Holistic Philosophy

Client Tip #4: Always Know Who Is Working On Your File

Over the past few decades, the predominant structure of law firms in the United States has been a multi-tiered hierarchy that most highly compensates firm owners (or partners) at the top of the hierarchy who are successful in generating new clients for the firm. Most often, the business generated by these “rainmakers” is channeled down to non-owner associate attorneys (associates) who actually perform the lion’s share of the work on client files. In most instances, the client never is even given an opportunity to meet the associates who are actually performing the work on his of her case.

In this predominant scenario, the firm associates doing the work on a client’s behalf cannot possibly understand that course of action that may be optimal in light of the client’s unique life situation. To the contrary, the client is essentially reduced to a set of facts to be applied to existing law as understood by firm associates. As discussed elsewhere in this Holistic Law Blog, this detachment from the client’s unique life situation is very likely to result in missed opportunities to provide solutions that could otherwise transform the lives of clients long after their legal issues are resolved.

In the current state of the legal industry, it is a buyer’s marketplace. As consumers, clients have never been more empowered to shop for a lawyer with whom a binding rapport and intuitive sense of trust is shared. When conducting a search for an attorney, clients need not settle for a lawyer whom it is felt has not truly taken the time and made the sincere effort to understand the client’s unique life situation. Moreover, once the consumer has identified an attorney whom he or she believes has embraced a true, holistic approach, the consumer now has the leverage to insist on a written fee agreement that specifies that only the attorney with whom the consumer has forged a bond is authorized to perform work on the file. If the attorney insists that work be delegated to other firm associates, the consumer can refrain from signing a fee agreement and actually engaging the firm until he or she has had an opportunity to speak with the other attorneys and reached a comfort level that they will proceed with his or her optimal interests at the fore.

For more information on holistic law practice, visit or call Holistic Lawyer Michael Lubofsky at (415) 508-6263.

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