How Law Firms Are Developing And Maintaining Prospective Long Term Client Relations

Written by Fatima Freifer
Written by Fatima Freifer


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Prospective new clients are the lifeblood of a law firm. They are also perhaps the most challenging group to manage. Without a steady stream of new prospects, firms will struggle to keep their doors open and partners paid. [1] With so many potential clients out there, it can be easy for firms to get caught up in quantity over quality when it comes to prospecting through a law firm client relationship manager. However, the law firm client relationship management approach is far from sustainable in the long term. The impact of technology on legal services has been a benefit in speeding up certain processes, but a firm cannot rely on new-client relationships as a one-off transaction – the only way to maintain a profitable business is through long-term client relationships that will continue to provide new business for years to come. [2]

In order for a firm to stay competitive and retain clients, it needs to have some sort of edge over its competitors. This can be achieved through developing long-term relationships with prospective clients – a practice known as client prospecting strategy or client development strategy. An effective and structured approach to growing a legal firm in this new age of legal services is essential in order to remain competitive in the legal sphere. By taking the time to understand the needs of their clients, and by offering tailored solutions, law firms can build trust and cultivate loyalty. In today’s business climate, this is more important than ever. By focusing on long-term client relationships, law firms can stay ahead of the curve and position themselves for success.

Maintaining current client relationships

One of the most effective ways to grow long-term client relationships is to focus on building and maintaining long-term client relationships. A firm is usually looking to encourage long-term engagement and commitment from clients. This means extending trust, honesty, and transparency to clients and also ensuring that value in the form of high-quality service. [3] By building trust and nurturing relationships with your clients, an environment can be created in which clients are comfortable discussing their business and their future goals and needs. Because the best prospective clients will be those that a firm would struggle to attract on its own, firms endeavour to make the most of existing networks and partnerships. The best source of new business will undoubtedly come from partners and clients who are already intrinsically tied to a firm. [4]

Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach, firms are taking the time to get to know their prospective clients and understand their specific needs. This allows firms to tailor their services to the individual client, increasing the likelihood that they will become a long-term customer. [5] Additionally, many firms are now using legal tech like legal client software and legal client relationship management software to capture data about prospective clients and use it to create targeted marketing campaigns. By using legal technology software and legal marketing software to obtain the relative data, firms can more effectively reach individuals and organisations that are more likely to need their services down the line. By developing a strategic approach to nurturing prospective client relationships is essential for law firms looking to stay ahead in a competitive market. [6]

Establishing and maintaining a sense of credibility and trust

Credibility and trust are two of the most important qualities for any business, but they are especially important for law firms. After all, clients are entrusting their legal problems to strangers, and they need to know that their lawyers are competent and honest.

Attracting and engaging prospective clients is more straightforward when a law firm has a level of trust ingrained into its ethos. Trust must be visibly demonstrated and this is particularly important when dealing with prospective clients who are not well acquainted with a firm yet. [7]

In order to be successful, law firms must establish and maintain a sense of credibility and trust with their clients. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, but perhaps the most important is by always acting in the best interests of the client. This means being honest about what can be achieved and transparent about the firm’s fees. It also means keeping clients updated on the status of their case and responding to their questions in a timely manner. [8]

Leveraging prospective long term client relationships via events

There are a number of opportunities for firms to actively develop prospective long term client relationships through events. Lawyers’ conferences, social mixers, and award ceremonies are just a few of the events that firms organise each year. [9]  Organising and hosting events is an efficient way for firms to utilise a client profiles legal software in order to develop a profile for prospective clients and to introduce services. Events can be a great source of both business and relationship leads. 

Firms who execute events with the highest prospective client turnarounds typically have a high standard of strategy in place. This includes rehearsing common questions beforehand and having distinct and easy to follow responses with a focus on clarity as opposed to industry jargon overload which may be off-putting for members who do not possess a wide understanding of the world of law. [10]


The legal profession is built on working relationships which are the essence of any law firm. In order to sustain a successful law firm, developing and maintaining relationships with clients is essential. The goal is to create long-term relationships with clients, which can be done through providing excellent services that meet their needs and exceeding their expectations. There are several ways to develop and maintain these relationships, such as staying in regular communication, being responsive to their inquiries, and taking the time to get to know them on a personal level. By making an effort to establish strong bonds with clients, law firms can ensure that they will remain loyal for years to come.


[1] Forum magazine: Transforming law firm client relationships, Cole Silver, Chief Client Officer, Blank Rome, 2 Nov 2021

[2] Steps to Building Long-lasting Client Relationships, Aug 19 2020

[3] 4 Ways to Build Strong Client Relationships for Law Firms, August 12, 2020, Emily Warner

[4] Competition Within the Legal Industry, Fatima Freifer  

[5] The Main Challenges UK Law Firms Can Expect In 2022, Fatima Freifer

[6] Managing Clients in Different Time Zones, Fatima Freifer

[7] Opportunity in Crisis: Innovative Ways Law Firms Are Stepping Up Client Relationships

By Jennifer Carr, Apr 19 2021,

[8] The Model for Law Firms Looking to Improve Client Relations

[9] Law Firm Client Relationship Management (Part Two) Kerrie Spencer,

[10] Why Law Firms Need to Strengthen the Client Relationship During an Economic Downturn Iryna Uvyaz, ANZ Marketing Manager at PracticeEvolve,



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