We experience breakdowns in our communications with clients for lots of reasons, but here are three of the big ones: (1) we don't give them enough of the right information, (2) we don't tell them what they can expect from us, and (3) we don't explain what we expect from them as clients.
Take for example a contract or a motion you’ve prepared. If you send that document to your client with a simple cover email that says “Please review and let me know if you approve or have any questions”, then guess what? You’re either going to get a lot of questions, or worse have a client who doesn't understand what you sent them and stays silent.
If you want to improve your client service and set expectations, create and send a 1-2 page “Guide” or “FAQ” sheet along with key documents they need to review, requests for information, or in advance of important events.
Here's another example: if you represent clients who have never been to court before, why not send them a guide (or better yet, a short video) that explains (1) when and where to meet you the day of the hearing, (2) what to expect at the hearing, (3) what to wear to court, and (3) a description of all the other people who will be there (court reporter, clerk, bailiff, etc.).
The purpose of these 1-page sheets is to lay some foundation and guide them through the process.
Some sentences you might include in a guide like this are:
You can create a 1-2 page resource like this for just about anything you send regularly to a client:
Remember: Keep them short and simple, no lawyer speak, and think about it from the perspective of the client.