It’s hard, but sometimes it’s okay when a client says goodbye. Guest Blogger Karen Thalacker discusses when the relationship doesn’t work out and how you can handle it with grace.


Some attorneys call it “parting ways.”  Some attorneys call it “irreconcilable differences.”  But most attorneys just call it “getting fired.”  The first time it doesn’t work out with a client in the middle of a case can be pretty difficult.

Here are 3 things to consider in this scenario:

  1. This can happen at any time in your career. Sometimes, it’s actually a relief. That being said, honestly evaluate what you could have done better and learn from the experience.
  2. Have a process in your office for how this sort of situation is handled. Make sure you put a respectful end to the relationship and give the client as smooth of a transition to the next attorney as possible.
  3. When you’re the next attorney, don’t disparage the first attorney. Professional courtesy is very important because you will be on both sides of this at some point in your career.

An attorney and a client have a special relationship and there are a thousand reasons why it might break down.  When it happens to you, handle it professionally and respectfully and move on.

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