Lawyers don’t just face down opponents in a courtroom to pursue justice. They also enjoy close correspondence with their client, supporting and advising them throughout legal proceedings.
Imbued with much responsibility, legal representatives must conduct themselves with impeccable decorum. It’s easier than ever to complain about a solicitor today, and those who fail to meet expectations will face their client’s wrath.
A high bar must also be met. Matters of law can be immensely stressful for a client to experience, and their legal counsel will need to be a guiding light in darker times. The quality of correspondence between lawyer and client matters greatly and can mark the difference between success and failure during legal proceedings. How can lawyers improve how they correspond with their clients? Key points are listed below.
Lawyers often need to exchange data with their clients. Depending on the files they’re trying to send, they could encounter formatting issues with their client. Some types of software can only read specific data types, so a full conversion could be necessary in some cases.
Therefore, legal representatives should try to convert their files where appropriate. For example, images can be dragged and dropped into an online dropzone to quickly convert them from JPG to PDF formats. The quality of the image is not lost, and solicitors can ensure all of the information they are sending to clients is consumed precisely as it should be. Multiple PDFs can also be merged into a single PDF document for better presentation.
Lawyers are often trying to make things simpler to understand for their clients. Much potential disruption and confusion can be avoided by having the foresight to pre-plan a correspondence with file conversions.
Consistency is key when it comes to legal representation. Whether lawyers are operating as sole practitioners or as part of a wider collective, there needs to be a sense of only one voice coming from the firm. It highlights organisation and an unwavering commitment to client representation.
Something as minor as templates in emails and letters can make an enormous difference here. Their inclusion means that the quality of a solicitor’s correspondence is less likely to fluctuate between clients.
Templates can be a framework for legal representatives to operate within, helping them structure their message logically and present a more concise message. Solicitors can spend less time composing emails and letters and launch straight into their musings, helping in the need for timely responses.
Templates can also be part of a law firm’s brand identity. The presentation of the written word can build familiarity and goodwill during long-term legal correspondence. Clients can be assured they are dealing with an organised entity through presentation alone.
Many legal proceedings take a long time to develop. Depending on the case, there can be many intermittent waiting periods.
Legal representatives can find their inboxes flooded with requests when a case is temporarily quiet. Letters may also be sent from any opposing side in a dispute. Phone calls could be expected as well. Key or basic questions can be asked at any juncture. Soon enough, lawyers can find themselves suitably overwhelmed.
It’s important for lawyers to provide timely responses to every enquiry sent their way. A fast reply helps the client believe that they have their legal counsel’s undivided attention. It can speak volumes of how seriously the representative takes the case and whether it is high on their priority list. Their general attitude regarding kindness and patience can also be gauged by how timely the response is.
Those working in legal professions already report moments of increased stress, and some abandon their careers entirely because of it. Therefore, it is important to set reasonable expectations as well. Lawyers must ensure that their clients know when they’re most available. They should also be clear that they will not correspond with clients outside of their office hours.
Legal proceedings often seem like cold and calculating ordeals. However, clients can feel intense feelings during this time, depending on the nature of their case and its potential consequences.
While legal representatives should take care to maintain their professionalism, practising empathy can put a client at ease and let them know they have support. Once they are calm, they could be in a clearer and more determined frame of mind, improving the quality of the correspondence. The client may also be more likely to remember facts and details of a case once they have vented complex emotions.
Lawyers should develop their interpersonal and listening skills. They should also practice patience and refine their ability to read others’ body language in-person and over video calls. This can help build a stronger rapport between the legal representative and their client and ensure that all future correspondences occur without any restraint.
After all, honesty matters greatly during legal correspondence. No stone must go unturned, but trust must be established first to succeed in this. Practising empathy will accelerate that process and establish the lawyer as a loyal and reliable figure.