Lawyers generally like to avoid upfront conversations about money and communications, as they try to cross the finish line to signing on new clients. The reason, probably, is that they feel that that will slow up the process of conversion. And, that’s possibly true – the less time you spend talking about those things, the more likely it is to speed up the conversion process, because you’re removing a couple of hurdles. Of course, that can lead to problems later on. In terms of pricing, no one likes to be surprised by terms; and, while you might get lucky, with a client willing to pay a heretofore unseen rate, chances are there is likely to be some pushback.
And, you’ll probably regret your decision to not be forthright about addressing client communications, when you get your first 3 am text. Yeah, it happens.
But, the fact of the matter is that lawyers have more power over their representation models than they think; they just need to speak it into existence – literally.
That’s why it’s so important to talk about communication preferences at the outset of the representation, so everyone is on the same page. And, ideally, that is done via direct communication, and backed up by a clause in, or an addendum to, the engagement agreement.
You can also solicit client feedback on communication preferences, if you prefer to offer a more dynamic solution.
But, the point is that, if you want your clients to use certain communication parameters in the course of the attorney-client relationship . . . you just have to ask.