Case Referrals Can Be a Smart Move For Your Client and Practice
Did you know that more than 95 percent of surveyed Super Lawyers have referred a client to another lawyer or law firm, other than their own, within the past 12 months? There are many solo law practitioners and law firms out there who have, at one time or another, referred a case to another firm and there are plenty of good reasons for lawyer case referrals. There are quite a few circumstances that can lead to a referral of a case. Some of the main ones are:
- A case isn’t compatible with your business or falls outside of your firm’s practice area(s) or expertise
- It’s just not economically sound for your firm to handle the case – i.e. you haven’t the means or resources to try the case properly
- You or your firm lacks trial experience
- The case falls outside your jurisdiction and makes more sense for local counsel to handle the case
- A case is too big or complicated to handle on your own and/or simply not enough staff to handle the case
These are good reasons for lawyers to refer cases and professional referrals are a principal foundation of the practice of law. Especially now, the importance of collaborating and sharing information, working together and/or referring cases when necessary, has become even more impactful. During economic downturns and the recent changes like the vast decline of civil jury cases in America, these trends mean it is important for lawyers to work together to maintain the checks and balances of our judicial system and to uphold the law that allows all citizens the right to a fair trial.
Referring cases in a responsible and ethical way, according to the laws, can build your practice to last and create wins for you and your clients. The ultimate goal in our profession should be obtaining the best attorney for the client’s needs without being restricted by financial concerns and/or bias.
How to Ease a Client’s Concerns When You Need to Refer a Case
Once you have determined you need to refer your personal injury case to another firm or lawyer, there are bound to be obvious and valid reasons why. Share these with your client. It is in your best interest to be honest and forthright as to why you are recommending this move. It is the client’s right to understand that your oath as a lawyer is to represent your clients to the best of your ability, even if that means handing over the case.
The other thing that helps ease the client’s mind concerning a lawyer case referral, is after giving them all the details on the potential move, try to organize a meeting between you, the client and the new lawyer. Set the client at ease with the introduction to the new lawyer/firm and give the client the opportunity to ask the questions they need. This also gives the client the chance to see both lawyers/firms collaborating and agreeing to the referral which in turn gives the client the opportunity to see everyone working in harmony and choosing to do the best for him/her in the important matter of their case.