I enjoy speaking to prospective clients, learning about their businesses, hearing about their legal disputes, and most of all, collaborating with them to develop a strategy for representation. I often explain to clients that two terrific lawyers can hear the same set of facts, but recommend two completely different albeit excellent approaches to solving the problem. There is a simple reason for this. Litigation is art, not science.
So where does this leave the prospective client who faces a choice about which lawyer to hire? Consider this question: Is the lawyer able to lay out a strategic vision for the claim or defense?
I would never hire a lawyer who wants to collect a fee or retainer before actually discussing my problem. Conversely, as an attorney, I will not quote a fee to potential clients until I’ve determined from speaking to them that I can help and that I want to work with them.
It doesn’t matter how terrific I think my strategy for handling a problem is if my client does not share my vision. In those circumstances, I would prefer to pass on the case. Another terrific lawyer may find an excellent approach that is more appealing to the client.