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A Lawyer Must Return Phone Calls

Posted by Paul Schneiderman | Aug 20, 2021 | 0 Comments

In the late 1990s when I was considering getting my own law firm started, which I did do in the year 2000, I read a book by Jay Foonberg entitled "How To Start and Build a Law Practice." The 6th edition of the book came out in 2016.  Jay Foonberg continues to write and advise attorneys on law firm issues, his website is .

There are many practical and good tips in Jay's book, it is a well known book in particular for lawyers in solo/small law firm communities. 

One tip that has always stood out in Jay's book to me is what Jay cites as the biggest complaint that clients have about attorneys.  No, it is not the ability of the attorney, or the attorney's style of dress, or his or her office setup.  The biggest complaint clients have about attorneys is that lawyers do not do a good enough job promptly returning their phone calls.  I am far from perfect; but I did take Jay's advice in his book about this telephone issue very seriously, and I continue to do so today.

Nowadays, with texting and emailing, facetime communications, Zoom-the list goes on of the wide means of communications these days- it has become even more inexcusable for an attorney to not return a communication from a client in a prompt manner.  I make it a practice to at least try to text or email a client back as soon as I can and let them know that I received their communication, and that I will try to get back to the client as soon as possible. I find that clients tend to appreciate at least receiving an acknowledgment of their inquiry, even if the attorney is not in a position to have an immediate in-depth discussion at a particular moment.

Communication is a very important part of an attorney-client relationship, it is something that I take very seriously.  A lawyer picking up the phone or keyboard and getting back to a client within a reasonable time frame is very essential. Unfortunately, some attorneys fall way short on this.  

About the Author

Paul Schneiderman

Since 1997, I've represented my clients to help achieve their goals in a variety of cases. I take pride in connecting with people and working on their individual needs in each case.  From the moment I started school at the University of Washington, I became engrossed in my studies. School wasn't...


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