Communicating with your attorney

One of the most challenging pieces of being an attorney is learning the art of communication. In law school we are taught statutes, procedures and how to talk to a jury, but no one really discusses the importance of communicating with your client. It is pivotal in any attorney- client relationship that you understand why they are there needing your assistance, what is their ultimate goal and if that changes during the course of your representation. Some clients have difficulty understanding exactly what they would like the attorney to accomplish. It is difficult when you are caught up in an emotional roller-coaster of a law suit to fully appreciate what you are trying to accomplish or why. The attorney has to become an investigator. It is their job at this point to weed through the emotional ties that the client has to the suit and be able to spot the issues at hand. A good attorney will make sure, multiple times, that the two of you have properly identified all of the issues you want addressed. Then, they will be able to identify what issues can be effectively addressed in your case. As the case progresses, frequent communication with a client must continue. As we all know, our day to day lives impact our ultimate goals for the future. These same daily life experiences sometimes impact the outcome that a client would like to see on their case. Staying in close contact with your attorney to discuss any of these changes is important. Communication with the clients is sometimes seen as dollar signs by the client. This is not necessarily the case. An attorney is saving you time and money by staying in frequent contact with you throughout the case. Sharing any details that they are receiving, making sure that your goals haven’t changed and keeping you informed on any progress so there is no need for an hour long meeting on what has happened. In addition, by keeping the attorney informed on what is happening with you, they don’t need to find your new address if you move, track down a different phone number if yours changes or wonder why you aren’t available for a court date because you are out of town on vacation. By the end of your case, with any luck, you will view your attorney as a close confident. This should be someone that you are not dreading to talk to or someone you haven’t caught up with forever. It will be a person that you miss when something new is happening in your life, because for a long time you shared all of that with them. If you are able to establish this type of relationship with your attorney, know you have found an attorney who has mastered the art of communication.