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THE MAGAZINE      October 2002
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Edited By Milton W. Zwicker

Milton W. Zwicker (zwicker@zwickerevanslewis.com) is Managing Partner of Zwicker Evans & Lewis in Orillia, ONT, and the author of Successful Client Newsletters (ABA, 1998).

Through the Client’s Eyes: New Approaches to Get Clients to Hire You Again and Again Henry W. Ewalt. 2nd ed. (ABA Law Practice Management Section, 2002.) $79.95; LPM Section members: $69.95. PC: 511-0480. www.abanet.org/lpm/catalog.

Reviewed By Edward Olkovich

The simple truth is, clients want lawyers they can trust. If trust is lacking, you cannot have a lasting lawyer-client relationship. Yet do you earn trust by getting results for clients or cultivate it by satisfying their needs? Henry W. Ewalt, author of Through the Client’ Eyes, believes that you must wake up to a new vision for your law practice. Spend time getting to know your clients to build trust, and you can count on being hired again and again. You will also enhance your professional skills, generate a marketing philosophy and achieve financial success.

In the new edition of his popular book, Ewalt explains how to budget resources to build relationships. He says to stop sending SOSs—the "same old stuff"—to clients. Be creative and look beyond the usual round of golf. His analysis suggests you will earn trust if you see things through your client’s eyes. He also recommends this as an effective approach to designing firm brochures, newsletters and Web sites.

Regardless of your practice setting or firm size, this book can help you to make client service a habit. There is no psychological or marketing babble. You’ll find that the book’s 275 pages flow and make an easy-to-follow introduction to competency in client relations. It includes chapters on technology, billing tools, involving the client, corporate and counsel relations and dealing with new and frequent clients.

In addition, there are sample letters and forms, along with a client report card and survey. You can use these to show clients that you see them as more than "cash flow" solutions. You can, as a result, get better grades from clients.

The book covers client relationships at every step, from the first impression made by the receptionist to the client survey at the close of a matter. And Ewalt’s personal anecdotes illustrate his solutions to everyday issues. It’s clear that he understands how to involve clients in the decision-making process without losing control. He even describes how you can turn around client disasters.

This primer on client skills will benefit anyone who comes in direct contact with clients. Use it as a training manual to build skills in serving others better. It is a classic destined to be read again and again.

Edward Olkovich (edo@mrwills.com) is a Toronto lawyer and author.