The Ten Commandments
(as prophesied by Jody Stahancyk)
Frequently attorneys become so wrapped up in the practice of law that they neglect the needs of their clients. This list of 10 Commandments is given to each of our associates to remind them that "Clients Come First" is not just a saying.
1. Never break a promise to a client.
2. Every client must have your cell phone number and home phone number (if your cell doesn’t work at your house) and know that e-mail goes to your smartphone (iPhone/Blackberry).
You must answer your phone when they call and respond to their emails. The fact that we do this makes us more special than any other firm.
3. Care for the feelings of clients and treat them as your friend.
For example, if the client has children in the case, ask if you can copy a picture of the child to include their file, so you "always remember what's important in this case, every time the file is opened." Don't bullshit them. Don't fake talk. Clients don’t like surprises.
4. Under promise and over deliver at all times.
A clear and basic business principle we teach our Student Interns. Other firms promise things they can’t deliver.
5. See the case from the client's point of view, but don't adopt their point of view as your own.
Their understanding of the facts of the case will be different than yours, you must understand that and not get caught up in it. Keep your perspective.
6. Keep your eye on the ultimate goal of the case.
Understand that while a client’s immediate goals may change, in the end those goals will need to dovetail with the ultimate goal of the case. This will ensure you are on the same page as the client and not trying to achieve a result they do not want and will not pay for.
7. Understand how your actions impact your client.
You are their advocate. If you wind them up they could go after their spouse. If you ignore them they will feel hurt. Think along these lines to make sure you are caring for your client.
8. Your client is a living, breathing advertisement.
Some of the best marketing we have is from our past clients. Don't piss them off. Engage your client to be part of the team by giving them credit for making you a better lawyer.
9. If you read anything that reminds you of a client, send it to them right a way (forward an interesting article, etc.)
Constant reminders that you are in your client’s lives go a long way toward building a sustainable relationship that will make your job easier and create a lasting relationship.
10. Dress the part and walk the walk.
Clients love to have their lawyer be a part of something bigger. Dress and behave in both the office and the courtroom in a way that makes your client proud. Don’t disappoint them.