5 Key Criteria Clients Look for When Hiring Lawyers (And How to Use Them to Your Advantage!)
Clients want to hiring lawyers who can deliver top-level legal services and nothing less. They want lawyers with decorated credentials, experience, specialized expertise, a reputation, and a good track record. On top of this, many will prefer an attorney that is a good communicator, transparent, and easy to work with.
By knowing the criteria clients use when hiring a lawyer, you can easily take your practice to another level. Whether you’re fresh out of law school or you have more than a few wins under your belt, this piece is for you.
Here are 5 key crucial considerations clients make when hiring lawyers, alongside a few tips you can use to benefit your practice.
Table of Contents
Things to Look for When Hiring Lawyers
1. Reputation and Online Presence
We live in an age and day where, more often than not, most clients will start their search for professionals and service providers such as lawyers online. This means searching on Google, reading reviews online, looking up on social media, and even checking bar association websites.
It also means that having a commanding online presence matters a great deal for legal practitioners these days!
Well, one of the best ways to take advantage of this is to work with an SEO firm that focuses on improving search results for lawyers. From creating a stunning website to optimizing it with helpful content, and promoting it on social media, a professional SEO company can help maximize your reach in various ways.
2. Transparency in Fees and Payment Options
Nothing is more intimidating to a client than being asked to cover legal fees they’d not anticipated. For instance, if a client is in the dark about how much may be due in retainer fees, or what payment plans are available beforehand, things could easily go south. It could– at the very least, lead to the suspicion that they have been taken advantage of, which could at some point ruin the lawyer-client relationship.
This is why lawyers need to be transparent and upfront about their costs and payment options when dealing with potential and existing clients. It’s a great way to attract trust to your law firm too.
3. Communication Skills Are Undebatable
Speaking of trust, clients want to receive clear and concise communication from their lawyers regarding the status of their cases, the cost of services, and so forth. As such, having excellent communication skills is essential for a lawyer. It helps create a level of trust with clients, which is incredibly paramount to the success of both parties.
Good communication skills also help you to explain legal jargon in a way that the client can understand, without being condescending or vague when answering questions. Whenever possible, try to provide tangible updates such as case progress notes, so that your clients are better able to keep track of everything that’s going on.
Honing these communication skills will also prove invaluable in helping you represent clients effectively and efficiently – even under trying and stressful circumstances like divorce proceedings and wrongful death cases.
4. Time (Availability) and Commitment
Many court cases like divorce proceedings, for instance, usually take time and require a great deal of attention from the attorney on behalf of their client. Clients need to be assured that their lawyer is dedicated to their case exclusively, and is available to give them the level of attention they deserve throughout the process.
And as a lawyer, the seat you sit in can get hotter than expected, especially if you have many cases on your schedule. If this is the case, or perhaps you have fewer resources than needed to attend to their legal issues, it’s best to make sure your clients are aware. This way, you can avoid creating feelings of neglect later down the line. It also helps to keep you in line as far as meeting court timelines is concerned.
5. Experience and Expertise
At the end of the day, people are looking for lawyers with proven experience in their specific field of practice. If you have multiple areas of expertise, make sure you can provide relevant cases that demonstrate your ability to succeed in all fields!
Letting potential clients know what legal arguments you won in the past or any specializations or publications related to your work can be a great way to reassure clients that they’re hiring an experienced professional.
Many clients also interview lawyers before hiring them, making it important to rehearse possible questions and scenarios you may encounter during interviews. Your ability to give clear answers immediately when asked will demonstrate preparedness, competency, and –possibly– that you’re up-to-date on current legal matters!
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