When law firms close the book on former clients, they really close the book on former clients.
Most of the time, when a law firm archives a case, the attorney breathes a sigh of relief, puts the file away, and never looks at it again.
But, former clients are a terrific source of referrals, and staying in touch with your former clients means more revenue — if you can hit those communication beats effectively.
And, the first step in establishing that relationship, is creating a file closing process that implicates notice to the (soon-to-be former) client in some way. Do you send a closing letter, or email? Do you send/make available an electronic version of the client file? Do you ask the client to subscribe to your new enewsletter at the close of the case? Do you reference additional practice areas the firm handles, that the client may have a need to access or refer into in the future?
In the first instance, that closing process gives you one more bite at the apple, in terms of marketing to outgoing clients. But, it also can be used to set a tone for future communications.
Because, even if your former client never has a need for your legal services ever again, they can refer others to you — assuming they remember that you exist. Hence the viability of a newsletter, or alerts, or updates about the firm, that you can send along to those former clients. And, that can also mean targeted content, as well, because you can place your former clients into a segregated mailing list.
So, with former law firm clients: it’s never goodbye; it’s always see you later.