How Has Your Approach to Client Consultations Evolved Over Time?


    How Has Your Approach to Client Consultations Evolved Over Time?

    In the evolving landscape of legal services, we've gathered insights from six seasoned legal professionals, including Intellectual Property Attorneys and Family Law Attorneys, on how they've refined their client consultation processes. From adapting to remote consultations to enhancing the process with initial forms, these experts share pivotal changes that have shaped their approach. Discover how these legal minds have navigated the shift, starting with the importance of adapting to remote interactions and concluding with the strategic use of initial forms.

    • Adapting to Remote Client Consultations
    • Focusing on Immediate Client Concerns
    • Educate Clients During Consultations
    • Streamlining with E-Signatures and Phone Calls
    • Balancing Legal Expertise with Empathy
    • Enhancing Consultations with Initial Forms

    Adapting to Remote Client Consultations

    There has been a drastic change in consultations both from the client's perspective and from ours as the lawyer. Pre-Covid, in-person consultations were the norm, and we frequently had several per week. COVID changed prospective clients' behavior, as most opted to bypass in-person meetings, and now nearly all are done via video and phone. While we still provide face-to-face, in-person consultations, the video/phone consults have allowed more out-of-state and geographically distant clients to retain us more than before.

    Michael Cohen
    Michael CohenIntellectual Property Attorney, Cohen IP Law Group PC

    Focusing on Immediate Client Concerns

    My consultation strategy evolved from trying to impress potential clients with my legal knowledge to focusing on how I can solve their immediate concerns. As a young attorney, I thought potential clients needed to know I knew what I was talking about and knew how to take on their case. I was overwhelming them with information that didn't address what was keeping them up at night. Now, I spend more time asking questions to probe what they need right now so I can build rapport and explain how I can help solve today's problems in the larger context of their case.

    This approach requires less selling to sign clients and uncovers problems with the case or client that may change whether I want to sign the case or my strategy to get the case to the finish line. I burned myself with a string of difficult clients with my old approach that made me rethink my consultation strategy. Some were cases I should not have signed, and some were cases that would have been less difficult if I had uncovered the challenges at the outset. Lesson learned.

    Adam Kielich
    Adam KielichCEO and Attorney, Front Range Injury Attorneys

    Educate Clients During Consultations

    As a criminal defense attorney, I am the last person someone wants to call. I do not take this personally. If you are calling me, things are not good, and nearly all those seeking my help are going through one of the most difficult times in their lives, most of whom have never experienced the criminal justice system and know little or nothing about what to expect. This is never lost on me. If I can offer any advice, it is this: take the time to educate the person looking to you for help. Knowledge is power. Even if it is bad news, give them the knowledge and education they need to make the best decision for themselves.

    Nothing scares most people more than the unknown. It can be 45 minutes into a consultation before a fee is even discussed. Most people who seek a consultation with me will get off the phone or leave my office knowing what to expect and what they need to do next, whether they hire me or not. You will find that many of them will come back to you after consulting others because most attorneys are not willing to invest the time and attention to do this. It will set you apart and offer peace of mind to those in their darkest and most stressful moments. If nothing more, you have helped a person in need, which is its own reward.

    Scott Monroe
    Scott MonroeFounder and Criminal Defense Attorney, Monroe Law, P.A.

    Streamlining with E-Signatures and Phone Calls

    COVID was a major turning point in the way that we handle initial consultations in our personal injury firm. Before COVID, I required potential clients to come in and meet in person with me before retaining. Because of COVID, we implemented a much more streamlined process involving e-signatures and phone consultations that is less time-consuming for the client and saves us from the time leakage that happens when clients miss appointments, have to reschedule, or simply no-show on us. This shift has been a real boon to our business.

    Brian Glass
    Brian GlassPersonal Injury Attorney, Ben Glass Law

    Balancing Legal Expertise with Empathy

    Over the years, my approach to client consultations has evolved significantly, driven by experience and a deeper understanding of my clients' needs. Initially, I focused on gathering information and outlining the legal process, but this often left clients feeling overwhelmed and unprepared. A pivotal moment early in my career, involving a client going through a contentious divorce, changed my perspective. She confided that she felt more like a case number than a person, highlighting the emotional toll my method was taking. This feedback made me realize the importance of empathy and emotional support alongside legal guidance.

    One strategy I've adopted is allowing clients to speak uninterrupted initially, expressing their emotions and concerns fully. Only then do I delve into the legal aspects, relating them to their personal experiences. I've also incorporated more educational elements into my consultations, explaining each step in detail using plain language and real-world examples. This empowers clients and reduces their anxiety, helping them feel more in control.

    Explaining custody arrangements in relatable terms has alleviated clients' fears and encouraged proactive engagement, leading to better outcomes. My approach now balances legal expertise with emotional intelligence, fostering trust, empathy, and education to help clients navigate their legal challenges with confidence and resilience.

    Joy Owenby
    Joy OwenbyFounder and Family Law Attorney, Owenby Law, P.A.

    Enhancing Consultations with Initial Forms

    The landscape of client consultations has undergone significant changes over the years, with clients now expecting more proactive, comprehensive, and personalized approaches. A pivotal moment in this evolution has been the adoption of initial consultation forms. By leveraging these forms, I can now gather crucial information prior to the first meeting, thereby enhancing the overall consultation experience and ensuring more effective and efficient interactions with clients.

    Initial consultation forms have revolutionized the way legal professionals interact with clients. By gathering critical information before the first meeting, lawyers can identify and understand the client's primary pain points, tailoring the consultation to address specific concerns directly. This preemptive understanding allows the lawyer to provide a more personalized and effective service.

    The information gathered through the form enables the consultation to be more focused and efficient. The lawyer can prepare relevant questions, anticipate potential legal issues, and have preliminary strategies ready to discuss. This not only saves time but also demonstrates professionalism and preparedness.

    By collecting detailed information upfront, lawyers can conduct a more thorough initial assessment of the case. This includes identifying any potential conflicts of interest, understanding the client's goals, and evaluating the complexity of the legal issues involved. This holistic view is crucial for providing high-quality legal advice.

    The use of initial consultation forms shows clients that their legal professional is committed to understanding their situation in-depth. This proactive approach helps build trust and rapport, as clients feel their lawyer is genuinely interested in their case and is taking steps to provide the best possible service.

    As the legal landscape continues to evolve, such innovative approaches will remain essential for providing high-quality legal services and meeting the growing expectations of clients.

    PRITY KHASTGIRInternational Patent Attorney, Tech Corp International Strategist