A lawyer I coached several years ago sent me this email with rules she had set for herself to better serve her clients.
I hope that every year I can practice law better than I did the year before. With that in mind, I thought I would set 5 rules that I hope I follow on every case, every day of my practice this year.
- Return every call and e-mail the same business day unless it comes after 4:00 pm and then return it before 10:00 am the next business day. This applies whether it is from a court clerk, another lawyer in the firm, opposing counsel, or our most important client.
- Know each client’s billing guidelines and record and release all time in compliance with client and firm guidelines.
- Beat every deadline I have. For XXX who requires a 21 day report, I will send it on the 20th day. For YYY who requires a report every 60 days, I will send it on the 59th day. For those of you who work for primarily internal clients, beating every deadline you have by a day could really change your practice. And, in the event of the unforeseen (sickness, client emergency), you can still be a day late and still be on time.
- Ask myself before any work product leaves my desk – is this the absolute best work product I can produce in a reasonable amount of time. If not, make it better.
- Make every person I work for feel like their business, their call, their letter, their e-mail and their case are the most important thing I have to do and it is my pleasure to work for them.
I wonder how many lawyers have set rules like this for themselves. More importantly, how many lawyers are actually living by rules like this to better serve their clients?