Nobody likes a lawyer until you need one. Then you love them, until you don’t. –Matthew Thompson
Clients hate lawyers for many reasons, but most commonly it is due to the following;
Poor Communication. Communication between lawyers and clients is the #1 complaint. Both, lawyers and clients, are busy. Sometimes its hard to communicate effectively and in a timely manner. This goes both ways and each needs to try to be responsive.
Poor Advice. Just because they are a lawyer does not mean they know everything. Sometimes lawyers get it wrong.
Don’t Do What They Say They Will. Procrastination or not capable of doing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done.
Charging for Everything. Every call, text, email and message, office appointment, and even when they are just thinking about your case.
Misleading About the Total Charges. This is why I hate billable hours. It’s almost always more than “you” think.
Hard Advice. This is different than poor advice. Hard advice is telling you what yo don’t want to hear, but need to hear. Sometimes lawyers are the messenger that gets shot (figuratively speaking, I hope).
Up next? Why Lawyers Hate Clients! Stay tuned.
Matthew Thompson is a Family Law Attorney in Mississippi and tries not to do things to be hated, at least by his own clients…
I don’t really hate being a lawyer. Most days I enjoy it. It can be rewarding emotionally, financially, even spiritually, but…
being a lawyer has its downsides.
For one, we have to deal with OTHER LAWYERS. Other lawyers do things differently than you do them. They are slow, they don’t do what they say they will, they tell you things that are just wrong and they give their clients crummy advice.
All of our CLIENTS HAVE PROBLEMS. That is why they are seeing you. Lawyers purposely make other people’s problems their own!
All Lawyers are NOT RICH. What?!! They never told you that before law school. Lawyers struggle to find their niche’, find their market and some just don’t like being lawyers.
JUDGES. Judges judge you. They judge me. That’s their job, but some let it go to their head. A Judge’s attitude alone can make or break a Court experience, even with the same outcome.
CHURCH COMMITTEES. Being a lawyer gets you the hot seat for every church, social, civic and community committee in known existence. You are automatically the chairperson and the questions never stop.
DOCTORS. Doctors don’t like lawyers. Sure, I have some doctor friends, but I have to tell them that I DO NOT sue doctors. (That’s not entirely true, as I do sue doctors that cheat on their spouses…)
We have to CHARGE $. Lawyers cannot afford to take your case for free. (see #3, above). I tell potential clients that I cannot afford to do it for free and that if they find one that will you better watch out for getting what you “paid” for. Most people deserve to have a lawyer. Most lawyers deserve to be paid.
FRIENDS that just have 1) question. It will only take a minute…
NOT KNOWING THE ANSWER. Of course lawyers don’t know every answer to every possible question. I tell people when I don’t know something. Yes, I am still a lawyer.
MANY CLIENTS. To be a successful lawyer you must have clients. Because of this you must have multiple clients. The downside is sometimes a client, a person you genuinely care for and want to help, has to wait on you. This is tough. It is a balancing act. You, as a lawyer, cannot be in 2 places at once. Most clients understand. Some do not.
Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney in Mississippi and enjoys being a lawyer most days.