Some of the greatest decisions of your career may be ones that you don’t even remember. They involve clients who you decided not to represent that went on to make another lawyer’s life miserable for a while. Client selection is an important aspect of law firm management. For many lawyers, this involves a one-to-one consultation with prospective clients.
My column in the Oklahoma Bar Journal Client Selection: How to Red Flag High-Risk Clients (Including Relatives) covers some types of potential clients that most likely aren’t going to be great clients.
I also discuss the idea that lawyers shouldn’t represent their relatives. For some lawyers, that is “black letter law,” never to be done. Others think that approach is overly cautious. My personal opinion is you should never represent family members in contested family law matters. You don’t want to be one of the cast of characters in the recounting of “How I got ripped off in my divorce” that happens at family gatherings. On the other hand, if you know there’s a huge search and seizure issue with your nephew’s arrest and know exactly how to respond, are you really going to tell him and his family to find a lawyer on their own?