Our firm has 14 attorneys. Just this year three of our more senior attorneys have had bar complaints filed against them. One has been disciplined by the bar. How can we improve this situation?
Hopefully you have the right attorneys on the bus and they actually care and see the importance and value of client service. If not - an educational program for the entire firm combined with a coaching program for the offenders, if needed, might be a starting point.
Here are a few other suggestions:
1. Improve client selection. Learn to recognize problem clients and say no to some and do not represent them.
2. Use engagement letters as a tool to manage client expectations. Underpromise and overdeliver.
3. Ramp up your communications and communicate, communicate, communicate with clients as well as office team members. Communications problems with clients - both initially and later on in the engagement - is the root cause of most problems.
4. Insure that you have effective office systems for managing client work production, conflicts of interest, calendar and docket control, and overall case management.
John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC