Maintaining healthy lines of communication with your clients is an oft overlooked but crucial facet to practicing law. Tales of ‘problem clients’ demanding constant attention and / or expecting the impossible are all too common in the legal profession. However, the reality is that clients rely heavily on their attorneys to guide them through litigation. In that light, the needling doubt and / or manic optimism that clients often exhibit is understandable. Part of being a successful litigator is communicating well enough to curtail these sorts of sentiments.
Prior to the pandemic, client outreach was typically limited to e-mail, ‘snail mail’, phone calls, and in-person meetings, all of which have considerable downsides. Written communication tends to be too long and formal, drowning the client in a mass of un-readable and cold legalese, to the point that the correspondence is frequently discarded. Any litigator relying on e-mail and ‘snail mail’ as their primary means of client outreach are bound to see said relationships deteriorate regardless of their efforts. While phone calls or in-person meetings have always been better options, they are also tricky to schedule and maintain in a post-covid world.
Ironically, the onset of COVID-19 has been a boon for alternative forms of attorney – client communication. With traditional means of communication rendered ineffective if not impossible, litigators have been turning to more current methods of outreach to keep their clients abreast of developments. According to Thomson Reuters, the most prevalent of these methods is texting, but litigators are also starting to take advantage of virtual technologies popularized during the pandemic such as video conferencing as well.
Online platforms are yet another means of communication quickly becoming prevalent with litigators. Several online case management systems, such as Legal Document Server’s, offer integrated secure client message / bulletin boards that allow clients to track their case in real time. Being left in the dark is a major source of client angst in litigation and allowing clients to access their case’s calendar and documents themselves gives them the freedom to check their case’s status at their convenience. With secure message / bulletin boards, clients are no longer solely reliant on their attorney for status updates on their case, alleviating a major source of stress.
Online platforms do more than simply give clients access to basic case information. However, the message board component also allows for on-demand communication between attorney and client. If a client has a specific question that the case calendar cannot answer, they can post questions to the message board for their attorney. Centralizing all case related data and communication allows litigators to limit mundane and repetitive non-updates while simultaneously allowing for instantaneous communication. Maintaining open lines of communication with clients helps to curtail ‘problem client’ tendencies significantly. As a result, it is crucial that litigators begin to implement convenience into their communication with their clients.
If you would like to learn more about Legal Document Server’s Case Management System, please reach out to email@example.com or contact us directly at (800) 687-5003 Ext. 1.