- Have a good, strong internet and/or mobile phone connection. Being able to hear and understand each other is an important part of being able to communicate clearly. Test your equipment in advance. If it is not working, a hard-wired connection may be the solution. If you are working from home and sharing the bandwidth with the family, try to carve out times that limit streaming and gaming by others in order to allow you to work efficiently.
- Provide your client documents to review before meeting with them, so that they have a chance to review the material in advance and make notes regarding their questions. It will save time and confusion during your meetings.
- Send your client a reminder of the meeting to avoid wasting time with no-shows.
- Smile! A smile goes a long way to build bridges between humans and create bonds. Even if you are doing a telephone conference, your smile will shine through. Use it liberally during remote communications.
- Dress the part and behave in a manner that benefits your position. If you are dressed in sweats and slumped on the sofa, your lackadaisical attitude may be reflected in your demeanor.
- Dressing smartly and using good posture will help set you up for a more professional appearance. It will send the client the message that you are taking their case seriously and that you are ready to take on their problems in a professional manner. Being dressed for success will help you feel more confident in yourself.
- Avoid overlapping conversations so that words are not cut-off and lost. Particularly with video, there may be a delay between speaking and being heard due to a lag of the audio. So, pause a second or two after someone speaks before beginning to speak yourself.
- Put your best foot forward and put a little extra effort into convincing potential clients that you are, in fact, the right attorney to represent their interests. Without the benefit of in-person meetings, it is hard to read body language and other cues that help instill confidence in others that you have the skills to help them. Do a little extra to sell yourself.
- Make good notes of all issues discussed. Again, do not let your location or circumstances allow you to get lazy in maintaining your file. It is crucial that you stay organized.
Jeanne, co-founder and managing partner of Divorce Lawyers for Men, is a successful civil litigator who has focused her legal practice on complex litigation, primarily catastrophic injury and wrongful death lawsuits. She has served as a member and Chair of the Washington State Bar Association Law Clerk Board, as a Thurston County Family Court Child Advocate, and as a founding member of the Thurston County Volunteer Legal Clinic.