How Law Firms Can Manage Conflict with Clients the Best Way

Podcast on client conflict resolution for law firms, available on all streaming platforms.

In today’s episode, Tanner is accompanied by Kelley Keller, the founder & president of Big Bang Legal, LLC ( Aside from practicing law, Kelley works with lawyers and small business owners who are struggling to manage conflict in their lives and work. By addressing the underlying problems that created a particular conflict in the first place, Kelley’s clients are better prepared to anticipate conflict in the future and to resolve it before it escalates.

Key Takeaways:

00:19 Introduction 

01:01 Most common factors that cause conflict with clients

05:51 Steps to avoid disagreements in business

08:00 How attorneys can clarify the client’s assumptions

10:35 Constructing the best fee agreements 

14:12 More best practices for clear attorney-client communication 

15:10 The prospect’s research process when hiring law firms

19:40 Conflicts with clients law firms should avoid

21:40 Selecting the clients that match your firm’s expertise

23:27 How to tell clients their case is not a fit for the firm

25:50 Legal communication strategies to avoid conflict

28:26 Dealing with disputes in a professional manner

31:13 Last thoughts on conflict.


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Tweetables and Quotes: 

“One of the big issues in conflict is communication and the second one is mismanagement of expectation. With respect to communication: do your clients understand what’s going on? What do they need? Why do they need it? Because if you’re somebody that’s never worked with a lawyer, you really have to help them understand things using stories and analogies they’ll understand so it’s relatable to them.” @consultwebs

“When you begin an attorney-client relationship, you both come to the table with a certain set of assumptions and the first thing you [as a lawyer] need to do is make sure you’re both operating from the same assumptions at a starting point.” @consultwebs 

“Lawyers make, what I believe, is an unforced error by assuming the clients know what they need. Clients don’t know what they need, they know what they’re afraid of. Clients know what they fear, and they know what they don’t want to have happen.”  @consultwebs

“There are good facts and bad facts but the chances that the client will disclose all of the facts in your first meeting are very small for two reasons: they might not realize that something is a relevant fact and two, being raw and vulnerable in front of somebody they don’t know is tough. So, making sure the client feels safe in the disclosure is more art than science and it’s less about lawyering and more about interpersonal relationships.”  @consultwebs

“Firms need to be crystal clear in the fee agreement. Think back to: what is your client buying? Are they buying time? Documents? Or both?” @consultwebs

“[In client communication] you can never be too clear, and you can never go wrong with clarity, efficiency and restating questions like, ‘do you understand?’ And ‘do you have any questions?’” @consultwebs



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