Successful Client Management
Like many other professionals, attorneys tend to focus solely on their craft. For instance, a family law attorney will likely join the family law section of their local bar association, attend various conferences and learning opportunities in family law, and be on the lookout for any new laws and case developments that might impact their family law practice.
These are all great habits necessary to make them the best at what they do and grow them into better legal practitioners who can successfully help their clients. However, attorneys often forget that client management is also essential to their legal practice.
What is Client Management?
On average, attorneys create or receive over 70 documents per day, including emails, email attachments, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PDFs, client records, and opposing counsel records. This equates to over 26,000 documents every year and countless hours worked.
Client management is a significant part of running a law firm and one that is multi-faceted; it’s more than just managing a client’s case on a practical level. Of course, it involves paperwork and various systems, but at its core, it involves relationships and a personalized touch.
At the end of their case, a client isn’t going to remember how many documents your team handled for them. Instead, they will remember how you treated them and how that made them feel. Even if their legal outcome isn’t ideal, the relationship you built with them matters.
Client Management Common Mistakes
Common mistakes in legal client management include:
Not Being Available to Clients
It’s expected that lawyers will get busy, sometimes very busy. Juggling clients at different stages in various cases can become quite tricky. However, attorneys who don’t prioritize being available to their clients will see a decline in their business. Whatever their question or concern, lawyers need to make it a priority to get back to their clients. Getting back to them late, with a brief explanation and an apology, is better than not getting back to them.
Not Following Through
You want to build trust with your clients. The only way to do this is to show that they can trust you. In part, this comes with doing what you say you will do. If you tell them you will file a motion with the court on a certain date, do it. If you tell them you will call them at a certain time, do it. Make every effort to follow through on your word.
Not Using Technology
Today’s legal clients are tech-savvy and fully expect their legal team to be as well. Practice management software allows you to work efficiently, allowing you to:
- Automate repetitive tasks and project management
- Streamline intake
- Report on the source of clients, providing focus to your marketing budget
- Track deadlines and client relationship management
- Document case progress
Client Management Software Solutions
The answer to many of these client management failures and dilemmas can be found in client management software solutions. These programs take care of the non-personal parts of being an attorney so that you can focus on client management and interactions with clients. Here are a few top picks:
- Captorra helps your firm manage cases from lead and acquisition to case management. With an easy integration into Microsoft MSX D365, this cloud-based platform uses all-in-one workflows and software to support the business of your practice. Features include automatic follow-up, robust tracking and reporting, and a customizable dashboard for insights into your prospects, clients, and more.
- Clio can be used by attorneys and paralegals and is accessible anywhere. It features unlimited document storage, helping with case management and client intake. In addition, it allows for streamlining many processes and working remotely.
- Smokeball is rated “easiest to use.” It includes an app, 20,000+ pre-loaded forms, and robust Microsoft Office integration. This software also offers insights and tools to save time and have a more productive and profitable law firm.
- MyCase is also highly rated for ease of use and provides the tools necessary to improve organization, increase efficiency, and scale law firm operations. In addition, it keeps all vital case details, including documents, contacts, calendars, emails, tasks, and invoices, readily available in a single, organized location.
No matter what you choose, it should be a software solution you enjoy using and that your team can get on board with.