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What is Attorney-Client Collaboration and How It Will Help Your Practice?

September 24th, 2021 / Kelly Jamrozy / Reading Time: 4 minutes

attorney client privilegeMost people have heard of attorney-client privilege, but do you know about attorney-client collaboration? It’s an important part of the attorney-client relationship and making it a priority can help you grow your practice.

Here’s how.

Effective communication has always been an important part of the attorney-client relationship. Building trust and ensuring that a client knows you’ll honor attorney-client privilege makes for a smoother relationship that allows you to work as a team.

But there’s more to keeping your clients happy than just simple communication. Successful collaboration between attorneys and clients prevents many problems. It also increases the likelihood your firm receives positive reviews from clients.

What’s the Difference Between Attorney-Client Privilege and Attorney-Client Collaboration?

Attorney-client privilege is the rule preserving the confidentiality of communication between a lawyer and his or her client. The rule is in place to enable clients to openly share information with their attorneys without concern that the attorney will reveal that information and hurt their case. This makes it possible for attorneys to provide the most effective representation. Communicating confidential information to an attorney doesn’t protect it from disclosure if it’s discoverable in another way, but it gives clients some degree of peace of mind when it comes to sharing sensitive information.

Attorney-client collaboration, on the other hand, is more about working together than it is setting ground rules. The goal is to nurture the relationship between attorneys and clients and build confidence. Attorney-client privilege starts the foundation of trust, but collaboration takes it to the next level.

Collaboration includes the client in the processes and ensures they are an active part of their legal team. It reduces frustration and helplessness for clients and improves the odds that clients will be happy with the service you’re providing to them.

How Do I Make My Clients Understand They’re a Priority?

One of the biggest challenges for law firms is balancing client load. You want a lot of clients, but you don’t want more than you can handle. Clients need to know they’re a priority, even if you aren’t speaking to them every day.

Successful attorneys have busy days. They spend time in meetings, in the courtroom, meeting with other clients, and dealing with a variety of other issues. But the client who needs you to deal with their important needs doesn’t want to hear about what you were doing instead. Not hearing from you immediately can lead to panic and dissatisfaction.

The key to avoiding this is actively collaborating with your clients before there’s a problem. If you’ve tended to your clients before and put in place tools they can use to deal with their immediate issues, you’ll help most of them avoid that panicked feeling. They’ll understand their case is a priority, even if they don’t have round-the-clock access to you.

Putting a system in place that ensures clients know exactly how to reach out to you, even if it doesn’t offer immediate access, keeps clients informed and puts them at ease.

How Do I Show Clients I’m Fighting for Them?

The extent of legal knowledge many people have is linked to what they’ve seen in movies and television dramas. The most exciting parts of practicing law are on exhibition to the public, but what goes on behind the scenes is left out because, as you already know, it can be tedious and dull.

The research, writing, and fine-tuning that goes into building a strong case are rarely exciting. But it’s still work and it’s still an important part of helping your clients. The key to preventing problems when things aren’t fast-paced and constantly in motion is to keep clients informed during the entire process. Keeping clients involved in the work that goes into building a case informs them and gives them a better understanding of how things work. It empowers them and prevents a variety of negative feelings from arising.

Nurturing attorney-client collaboration helps your clients and it’s good for your firm.

How Do I Implement Attorney-Client Collaboration?

One of the best ways to take advantage of the benefits attorney-client collaboration practices offer is to use online tools. The best collaboration tools include:

  • Secure document sharing that lets clients view important documents at any time from their own devices. This also prevents you from having to use email to send documents, which lacks security and might not even be possible if a document is too large.
  • Project management and communication platforms that keep everything in one place. Messages can be exchanged and reviewed at a later time without having to sift through old emails. Everyone involved in a case has access to the discussions and can share new information at any time.
  • Online meeting tools that make regular meetings more convenient for everyone. This lets you have a face-to-face check-in with clients without having to set aside time for an in-person meeting. It also makes meeting easy during COVID-19 safety protocols.

Implementing attorney-client collaboration tools accomplish more than just keeping your client happy. This is a huge benefit, but it’s not just the client who enjoys this approach. These strategies help your entire team. Investing time and money in make attorney-client collaboration a priority is one of the best things you can do to help your practice.

If you’d like to learn more about going beyond attorney-client privilege when it comes to working with clients, we can help. Contact Legal Web Design to learn what tools are available for more information.

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