Some lawyers are so busy talking they forget that their first job is to listen. A big part of lawyer’s job is to listen to you and to understand completely what you are saying. The lawyer should also be “in the moment” when listening to you. In addition, the lawyer should be listening for what you are not saying to determine if there is something important you have forgotten to mention.
As an Orange County Accident Lawyer I spend a lot of time listening carefully to people. This helps me do a more effective job for clients. If your lawyer is really listening to you should find that the lawyer:
- Listens to you without interrupting.
- Listens “in the moment” with you.
- Listens for clues to things you are not saying.
Listens to you without interrupting
As an Orange County accident lawyer I know that the first thing a lawyer needs to do is to listen to people without interrupting. That is how to give a client the room to provide all the information needed to solve the client’s accident related problems. When the lawyer does not interrupt the lawyer learns a lot about your case.
Being “in the moment” with you
“In the moment” means that the only thing the lawyer is thinking about is the conversation you are having with the lawyer. The only thing that matters is the moment in time while you are talking to your lawyer. The lawyer is concentrating completely on what you are saying and nothing else.
The lawyer is not thinking about the lawyer’s next phone call or court appearance. The lawyer is with you, listening intently to you, and concentrating on what you are saying. A lawyer who is doing this is able to better listen to what is being said because the lawyer is focused on you alone and not on anything else in the world.
Listening to what you are not saying
The lawyer should also be listening to what you are not saying. For example, suppose that you are talking to the lawyer about your pain from an automobile accident. If the lawyer suspects that the pain is also causing you emotional distress the lawyer should ask about how the accident affects you emotionally.
Emotional distress is a part of your claim. Under California law you are entitled to money for emotional distress. If the lawyer is talking more than listening the lawyer may miss this important problem. If the lawyer fails to identify the problem you will probably never receive the money you are entitled to for that emotional distress claim.
Even though you have not said anything about your emotional distress a good lawyer should be listening for it and other issues. If the lawyer is really listening the lawyer should sense things about your case that you are thinking or experiencing but not necessarily talking about.
What should happen when the lawyer really listens to you?
As an Orange County accident lawyer, I believe that when lawyers really listen the following should happen:
- You do most of the talking and the lawyer does most of the listening.
- You feel that the lawyer is concentrating on your moment in time.
- You tell the lawyer information that you didn’t think was important at first.
- You feel that the lawyer is totally focused on you and your case. .
- You feel more relaxed and comfortable while talking to the lawyer.
- You feel that the lawyer fully understands your case.
- You feel better about your case.
When a lawyer is listening to you deeply you can usually feel it. You will recognize that the lawyer practices the skill of being more interested in what the client has to say than what the lawyer has to say. You will feel that the lawyer is “in the moment” ”with you. You recognize that you are talking to a lawyer who is concentrating on listening to what your words are saying and not saying. Your lawyer has learned from you all the things necessary to achieve success for you and your case.
You will be able to tell when you meet a lawyer who really knows how to listen. The way you will know will be that you feel that you really enjoyed having a conversation with the lawyer. What you may not realize is that you did most of the talking while the lawyer did most of the listening.