3 Key Ways Technology Helps Me Serve Clients
I wish I could tell you a story that perfectly illustrates how technology helps me serve my clients. It’d be dramatic and poignant, perhaps involving Perry Mason. Carmina Burana would be playing in the background and it’d undoubtedly involve a victory at trial. I’d be carried off on the shoulders of an adoring crowd and the mayor would give me the key to the city. Then Google would elevate my blog’s page rank to an “8,” and I’d have 25,000 page views in a single day. It would be epic, and the reason for all this success would be my clever use of technology to advance the interests of a client.
I wish. Instead you’ll have to settle for a workmanlike post.
I use technology in the three following ways to serve my clients in the best way I know how.
1. Better & Faster Client Communication – Lawyers have an ethical duty to communicate with their clients. We know that the number one reason lawyers get sued for malpractice is because they fail to communicate with their clients. So how do I use technology to enhance client-communication?
I use e-mail. I know. It’s not that amazing. But, most of my clients love it and A LOT of attorneys still don’t use e-mail. An old-timer I know doesn’t have a computer in his office and he calls a computer a “terminal,” as an example.
Emailing my clients allows me to give clients information immediately without interrupting their workday with a phone call. If the matter is important, I’ll give the client a call. I give my clients my cell phone number and they know I can be reached at almost anytime. Do I wish I were telepathic? Sure. But until scientists figure that one out I’m sticking with e-mail.
2. Lower Fees Due to Lower Overhead – I read the other day that one law firm charges as much as $1160 per hour! Ouch! In addition to supporting the bloated salaries of partners at the firm, we know that a large portion of those fees go to paying overhead, e.g., rent, client development, marketing, paper library, etc. But my clients don’t have that problem because I have a home office, my marketing is virtually free, and I use Westlaw. This allows me to charge reasonable fees and work less, if I want to. Obviously if my dream (see above) came true, I wouldn’t be too worried about overhead. In any event, my clients benefit from my thrifty ways.
3. Transparency – Google my name and chances are you’ll find out more about me professionally than my mother even knows (and that’s a lot). I’ve worked hard to establish an “online presence” so that my clients don’t have to. They can find out about my education, experience, practice areas, accomplishments, languages spoken, etc. They can find out what other clients and lawyers have to say about me on Avvo and LinkedIn. My clients can even view documents that I’ve prepared and filed in similar cases on JDSupra. I know the last one is particularly key because a recent client told me that he loved the fact that he was able to view some of my work-product before hiring me. It doesn’t matter that he probably couldn’t tell whether my work-product was excellent, good, or fair. The important part is that I made it available to him.
I know none of this is novel. E-mail has been around for nearly two decades and using the Internet to save some coin and build a presence isn’t quite digg-worthy. But you know what? These things make my clients happy and that’s all I care about. Of course, I wouldn’t be upset in the slightest if my “story” above came true.
Adrianos M. Facchetti
Attorney at Law
Blog: California Defamation Law