Recently I’ve read a number of articles advising consumers how to find a good divorce attorney. It occurred to me that much of this advice can be turned around and used to help firms become the kind of family law practices their clients need.
- Remember Details – You handle a lot of cases and the specifics sometimes run together. However to your client there is only one case and if you forget something like the names of the children–or worse, call their kids by the wrong names–then you come across as uncaring. Take a moment to review the case file in your divorce software before meeting with a client.
- Know What You Don’t Know – Let’s say you’ve moved your practice to New York State and are using NY family law software to help you along while you learn the specifics of the state’s family law statutes. During this learning curve you can handle simple cases but may not have the knowledge to adequately represent complex divorces. Know when it is in the client’s best interest for you to refer the case to a more experienced attorney.
- Save Money – Running an efficient practice allows you to keep your fees reasonable, which is appreciated by clients who are going through the financial crisis of a divorce. Take full advantage of every feature of your divorce legal software to automate and simplify your practice, reduce the time you need to spend on each case, and cut your expenses.
- Be Compassionate – Divorces are emotional and clients often need to feel like they are being treated as individuals rather than just an invoice in a chair. A simple “I’m sorry for what you are going through” can be very comforting in a difficult time.
- Be Professional – On the other hand, you don’t want to end up being the client’s therapist or best friend. Maintain a professional distance and don’t let yourself get too emotionally involved in the case. Finding the balance between compassion and professionalism is one of the trickiest aspects of family law practice.