University of Denver

Think Like a Client

What skills and qualities do clients value in the lawyers they hire? This project, which taps into years of client reviews of lawyers, aims to answer that important question.

Director of Legal Education and the Legal Profession
Director of Research
Research Analyst
Legal Assistant


  • To begin to fill the gap in our collective knowledge about what client’s value in their lawyers, by tapping into the comments and ratings provided by clients about their lawyers.

What do clients want from their attorneys? The answers to that question would seem to be key to understanding how to improve the quality and diversity of legal services. Identifying what clients value in their lawyers has been a challenge because clients are difficult to identify and survey. 

Spearheaded by Alli Gerkman and in partnership with Avvo, a leading online legal services marketplace, IAALS gained access to nearly a decade’s worth of client reviews of lawyers across practice areas and geographic locations. Collectively, these reviews give those seeking to improve the legal system more information about what clients value than has previously been available. 

By understanding and concretely defining what clients value in their lawyers, we can place clients at the center of efforts to improve legal education, entry to the profession, and delivery of legal services.

IAALS formerly housed this work under its Educating Tomorrow's Lawyers initiative until 2018.

Understanding what clients want and expect from their lawyers is imperative for the provision of high-quality legal services, as well as for lawyers’ success in the legal profession. This report...