For solo practitioners or lawyers working in a smaller firm setting, time is at a premium. That's why bad, non-paying clients are universally despised. But how do you spot the bad apple client who will just waste your time?
Here are some tips you should keep in mind for handling a legal leech if your ever so unfortunate to encounter one.
Time Is Money
All lawyers know that time is money. The more time you spend on a client who has no real intention of hiring you, the more time you didn't spend making money or finding other paying clients. At the very least, you can catch up on much-needed sleep.
Key Phrases That Should Raise the Hairs
There are some key phrases that should instantly make you wary of a particular client. Here are a few examples.
Free Advice Is Surface Stuff. Each Case Is Unique
Everybody, including lawyers, likes bright-line rules. Alas, each case is unique and few cases fit easily into simple facts patterns that can easily be answered in a 30 minute consult. By their very nature, free advice packages are going to be incomplete, and you should always make it clear to the potential client that the consultation does not form an attorney-client privilege. Best practices demands you get that in writing. It's the nature of the business that even tire-kickers can bring you down.