It is crucial to have a clear, written agreement with your client explaining not just the scope of your services, but how you will be paid for those services. Be careful that you don’t run afoul of your professional obligations in that fee agreement or in your billing.
The practice of law takes practice. Experience is required to hone the skills necessary to be an effective advocate and to keep existing clients satisfied as well as attract new clients. There are, however, some common mistakes made by young lawyers that, with forethought and planning, can be avoided. Work to avoid these bad habits and your learning curve will be significantly shorter.
It’s sad but true: The work product of an attorney that clients study most closely is the attorney’s bill. Dina Cox says because of this close scrutiny, coupled with your own standards of professionalism, it is important that your time records and any invoice for services sent to the client be clear, detailed and accurate.
Loyalty and independence of judgment are essential to the effective representation of a client. A conflict of interest may make it impossible to exercise these essentials, or it may create an appearance that is injurious to the health of the lawyer-client relationship.
In this column, basic tips for preventing legal malpractice claims and other risk management strategies will be explored. Here are this author’s Top Ten client screening suggestions.