A Paralegal and Attorney’s guide on how to deal with difficult clients
Dealing with difficult clients can be a challenging task for anyone in the legal industry. Whether you are a Paralegal or a Lawyer, you will come across a very difficult and even a very disrespectful client. Paralegals and Lawyers also come across client that are not only disrespectful but also very arrogant. The type of arrogance where they think they own you. “This is MY Lawyer!” type of mentality. Here are some tips on how to handle clients that are always angry, irrational, arrogant, stupid and disconnected from reality.
- Remain calm and professional: No matter how the client behaves, it is important to remain calm and professional. This will help you maintain control of the situation and prevent it from escalating.
- Listen actively: Allow the client to vent their frustrations and listen to their concerns without interrupting. Show empathy and understanding by acknowledging their feelings. Never take anything personal when they “vent.”
- Stay focused on the issue: Keep the conversation focused on the issue at hand and avoid getting sidetracked by irrelevant or unimportant details.
- Stay respectful: Treat the client with respect, even if they are acting irrational or angry. Avoid using confrontational language and maintain a professional demeanor.
- Take breaks: If the situation is becoming too intense, it may be helpful to take a short break and step away from the situation. This will give you time to regroup and come back to the issue with a clear head.
- Look for the root cause: Try to understand the root cause of the client’s frustration. This could be related to a problem with the case, or it could be due to a personal issue and the client is just taking their personal issue out on you. Understanding the root cause will help you address the issue more effectively.
- Offer solutions: Provide the client with solutions to the problem, and if necessary, involve a supervisor or associate attorney for assistance.
- If a client is stupid or even worse, arrogantly stupid, try your best to not only simplify your language but provide supporting material such as case law and anything else on paper to show them that their theories are wrong.
- If a client is arrogant, you need to POLITELY remind the client that if they hired you for a reason and that reason is that they needed someone much smarter and more educated than them to pursue a case.
- Follow up: After resolving the issue, follow up with the client to ensure they are satisfied with the outcome. This will help build trust and prevent future problems.
- Document the interaction: Document the interaction with the client, including the issue, the resolution, and any steps taken to resolve the issue. This documentation will be useful if the issue arises again in the future.
- Seek support: If the situation becomes too difficult to handle, it is important to seek support from a supervisor or associate attorney or Principal Attorney. They can provide additional support to help you deal with difficult clients in the future.
In conclusion, dealing with angry, irrational, and disconnected clients can be challenging, but by remaining calm, listening actively, and offering solutions, you can effectively resolve the issue and maintain a professional relationship with the client.