A July article in the ABA Journal titled “How Much Do People Think Lawyers Contribute to Society?” quoted a Pew Research poll finding that only 18% of Americans think lawyers contribute significantly to society and 34% believe lawyers contribute little if anything. Of ten professions included in the poll, lawyers ranked last. Clergy came in at number six.
This is only one poll and the findings may be statistically insignificant however it does provide a reminder that perception matters. Perceptions are based on a series of experiences over time. Changing perceptions requires offering different experiences.
Customer satisfaction is a top priority for BASF’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS). In many proven business models, providing excellent service generates repeat business and word of mouth referrals. A large percentage of LRIS clients report being referred by a friend, family member, or coworker. A happy client is one of the best forms of free marketing available. Here are what two of our clients had to say:
“I came into the meeting feeling very nervous and stressed. The attorney immediately saw that and treated me so calmly and patiently. He explained things the way I’d understand, and finally getting a better grasp of my situation and what’s going on with these documents, made me feel so much better. He did NOT pressure me AT ALL to hire him. I would definitely contact him if I need more help on this. Thank you so much.”
“I used the Lawyer Referral and Information Service a couple of months ago when someone I lent money to ‘sort of’ put me in their bankruptcy and I had no idea what the paperwork meant. The lawyer was INCREDIBLE! He knew what the paperwork meant and even printed out some forms for me to send in to the court and I was able to at least ask for my money back. Just call – they will ask what you need and help set you up for $35 for 30 minutes with an expert attorney to look over any documents you have. 415-989-1616, all you need to do is call. BEST $35 I ever spent because I knew from an expert what it was and what to do.”
Each attorney that applies to become a member of LRIS must meet specific experience requirements, be in good standing with the State Bar of California, and carry malpractice insurance. Attorneys are also provided an in-person overview of the referral process and client expectations for the initial consultation the service arranges. The outcome is bigger than any individual client meeting: Together, LRIS attorney panel members are improving the image of the legal profession everyday by exceeding the expectations of the clients referred to them through BASF’s LRIS.
For information on how to join the Lawyer Referral and Information Service, please visit our website at www.sfbar.org/lawyerreferrals/att.aspx. Read more about our program, download panel applications, and view attorney testimonials. You may also contact the LRIS Membership Coordinator, Yvonne Ng, at 415-782-8951 or firstname.lastname@example.org for direct service. LRIS is a revenue generating program, the proceeds of which help to support BASF’s charitable programs.