For this issue’s Legal Briefs, we put the following question to number of Triangle attorneys: For your clients, how vital is it to keep the same attorney(s) on their account for an extended period of time? How does your firm maintain this consistency?
Today, clients can get legal information from the Internet; they come to us because they want counsel from an attorney that understands their situation and has the ability to distill the law down into a game plan which they can understand and implement. This understanding comes through the development of a relationship with our clients as we partner with them to achieve their goals. We hone this relationship by nurturing an environment where our lawyers collaborate daily and are invested in the mutual success of our clients and our firm.
–Ted Edwards, Principal, The Banks Law Firm.
We have found that long-term relationships are a good thing. Clients appreciate the fact that they can pick up the phone or send an email directly to a primary contact attorney within our 170-plus lawyer, seven office law firm, who knows their individual preferences, has been to their worksite, and understands their business. If the contact attorney is the right one to respond to a particular legal issue, so much the better. But if there is another attorney in the firm who is more experienced and better equipped to speak to the substance of the particular issue du jour, the client can trust that his or her contact attorney will not only navigate him to the right person, but also will get that person up to speed on the client’s business and needs. This “triaging” service gives our clients what they want: a cost effective, efficient solution to their legal issues—without reinventing the wheel each time they call us.
–Julie Earp, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP Management Committee Chairperson
A client’s choice in an attorney is much more personal and emotional than we would probably like to admit. Credentials, competency and overall reputation are required, but so is whether that client likes us, trusts us and feels good about having us at their side. That emotional choice for a client can easily be disrupted if they are shifted from attorney to attorney without being prepared. At NC Planning, we want our clients to know and trust the team, not just the individual from the beginning. Explaining this team approach at the onset of the engagement and making sure we try to ease any transition between attorneys is key.
–Tom Lenfestey, NC Planning, A Service of Adams, Howell, Sizemore & Lenfestey
It is important from a practice management perspective to have some consistency in handling a particular client’s matter. It decreases the client’s legal fees, it ensures that details regarding the case will not be overlooked and it makes the case move more quickly and efficiently. At Triangle Law Group, we strive to achieve this goal by assigning teams to each case. I work on every case in the office and assign an associate and paralegal to each. We alert the client as to the team members after they retain us, and the client knows who to reach out to when needed.
–Laurie B. Gengo, Managing Partner, Triangle Law Group
Triangle Divorce Lawyers utilizes an attorney-lead team approach to manage our client’s cases. Clients who retain a long-term legal team foster a trusting and candid relationship with the attorney and paralegal, and have a more consistent case strategy. If a client must switch attorneys, due to a personnel change for example, it is important that the new lead attorney is fully aware of and remains focused on a client’s ultimate goals and original priorities and that the rest of the team stays intact. We find that this practice produces a comprehensive approach and provides the best customer satisfaction.
–Mary Gurganus, Managing Partner, Triangle Divorce Lawyers
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