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The Paradox of Client Service

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There are a number of blogs like Dan Hull’s What About Clients? and In Search of Perfect Client Service that provide excellent advice on how to serve clients.  At the same time, for some lawyers, particularly new solos, serving clients isn’t as much of a problem as figuring out how to avoid falling into what I have termed “the paradox of client service,” the fact that we serve clients, but they are not our masters.  In the early years of my practice, I felt this tension between feeling like I’m a slave to my client while trying to stay in charge.  Originally, I chalked it up to a my personality, but now I wonder whether many new lawyers are predisposed to becoming slaves to clients because that’s the role we play in law school (performing on command to the Socratic method) and at firms.  Anyway, here are my thoughts below:

Perhaps the most difficult transition from working for others to working for yourself involves figuring out how to deal with the

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