Win Clients With Kindness and Empathy, and Establish Value in Any Case

Introduction

There are good lawyers and there are good lawyers who know the value of kindness and compassion. In any case you get, empathy is a must when establishing new clients and maintaining existing ones. Even as students in law school, we know this. However, very few people are natural empaths. What to when it doesn’t come naturally to you?

Empathy is basically knowing deeply and authentically your client’s needs and context. It is one thing and quite simple to ask for information about their legal needs. What needs more time and effort is establishing rapport with them by getting to know them as people, what drives them, their thought process and behaviors. Let us give you some tips on how to achieve just that.

Do Not Make Them Wait Too Long

For new and potential clients, respond within 10 minutes of the case posting. This shows that you care about their situation and you understand that time is crucial for them and their case. This goes as well for existing clients, even those with whom you have already cultivated a certain level of rapport. Nothing spells neglect more than delay. To remind yourself of this, remember that you too do not like to be kept waiting. Use available tools and technologies to ensure prompt responses. You have a 90% chance of reaching the potential client if you call within 1 minute after they post their case in LegalMatch. The first attorney to speak with the potential client usually gets the case.

Learn When to be Formal and When to be Friendly

Being empathetic also means knowing the right time to be formal and technical or conversational in tone or stance. While talking about case updates or legal strategies, you would do well to maintain a professional, straight-to-the-point conversation. All the while, though, know when to take the cue from their responses. If, for example, they seem distracted or unable to absorb what you are saying, it can only mean that they are emotional. Ask them, gently if needed, what it was that is upsetting them. Not only will you be able to help them calm down, you will also be getting invaluable insight into their behavior.

Read Up and Keep Up with Breakthroughs in Psychology

Additional knowledge in the behavioral sciences will help any lawyer in their practice. There are many online sites offering articles and journal articles on new research and breakthroughs in psychology and sociology. With intersectionality on the minds of academics and social scientists these days, many interesting papers have been written. For instance, reading about a study on criminal psychology and social media platforms might prove to be helpful in handling existing or future cybercrime cases.

Conduct Short but Regular Calls to Catch Up

Most people hire legal professionals to deal with cases that are causing them at the very least inconvenience or at worst, emotional distress. Remember that while waiting for these cases to progress or be resolved, clients are living their lives as usual, often with the consequences or conditions related to their legal issue. Plan out quick calls with them and ask them how they are doing.

Listen Carefully to What They Say

Potential clients want to know whether you are truly listening to them or whether you care more about their situation than the retainer fee. Strive to be attentive in any conversation and make sure to respond in words and manner appropriate to their statements. Listening with half an ear may result in responses that they could interpret as insincere or uncaring. Giving a client 10-15 minutes of your undivided attention will most certainly create goodwill and potentially long-term benefits for you.

Kindness is of course not something we can teach. But assuming that what drove you to a career in law is an inherent passion for justice and equality, compassion for our fellow human beings should not be too hard. If you feel that offering free consultations to selected lower-income clients is something you must do because you are moved by empathy, do so and do well. The fruits of your endeavors will be far sweeter, somewhere down the road.