What are the keys for understanding the trial attorney? How can you most effectively connect with your attorney clients? Here are tips from an experienced trial attorney.
1. Recognize why attorneys act like they know everything.
They want you to think that they know everything. That’s because they’re in a problem solving profession.
People come to attorneys for answers. Attorneys secretly realize we don’t know everything and therein lies the problem. We want to act like we know everything because that makes us feel confident. Confidence is very important.
We want you to think that we are the repository of all knowledge. Attorneys want LNCs to make them shine so they’ll shine in front of their client.
When you’re dealing with attorneys remember they don’t know all the answers. They just act like they know all the answers. It doesn’t hurt to nod, smile and pretend that you know they’re right, but they’re insecure. You’re dealing with some insecure people and that should make you feel more secure.
2. The second key to understanding the trial attorney is to find out what he is interested in.
Talk to me and listen to me because that’s going to personalize you a little bit more. Remember that you’re dealing with egos. Trial lawyers are egos with feet and so the more you can talk to me about what I like the more I’m going to like you.
3. Do your homework about the attorney.
If you’re going to call or see an attorney don’t you think it would be good to know something about that attorney other than the fact he’s got an address at Suite 17 of the 230 Gold House Building?
Understanding the trial attorney is easier than ever before. A little time spent researching the attorney will help you communicate. Who is he? Is he married? Does she practice appellate work as well as personal injury work, as well as criminal law?
It’s worth your investment of time to get information so you have an understanding of the trial attorney. Use Martindale Hubbell (at martindale.com). It has a listing of all the lawyers in the country. Also Google your prospects and attorneys. You’re going to find out if they have other activities that they are involved in. Look for some commonalities.
4. Get to the point.
Attorneys want to get to the end of the story. When you find yourself communicating with an attorney, the fewer words that you can use to get to the end of the story, the better. I want to get to the conclusion and then work backwards.
Let’s say a client comes in. He’s been busted for having drugs in his car. He wants to tell me everything he did that day from the time he got up, what he had for breakfast to what his Aunt Mabel said about the latest scandal on television. I listen to him because it’s important, but I want to get to the end. I just want to say, “Look, just tell me why the police stopped you, where they found the drugs and then we can go back to listen about Aunt Mabel.”
It’s really going to help you in communicating with attorneys to get to the point. I can’t stress that enough. Think of communicating with a trial attorney like contacting a busy doctor to report a change in the patient’s condition. The doctor wants you to get to the point. So does the attorney.
Use these 4 keys to understanding the trial attorney to deepen your relationships and more effectively communicate with them.
Wayne Schoeneberg is a trial attorney in Missouri who currently focuses on criminal law. Along with Pat Iyer, he presented a course called How to Live Beyond Fear: Secrets for Legal Nurse Consultants. This is available on demand and will help you conquer fear and self confidence challenges.