The Most Valuable Thing They Forgot to Teach in Law School

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It’s true.

There’s a lot of practical information missing from a law school education.

The most valuable lesson they left out has to do with client lifetime value.

Before a client ever gives you any money he has to give you his trust.  Once a client trusts you, as long as you do great work, provide a fantastic experience, and improve his condition, he will come back to you for legal work over and over again.

This means your client relationship has value beyond the current matter.  Well beyond.

In every other business, marketing focuses on deepening the relationship with people who have purchased the business’ goods and services in the past.  Service businesses even create loyalty (rewards) programs to track and measure these relationships.

Yet in the practice of law, the minute a matter concludes, the attorney runs to find another client and ignores the client who just left the office.

Focusing on client lifetime value requires developing deep relationships.  It requires excellent listening skills.  It requires developing systems that will help you keep in touch with clients even after your current work with them ends.  In short, it requires that you invest, emotionally and financially, in maintaining these relationships.

What about Criminal Attorneys, Divorce Attorneys, and Personal Injury Attorneys?

You might think attorneys in consumer oriented practice areas do not need to focus on client lifetime value.  After all, in most cases, they will only represent each client one time. 
Client lifetime value extends well beyond representation of the individual.

Think about it:  That client has already placed his trust in you.  If you have zealously represented him and improved his condition, he will recommend you to others.  The key is to keep your relationship with him alive and on the top of his mind.

In addition to referrals from past clients, consumer focused attorneys can always count on referrals from people who are “centers of influence” in the community.  These people include:  members of local church and religious groups –particularly volunteers and leaders of committees, members of civic organizations and community organizers.

Smart attorneys track the lifetime value of these referral sources as well as the lifetime value of their clients.

For more information on tracking lifetime value of clients and referral sources, watch this video I recorded on this topic.