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Non-lawyers who have initial consultations with prospective clients can be a law firm’s secret weapon. They help lawyers save time, money, and hassle. Also, unlike attorneys who conduct their own ICs, they don’t offer free legal counsel during the meeting.

Many attorneys often need help to adopt the idea of empowering team members to take charge of initial consults. For a busy practice, however, turning a trusted team member into someone who can relieve you of the burden of leading these meetings can be a game-changer. They can assess whether or not potential clients will be a good fit for the firm based on their training, skills, and experience. They can determine the client’s needs and provide a thorough consultation without giving free legal advice.

Elizabeth Clark, Client Services Director at The Legacy Senior Law Center in Leesburg, Virginia, joins Steve on this episode of Great Practice, Great Life® to talk about her success there and how she stumbled into her position. The lawyer owner empowers her to handle 95% of the firm’s initial consultations.

  • Giving Elizabeth the discretion to adjust the intake process and the services the client is offered provides a distinct advantage to her firm. Often, the client walks in the door believing they need one service but then discovers an additional item or two that they also need after speaking with her. Because of her experience, she can identify these needs in conversation with the client.
  • Having strong price points reminds the client they’re in charge. If the practice doesn’t hide the expenses of the legal services needed, the client can decide whether or not that extra cost is worth it.
  • Not all clients are a good fit for the attorney owner. Elizabeth cautiously uses her authority to decline these clients or offer them incentives to sign on with the firm. The latitude to incentivize them is a part of the empowerment she received after earning the attorney’s trust.

In this episode, you’ll hear her discuss a few procedures she uses when meeting and screening potential clients. She also talks about how certain clients develop a deeper personal relationship with the firm and why the team feels so much empathy and sympathy toward them. She also shares why she enjoys her job, how she acquired the necessary skills, and why her attorney has such high regard for her.

If you want to learn more about implementing non-lawyer initial meetings, check out

Steve Riley

Certified Practice Advisor & Attorney

Steve Riley has coached attorneys for more than 20 years. His one-on-one coaching focuses on a limited number of top producing attorneys committed to taking their practices to new levels of excellence, profit, and personal success. He also presents at group coaching workshops around the country for individual law firms, state bar associations, and other legal organizations.

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