What are your nightmare client warning signs?

November 13, 2010

Do you know the characteristics of your worst and best clients?  Let’s start with your best “A” clients.  In order to attract more “A” clients, you’ve got to have a crystal clear picture of who those “A” clients are.  There are some universal characteristics that most attorneys would agree on, for example – they pay their bills, they follow your advice, they are polite to your staff, and they’re not calling your office every day (or hour) for an update on their case. 

But beyond these universals you need to understand exactly what constitutes an “A” client for YOU.  If you’ve never done it, you should pull out a piece of paper, and write down a description of your ideal client.  If you have more than one practice area, write a description of your ideal client for each area.  Make sure you and your staff understand exactly who your ideal clients are.  I’ll be writing more about this in an upcoming post.

OK.  Now that you know who your ideal clients are, who are the nightmare “D” clients? The universals are typically opposites of the characteristics listed above.  And I’m betting you can think of many more.  I’m also betting that you have a list of warning signs – bells that go off in your head – when a potential “D” client is sitting across the desk from you.   

In the current issue of the ABA Journal, there’s a collection of warning signs submitted by Journal readers, inspired by the Nutmeg Lawyer.   Some of them are funny, and all of them are on target.  What are some of your warning signs?


  1. Brian Frolo says:

    thanks for sharing that Nora. BTW I am fortunate to have ALL A clients. 🙂

  2. Nora Riva Bergman says:

    Keep up the good work, and don’t let any creep in!

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