client service

Caring for Clients: When a Lawyer Isn’t Enough

Clients bring issues to you every day that aren’t, strictly speaking, legal issues. Maybe your business client needs a new accountant because the last one got her sued. Or your litigation client is so distraught he can’t work with you (or anyone else), and might need a mental health professional. You probably have resources that could help, but should you advise your clients on these issues? If so, how? “Attorney and Counselor at Law” may sound old-fashioned, but that “counselor” in the title is what many of your clients need. It’s not counseling in the mental health sense — that’s out of most lawyers’ league. It’s counseling in the “advising” sense. You are a trustworthy source of advice, not only for the legal matter you’ve been hired to handle, but issues that are related — directly or indirectly. Your main job is handling their legal matters, but you’re not fulfilling the role of counselor if you shut your eyes to your clients’ other needs. So how can you recognize when it is appropriate for you to step into the counselor role, and how can you be the trusted advisor your client needs while keeping your professional and personal boundaries intact? ... READ THE REST

Originally published June 2, 2015
Last updated March 18, 2020
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