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You and Your Lawyer: effective communication
You and Your Lawyer: effective communication

During some parts of your lawsuit, you may not need to spend much time talking about your case.  There may be other times, however, when you’re speaking to your lawyer on a daily or weekly basis. To keep down your frustration (and costs) when there’s a lot going on, keep these tips in mind.

Remember that you pay for your lawyer’s time.  If you need to talk to them frequently, they will accommodate you, but you should give some thought to whether you need a quick chat about an ongoing issue, or whether you really need to vent to a friend or talk to a counselor.  Your lawyer is your strategist and needs to be aware of what’s going on, but they are not your therapist.

Most lawyers keep pretty busy, so you may not be able to reach them every time you call. One way to make the most of your time is to schedule a call rather than just seeing if they’re available at the moment.  If your lawyer knows they’ll be speaking with you, they can prepare for your call to make it more efficient and effective.  Try jotting down the subjects you want to talk about, so both you and your lawyer can keep on track.

We all know some people are better by phone than email or vice versa.  When you meet your lawyer, take the opportunity to see if they have a preferred method of communication, and how you can share information most effectively.  Share your preferences as well.

Some clients try not to check in too much, and don’t call or email. Then, they start to get frustrated that they’re not hearing from their lawyer.  Your lawyer knows that you have to pay them for their time and won’t want to waste your time or money.  Your lawyer may not call just to check in.  That means that if something happens, or if you’re worried about your case, you should call or email. The fact that they’re not calling you just to check in does not mean they’re not willing to address your concerns or that they’re not keeping your case moving in the background.  Communication is a two-way street, so set up a call if there are things you’d like to discuss.

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