No. I Don’t Have Time to Read Blogs

by Marianne Richmond on October 7, 2005

I was talking to my lawyer yesterday about what lawyers call my "high conflict" divorce case. Yes, we are divorced but instead of that judgment being the end of the conflict, it became the basis for my ex to escalate the conflict. This is, of course a whole other blog that is under development but this post is about people completely impervious to blogs. My lawyer started talking about the client/attorney relationship in an unusual manner for lawyers that I have actually worked with, as opposed to law professors, friends who are attorneys or those whose blogs I read…he talked in terms of client service and was pondering why, despite what their firm thought were great results in some case, the client did not express gratitude or otherwise provide positive feedback.  Well, I could have given him quite a guest lecture on the topic based upon my personal experiences,and experiences of friends and family in the quagmire of the family court system; and I could filter the personal experiences with my marketer’s lens. However, I politely suggested that there was a lot being written about this topic on the web, specifically by lawyers who blawg. I suggested he might want to check out the {non} billable hour or In Search of Perfect Client Service or  The Greatest American Lawyer for their insightful and innovative thinking about the practice of law.
 

When there was silence on the other end of the phone, I inquired as to whether or not he read blogs. His answer? No, I don’t have time to read blogs. My thought of course was: Do you really have time to not read blogs?  And I know I am at one extreme with my the answer to all of life’s mysteries can be found in the blogosphere attitude….but c’mon, you want to know why, despite winning a case, your clients seem dissatisfied? Have a conversation with them…and listen; add some empathy. There you go…good start. You are in the service business….did you serve their needs? You say you "won" the case…did you have a discussion with them to define what "winning" the case was so in the end you could agree that you had won.  Oh, stop billing your clients for your mistakes, especially when it is because you didn’t listen…ok, I may be going too far.

The New York Times has an article today on blawging lawyers that quotes Scott Turow, "when people think of law, you think of jails and
marshals and corporate executives. But the reality is…it’s all words, and lawyers are verbal people, both in terms of the
written stuff and the spoken stuff." The law is about words…your clients are about words.

But maybe here lies one of the problems in having conversations with clients…the same New York Times article quotes another blawger, Denise Howell, "blogs demystify the law without costing outrageous
sums; lead to more open, frequent and occasionally informed discussions
of politics, law and occasionally morality; and help forge links
between practicing lawyers, law professors, law students and the real
world.

So, one of the problems that I see in client/attorney relationships is that attorneys don’t really want to "demystify" the law for their clients…and certainly not without collecting "outrageous sums". Second of all, in the link being forged above,  the client is conspicuously absent from the list.

 

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