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Complaints and recordkeeping tips

Despite your hard work on a case, clients sometimes complain. We have tips for that.
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LABC has an obligation to investigate complaints, which often have less to do with service quality and more to do with client perceptions about something that happened. These perceptions may be negatively influenced by the outcome of their case or other factors.

Avoid the stress, time and energy you spend responding to complaints by using these recordkeeping tips:

  • Maintain a record of your communications with clients. Failing to communicate with clients is a common complaint. Explaining timelines to your clients and managing their expectations about when and how they will hear from you also helps avoid communication complaints.
  • Take written notes of your discussions and instructions from your clients. Clients often complain that their lawyer didn’t follow instructions or explain things clearly. Have a written record to demonstrate the steps you took, how you followed instructions and how you met professional obligations.
  • Keep your files organized. Our investigations examine pleadings, timekeeping records and other file contents. Presenting organized and clear materials will allow us to quickly conclude our investigations.
  • Our Working with Your Legal Aid Lawyer infosheet may be helpful when communicating with clients about what they can expect from a legal aid contract.

Keeping written notes and well-organized files will help you best respond to a client complaint, and allows us to quickly close unfounded complaints.