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What is the one item that can help you stand out as a top-notch lawyer?

Is it rigorous research? Clear and concise writing skills? Smooth talking? Ability to generate ideas and potential solutions to client challenges? Ability to anticipate issues before they arise? All of these items are helpful.

But the one thing that seems to truly separate superlawyers from the pack is the lawyer who focuses on providing the highest level of service not just while completing the project at hand (and there are plenty of posts on this site which covers this stage) but also AFTER the project is finished. Speaker and owner of the branding firm, Design Symphony. Joey Coleman talks about how one can improve the client’s experience by putting as much effort and value into the relationship within the first 100 days after the project is completed as you did to complete the project. Most lawyers do not think about doing anything after they serve the client. They may feel that providing excellent client service, including solutions for the client’s legal issue(s) is all that is necessary to satisfy the client. Perhaps that is true for some clients. But is it worth leaving potential future business on the table? True that it will cost you in time to continue the client service experience after the project, but you will likely find that time well spent.

Here are some suggestions about some ways you can provide service after the project is completed. This list could apply for serving a partner (internal client) or a client directly.

  1. Schedule a convenient time for the partner (or client) to discuss how they feel the project went? What went well? What could have been improved? How do you feel about the amount of time spent on the matter?
  2. Schedule a convenient time for the partner (or client) to discuss some of your post mortem thoughts and ideas. Perhaps you have thought of a related issue that needs attention and you can volunteer to tackle the issue. Perhaps you have a business idea to share.
  3. Schedule a convenient time for the partner (or client) and offer your services (at no charge) to do anything else on the project that could be helpful. This may involve taking the finished product and putting it in another format, for example turning a lengthy memorandum into an executive summary.
  4. Schedule a convenient time for the partner (or client) and consider whether the project could be the basis for advising employees of the client or other partners of the firm of the advice you provided. For example, assuming appropriate, perhaps you can turn your product into a journal article or a topic for a firm webinar. Maybe, for example, the project addresses a recurring client issue or issue in the industry.

Image courtesy of 89studio at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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