Potential Client Red Flags for Lawyers

February 9, 2023

Lawsuit Cost Financing
February 9, 2023

Potential Client Red Flags for Lawyers

It may seem like every lawyer’s dream to have endless clients. However, not every person who walks through your door is a good client and worth taking on. Your law firm’s growth in the future is dependent upon the choices you make now. Keeping an eye out for red flags of potential clients is a great strategy to reduce unnecessary risk for your firm.

Here are the top red flags of problematic potential clients for lawyers:

Why Red Flag Clients are Dangerous

Not only can problem clients waste your time, but they can also cost you money in the long run. They can essentially cause you to burn out. Over-the-top clients are demanding, excessive, and can wear you down. If you are worn down, you may not be able to fulfill your day-to-day duties.

Clients who are dishonest from the start are also dangerous. They can easily put you and your law firm in jeopardy with their false facts. Dishonest clients are the third most frequent cause of profit loss. Protecting your investment and your law firm are key to its success.

Losing money can cause unnecessary stress. Potential clients who act erratically can cause emotional distress to you and your legal professionals. This can be dangerous to productivity, client retention, overall health and wellness of your employees, and future client relationships.

Top Red Flags to Look Out for

Many red flags of problematic clients exist; however, this list is not exhaustive and not definitive in identifying a bad client. Here are the top red flags for lawyers to look out for:

1. Differences in core values

Misalignment of core values spells trouble in the long run. During the initial consultation, it is imperative to determine whether or not the potential client aligns with your values.  Both the attorney and client must share the same foundation in terms of risk-taking, transparent communication, honesty, and enthusiasm toward the case. If any of the aforementioned are lacking, the person should not be taken on as a legal client.

2. Lack of courtesy

It is expected that lawyers should respond in a timely manner, and this same expectation should be placed on clients as well. Clients should remain easily accessible throughout the life of the case. If the potential client does not respond to phone calls or emails in a timely fashion, they may be lacking courtesy.

Both sides must remain transparent throughout the legal case and all associated interactions. Clients should not be permitted to drop an emergency situation onto your desk without the proper head’s up.

3. Too much communication

Whereas not enough communication is a red flag—too much communication is a red flag as well. A person who incessantly calls, emails, etc. can be a huge risk and a liability to your law firm. Firm boundaries must be laid for all potential clients on what proper communication and availability are.

Too much communication can quickly become taxing to you and your staff. You are not available 24/7 for your clients and should not take on clients who believe they are entitled to you at all hours.

4. Disrespectful behavior

Clients can indeed act disrespectfully to their lawyers. This behavior is unacceptable, and the person should not be retained by your law firm. You offer respect to your clients and deserve it back from them. If someone’s behavior is rude in the beginning, odds are it is not going to get better in the long run.  

5. Multiple attorneys

If you catch wind that your potential new client has burned through a slew of previous attorneys, heed the warning. This may be a great indicator that this person is difficult to work with. The average person who needs legal services does not jump from attorney to attorney. There is a reason they have lawyer-swapped, and you do not want to go down that road.

6. No funding

If someone tells you that they have a lack of funding, believe them. They will inevitably expect a discount or for you to provide your legal services for free. Should you take them as a client, you either will not be able to collect the payments or continually receive late payments. This can be problematic for the growth and profitability of your law firm.

You shouldn’t have to deal with money issues in your law firm. Top investment protectors LevelEsq can provide you with easy access to fast capital and insurance. Your cases are reimbursed if you lose at trial. Keeping your money by utilizing LevelEsq’s services provides you:

  • peace of mind
  • the cash you need upfront
  • time and space to grow  

Bottom Line

People who present problematic behavior at the start are generally not the best clients. Pay attention to these signs and make the best choice for you and your law firm.  You can also protect your law firm against negative outcomes like trial loss by utilizing Level Insurance. Level insurance will reimburse any expenses incurred in a case in the event of a trial loss for a low one-time premium.

How can we help your firm?

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