A shared law office space can be the missing link when it comes to long-lasting referral relationships.
Referrals are the name of the game in law. They boost your bottom line while also helping you improve your skills as an attorney.
If you’re a new lawyer, then you will quickly learn why referrals are the best sources of new business.
So why are referrals the best?
Because they are vetted!
Not all areas of law are complementary to each other, so when an attorney comes across a case that they are not suited for they will most likely send that case to someone who is. But referrals don’t happen randomly. First, you have to develop a relationship with other attorneys.
This is where shared office space comes into play.
A shared law office space is special because it is essentially one of the easiest and quickest ways to build those lucrative referral relationships. All you have to do is walk around the office and introduce yourself to your neighbors!
Makes sure the new attorney in a referral relationship is right for your client!
As a lawyer, your reputation is everything. Sending a referral is serious business because not only is your reputation on the line, but it can have an effect in the long run if both ends do not treat it with care.
You must remember that the client is the most important person in the relationship. So before sending the referral, make sure the client and the new lawyers will be a good pair. If the relationship between the receiving lawyer and the client is awful, then it might damage that referral relationship, and the client could leave you a nasty review.
Research the receiving attorney in a referral.
Find out how they relate to clients. Are they no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is counselors or do they take more of an empathetic consultative approach with clients? For example, don’t send a client to a divorce attorney who has a reputation for being a “killer” when all they really want is a low key mediation.
Understand how they “lawyer.”
The style of lawyering is critical to how the client feels. Cut-throat lawyering doesn’t work for everyone, especially if someone just wants a simple mediation. That just might be a turn-off. If you’re going to introduce your client to a new lawyer, it will make the process better for everyone if you’ve considered how the client will feel.
Know their billing style and rates.
Are they high rate billers? Are they low rate, slow billers? Do they review every nuance of a client’s matter, whether necessary or not (and on the client’s dime), or are they efficient about their work, even offering flat fee billing?
They might be the best lawyer in the world, but it won’t matter if their billing style and rates are not conducive to the client’s needs. At the end of the day, money talks and if a client feels they cannot handle the billing rates, the relationship will immediately go south.
Help the client choose.
Legal matters can be colossally confusing, especially if the client doesn’t have experience with lawyers. If the client doesn’t know what they want, let them choose or help them make an educated decision.