I recently came across a book by attorney David Kempston entitled That’s Why They Call It Practicing Law. In Practicing Law, Kempston argues that a successful law practice must be built around customer service and that good customer service leads to strong client relationships. He offers more than twenty tips to help lawyers offer good customer (client) service. Some of my favorite tips in Practicing Law include:
- Set realistic expectations (about the outcome and value of the case, about communication) but be available and keep the client informed;
- Listen (rather than talk, prepare to talk, or work on other tasks);
- Be kind and act like you care (according to Kempston, even an acknowledgment, such as “I’m sorry you have to deal with this,” goes a long way);
- Don’t procrastinate and be prepared;
- Communicate clearly; and
- ‘Fess up when you mess up (a very important tip for new lawyers)
I like Kempston’s inspiring quotes too. He pulls from a variety of sources, including Tolkien (“It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish.”), the Bible (“The fool multiplies words.”), and Cool Hand Luke (“What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”).
Practicing Law is an excellent gift for young lawyers just starting out and a great read for lawyers who work as solo practitioners or at small firms and those feeling overwhelmed and looking to regain control of their practices. I highly recommend this quick, thoughtful read!
That's Why They Call It Practicing Law is available on Amazon.