Diary of a legal aid lawyer

Diary Of A Legal Aid Lawyer: Client Communication

Is it time to reimagine your new client communication?

It is nearly three years since we created our new client call team, transforming the way new clients connect with our family lawyers. Changing our approach was about enhancing client experience whilst at the same time adding to our conversion rates and, ultimately, our bottom line. These are some of the things that we’ve learnt.

Immediate and personalised contact can make a difference

Introducing a dedicated team to handle initial client enquiries marked a significant stride in our ability to balance legal aid and private work. Committing to a 24-hour response time has helped make clients feel valued and heard. Humanising the experience allows for better triaging of cases, ensuring clients receive the attention they need during vulnerable moments.

Matching clients with the right lawyer

By matching clients with lawyers early on, the client experience is enhanced right from the start and the legal process is more streamlined, leading to more efficient onboarding and application for legal aid. We can also keep an eye on our lawyers’ caseloads; if they need to step back after a difficult case or have lots of challenging ones, our client call team can bear that in mind when booking appointments.

Building effective communication

While they’re not trained legal professionals, our client call team plays a crucial role in establishing effective communication with clients. As family lawyers we know how important it is to communicate without relying on legal jargon and explain legal processes in simple, understandable terms. Using clear, concise, and empathetic communication builds strong client relationships and helps ensure successful outcomes from the very beginning.

Easing the path forward

The initial interaction between the call team and client sets the stage for more structured and fruitful conversations with our family lawyers. This preliminary engagement is key to gathering essential information, setting correct expectations, and alleviating client anxieties. Being prepared in this way is immensely beneficial for legal aid lawyers, as it means that clients are more likely to arrive at the first meeting better equipped to discuss their specific needs and concerns, with the necessary documentation at hand.

Adapting communication style

We know one size doesn’t fit all. Our client call team recognises that each client has unique communication preferences. Whether this is email, phone calls, or face-to-face meetings, for us flexibility is an essential part of our clients’ experience. Adaptability is so important where the emotional state and personal circumstances of clients can greatly influence their communication choices. By accommodating individual preferences, each client’s experience can be made as comfortable and effective as possible.

A win-win for clients and law firms

While the primary focus is client service, our approach has also presented significant commercial benefits. By improving client satisfaction, we have fostered better client retention and positive referrals, both crucial for the sustainability and growth of new work. Well-informed and well-prepared clients also contribute to a more streamlined legal process, saving time and resources. Ultimately, these practices represent a win-win situation for both clients and the law firm, embodying a model of client service that is both compassionate and efficient.

 Jessice Everett, Client Experience Manager at The Family Law Company

Want to have your say? Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read more stories

Join nearly 3,000 other family practitioners - Check back daily for all the latest news, views, insights and best practice and sign up to our e-newsletter to receive our weekly round up every Thursday morning. 

You’ll receive the latest updates, analysis, and best practice straight to your inbox.