Frank H. Wu, Chancellor and Dean of UC Hastings College of the Law, wrote an article for the Huffington Post on February 13, 2013 looking back at his time practicing law from his current perspective as a client. Mr. Wu offers a handful of realizations of a lawyer turned client, which LPR hopes all attorneys will take to heart:
- Most of what matters to me as a client was not apparent to me as a lawyer.
- I am looking for an efficient resolution of matters.
- If there are uncertainties, I’d like a good prediction with the relevant factors laid out so I can attempt to make the situation better rather than worse.
- I value reliability and clarity.
- I care intensely about cost — both the direct costs and the transaction costs as in the legal fees.
- The lawyers for me ought to have a good sense of our strategic goals in order to offer value.
- Beyond what is [ethically] required, I want to be able to trust that the lawyer is not only competent but also loyal.
Mr. Wu concludes that “[t]he leading lesson we should impress upon [law] students is that the legal profession is a service profession.” He confesses that he doesn’t recall being so informed when he was in law school.
This conclusion is so central to the attorney/client relationship that it bears repeating:
THE LEGAL PROFESSION IS A SERVICE PROFESSION
LPR’s Tip #2 to attorneys is to remember that you are a service provider. Each attorney should always think like a client in all work for, and interactions with, clients and treat them accordingly.
Thinking like a client is a necessary step to better attorney/client relationships. And, better attorney/client relationships is an integral part of legal practice reform.
You’ve got options. The Center for Legal Practice Reform can help you navigate the attorney/client relationship and level the playing field. Call LPR today for a free consultation – (301) 351-7970.