Each year over 100 law students are graduated to the professional legal field. Although space is created when some attorneys die or migrate, resign or retire, the field seems over occupied.
Oftentimes locals are overheard wondering on where all the new attorneys will find clients. Moreso there is a greater concern over how emerging lawyers will sustain themselves and in most instances pay back their loan.
After all its not exactly a skill that can apply to a number of areas and fees can be drastically reduced for want of a client. Then there is the fact that attorneys are limited in how to make themselves known to the public by their code of ethics.
So how does the attorneys at law and the public bridge the gap and meet.
Here are a few suggestions based on feedback from the public which can serve as tips for becoming the picture perfect in their eyes.
- Be transparent, whether your fees are high or low people just want to know details on how their money is being spent or was spent
- Dont hog the show and jeapordise client-lawyer partnership. Attorneys who are picture perfect listen attentively and are patient to questions asked by the public.
Persons are turned off by attorneys who avoid being questioned and go into a dictating mode
- Do some work that convinces the client you earn the money. An admirer of Bert Samuels remembers the day he measured the very footprint in the ground to prove the show size
Each client is a privilege and not a right as no one is obligated to give a particular attorney their business
- Keep up to date with the laws and ensure you are updated in the listings for Jamaican lawyers
- Dont be afraid to ask questions and do not pass of as a snob or become too busy.
- Dont be afraid to admit when you really do not know or remember something or worse cant handle a case. A big turn off is lawyers pretending to know just so much about an area which is not their specialty. Clients know that the lawyers do not know everything. Picture perfect lawyers show a humane side when they admit they need to do further research and consultation and really do.
- Attend seminars and practice critical thinking. This helps in understanding your client better and that better understanding leads to greater representation and trust.
- Develop writing and oral skills
- Be responsible as in guiding clients through the legal system with both skill and tact
- Be respectful and at least appear to be genuine to everyone regardless of colour, status, creed from judge to pauper
- Respect the system. If you disrespect the system in front of your client you disrespect yourself as well
- Be confidential about your client. Despite the local code of ethics persons have complained about select attorneys who spoke ill of them and their case when they indicated changing representation
Always remember that your clients especially in Jamaica is your billboard. They have no obligation to be confidential.
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