You Don't Have a Moral Obligation to Represent Every Client Who Steps Through Your Door

One of the myths of the legal profession—one that is drilled into the heads of attorneys-to-be during two, three, or four years of law school—is that all clients are equally worthy of representation.

It's true that every U.S. citizen deserves to be defended in a court of law. What's not true is that YOU have to be one to take on that case, or that you're not allowed to discriminate in favor of one client over another.

Successful Lawyers Know It's Okay to be Choosy

Just because you have earned a law degree, and hung a shingle outside your office door, does not mean you have to accept every client who calls you on the phone, emails you, or even accosts you on the street in person. Here are some important questions you need to ask yourself:

  • What type of client do you enjoy representing? Who brings you not only the money you deserve, but also the good feeling that comes from helping someone with their legal difficulties?
  • What type of client do you hate? What are the "dog cases" that you wish you could expunge from your computer and filing cabinet, and whose phone calls and emails do you dread answering?
  • If you could imagine the perfect client, who would that person be? And what kind of case would he need your help with? Visualization can be a powerful tool to attracting the right kind of business.

Once you have identified your ideal client—and the type of client you dread—it will be much easier to customize a marketing and advertising campaign intended to attract exactly that type of person. But the necessary first step is to get over the feeling that you are morally obligated to help anyone who contacts you, provided their case lies within your particular specialty. That is a sure route to undermining your success, and to eventually hating your job!

Identify Your Ideal Client

Sometimes, of course, it's difficult for an attorney to "step back" and dispassionately analyze his clients. The lawyer advertising experts at Great Legal Marketing can work with you to identify your best and worst clients, and use this data to attract the kinds of clients that will keep you happy and your practice prosperous.

Ben Glass
Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.