Saturday, May 05, 2007

Staffless lawyers

Isn't it annoying to work with lawyers without any administrative support staff? Now this is more of a law firm management issue, but I post here because I find it most common with lawyers who work primarily in residential real estate. I've had a good number of transactions of late with these sort of offices and to be honest these people aren't giving good service to their client, real estate agents (if applicable) or their opposing counsel. Agree? And yet it seems like some of these people are getting tons of referrals from agents.

I would mention a couple things...first, at a broad level a lawyer is very much in a general customer service business. It's a service business of giving consultive advice to people. The basics of getting phone calls answered and returned, ect. are critical. Second, and more directly related to residential real estate transactions, obviously this varies by the transaction but a residential real estate deal is what, 50/50 legal work vs. "massaging logistics". The staffless lawyer can certainly handle the 50% of legal work, BUT, he/she does very poorly on the 50% "massaging logistics." I've had 2-3 deals over the last couple months where closings were threatened/delayed because of these types of laywers. Just my $.02 to be aware of and my very frank advice of lawyers you should be avoiding!!

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