Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

How to Become an Artisan-At-Law

How to Become an Artisan-At-LawWe’ve got artisan beer, artisan coffee and artisan pizza.

Why not artisan attorneys?

It just might be an easy way for you to stand out from the pack.

Transparency and Immediacy

You can walk into any grocery store and buy a loaf of bread. But if you want a slice of no-knead Boule, you will have to go someplace special.

That’s the rationale behind any artisanal product. We appreciate – and are willing to pay extra for – expertise, quality and craftsmanship.

An artisanal approach adds value because the product is:

  • Made with high-quality ingredients.
  • Fresh.
  • Created – at least partly – out in the open and right before our eyes.
  • Produced by someone who wants to give the customer a positive, memorable experience.

That is why an artisanal pizzeria might choose to place its oven in the center of the dining room, where customers can witness the entire process of preparing the perfect pie.

Artisanal Alternative to LegalZoom

An artisanal attorney can accomplish the same result. Here’s how:

  • Sell relationships and personal service – not documents and file folders.
  • Show new clients around your office.
  • Introduce them to key members of the team that will be working on their case.
  • Offer advice that is not canned or rote.
  • Emphasize that no two cases are alike and that every legal problem requires a strategy customized to the client’s individual needs.
  • Present yourself as a real person – one who listens, empathizes and cares about your client’s problems.
  • Point out that every single client gets a relationship with a skilled professional who has a name and a contact number, not a phone tree or voice mail.
  • Focus on solving problems, not delivering a product.

One commentator says the artisanal approach is the best way to beat LegalZoom at its own game.

“Have you seen the ‘Peace of Mind Guarantee’ LegalZoom offers,” writes Thomas M. Cooley law professor Victoria Vuletich. “It is simply a guarantee that everything is spelled correctly in the document and that the document is free of typos. But the consumer knows exactly what they are getting for the price. And many consumers believe the value is in that document.

“As attorneys we first have to persuade potential clients that the value isn’t in the document. That the value is in the other things attorneys bring that can’t be downloaded, precisely because they are so valuable.”

Becoming an Artisan-at-Law does not stop at promising excellent service. You also have to deliver. That means caring about your clients and giving them a meaningful, unique legal experience.

And it means finding solutions rather than just filing paperwork.

Jay Reeves a/k/a The Risk Man is an attorney licensed in North Carolina and South Carolina. Formerly he was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. Contact, phone 919-619-2441.

Source: Lawpportunity!


About the Author

Jay Reeves

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He is the author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World, a collection of short stories from a law life well-lived, which as the seasons pass becomes less about law and liability and more about loss, love, longing, laughter and life's lasting luminescence.

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