Joseph Rosenbaum: How Would I Pick a Lawyer? – Legal Bytes
Insights Joseph I. (“Joe”) Rosenbaum · February 7, 2024
Just like any other business, lawyers and law firms try to determine how best to attract clients, win more business and expand the business they already have. Lawyers engage marketing professionals, hold internal caucuses and develop volumes of pitch materials – often segmented by industry, geography, size, diversity and scores of other ‘meaningful’ criteria. One thing lawyers rarely do is ask clients: What makes you satisfied with your lawyer? What does your lawyer do that you really like? What would encourage you to give your lawyer more business or recommend your lawyer to others – internally or externally?
So in that light, I’m going to pretend I’m a consultant, not a lawyer, and share with you the 10 most important things I would use to pick, keep, cultivate and recommend a lawyer!
- Chemistry: Clients pick and work with lawyers, not law firms. Clients want lawyers who understand their business so there is context to the legal work and the relationship. Yes, it’s important for clients to have a law firm that can provide legal support in multiple areas, in multiple jurisdictions, with enough bench strength to handle large deals or multiple deals simultaneously. BUT, ultimately a client wants to feel comfortable with the individuals and their professional relationship.
- Trust: Clients need to be able to freely exchange information with their lawyer – especially bad news. Success is easy to share, but clients need to feel comfortable that communicating bad news, mistakes, problems and concerns will not be met with judgment or disdain. They want someone with a desire to help resolve the issue or, at least, make the best of a bad situation. Clients want to know their lawyer is really on their side.
- Professionalism: Clients want a lawyer that is a professional. That means not cutting corners on ethics or professional responsibility. Clients need to know integrity, like trust, is something their lawyer believes and values and behaves accordingly. Cutting corners may seem expedient in the short term, but does any client ever want to wonder what other corners their lawyer is cutting?
- Quality: There is no substitute. True, not every lawyer will have the same experience, skill or expertise. But every lawyer should know when something is out of their depth or beyond their capabilities. Clients want to know the work their lawyer does, their lawyer does well. If the matter is outside their lawyers skill set, clients want to know their lawyer will find, recommend and, if necessary, supervise other professionals with an equal passion for quality work.
Joe Rosenbaum is a New York‐based partner at Rimon, P.C. and Chair of Rimon’s Global Alliance. Rimon is an innovative and highly selective entrepreneurial firm that combines dynamic client service, teamwork, the agility of a high‐end boutique law firm and the deep multidisciplinary experience of a large global firm. Prior to private practice, Joe served for 17 years as an in‐house lawyer for American Express, including 4 years in Toronto as Vice President & General Counsel of Amex Canada. Joe is an internationally recognized, highly valued multi‐disciplinary corporate‐commercial lawyer, known for his strategic, legal, regulatory and policy guidance, as well as his legal skills and judgment…Read more