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How to Create a Client Bill of Rights

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Here are 17 key things to include in it.

One way to make sure your clients have a great experience when they engage your firm is with a Client Bill of Rights.

Post it on the wall of your waiting room. Publish it on your website. Give it to prospects in the initial interview. Share it with your staff, so they understand the level of service that’s expected to be delivered.

Most importantly, put the words of your Client Bill of Rights into action through your daily operations.

When you’re insured through Alta Pro Insurance, you get a steady supply of practice management tip. Our online Pro Practice Playbook has a chapter on Getting and Keeping Great Clients. Have you accessed your benefits? If not, start now. Here’s how to get going.

17 Suggestions for your Client Bill of Rights

Want to create your own Client Bill of Rights? Here are some things you might consider including in it:

  1. You are entitled to be treated with courtesy, dignity and respect by your lawyer and everyone in the firm.
  2. You have the right to be treated as we would want to be treated if we were the client.
  3. You are entitled to competent representation. This means your lawyer has the legal knowledge, skill and experience to handle your case, and will do so with thoroughness and adequate preparation.
  4. You will be told if there is a charge for your initial consultation.
  5. You have the right to be charged a fair and reasonable fee.
  6. You are entitled to know what your case will cost. You will be told what we will charge as our fee, and how that fee will be paid. If we charge an hourly fee, you will be told the hourly rate. You will be sent regular bills that will itemize what we have done. In addition to our fees, you will also be given an estimate of what costs should be expected in your case. These financial terms will be put in a written, signed representation agreement.
  7. You have the right to a clear, candid and straightforward evaluation of your case. You will be informed of the legal options available to you, as well as the pros and cons of each option.
  8. You have the right to ask questions if anything is unclear. Your questions should be answered promptly and completely.
  9. You are entitled to complete confidentiality and secrecy as to everything you discuss with us. No information will be revealed to or shared with anyone else unless you give us permission to do so.
  10. You are entitled to our absolute and undivided loyalty. If representing you conflicts with any outside interest we have, we will inform you of this fact. We might have to decline to represent you if the conflict cannot be waived.
  11. You have the right to be updated regularly on the status of your case.
  12. You alone have the right to make the critical decisions in your case, such as whether to file a lawsuit, enter a plea or accept a settlement offer.
  13. You have the right to have your telephone calls and other communications returned promptly.
  14. You are entitled to an accounting of any funds or property held by us on your behalf. The firm must keep your funds separate from its funds. The firm cannot use your funds without your permission. Any of your funds that remain after the representation ends will be returned to you.
  15. If at any point you are dissatisfied with how we are handling your case, you should discuss your concerns with us. If you are still dissatisfied, you have the right to end the attorney-client relationship. In some circumstances court approval might be necessary for you to do this, and depending on the terms of our representation agreement, there might be fees or costs that you will still owe.
  16. You are entitled to have your attorney act in a professional, ethical and appropriate manner. If you believe our actions fall short of that standard, you have the right to hold us accountable.
  17. You may not be refused representation on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin or disability.

If you practice in Wisconsin, Texas, Minnesota, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana or Michigan, you can stay a step ahead of the competition by being a member of Alta Pro Lawyers RPG. You’ll get access to free webinars, the Pro Practice Playbook, Reminger ProLink, Ask the Risk Pro and more. Here’s how to join.

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