I returned to the office the other day after meeting with a potential new client and my secretary asked “What are the diagrams about”?
When I meet with a new client who has separated and wants initial advice on their legal position, I spend about an hour or so with them discussing their situation, where they wish to be and how we might try to get there.
I find it very useful to explain the processes that are involved, the factors that are going to be relevant to negotiations or to a court, and the various options available for settlement in diagrammatic form.
Not very scientific or even legalistic I grant you but extremely effective. They say a picture paints a thousand words and that is how I see my diagrams which I have be drawing now for almost every client for 25 years.
The whole legal process, legal rights and jargon, court procedure with rules, acts and Judges can be somewhat bewildering. It does not have to be but it is not every Solicitor who can advise in a clear and concise way. All too common I have reports of clients coming away from earlier meetings with other Solicitors being as confused as when they went in and none the wiser as to what they need to do or why.
The use of diagrams makes things very clear and easy to discuss, with my clients able to ask questions with reference to the diagrams. Costs estimates can also be given with reference to the processes identified in the diagrams.
At the end of the meeting I hand copies of the diagrams to the client to take away. I also place the diagrams on the file and we continually refer back to them in our subsequent meetings to assess where we are in the process, and where we are going.
What clients often need is understanding and focus and with the diagrams in their hands I hope that clients leave our initial meeting with a clearer understanding of a way forward and what they need to do to get there.
All our initial meetings are at no charge and can be arranged at a time and place convenient to the client.
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