By Jeffrey Paulsen, Paulsen Law Firm PLLC
Typically when a client hires a lawyer, it is because of the education, legal background and life experiences of the lawyer as well as the belief that the lawyer can provide the legal advice, counsel and solutions needed to resolve the client’s legal concerns. The foremost thing on a client’s mind should be selecting the correct lawyer. Selecting the correct lawyer is dependent upon the type of relationship that the client hopes to achieve. Here is a short summary of the types of relationships a client can build with a lawyer:
Highest Level-Trust Based
The highest level of legal advice and counseling a client can receive from a lawyer is based upon trust. This type of relationship takes time to develop and involves focusing on the lawyer-client relationship as individuals. In this type of relationship, the lawyer should be someone that can tell the client what he or she thinks and not what the client wants to hear. The client comes to rely on the lawyer on both a professional and personal level.
This type of relationship focuses on the client organization and involves a lawyer providing insights and ideas based upon his or her knowledge of the business organization and its objectives. This type of relationship typically leads to multiple interactions between lawyer and client based upon various legal issues and needs. These relationships are longer term and can over time lead to a Trust Based relationship.
This type of relationship is based upon problem solving and providing solutions to a client’s existing problems. Often, this type of relationship is not ongoing and the client needs a lawyer specialized in a particular legal specialty to resolve the immediate legal issue. If there are multiple interactions between the lawyer and the client, this type of relationship can lead to a Relationship Based relationship.
This is the most basic relationship that can exist between a lawyer and a client. The lawyer in this instance is retained to answers questions and provide information and legal guidance that is timely and of high quality. This type of relationship may be a one-time engagement or it can potentially develop into a Relationship Based relationship or in rarer situations, a Trust Based relationship.
How the Selection of the Correct Lawyer can make Clients Feel
Unfortunately too often I hear of relationships between lawyers and clients that do not feel good at all. Clients may not like how the lawyer made them feel and frankly the lawyer may not like how the client made them feel. Focusing on the type of relationship the client wishes to establish with a lawyer and having an understanding between the lawyer and client on the type of relationship desired should help avoid these negative feelings.
As a lawyer, I strive to ensure that all my clients never forget how I make them feel and that these feelings are always positive.
Paulsen Law Firm PLLC – “Formed with clients in mind………”Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.
Paulsen Law Firm PLLC, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48302. 248-456-0646. www.paulsenlawfirm.com