by Jim Durham / March 7, 2017
I once saw a poster in a very successful lawyer’s office that I found to be rather motivational. It went something like this: “Every morning, a gazelle wakes up knowing that it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning, a lion wakes up knowing that it must run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve. So it doesn’t matter whether you are a gazelle or a lion, when the sun comes up, start running!”
Although it may seem like common sense, the 10 behaviors discussed here are not all that common. It takes hard work to be a good lawyer; it takes just a little more work to be a great lawyer. So start running.
It takes time to go to a client’s place of business and to talk to them about what they need and value. If you are uncomfortable talking to clients, it takes time to get some training or coaching that will help you be more comfortable. You might have to go out of your way to read what your clients read, and to learn what is important to them personally and professionally. If you are unwilling to make the effort to super-satisfy your clients, then you should not be surprised if they become someone else’s clients.
Here are 10 attributes all great lawyers share:
Good lawyers return phone calls reasonably promptly. Great lawyers don’t just respond when their phone rings, they make other people’s phones ring.
Good lawyers focus mostly on the law. Great lawyers know what makes the client successful and they understand the client’s preferred form of communication.
Good lawyers are all about getting the legal work done well.
Good lawyers do legal work effectively and efficiently. Great lawyers give clients more than they pay for.
Good lawyers focus on treating the client professionally.
Good lawyers do their best to keep promises about when work will be completed. Good lawyers try to deliver, great lawyers DELIVER.
Good lawyers are reasonably comfortable in most settings. Good lawyers attend meetings; great lawyers arrive early—fully prepared. Good lawyers are present at meetings; great lawyers are a real presence in the meeting.
Good lawyers are thought of as “capable,” and are expected to do a good job.
Good lawyers care about them.
Good lawyers accept feedback when clients offer it, but do not actively seek it.
If you are a great lawyer in your clients’ eyes, you will have a steady stream of new and repeat business from them, and a regular flow of referral work from the people they refer to you. If you are not getting a flood of repeat, new, and referral work, then you are probably doing something wrong. Great lawyers almost always get the first call whenever someone needs any help with a business or legal challenge.
Interested in learning more about how to move from good law to Great Law? Watch our on-demand webcast here!