Client communications today include social media, text messaging, and volumes of emails. Thus the odds of important client communications falling through the cracks are huge. Here are three strategies to tame the communication beast and limit potential malpractice issues:
- Implement a clear communication policy that informs clients of the acceptable forms of communication for your law firm and the expected turn around time for responses. Clients are now using Twitter, and Facebook direct messaging to contact lawyers who’ve not responded “quickly” enough to their inquiries. If you are connected with clients on these platforms, do not respond in this manner. Email or phone them, and reference the communication policy, which should provide that your firm does not accept social media communications.
- Consider limiting client communication to a client portal system available through most law practice management services. Not only does the portal provide more security for client messaging, it also allows you to streamline communication in one place. No more worry about overlooked or incorrectly filtered email messages.
- Review your operating procedures and identify additional ways to streamline communications. For instance, you should only receive client correspondence and documents in one place. Choose whether you will accept by email or your client portal—but not both.
Streamlining attorney-client communications is critical. Be proactive. Develop operating procedures and systems that minimize ethical disasters.
Matthew Tollin, CEO
Patrice Perkins, National Social Media Director