It’s easy! Listen to and communicate with your clients.

Not only will it cut down on malpractice claims according an ABA article on avoiding such claims. In this month’s issue of Law Practice Today the article highlights Mark Goulston, M.D., who states that lawyers can improve their communications with clients by doing one thing: “listening.” As we all know, listening is a critical element of communication. By letting the client talk and if “you listen to their real concerns…They feel gratified. The challenge for professionals is that they fear…the clients will waste their time with venting. But the opposite is true,” according to Dr. Goulston, a clinical psychiatrist.

Further, the article refers to the most recent Profile of Legal Malpractice Claims published by the ABA last fall. The startling statistic is that only slightly more than 10% of claims filed against lawyers actually involve possible malpractice. The remaining 88% of complaints involve lawyers’ failure to communicate with clients.

That’s where marketing comes in. If clients are unhappy because of a lawyer’s lack of communication, what are the chances that they will refer someone else to that lawyer. Does zilch come quickly to your mind. It should.  The failure to take every opportunity to communicate with clients is just plain dumb marketing – or even worse, marketing malpractice.

P.S. In a sidebar, the article contains the “Top 12 Ways of Avoiding Malpractice Claims.” Several of them, are also smart marketing tips.