How to Be a Good Client
A strong attorney-client relationship is vital to the success of your case. Following these simple suggestions on how to be a “good client” can help make a huge difference in terms of getting you better results.
Be an active participant in the process: As the client, you have the exclusive power to make decisions as to the objectives of your matter. While we, as attorneys, will always attempt to look out for your best interests, we need your input in order to provide the appropriate advice and help you make choices that will align with your goals.
- Do your homework: There will be times when your attorney will request information from you. You should provide the information within the time frame requested because there are often deadlines that must be met. Failure to provide information could be detrimental to your case.
- Stay informed: Attorneys will regularly pass along copies of documentation that is generated on your case. Read what is sent to you. Do not forget to mark your calendar with important dates.
- Communicate with your attorney: Knowing the full story – not just the favorable parts – is vital to good representation. You should provide your attorney with updates and ask questions about your case.
- Be patient: While your case is no doubt very important to your attorney, it is not the only one he or she is handling. Attorneys do their best to respond to emails and return phone calls within twenty-four to forty-eight hours, but sometimes your inquiry may require more than a simple email exchange or quick return phone call. If so, the attorney may need to schedule an appointment to speak with you.
- Have realistic expectations: Your attorney will not be able to solve all of the problems which led to the breakdown of your marriage. In many cases, both parties (right or wrong) must compromise in order to reach a resolution.
- A Court Order is not a suggestion: The Court may issue an Order directing you to take (or not take) a certain action. If this occurs, it is important that you follow the Order. If you are dissatisfied with an Order, there may be remedies available, but you should not take matters into your own hands.
- Hear us out: While you do not have to agree with everything that your attorney tells you, please be mindful that it is our job to counsel you — even if it is not what you want to hear. We will tell you the good along with the bad.
- Don’t believe everything you hear: While friends and family will undoubtedly have opinions on how your case should be handled based upon their experiences, the reality is that no two cases are alike. Even a small difference in circumstances can yield a different outcome in your matter. Remember that your attorney is best suited to provide you with advice.
In conclusion, being a “good client” makes good sense. By working together with your attorney as a team, you can help to ensure that the attorney-client relationship is as effective as possible and, in turn, you will have the best chance of being satisfied with the end result.