Practice Tools

Working with Clients - Practice Resource Center


Handling Confrontational Clients
By Maria Kantzavelos, Illinois Bar Journal, December 2012
If you think you're encountering more angry clients these days - and that the anger has a sharper edge - you're not alone. But there are ways to manage your relationship with confrontational clients to help you better protect yourself and their interests.

Compassionate Consultations: Winning Over Prospective Clients
By Larry E. Lauterjung, Illinois Bar Journal, July 2012
You usually have one hour to sell yourself to prospective clients during the initial consultation. The key is to communicate your genuine understanding of and concern for the client's feelings. Building the proper relationship will help secure new clients, referrals, and friends.

So your client has given you physical evidence of a crime...
By Randy Cox, Traffic Laws and Courts, May 2011
On the one hand, the delivery to the attorney is a communication which the attorney is required to protect. (Rule 1.6) However, an attorney is not to unlawfully obstruct another party's access to evidence. (Rule 3.4) How is this conflict resolved? The courts of Illinois do not appear to have directly addressed this.

Win or lose, the client may not always be right
By William A. Price, Administrative Law, May 2010
He may have been a fourth-century Roman historian, but Ammianus Marcellinus' views of lawyers and clients is still relevant today.

Problem clients
By Michael J. Meehan, Law Office Management and Economics, March 2010
It is easier to decline a problem client than to terminate the attorney-client relationship. By identifying these problem clients at the outset, you can be a happier lawyer and have a more productive practice.

1099s for deadbeat clients?
By Helen W. Gunnarsson, Illinois Bar Journal, January 2009
A law-office management expert puts forth the option of sending a nonpaying client a 1099 for the value of your services. Is it really OK to do so?

You want it when?
By Donald E. Weihl, Law Office Management and Economics, September 2008
Specific strategies that will permit breathing room without causing the client to feel the attorney is being unresponsive.

Dealing with a difficult client
By Ryan Bradley, YLDNews, December 2008
The practice of law is difficult and challenging even while working with the best clients.

Client communication should start at the beginning
By Timothy J. Storm, General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm, May 2008
Communication lies at the heart of much of what attorneys do with, and for, clients.

Clients behaving badly
By Helen W. Gunnarsson, Illinois Bar Journal, May 2008
When a client or witness spins out of control during a hearing or deposition, is doing nothing a safe route?

Trouble, with a capital "T"
By Michael J. Rooney, Real Estate Law, August 2007
There can be some serious pitfalls facing a lawyer who neither knows nor clarifies who the client is and what that client really wants to accomplish.

Heed the Warning of the "Bad Feeling"
By Karen Erger, Illinois Bar Journal, April 2007
Watch for warning signs that presage problem clients.

Who is my client and what are my responsibilities under a power of attorney?
By Myles Jacobs and Robert Duffin, Real Estate Law, April 2007
You represent Bill and Mary in a transaction selling to Jack.

Practice Update: Who is your client? What document can you disclose
By Bernard Wysocki, General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm, October 2006
From a practical standpoint, it is important when you see a potential third party involvement, to secure written retainer and defining your representation.

Are You a Client-Savvy Counselor?
By Karen J. Dilibert, Illinois Bar Journal, August 2007

Sometimes the best client is the one you turn away.

Practice Tip: Know your client before you meet—Intake forms fill need
By Lisa Olivero, General Practice, Solo and Small Firm, November 2006
Over time the author has developed a short form that she now presents to potential clients when they appear for their initial consultation and before their first meeting.

Exceptional client service in law firms: Tips on creating a client-focused culture
By John W. Olmstead, The Bottom Line, December 2005
Why don’t lawyers embrace client service and realize that exceptional client service may be the most effective way of differentiating themselves from other lawyers and maintaining a competitive advantage?

How to charge more than other lawyers and attract better clients
By Trey Ryder, YLDNews, October 2003
Why it's sometimes better not to lower your fees.

How to Spot the Client from Hell
By Karen J. Dilibert, Illinois Bar Journal, November 2001
Learn how to identify the prospective clients you should turn away.

Are You Representing the Wrong Clients?
By Anne E. Thar, Illinois Bar Journal, December 1999
Learn how to screen prospective cases and clients to reduce your risk of being sued.

Have a suggestion for a practice resource? Please email Mark Mathewson.

These resources are presented as educational resources for for ISBA members. They should not be relied upon as a substitute for individual legal research, and the ISBA does not warrant the accuracy of the information that appears in them.