Archive for the ‘Handling Clients’ Category

We . . . turned our courts into giant unthinking machines for sweeping our problem citizens under a rug. . . . [I]nstead of dealing with problems like poverty, drug abuse and mental illness, we increasingly just removed them all from view by putting them in jail.” ~ Matt Taibbi, “Cruel and Unusual Punishment,” Rolling Stone  The Myth Criminal punishment was at one time often very public: we whipped or executed outlaws before throngs of onlookers, or displayed them in the stocks in the public square.  Now we spirit the condemned away to hidden prison cells, forgotten by the rest of us, a modern-day form of ostracism.  The punishment of convicts occurs behind closed doors, much of it in secret. Adding to the cloak of invisibility is the popular media, which saturates us with fictionalized and misleading versions of what prison and the people inside it must be like. The new show […]

Project management software — like Basecamp or Total Attorneys or Clio — that helps improve internal collaboration within an organization can also be used to communicate externally with clients. There are many benefits to using this software as a client portal — i.e., as a secure place clients can log into with a personal password to see everything about their matter. (Clio’s client portal is called Clio Client Connect.) For example: Impatient clients can get the answers they need right away — e.g., upcoming dates on the case, documents that have been filed and actions that have been taken in the case — by messaging the lawyers through the portal or looking at what is already posted to it. This will also save lawyers from having to answer client questions over and over. Lawyers don’t have to constantly update the client on the progress of the matter, as long as they post all relevant […]

Getting people to really open to you is an art in itself. If you learn to do it well, you will be much more successful in representing clients, collaborating with colleagues and other partners, and earning the trust of everyone you work with. Different styles of listening apply to different contexts (e.g., an academic study, a police interrogation, a therapist), but when your goal is to make someone feel understood, and encourage their trust and openness, use a form of listening called reflexive listening: (1) Don’t criticize. Let the other person feel safe to talk without judgment. (2) Don’t sympathize either. Even sympathy is a type of judgment. Once you express a judgment, the other person feels like you have stopped listening with the intent to just understand. Give the other person a chance to fully explore their own thoughts, and fully express themselves to you, without cutting it short with an evaluation […]