients’ Attorney For Life, It’s Easy to Get Started – contact Of Counsel | Legal Marketing and we can share some suggestions.