How to be the lawyer your clients need right now

How to be the lawyer your clients need right now

Now, more than ever, your focus is on your clients. Your priority is to continue to be their familiar and trusted resource during an entirely unfamiliar time. While that focus isn’t new — client service has always been important — the legal technology required to seamlessly serve them has changed.

 

As you confront changes related to new urgent client inquiries, shifting priorities, and working from home, you may ask yourself: How do I best serve my clients through all of this? Your workspace is different. Your human resources are limited. It may seem daunting or simply unrealistic to help them in the same way you could before.

 

Fortunately, there are resources that can help you be the lawyer your clients need you to be. Yes, there are going to be more challenges ahead and your ability to be agile is going to be key, but it's possible with the right technology. Let’s look at some of the new issues you are facing and discuss the legal tools that can help.

 

You need to be the trusted legal advisor … for everything

 

Like many lawyers, you provide legal guidance in a variety of areas. But there are some practice areas you’re more familiar with than others. Previously, your clients may have come to you with wills to draft, divorces to negotiate, and real estate agreements to finalize. Now, some of those same loyal clients may unfortunately be coming to you regarding bankruptcy or foreclosure questions and concerns.

 

Today, some of your clients’ new concerns may not be in your usual wheelhouse. While you never want to turn clients away, keeping clients is especially crucial now. To meet clients’ changing needs, you need to expand your practice, your knowledge, and your resources.

 

Collaborating looks a lot different

 

Not so long ago, when one of your regular clients brought you work that was outside of your expertise, you could walk down the hall and ask a colleague about it. They may be more familiar with the matter. They may know the right person to ask. They may know just the right way to do research and get the best results.

 

Now, that’s not an option. Those quick and easy, in-person conversations with colleagues have turned into scheduling a time to chat over the phone or video. It’s certainly possible, but the convenience has diminished. While you are still part of a firm, you are also learning how to manage as a semi-solo lawyer. And now it’s vital to have everything you need literally at your fingertips.

 

A lawyer’s digital skill set is now a must-have

 

Clients have always depended on your depth and breadth of knowledge, your resourcefulness, and your insight. Now clients need to know that you can do everything you did in an office from your residence. The expectation of running a fully functional law firm from your home office may very well be the new long-term way of working.

 

With those new requirements comes the need for digital agility. Your ability to use research tools to do things you previously relied on others to do for or with you — whether that be crafting an in-depth litigation strategy or simply picking a colleague’s brain over coffee — are now things you need to be able to do “on your own” with the help of technology.

 

Find the right legal technology

 

In the last few months, your life and way of practicing law has dramatically changed. Your clients’ expectations, however, haven’t. They need you now more than ever. As their circumstances continue to evolve, what they need and demand from you will shift. The only way to provide the same great client service they have come to expect is to lean on legal research technology.

 

Tools like Practical Law, for instance, give you access to the knowledge of hundreds of other lawyers whose job is solely to keep you updated on the ever-changing legal landscape. When you need to venture outside of your usual practice areas, Practical Law provides access to up-to-date information, easy checklists, and other content to give you the confidence to take on any case that comes your way. It’s like having all of the knowledge you formerly gleaned from your colleagues available instantly.

 

With their help, you can answer questions like: How do I take on an unfamiliar matter or how do I keep up when things are changing so quickly? Armed with the knowledge and confidence of those answers, you’ll ultimately have the solution to your most important question: How do I keep my clients happy?

 

To see how our legal technology can help your firm, contact us for a free consultation.

© Copyright WestlawNext Canada, Thomson Reuters Canada Limited. All rights reserved.