March 26, 2012

Attorneys often suffer from “panicky client syndrome.” The client panics, the lawyer works double-time, and the client complains about the bill.


Many clients, especially difficult ones, use Friday afternoons to pawn their legal worries off onto their lawyers. And they use Monday mornings to vent about the weekend’s frustrations.

Well, don’t touch that phone!

That advice may seem counterintuitive but, like many professionals, lawyers are led to believe they must be slaves to the telephone or they’ll lose clients.

And, of course, the No. 1 complaint to the bar in most states is that lawyers won’t return telephone calls from their clients.

But lawyers are counselors to their clients, and sometimes the best counsel is – silence.

How many weekends have you spent working hard for clients based on Friday afternoon calls, only to learn that the weekend problem resolved itself but the client never told you?

Consider not returning calls after noon on Friday or before noon on Monday. What a relief you’ll experience! For once, lawyers will have some weekend time with their family, and Mondays will be devoted to real, paying work instead of unnecessarily frantic and unprofitable activities.

If you struggle with panicky and needy clients, you might try making yourself scarce on Friday afternoon and Monday morning. There are very few problems in life that can’t wait until Monday afternoon.

This article was originally posted on March 26, 2012 and the information may no longer be current. For questions, please contact GRF CPAs & Advisors at