In our last two podcasts, we’ve talked about some pretty heavy stuff. This week we lighten things up. What makes for a bad client?
Some lawyers hesitate to discuss issues they have with clients. The majority of lawyers, however, will happily vent their frustrations if you ask them. While lawyers are different than other service-facing industries, we still provide a service to clients. This means that we deal with many of the issues encountered by workers in retail, sales, and support.
In reality, lawyers deal with some stressful situations made worse by having bad clients. One of the most important lessons for any young lawyer to learn is how to say “no” to a bad client. Bad clients behave poorly, disrespect staff, lie about important issues, and generally show a poor attitude. These are common issues with customers across many professions and the legal industry is no exception. After consulting with some colleagues, I found that the most universally disliked behavior was disrespecting staff.
As a potential client, I will offer you some unsolicited advice. Always be kind, patient, and polite with every staff member no matter their position. Mistreating staff is a fast way to get yourself corrected or fired by a law firm. Calling the receptionist? Be nice. The lawyer is not available so you have to speak with the legal assistant? BE NICE. This rule applies across the board. Keep in mind that not every case is the same, so it doesn’t help you to compare your case to your friend’s case.
Ultimately, lawyers are people too (as much as I hate to admit that lol). What goes around comes around. Treat your lawyers and their staff right and everyone is happier. You don’t have to be perfect, but showing some respect and consideration really goes a long way.
Check out past episodes of The Border Boys Podcast!