Effective Communication for Lawyers
Here are five skills to help you communicate well in your law practice:
- Be clear and concise, using specific examples, recommendations, statements, and observations. Get rid of all the unnecessary legalese.
- Use follow-up open ended questions to make sure your communicated idea was understood as you meant it to be understood.
- Listen respectfully and attentively being open to what you might hear and learn. This is especially important when you think you know the answer. It’s amazing what surprising information you can learn when you don’t let your assumptions or judgment get in the way. Information that can make the critical difference to solving the problem or getting agreement.
- Prepare an agenda for all meetings and follow it so that you cover what needs to be covered succinctly and efficiently. If you follow a well thought out agenda you won’t waste your client’s time and money. Prepare an agenda for all your meetings whether in person or telephone. Ensure the meeting’s agenda content is consistent with your client’s Legal Strategic Plan. The client’s Legal Strategic Plan is the plan you created or designed to solve your client’s legal matter.
- Choose the right time for your intended communication. Timing of a difficult conversation or delivery of an email can make an important difference to the outcome.