What should you expect from the 21st century lawyer?
With the advent of technologies that enable faster communication and increasingly efficient service delivery, clients are in a stronger position than ever to demand more of their lawyers.
The modern solicitor’s more traditional counterpart is often seen as a wise counsellor in an ivory tower. The relevance of this solicitor, who waits to be approached by his client in a book-lined, fixed-site office, should be reassessed.
In view of the modern technologies at our disposal, what exactly should clients demand or expect from the modern solicitor?
With new and faster forms of communication continuously being developed, the speed of interaction at both business and personal levels has become near-instant. Clients should expect a commensurate development in the speed and efficiency of their solicitor’s communications.
Today, there is no excuse for a lack of frequent and timely feedback between all parties involved in a matter. Conveyancing, for example, demands regular updates from buyers’ solicitors, sellers’ solicitors, and estate agents.
The modern solicitor can also appreciate that family and private client matters, for example, are not restricted to normal business hours. Solicitors should be available at times of client need, whether in the office first thing, on a Saturday morning, or available on their mobile phones outside of business hours.
In fact, the modern solicitor should be available to make ‘house calls’ to see clients in their homes or offices. This can be particularly crucial for those who are frail or elderly.
Solicitors should also take into account an individual’s financial circumstances. Is it really impolite to ask a solicitor for a discount?
The 21st century lawyer
Modern solicitors have left their ivory tower. They are able to empathise and adapt to the needs of their clients. It is no longer good enough for solicitors to rely on a hundred years of history. Solicitors who are committed to quality and thoroughness of service will make the necessary adjustments to meet these increased client expectations.
At the end of the day, you should feel that your solicitor is on your side and there to meet your needs. Isn’t that peace of mind?