Relationship principles between members of the legal
and the real world.
Core Concept #1*
90% of your clients judge you
professionally by standards different from those
by which you judge yourself.
Core Concept #2
Clients do not 'buy' or 'receive'
legal services, they experience them.
Core Concept # 3
A client's satisfaction is
experience measured by expectation.
Core Concept #4
The satisfaction equation does
not have to make sense to you to be
operational in your clients.
Core Concept #5
Clients come back or don't,
recommend or grieve, based on their level of satisfaction.
Core Concept #6
A lawyer's professional reputation
with clients is more closely related to satisfaction
than to case outcome; with other lawyers,
it is the other way around.
Core Concept #7
We all need to resolve ambiguity
and uncertainty. The underlying circumstances of
legal services are often ambiguous and/or
Core Concept #8
We all tend to resolve ambiguity and uncertainty
consistent with preexisting positions,
expectations or desires.
Core Concept #9
We participate in our client's
legal service experience. To consciously improve it, we
need to understand client experiences
and expectations from their standpoint.
Core Concept #10
The legal service experience
is, at best, only partially intellectual. The nonintellectual
portion is often determinative of the
Core Concept #11
The personal and professional
satisfaction you enjoy from the practice of law is directly
related, and often directly proportional,
to the satisfaction level of your clients.
These Core Concepts are written
in the nomenclature of the general practitioner. They apply in varying degrees
to all attorney - client relationships where the client has choice in the
selection of a legal service provider and where the legal services impact
the client directly. Lack of the impact factor excludes legal services for
a unit of government where the legal service acquisition decision-maker is
not directly effected by the services. (An example would be elected prosecutors.)
Financial issues are not specifically
identified for two reasons. Our research shows that financial considerations
are part of the expectation component of satisfaction and that clients consistently
give financial issues an ordinal position no higher than fourth.
The core concepts that apply where
legal services are provided to clients who are experienced and knowledgeable
in legal matters (For example, insurance defense work from the standpoint
of the insurance company) are similar, varying in degree more than substance.
The core concepts that apply where
legal services are principally ministerial in nature (For example, real estate
closing documents for a corporate lender) are modified in that there is
less uncertainty or ambiguity attendant to the matter. Where the recipient
of the services does not select the legal service provider (For example,
public defender assignments or insurance defense work from the standpoint
of the insured) the concepts describe the relationship. The exception is
that the satisfaction of the client is only important to the attorney's income
stream to the extent that the gatekeeper considers client satisfaction.
When considering core concepts for
large firm or corporate legal work, these principles apply, but added to them
are factors that consider the alignment of vision, mission and task between
the attorney/firm and client.
The final distinguishing categories
of relationship are where the client selects a legal service provider due
to guild considerations (For example, in states where only attorneys can
appear in court for third party litigants and thus attorneys do small claims
case appearances for collection agencies) or for liability considerations
(either to off-load liability or in firewall situations) modify these principles
primarily in terms of emphasis rather than substance.
* Core Concepts are numbered primarily for ease of reference
in other parts of the site.
Please call, mail, or
with your comments or for more information.
Advocates Management, Inc.
1332 South 26th Street
Manitowoc, WI 54220
Voice: (877) ADVOCATES (toll free)
Fax: (920) 684-4414
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