Attorneys: Are You Delivering the Value Clients Want?

The Future Is Now conference logo

People typically contact lawyers when they’re in a crisis. They may be ending a marriage, experiencing job loss, recovering from a terrible accident, or navigating the ramifications of a bad decision.

But what do these potential clients hope to get from a lawyer? What is the value of the legal services they’re seeking?

As an attorney, do you ask yourself these questions at the start of your representation? If you’re anything like me, when I represented clients, my focus was first on a solution rather than looking at the whole picture.

That was the value I brought. If my client was being evicted, my focus turned toward how to prevent the eviction. Preventing an eviction is a valuable legal service, sure. However, is there more?

I’ll be leading a panel on April 21 at our The Future Is Now: Legal Services conference that will delve into this exact question.

Erin Levine, Jessica Bednarz and Tim Baran

Changing the way you view your role

Going back to my eviction example, if I would have looked beyond the problem presented by the eviction, there is always more. If I would have dug deeper into why the client found themselves in the situation, more systemic issues would have been unveiled.

For example, the landlord was threatening the client because the client had reported building code violations, the client had lost their job and couldn’t pay rent, or there was a family member who regularly visited that disrupted the neighbors.

In these situations, the value of legal services for my client wasn’t simply stopping the eviction. If I wanted to help them avoid the same problem in the future, I also needed to address the underlying problems. This way of practicing law was more valuable to my client.

Defining the value of legal services

When we were developing a theme for this year’s The Future Is Now conference, the evolving value of legal services was top of mind. What clients expect from lawyers has changed significantly. Lawyers who have built resiliency into their operations — through technology, processes, communications, or otherwise — are better prepared to rise to these challenges.

This means the value an attorney provides can’t only be through legal counsel, but must also be through leadership and innovative solutions to client problems.

As you read in last week’s blog post, conference attendees will learn the importance of defining their value from the outset and how to quantify it using metrics. My panel will then focus on steps lawyers can take to adopt a value-focused mindset and the added value it provides them and their clients.

The panel will include Tim Baran of Pro Bono Net, Jess Bednarz of the Chicago Bar Foundation, and Erin Levine of Hello Divorce. We will discuss:

  • Creative ways lawyers can evolve their practice to offer value to their target markets.
  • How to leverage legal product design principles to create a framework focused on value, collaboration, and engagement.
  • A novel approach to the delivery of legal services that replaces the existing regulatory framework failing most consumers.

These panelists will have attendees thinking of ways to evolve their practices in an ever-changing legal world to stay ahead of the curve. The way we practice law isn’t going back to the way it used to be.

Take the afternoon of April 21 to reflect on where your practice is headed and better define the value of the legal services you provide your clients.

Registration is open but time is running out. Don’t wait, register today.

Click to register

Attendees are eligible to receive 4.0 hours of professional responsibility CLE credit in Illinois (3.0 hours of professional responsibility CLE and 1.0 hour of diversity and inclusion CLE).

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