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Personal attention can go a long way

An attorney recently referred a new corporate client to me. I contacted the corporate representative shortly thereafter to discuss my potential representation. The client decided to retain my firm.

A few weeks later, I met the company president for a site visit. As a young lawyer, I certainly felt like I had a lot to prove. The president has been in the business for decades and built the company from the ground up and he’s worked with many attorneys in his time; I was younger than his children and did not have a clue about his industry.

During the drive out for the site visit, I learned that the last attorney with whom the company worked was not accessible to the client. Multiple phone calls went unreturned.

The president later explained one of the reasons the company decided to hire me is because I immediately contacted the company after the referral and always returned calls and emails. The company did not have the same experience with past attorneys.

As a young associate, I am expected to bring clients into the firm. I’m also expected to nurture and develop relationships. I have made it a point in my practice to reach back out to a client within 24 hours and to provide updates as often as possible, but I had not previously realized the value of being accessible and returning a call or email.

Not every potential client is going to be willing to take a risk on a young lawyer. Yet, giving a potential client personal attention and being available may just give a young lawyer the edge to land — and keep — the client.