How to Make Better Client Referrals
Successful lawyers don’t just build a professional reputation by taking on and winning cases. There is a secondary income stream and prestige to be gained from making better client referrals. Such referrals come with fees, typically around 30% and it can be a profitable practice.
Deciding When to Refer
There are many reasons why you would do this – you don’t have the time to take on a case. Rather than lose them to a competitor, you would refer them to a contact and take a cut. You might also refer if you lack the expertise in that area, or even certification/license for that specialism, or even the right to practice in that state.
Each case should be judged on an individual basis, but there is both prestige and money to be made from a quality referral.
How To Refer Clients
A major reason why lawyers try to avoid referral is lack of clarity. There are concerns about fees, and how and why and when. The ABA provides guidance within Rule 5.4 which allows attorneys to share fees and 7.2b which states attorneys can offer anything of value in commission for a referral. ABA also states that referral fees are fine when divisible by the amount of relative work of each attorney.
Always do so in a manner that will promote and enhance the contact and the working relationship.
How Often Should You Refer
There is no set answer for this. How often you refer should always depend on how busy you presently are or how confident you feel about the case or your ability to take it on. Ensure you research a case fully before passing on the client. You should always pass on whenever you feel the client and their case would be best served by someone else other than yourself.
Lawyers will respond in kind. Every time you refer, you increase the chance that client will refer a case to you in future. However, don’t pass over work that you are able to take on.
Collaboration and handing over clients is a far easier process when the two firms use the same tools. Record Grabber offers medical record retrieval and storage services to lawyers as well as medical professionals. Between lawyers who both use the same services, a hand over is easy in theory.
Legal case management software and other collaboration tools that adhere to HIPAA and other laws make the process fast and easy for both parties. They facilitate faster decision making on behalf of the referred lawyer too.
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