We’re aware that there are things you need to know as a lawyer that are not taught in law school, such as the importance of maintaining a cordial and professional demeanor when interacting with emotionally vulnerable clients.
Many clients may be experiencing intense grief. They may be feeling the effects of a devastating loss, such as the death of a spouse or a child. Maybe your client or someone they love has suffered a catastrophic injury.
Clients of family law attorneys may be faced with overwhelming sadness due to the dissolution of their family or the end of a long-term relationship.
You can never make a client’s pain go away, but there are steps you can take to help alleviate their suffering. As their attorney, you provide grief-stricken clients with invaluable legal guidance and support during troubled times.
How Grief Affects Your Clients
Various types of lawyers may encounter a client who has suffered a terrible loss. However, attorneys who practice personal injury law, family law, estate planning, criminal defense, or civil rights law are more likely to meet clients struggling with grief.
It’s important to remember that grief profoundly impacts people, making it a lot harder for them to fulfill their obligations and carry out everyday activities.
Sometimes, a client’s grief makes it impossible to proceed with a meeting. You may even be required to reschedule an appointment or contact a family member to escort them home.
There are several stages of grief, and your client may be suffering from the following symptoms:
- Impaired judgment
- Reduced energy
- Damaged self-worth
- Cognitive issues
- Physical illness
Making Things Easier for Someone Who’s in Pain
Even when grief is accepted as a natural part of the healing process, being around grieving individuals can illicit feelings of discomfort and awkwardness. It is important to remember that you can help make things easier for your clients by being available and supportive.
You never want to neglect a client by dismissing their grief. When a client is struggling, it’s good to say something like:
I understand this is difficult for you, but as your attorney, I feel obligated to review this information. We can resume this conversation at a later time if you would prefer.
While you can’t take the place of a mental health professional or grief counselor, there are several things you can do to assist grieving clients, such as:
- Acknowledge their loss.
- Always have tissue available.
- Accept awkward interactions.
- Don’t rush people.
- Never act bored.
- Don’t be overly friendly.
- Don’t act angry or irritated.
- Don’t shy away from tears.
- Don’t use too much legal jargon.
- Never act like you’re in a hurry to leave.
- Actively listen to what the client is saying.
- Don’t use clichés or make trite comments.
- Don’t think you have to have all the answers.
- Don’t be needlessly blunt about their situation.
- Try not to look away when your client is speaking.
- Meet with clients around a small table instead of behind a large desk.
- Provide clients with a reasonable amount of time to make decisions.
- Don’t interrupt clients when they hesitate or are at a loss for words.
SLS Consulting—Winning Strategies for All Types of Lawyers
No matter what type of law you practice, SLS Consulting, Inc. will design the right digital marketing campaign for your firm.
Our websites have a conversion rate of five to seven percent, which is significantly higher than the industry average of only two to three percent.
Give us a call at (323) 254-1510 to schedule a FREE consultation today.
- Ask SLS
- Bail Bonds
- Google My Business
- Google Updates
- Holidays and Other Fun Stuff
- Law Firm Management
- Legal Online Marketing
- Local Search
- Ms. White Hat’s SEO Corner
- Online Brand Development
- Online Content Development
- Online Review Sites
- Search Engine Optimization
- SLS News
- Social Media Marketing
- Video Marketing
- Website Design