Client Centered Law Firm

Running a Client-Centred Law Firm

The idea that client-centred law firms are more successful is not a new one. Forward-thinking lawyers have been taking this approach for years.

However, as Jack Newton, co-founder and CEO of Clio, emphasises in his book The Client-Centered Law Firm, it’s now more important than ever that law firms who want to stay competitive take a client-centred approach.

In an age when there are plenty of options for alternative delivery of legal services and clients have come to expect the instant service and satisfaction they get from Amazon, Netflix, and Uber in every consumer interaction, law firms that are thoughtful, responsive, and engaged with their clients will set themselves apart.

The client-centred law firm

Running a client-centred law firm means putting your clients at the centre of your thinking. This goes beyond the legal deliverable you provide: Being client-centred means truly putting yourself in your client’s shoes and looking at the experience of hiring a lawyer and going through a legal matter from their point of view—and thinking through how you can provide a good client experience in a way that’s efficient for your firm.

As a lawyer, your job is to help your client resolve their particular legal issue in a timely—and hopefully affordable—fashion. A client-centred approach can help with this: Building trust with your clients can help make it easier to get the information you need, build a good working relationship with your clients, and leave them satisfied and willing to refer more clients to you once their case is closed.

Taking a client-centred approach is good for your internal operations too. Consider: Creating a well-thought-out onboarding experience—investing in the right tools, thinking through the right processes for your firm, and evolving that process when you see opportunities to improve—might require some investment, but it will lead to a faster onboarding process and fewer questions and confusion for the duration of your engagement, keeping overhead low and staff happier.

Key client-centred terms you need to know

Since the benefits of a client-centred approach have been extensively borne out in other industries, being “client-centred” has become essential for modern businesses. Companies have entire roles and even departments dedicated to customer success (think “customer journey advocate”), and there are a number of terms that will be helpful as you move towards taking a client-centred approach for your firm.

Client journey

The client journey refers to the path the client takes: from first contact with your law firm to interest, engagement, hiring you, you working their case, and finally, closing their case.

Considering the complete client journey and how each stage flows to the next is key to creating a positive client experience that sets your law firm apart. In fact, some companies—including large law firms—pay a pretty penny just to examine their customer journeys and look for ways to improve. This process is called customer journey mapping.

Customer experience

The customer experience amounts to a client’s overall experience with your product, your brand, and everything related to your company. An important distinction here is that this refers to your client’s point of view and how they perceive their experience with your firm, which may differ from how you think of your firm.


A Net Promoter Score, or NPS®, is a metric commonly used to rate customer satisfaction, calculated based on answers to the question “On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend my service to a friend or colleague?” Each response is sorted into Promoters (9 or 10), who would actively promote your service; Neutrals (7 or 8 ) would be neutral; and Detractors (0-6), who would actively be negative about your service. Calculate your law firm’s NPS® by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. This will give you an NPS®S score ranging between -100 to +100.

Companies typically survey clients at various stages along the customer journey to get more detailed insights into different aspects of the customer experience. Businesses will also ask for opportunities to improve the client experience, thereby improving their NPS®. Plenty of law firms calculate their NPS® to help keep themselves on track to deliver an amazing client experience.

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