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Role of the Paralegal in Client Relationships

published July 23, 2012

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
Published By
( 337 votes, average: 5 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
The role of paralegals in handling client relationships
According to rules of professional conduct and model behavior regarding client relationships, attorneys are expected to (a) keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and promptly comply with reasonable request for information and (b) the lawyer needs to explain a matter to the extent necessary for the client to make informed decisions regarding representations. Legal assistants and paralegals working for an attorney, by extension, need to keep the responsibilities of the attorney vis-a-vis a client in mind and communicate and/or respond within client relationships of an attorney.

General duties of an attorney in communicating with clients and in client relationships

While communicating with clients, attorneys generally need to observe the following, and unless the attorney directs to the contrary, a paralegal or legal assistant working for the attorney has to carry the same responsibilities with respect to client relationships and communications:
  1. Inform the status of his/her case to the client
  2. Respond to any request for information made by the client about his/her matter within time
  3. Convey important information about a client's matter promptly to him/her
  4. Disclose or notify the client about any failure in carrying out specific instructions of the client
  5. Notify the client if the attorney is going to stop working on the client's matter or leaving the firm or leaving the practice of law
  6. Notify and convey to clients developments in settlement and negotiation matters

<--PAYWALL--> Keeping in mind the above responsibilities of an attorney towards his/her client a paralegal should try to foster the best possible relationship with a client.

Tips to follow in client communication to foster good client relationships

Some simple rules of the thumb to follow while maintaining client relationships and communicating with clients include:
  • Treating each client as one's own
  • Sending copies of all documents produced for a client to the client in time
  • Not using legalese when talking with or dealing with a client
  • Returning client phone calls as soon as possible
  • Being courteous and professional at all times with a client
  • Being prudent and never sharing personal or office problems or details with a client
  • Providing clients with routine and periodic status updates of their matters
  • Not making false promises or promises you would not be able to keep just because a client insists
  • Preserving the confidence of client's matters

What clients like about what they see in legal work:

Clients may not be experts in legal matters, but many of them are, or get to be so with experience of facing battles in court. Clients like open access and prompt response, they like it when they receive immediate responses to their correspondence and have their phone calls returned immediately. While clients may not be aware of the merits of legal arguments contained in documents, they can easily catch typographical and grammatical errors, they would know when deadlines are missed, and whether they are treated with respect or with contempt. All of these things matter in the relationship between an attorney and a client and the legal assistant or paralegal has a role to play in maintaining such client relationships positively.

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Alternative Summary

Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

More about Harrison

About LawCrossing

LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit

published July 23, 2012

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
( 337 votes, average: 5 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.