This is probably the most unusual title and topic I’ve ever chosen for a blog post, but it’s true – I like clients who don’t like lawyers. Of course, I also like those who do like lawyers, but the first group is much larger than the second, so to be successful, I’ve needed to relate to people who don’t like lawyers. Then, I’ve needed to take the next step – I’ve needed to provide all of the value, protection and advice that clients need from their lawyer, but in such a way that they appreciate and follow it, rather than resent or resist it.
This post, of course, runs the risk of offending lawyers, but I suppose the whole premise is that lawyers need to get over themselves and think like the business people who are their clients. So, what is it that distinguishes me from other lawyers (hopefully in a good way), and allows me to work successfully with clients who don’t like lawyers. I don’t know for sure, but I think it has something to do with the following:
• I like clients better than lawyers.
• I like relationships better than engagements.
• I like people better than statistics.
• I like talking better than e-mailing.
• I like business better than law.
• I like companies better than firms.
• I like solutions better than problems.
• I like proactivity better than reactivity.
• I like negotiations better than arguments.
• I like communications better than silence.
• I like conclusions better than analysis.
• I like simplicity better than complexity.
• I like certainty better than surprise.
• I like progress better than process.
• I like client business success better than client legal success.
• I like client profits better than legal fees.
Maybe the above list explains why I like clients who don’t like lawyers, or maybe it explains why some of those clients ultimately choose to work with me – and, hopefully, then start to like at least one lawyer!