January 25, 2017 article

How to Approach That Difficult Client as a Newer Attorney

By Conor Desmond

It's 5:30 on a Friday evening. You are packing up your briefcase and getting ready to head home. Suddenly, your phone rings. You look up and see it is "that" client on the caller ID. The client who makes unreasonable demands, calls you 10 times a day, demands daily updates, and requires every little detail to be explained immediately and concisely. Also, the client insists that you cannot bill for these interactions, takes offense at the slightest provocation, and is a "good friend" of one of your firm's partners.

Sounds like a fun start to the weekend!

All lawyers will encounter clients like this in their career, regardless of their specialty. The client may give you headaches, but the client is still a paying client who has retained you to help with a legal problem. This is a challenge for many attorneys, especially for younger attorneys who may have little experience in client interactions and sometimes may not have been involved in the initial conversation that led to the attorney being hired. Finding a workable solution to these issues will not only make you a better attorney but will also make your practice more enjoyable and functional. Here are 10 tips on how to approach difficult client situations.

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