New lawyers often ask about the magic bullet of client relationships. They want the one secret of exceeding expectations, the secret sauce of lawyering. There isn’t one; in the law, as in life, it is the small things that save us.
Recent advice I gave to a new lawyer: Don’t just tell the client about what is going on a case, but what is not going on, as in, “Litigation is like war. Periods of intense activity are interrupted by long periods of inactivity. This is a period of inactivity, and I just wanted to let you know.”
If you do not do so, the client thinks the worse, “Why have I not heard from my lawyer? I wonder if everything is OK?”
Pre-empt this fretting. Drop the client a line. And, by the way, doing so is a client courtesy, not an opportunity to squeeze a billable fraction of an hour. Do well by doing right.