Almost a year ago, my monthly letter to my friends, clients, and business acquaintances talked about my son’s Noah’s graduation from law school. Since then, Noah has passed the bar examination in New York and is in the process of setting up his own practice at 71 South Central Avenue, Suite 103, Valley Stream, NY 11580 – telephone 516-512-8949; email NG@NGoldsteinLaw.com.
I asked Noah if I could share a letter I sent to him with some tips that I’ve learned in my almost 40 years of practicing law. He said, “Why not?”
I am so proud that you decided to open your own law office. Having worked for others and worked for myself, I can tell you that the latter is far more rewarding.
I hope you will not mind my sharing a few lessons that I’ve learned during my years of practice that have contributed to my success and satisfaction:
- Do not compromise your integrity. Be honest with your clients, with your opponents, with the court, and above all yourself. You need to sleep the sleep of the just.
- Remember that ours is a service business. To that end return clients’ calls within 24 hours. Initiate calls to your clients even if nothing is happening in their matters, to provide them with peace of mind and to keep your relationship fresh.
- When in doubt or if pivotal, confirm communications in writing to prevent misunderstanding.
- Under promise and over deliver.
- Cultivate good listing habits. Be attentive to what is not said as well as to what is said. Try to put yourself in the client’s position and try to meet not only their legal needs but their emotional needs as well.
- Document the initial client meeting in writing with a memorandum prepared within 24hours of the meeting. Send a copy to the client for confirmation.
- Send a copy of all outgoing and incoming mail on the client’s matter to the client unless otherwise instructed by the client. Explain what the incoming mail means.
- Keep your client informed of the financial status of their matter.
- Stay curious and be open to new ways of achieving results for your clients. Be a constant learner and voracious reader.
- The most important rule in litigation and especially trials is to think, think, and think again. Discuss the theory of your case with your wife without revealing confidences or breaking attorney client privilege.
- Remember the most important gift you give to your clients is peace of mind.
- And of course since you are the father of my grandchildren make plenty of time for your family.
All my best wishes for success and happiness. After all you have the right genes for this and you have a pretty good sounding board if you need one.
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