How to Prepare for Client Meetings

Last Updated at: Oct 30, 2020
Several colleagues communicating in office against window

What is the difference between bagging a brief from unsophisticated clients and sophisticated clients? How do you run your first meeting? Experienced lawyers already have their own functional strategies for these things, but young lawyers often struggle with the basics. It’s something to learn and improve over time definitely.

Preparing for meetings should be on top of your agenda if you want to be successful at law practice.

 How to prepare for a meeting with a sophisticated client

We all know that the first meeting is very critical and important. The lawyer should know the key information about the potential case and be prepared to answer any questions from the client. This is usually the meeting based on which the client has to decide if they want to hire the lawyer or not. Time is valuable, but most lawyers (except for the very biggest in the industry) usually don’t charge for the initial meeting.

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As sophisticated clients come to the lawyer with a set goal, the lawyer’s job is usually cut out: he has to show how he can achieve that goal. At this point, you got to show that you are reliable, efficient and capable of delivering a good result. The client will expect you to sell yourself, and you got to show how you are going to accomplish his business objectives. Sophisticated clients sometimes need to know what their competitors are up to. If that’s the case, you can research a bit on the client’s competitors or peers.

How to prepare for a meeting with an unsophisticated client

Approaching the initial meeting with the unsophisticated client is a delicate affair. The lawyer should see it through the eyes of the client rather than the agenda a lawyer may have.

Unsophisticated clients need to be educated to see things in a professional way which will be beneficial for the client. All clients want to also see the outcome. If you can explain to them how such an outcome will be achieved, that gives him a good reason to hire you. In these cases, you must pay attention to fully understand the case properly by asking questions. It is likely to go like an interview where you ask many questions and piece together a jigsaw puzzle based on information given by the client in a piecemeal manner. Finally, you will put the entire picture together and show the client what it looks like from a legal angle.

A lawyer with 14 years' experience, Vikram has worked with several well-known corporate law firms before joining Vakilsearch.