Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

Top 10 Ways to Protect your Legal Reputation

Keyboard reputation button“A reputation once broken may possibly be repaired, but the world will always keep their eyes on the spot where the crack was.” Joseph Hall

The best risk management advice is usually the simplest.

Return phone calls. Finish your work on time. Stick to what you know.

The same is true of course with life in general. The very best advice has no expiration date, which is what makes it so valuable. Exercise. Eat right. Get a good night’s sleep.

For these reasons, a recent risk management article recently stood out among the tidal wave of feeds, blawgs and news blasts that wash up in my in-box daily.

It came from Illinois attorney Allison Wood, who runs Legal Ethics Consulting in Chicago. I liked it because it was simple, straightforward and timeless.

Top 10 Ways to Protect your Legal Reputation

10. Stay in your lane. Refrain from taking cases outside of your primary area of practice.

9. Use social media responsibly. If you can’t do it off-line, don’t do it on-line.

8. Even if the deadline is looming, don’t take shortcuts.

7. Address client complaints head-on and use them as opportunities to improve your practice.

6. Take the time to specifically explain your fees to clients and send invoices regularly.

5. Conduct a complete conflicts analysis before taking on a new matter.

4. Maintain a calendaring system and use it consistently.

3. Keep clients updated on status and impending deadlines.

2. Schedule a block of time every day to return phone calls.

1. When in doubt, consult with ethics counsel before making a decision that could adversely impact your client or your legal reputation.

See? Short and sweet. But also nutritious and filling.

What risk management advice would you add to that list? And remember – keep it simple.

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. He was taught to wash behind his ears and do a good deed daily. Contact, phone 919-619-2441.

Source: Allison Wood, Legal Ethics Consulting, PC




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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