What Separates the Pedestrian from the Exceptional
JW Way Fundamental #6: Be passionate about the client experience
"Make each client interaction memorable for its warmth, thoughtfulness, and helpfulness. Create wow experiences, Be obsessive about response time and keeping clients informed.”
This fundamental speaks to us on two distinct levels.
First, it teaches the importance of identifying with the client’s experience, which is a key component of the JW Way, as reflected in our other Fundamentals - Treat client’s money as your own, Walk in your client’s shoes, Listen fully, Manage and clarify expectations, and Communicate to be understood. In this sense, this fundamental encapsulates one of the overriding themes of the JW Way – that we are in the business of serving clients.
Another way to look at this fundamental is to focus on the introductory phrase – Be passionate about the client experience. Considered from this perspective, the fundamental is about us, and the enthusiasm and devotion we bring to the practice of law. It is one thing to care about our clients; it is another thing entirely to be passionate about the lawyering process. While the former is clearly a necessary component of what we do, the latter is what separates the pedestrian from the exceptional. While certain aspects of the JW Way, including the direction to take the high road when dealing with jerks, may be a source of stress, each of us should strive to avoid simply going through the motions, and should actively seek to inject enthusiasm and passion into everything we do. Clients certainly sense and respond to their lawyer’s level of emotional involvement, which is one reason that some not very good lawyers have many clients. When coupled with a commitment to excellent service, a passionate involvement in the client experience can be expected to lead to favorable results for both lawyer and client.
About the Author: Roger Cohen is a partner at the Phoenix law firm of Jaburg Wilk. He has over three decades of experience as a business attorney, representing clients in both litigation and transactions.