University of Denver

Think Like a Client

Senior Research Analyst

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. While we have anecdotal evidence that presents glimpses of answers to our questions about what clients value, there is a dearth of empirical evidence to support firm conclusions.

This report represents a first step for the profession in developing a comprehensive, evidence-based understanding of what is important to clients.

We worked with Avvo.com—an entity dedicated to providing detailed information about lawyers so consumers can make the best choices for themselves when hiring lawyers—in obtaining more than a decade’s worth of client reviews of lawyers. We started with nearly 700,000 client reviews and conducted qualitative analysis on a random sample of 2,232. Our findings tell a story about what clients value in their lawyers, and that story includes far more than just traditional legal skills.

The Think Like a Client project builds on IAALS’ previous work on its Foundations for Practice project.