What clients really want from their lawyers


Aug 01, 2017

By Meda Royall

In such a volatile and competitive field, it’s important to understand the factors involved in client satisfaction in order to remain a positive force in the business of law. Often times lawyers neglect to consider their clients’ desires and needs, leading to dyer consequences. It’s crucial that lawyers start to understand their client’s needs, and the best solutions to remedy dissatisfied clients may not be as they were in the past. It’s time to move towards a new era in the law profession — the clients are going to take it there no matter what, so it’s best to be on board, or the raft of change will ultimately leave all those archaic lawyers behind.

“ Raft of change will ultimately leave all those archaic lawyers behind.”

Moving with the times, and that means technology

The ever changing environment of technological advancements often means those who are unwilling to evolve will be left behind. Clients demand lawyers to meet them half way, and this means using the same technologies the clients use in their day to day lives.

Many clients use online services such as social media to stay up to date with events relating to the world of business, and are also increasingly using these same services to not only communicate with friends, but to engage in enterprise. Having a social media presence means you are easily and readily accessible to clients, and may mean the difference between operating a successful service and being rendered obsolete.

You may also find it in your best interest to utilise certain tools to increase your productivity and stay ahead of the pack. Technology is a constant stream of problem-solving remedies that work to make a lawyers job easier, which in turn, makes clients more satisfied.

Listening to the needs of clients

A survey conducted years ago by North & North already firmly established that clients are more receptive to a counsel who shows genuine interest in their concerns, and whom listens to their clients’ needs. Clients simply want to be heard, and a lawyer needs to deal with every client as if they are just as important as the next.

The findings of the survey, which was supplemented with a host of relevant research, showed that a lack of trust in a lawyers ability to deal with legal matters developed more often than not out of a perception that lawyers lack the ability to listen to their clients. A lack of trust leads to a lapse in engagement, and ultimately, a poor execution of services.

“ Clients simply want to be heard”

Working according to the unique needs of the client

The North & North survey also found that clients desire lawyers who understand their circumstances, and have a keen sense of awareness for the industries or fields relevant to their clients’ circumstances. Clients remarked on being disillusioned by countless lawyers who showed little to no knowledge in the fields relevant to the clients, which often led to adverse occurrences.

A more recent survey conducted by the Financial Time and the Managing Partners Forum found that 42% of respondents found the point “understanding of our industry” important in becoming satisfied with a legal counsel’s services.

It’s important for clients to have solace in knowing their lawyer will guide them through the regulatory and legal waters that they may come in contact with. Without this solace, there may arise a disconnect between counsel and client, and if this leads to further complications and negative consequences, this can only spur dissatisfaction and a degradation in reputation for the lawyer.

What clients really want from their lawyers – your say.

Meda Royall is passionate about law ….especially how it can help and make a difference to people’s lives when used smartly. She is Founder and CEO of Your Law Firm, Australia’s first legal practice franchise and her spare time is invested in family, the art, and entertainment world, human rights and poverty alleviation.

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