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Like any other client focused industry, experiences from one law firm to the next will vary. Any legal expert would agree, there are some clear expectations you should be able to rely on when working with any attorney.
Most attorneys offer some type of free initial consultation before taking on your case. At this meeting you can begin to gauge the attorney’s aptitude for communication.
Once the attorney agrees to take your case, there should be an expectation for regular communication. When the attorney first begins working on your case, there should be a strategy discussion and then as work progresses, you should be made aware of developments that effect your case.
There are too many variables to guarantee an outcome of any legal proceeding. Even the greatest, case winning lawyer will be unable to promise a win.
A qualified attorney, however, should be able to competently represent you; meaning they know the law required to adequately ague your case, before agreeing to take you on as a client. If you are seeking legal counsel for a specialty they do not usually practice, it is their responsibility to refer you to someone else.
Whether working with a small cases lawyer or a large firm, there are some commonalities you can expect:
Lawyers who have time to dedicate to a case tend to be better case winning lawyers. This often translates into the more expensive lawyer is more likely to be the lawyer with the better chance of winning.
Skilled lawyers with years of experience, deep knowledge in their specialty, and years of trial experience can justify charging a higher rate. That higher rate allows them to focus more time on fewer cases, as opposed to having to take on more cases to pay the bills. When you can focus more time on fewer cases, it is a natural conclusion that you will be able to provide better representation.
So, do better layers win more often? Yes, lawyers who have the incentive to dedicate more time to each individual case have a better chance of winning, as opposed to an attorney who is forced to juggle more cases at one time.
Poor Client Service
Experienced attorneys have seen these cases over and over and often forget what it’s like to be sitting in the client’s chair.
Use Legalese in Client Communication
After seven years of education and the additional years of industry experience, it is easy for legal experts to forget how the everyday person communicates.
Overexplain Legal Concepts
Attorneys spend their lives studying to become, then practice being, legal wordsmiths. It is in their nature to explain every nuance of their craft.
Difficult to Reach
Due to the numerous responsibilities an attorney must give attention to, attorneys cannot compete with client expectations regarding communication. Chatbots and 24/7 online support have created an expectation of immediate gratification that is not always attainable.
Plan for Doomsday
Unfortunately, responsible attorneys must prepare their clients for worst case scenarios to keep their expectations in-check.
Seemingly Lack Emotion
Many attorneys are passionate about their specialty but cannot afford to get emotionally involved in every case; this sometimes comes across in an apathetic disposition.
Attorneys often are natural skeptics; allowing them the innate ability to question every fact and see how the opposing council may spin their argument from a different angle.
With numerous variables shaping each case they try, it would be bad practice to make promises regarding outcomes.
Passing the bar does not guarantee success. The industry is filled with attorneys practicing in the same areas; to have a successful career, lawyers must continue to strive to be better than their competitors.
Short on Time
Lawyers work long hours; 50 plus hour weeks are common. The competitive industry requires attorneys not just fill billable hours, but commit time to networking and client development.
After an attorney agrees to take your case, you should receive an estimated cost for the work your case requires, along with a fee agreement. The fee agreement should be provided in writing; if not, it is your right to request one. If you are unclear on any of the terms included in the agreement, you have the responsibility to ask for clarification. If not provided in your estimate, you should also request a projection of additional legal fees that you may need to consider.
The following seven methods are used by Attorney Paul Geller to consistently acquire more and better quality cases, boosting his AVVO rating and attracting positive reviews. You too can use these tactics at to improve your practice.
METHOD ONE: Use your lawyer marketing book as a lead magnet and have it available for download on your website, along with a contact form.
This turns a potential client into a lead, whom you can contact and engage with. It provides them a non-threatening way to start getting information without having to call you. There are many people who are timid about calling law firms. Many lawyers and law firms are rather off-putting over the phone and this makes potential clients uncomfortable. Making your lawyer marketing book downloadable is a great way to give people another path to get the information they need and to start perceiving you as an authority on the topic.
METHOD TWO: Publish your book on Amazon and Kindle, so that you become a legitimate published author.
Attorney Geller’s book is available on Amazon and has accumulated reviews, which is a great thing to be able to advertise. You may consider informing potential clients that they can buy your book on Amazon while also offering to send it to them free of charge.
METHOD THREE: Mail physical copies and email digital copies of your lawyer marketing book to potential clients.
Mention the book to all prospective clients who call, even those who seem like a sure thing. You should tell everyone about your book, from referrals to your best friend. Mention the book even to potential clients who already have an in-office appointment.
Ensure your staff is also talking about your lawyer marketing book. Every single prospective client should receive a copy. If you can’t afford to mail a physical copy to everyone, then only mail them to people who show genuine interest. Everyone else should at least get an emailed digital copy. Sending potential clients a physical copy of your book really impresses people. They start to think about the money you spent to send it to them and are more likely to open and read it. Everyone needs a reminder to take action.
Getting someone to consume your lawyer marketing book for any amount of time is the key to turning a potential client into a paying client. This is why getting a physical copy into their hands or either emailing a copy several times or emailing multiple chapters is important. When you send out a book, include a personal letter talking about the book with testimonials and other important information.
METHOD FOUR: Give your lawyer marketing book to potential referral partners and use it to build a referral network.
This includes giving a copy to anyone who interacts with your customer before, during, or after the time that you meet with him or her. This might include insurance companies, doctors, financial planners, bail bondsmen, and attorneys who practice in other areas. Give multiple copies of your book to your referral partners and keep them stocked, so that they don’t ever run out. By doing this, you are actually doing your referral partners a favor as well. It makes them look good to their clients because they can give them information that helps their situation.
A bondsman can’t directly recommend your services. However, he can mention that your office has provided a book as a free resource and give a copy to his client, who is then much more likely to call you than a lawyer out of the phone book. The same example could be applied to a body shop or a chiropractor.
METHOD FIVE: Turn your lawyer marketing book into an email series, a video series, or an audio series.
Getting potential clients to consume the material is the key to your success. Different people consume content in different ways. Some prefer to watch whereas others like to listen. Others yet may prefer to read information. You must cater to all learning styles using this advanced tactic. If you do this, you will get a lot more people to actually read your book and you will get more clients.
A related tactic is to chunk the information into smaller sized pieces because the whole book may be too much to consume at once. Slowly release the information onto the prospective client and after a while, they want to take action.
METHOD SIX: Mention your author status as often as you can.
Put a link to your lawyer marketing book in your email signature and your email series. Put a picture of you holding a copy of your book on your website. Mention it on LinkedIn, AVVO, Yelp, Google+, and Thumb Tack. Feature it on your media pack or on your one-sheet. Your entire staff should be talking about the book to all potential clients.
METHOD SEVEN: Send your lawyer marketing book to media outlets with a one-sheet of what it is about and what you can talk about in an interview.
Bloggers may blog about your book and local TV, radio, or newspapers may pick it up. Once that happens, you’ve even got more credibility pieces and can promote yourself with “As seen on TV”, for example. You should also always mention speaking at any industry conferences. Appearing as a speaker at various events gives you attention and credibility. Authoritative speakers have books and therefore, you need to have one too.
In the end, authority is everything and the best way to become an authority in your practice area is law firm marketing book publishing. The most powerful thing you will be able to list on your business card or on your AVVO profile, is “published author”. Ebook writing and publishing for law firms changes the game because most attorneys won’t ever publish a book.