For a Worry Free Law Practice
Never assume your client knows when your working relationship has ended. Maintain the opinion that there is always client doubt. Always take the final step to close the matter formally by writing a closing letter. The passage of time is not the best protection for your client or you as to what you might or might not be doing.
Building a great practice means putting your clients first. When you put your client first you want to make it easy for them to know what’s going on. That means using engagement letters to clarify what you will be doing and what you won’t be doing for your client. And when you complete the matter and will not be providing any further services put that it in writing to make easy for your client.
If you don’t do these kinds of written letters, you take the risk of being a reported malpractice case that might be the benchmark for other attorneys.
These letters will only take a couple of hours. Think of those hours as marketing hours. Your closing letter should include content that solidifies your relationship with your client. Even when you hope to have future work from this client, it’s important to put in writing that you’ve concluded your work for the client on this matter. Let the client know you look forward to their hiring you for their next matter.
Should you have to defend your position because you didn’t write such a letter that will take a lot more hours than writing the letter. When you get into the routine and have systems for sending closing and engagement letters it becomes much easier.
Law Practice Tip 237: Use Engagement, Non-Engagement and Closing letters
Since verbal conversations are not always remembered it’s important to err on the side of caution and avoid misunderstandings or potential harm to your clients by using:
1) Engagement letters. This is especially important when the scope of your services is limited or has changed from when you first talked with the client.
2) Non-engagement letters to confirm you are not someone’s attorney. The non-engagement letter is especially important when you meet an interested party at the same time as your client on a transaction that affects both. “I know I meet you at the same time that I meet with your friend, but I wish to confirm that I am not your lawyer; and because of the nature of this matter, I advise you to get advice from your own lawyer.”
3) Closing letters to clarify the matter is concluded and you will not be providing any further services.
If you would like coaching on this area of your law practice, please consider contacting me to see how I can assist you.