Communicating with Clients and Cutting through Legal Jargon
Communicating effectively with clients is essential for a productive client-solicitor relationship. Solicitors must take care to ensure that communication with clients is clear and tailored. It is important clients get the first-rate service they paid for. Our trainee solicitor, Amy Palin, sat down to discuss how she cuts through legal jargon and tailors advice so that both client and solicitor are always on the same page.
How do you help your clients understand their case when it comes to more complicated aspects and legal jargon?
I always try to simplify everything without patronising the client. It’s easy to get into the habit of using legal jargon with colleagues in the office, but when speaking to the client take care to explain the matter in plain language. I try to find examples that are more likely to stick in their mind, so that the client feels they know how their matter is being handled. Finally, I encourage the client to ask questions and create an environment where they feel comfortable doing so.
Every client is unique, how do you approach tailoring your advice to make sure their individual needs are met?
When taking instructions, I always start with an open discussion as to how the needs of the client can be met. This broadens the scope of the discussion and might reveal other concerns they may have. Ultimately, by getting to know the client and their concerns it means we can work out what the client needs. This is the best way to deliver a satisfactory conclusion to their matter.
Do you do anything aside from the usual emails and face to face meetings to communicate with clients?
At CJCH we try to accommodate our clients as best as we can. For our clients based overseas we can arrange Skype/conference calls. Furthermore, our diverse team speaks over 22 languages, which means we can usually deal with any translations for clients in-house rather than relying on an outside interpreter for communicating.
What are the benefits of clients feeling that they can ask a solicitor questions and then actually doing so?
When a client asks questions, they will have a better understanding of their matter. Additionally, it is good for the client-solicitor relationship if the client does not feel removed from the details & complexities of the process, they will likely be more satisfied with the service. Furthermore, clients asking questions forces me to challenge the way I respond and shows me areas where I might improve to provide clients a better service in future.
What tips would you give to clients when it comes to having open communication with a solicitor?
Ask questions! Always tell your solicitor if what they are saying does not make sense. Doing this at the outset will usually make the matter proceed more smoothly and efficiently. It is also the best way for law firms and solicitors to develop and make progress as to the best ways to meet clients’ needs.
How can we help:
CJCH is committed to providing expert, clear and tailored advice on a wide range of personal and business law matters. Speak to a qualified member of our team today. Get in touch via:
Telephone: 0333 231 6405