What Do Clients Want from Their Lawyers?

10 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2009 Last revised: 2 Feb 2010

Clark D. Cunningham

Georgia State University College of Law

Date Written: October 13, 2009

Abstract

This working paper assembles empirical data from England, Australia and the United States indicating that individual clients do not evaluate their lawyers - as attorneys frequently assume - primarily in terms of the outcomes achieved. Rather, clients place greater weight on the quality of communication with their lawyers and are often disappointed by failure to listen carefully and explain clearly. The paper concludes with suggestive survey data that organizational clients may have similar views about the large firm lawyers that represent them. The author is the director of the Effective Lawyer-Client Communication Project and the National Institute for Teaching Ethics & Professionalism. The paper is based on a number of presentations in both the United Kingdom and the USA, most recently at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the Law & Society Association.

Keywords: ethics, legal profession, empirical studies, lawyer-client communication, attorney-client communication, attorney-client relationship

JEL Classification: K10, K40, K49

Suggested Citation

Cunningham, Clark D., What Do Clients Want from Their Lawyers? (October 13, 2009). Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper Series, No. 2010-04. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1505616 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1505616

Clark D. Cunningham (Contact Author)

Georgia State University College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 4037
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States

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