Whether you’re a solicitor or a barrister, top notch communication is a must. In this field, success is obviously about persuasion. You need an impeccable talent for building an argument and proving your case. You have to be an expert negotiator. You have to know your stuff and know exactly how to present it.
But it’s not just a judge, jury or opposing legal team that you need to influence: it’s the people on your side, too. It’s the clients themselves. It’s the other legal experts in the chain: the solicitor instructing you, or the barrister/barrister’s clerk you’re instructing on the case. It’s the colleagues and even the suppliers that help you to do your job to the best of your ability. It’s the senior partner you need to impress.
Dealing with the people on your side requires a totally different set of communication skills. After all, you’re not trying to beat them, you’re trying to support or collaborate with them. Rather than putting them on the back foot, you’re putting them at ease.
“Master good communication, and your practice will be more enjoyable, because if you are communicating well with people they will trust and like you, and that will make it easier to like – and enjoy helping – them. Your practice will also be more profitable, because clients will be more likely to pay your bill,” writes the lawyer coach Irene Leonard
What’s more, she adds, “since most lawyers bill their time, it is critical that their time spent communicating be valuable”
What does this mean? Well, it means that you need to be super-reliable, supportive and responsive. But you also have to be efficient with your time, in order to keep down costs.
Aren’t these requirements mutually exclusive, you might reasonably ask?
Actually, no. Not at all. With the right technology, they go hand in hand.
Switching to a cloud solution gives you secure, rapid access to emails, documents and the day-to-day business apps you need to do your job. It gives you access to these at any time, from anywhere, from any device.
What does this mean? It means that you can get back to clients at speed, even when you’re not in the office. It means that you can use encrypted, hacker-safe routes to send or collaborate on documents and that you have ad hoc access to vital files and notes while you’re in meetings, or even in the courtroom.
It means that you can keep everyone in the loop and on the same page, helping you to work fast, service clients better and get optimal results.
Using the cloud, solicitors can bring barristers into the conversation as early as possible in the process, sharing vital two-way advice on tactics and the kinds of evidence and information that need to be collected, and troubleshooting any problems well before the case gets near to a courtroom. Even better, you can do all of this in effective, organized, time-efficient ways that are convenient for all concerned.
And, of course, it means that you can be more transparent than ever about how your time is spent, helping you to demonstrate your value, enrich your communication, and win your clients’ trust.