Dr. Noelle Nelson

Connecting with Your Client
Success Through Improved Client Communications (American Bar Association)

Connecting with Your Client by Dr. Noelle NelsonAttorneys everywhere are being forced to reconsider their definition of service. More than just the quality of lawyering, excellent service includes how legal expertise is actually delivered to the client. That means everything from promptly delivered phone calls, to keeping the client appropriately informed and prepared, to a legal professional's attitude toward the client.

Clearly, client satisfaction should be the goal of every firm that wants new and repeat business.

Put the power of psychology to work for your practice.

Techniques gives you the tools for achieving greater client satisfaction through improved communication. The author, leading psychologist, therapist and legal consultant Noelle C. Nelson, Ph.D., presents practical guidance and specific methods based on sound psychological principles. You'll learn how to:

Project attentiveness and caring

  • Create a rapport that builds your client's trust and confidence
  • Become a client-centered advocate
  • Communicate billing and other case management issues in ways that support good client-lawyer relations
  • Handle troublesome aspects of a case without losing the cooperation and good will of your clients
  • Handle difficult clients without losing the client or the case
  • Train your associates, legal assistants and support staff to adopt the appropriate attitude toward clients

Maintain control over difficult situations--and clients

If you've ever been faced with a difficult client or uncomfortable situation, you know how hard it can be to maintain control. Connecting with Your Client prepares you with step-by-step exercises. For example, the "pace and lead" technique helps you handle angry clients by first mirroring their body language and reflecting their words (pacing), then gradually "leading" them with your body language and words to a different emotional state. And the "back pocket technique" trains you to mentally take any distracting thoughts and put them in your "back pocket" for retrieval later at an appropriate time.

Professional solutions drawn from real-life experiences

Connecting with Your Client also includes real-life, real-case experiences so you can learn from clients and lawyers alike. Managing partners, executive directors, and marketing directors of top-level firms contribute their perspective and share their solutions for attaining client satisfaction and cooperation.


Getting rejected by a client can be a painful experience. You feel you've given the client great service. You got a great result. And yet the next time that client needed a lawyer, he hired someone else. Where did you go wrong?

You went wrong in thinking that all the client wanted was to win their case or get their will drafted in a timely fashion. That's not what your clients want. That's what they expect as a bottom line.

What they want from you is service. And if they don't get it, your waiting room is going to be a lonely place.

So writes Noelle Nelson, in Connecting With Your Client, another practical guide from the ABA's Law Practice Management Section. Far from a touchy-feely approach, the book demonstrates with specific examples, how you may be turning clients off, despite your excellent lawyering.

For any lawyer looking to improve client relation - and thus, the firm's bottom line - Nelson's book is full of practical advice and useful illustrations.

Read the Preface to Connecting With Your Client

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