First, you have an obligation to be diligent on behalf of your customers. To retain their legal licenses, lawyers must follow the state-mandated rules of professional conduct for the attorney-client relationship. One of these rules is attorney-client privilege, which means that the lawyer cannot disclose anything you discuss without your permission, even in court. Building strong, healthy relationships with the people you serve is important for many reasons.
Not only does it allow for clearer and more efficient communication, but it also helps to ensure that you and others involved in the relationship trust each other. Clients have a lot of questions and want to feel supported during the litigation process. They don't know the legal system and expect you to have the answers. Keep those lines of communication open by offering several ways to contact you, including phone, email, text messaging, or even customer portals.
Prioritizing attorney-client relationships will help you develop a reputation for client-centered advocacy, excellent communication, and favorable outcomes. All relationships work best when both parties are open and direct, and one of the best ways to maintain positive customer relationships is to be honest. When you don't trust your lawyer, it can cause a total and irredeemable breakdown of the attorney-client relationship. You should be aware that the advice you receive at this meeting is not legal advice within an attorney-client relationship, but it is often protected by attorney-client confidentiality anyway.
Part of building an effective attorney-client relationship is actively evaluating what your client is saying, beyond their emotional concerns or scattered thoughts. Paying close attention to the needs of your clients can go a long way in building effective lawyer-client relationships. After the client has hired you, the focus shifts to further developing and maintaining a good attorney-client relationship.
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