Leave a comment, WIN an iPad

I want to kick off this website with a little excitement and giving away Apple’s newest, hottest product seems like the right way to do it. To that end, I am giving an Apple iPad (16GB, WiFi) to one lucky commenter. The rules are straightforward:

Leave a comment on this post providing one suggestion for how lawyers could better communicate with clients.

Each person who leaves a comment will be entered.  The contest will end on May 4, 2010, at 5:00 p.m., Central Standard Time.  I will pick one person, randomly, and on May 5, 2010 announce the winner on my site. That’s it.

If you feel motivated, you can leave many suggestions and comments, however, only one entry in the drawing per person. Good luck.

I will use your email for one purpose and one purpose only: to send you 2-3 emails a month (thats every 30 days) with updates from this site. I don’t think it will feel “spammy” but if it does, put me in the spam folder.

Posted by Shawn Roberts

On this blog, I write about and try to answer practical Oklahoma legal questions. My focus and most experience is in estate planning and business issues including Oklahoma non-compete law. I make a living as an attorney in the law firm I founded, Shawn J. Roberts, P.C. in Oklahoma City. I live in Edmond with my wife Amy and my two children, Sam (19) and David (11). We live precisely in the path of where the "wind comes sweeping down the plains."


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Thank you for your comments, I appreciate your kind words.


thanks! 🙂

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Really liking your site layout, best of luck with it. I think the best way for lawyers to communicate better with clients could be something like e-mail updates, explaining what is going on. I really think that’s the best way since smart phones are definitely becoming more popular, and used by the general population, and e-mail is the most used form of communication. Of course, as one poster mentioned above, SMS would also be another great way to communicate with clients. Overall, I definitely feel anything that allows clients to have access to their lawyer on the fly, ie through their smartphone, would definitely be the best way for a client to be most informed.

Best of luck again Shawn!! I look forward to visiting your site often.

Speaking to your clients with easy to understand language is always the best route. Also, being upfront with them about everything leaves them feeling a lot more comfortable. Also, weekly email updates (or if something of note happens) would be wonderful. I know I would appreciate being “in the loop” vs having to contact my lawyer for any updates.

Santhamma Mathew

I need to know what the plan of action is before trials and such begin. Preliminary meetings where I’m able to ask questions are very beneficial.

Mathew Kurien

I think that verbalizing your commitment to clients and their issue is helpful!

Pam Chambers

Listening is the MOST important thing that my lawyer could do. It can put your client at ease and develop trust.

Chuck Chambers

Cut through all the legal speak and tell me in laymen’s terms what I need to know!

Michele Aguilera

In my only official dealing with a lawyer, I felt kind of rambling and lost at times. My attorney was very professional and competent and a person I would consult again…..there was just a bit of a disconnect between me, an emotional client, and my very seasoned lawyer. Was I intimidated? Yes. Not so much by my attorney as by the whole process which seemed so overwhelming. My lawyer had been in this situation many, many times and I had never faced any legal situation or challenge. So, I guess my thought would be to remember that beginning on a simple basic level when explaining and providing information would be appreciated by lots of consumers. Not fluff but real helpful information geared to legal novices.

De dуnde eres? їEs un secreto? 🙂


Matt Pineo

Shawn Great site!!!

I don’t deal with to many lawyers but using terminology that is easy for the everyday person to understand.

Shawn J. Roberts

That is a good point, thanks Matt!

Shelly Peacock

Attorneys should just talk to their clients- my previous experience was not a good “communication” one…
Text also works well.

jamws SHaw

I think that a short message option, whether text or instant message, is a valueable way to get quick assurance to a client that progress is taking place. Phone call (and emails to some extent) require pleasantries and structure that can waste lawyers time and client’s money. On the other hand your client’s not knowing that she is on your mind regularly could cause undo anxiety or worse “attorney shopping.”

Shawn J. Roberts

Thank you for the comment James, you raise some good points. One of the things that has exceeded my expectations about asking for these comments is some fantastic advice and suggestions that I am going to implement.

“Leave a comment on this post providing one suggestion for how lawyers could better communicate with clients.”
Be clear, honest, and why not benefit/take advantage of actual technologies (twitter/ipad, etc); create a “communicative link” between client and it’s laywer. have a “personal private twitt”.
Communication itself is always answer to “how to resolve problems”.
Honesty and beeing clear IS important, but good communication must follow!

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Hey, I think your mostly on target with this, I won’t say I totally agree , but its not really that big of a issue.

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Ryan Hukill

I hate to be the one to throw out the easy/obvious answer, but in today’s world, all professionals, including attorneys, have to communicate in many different ways, to cater to the many preferences of our clients. Some clients will prefer communication via text messaging, while others will prefer facebook or twitter, and still others will want the phone call or an email. There are far more options to communicate than there ever have been, and there’s not one standard method anymore.

Shawn J. Roberts

I think you are right on Ryan, communicating in a form the client is comfortable with is essential.

Lawyers should keep their client informed and be quick to respond to their requests (e-mail, voicemail, etc.). The better the communication between the client and Lawyer the more business for the lawyer as the client will spread the news that the Lawyer was extremely attentive to their needs.

Happy Law Day!!


Shawn J. Roberts

Thank you, Sara, appreciate the comment!

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Lawyers should interact with their client as if they’re a friend that they’re motivated to help out or assist rather than someone who will have to pay in their already stressful situation.

Shibu Mathew

being unfamiliar with many legal processes…I think the most important thing to me would be to have clarity. I need to understand the process and see where I am at very clearly. Maybe the best thing would be for my lawyer to give me a laymen’s version of the legal speak I’ll encounter. A down-to-earth lawyer…that’s what I need.

Tracy Calamaio, D.C.


Love your website. I also get your tweets however I am not on all that frequently. I think for people like me that aren’t on the computer very often, texting your clients with specific updates on their case etc. is best. Of course for people on the computer frequently, email is great. I think the idea of your website and blog to get of information to a mass audience is very smart. Good luck. Keep educating the masses.


Shawn J. Roberts

Thank you Tracy, I appreciate it!

Darren Humphries

Hey Shawn, congrats on the new site!! Hope it’s a massive success for you.

My suggestion; lawyers need to be as clear and open with their clients as possible. Don’t assume the client knows any of the process before them. I would have to say that most lawyers I have met are fairly good at this, but some just don’t at all put themselves in their clients shoes.

Caveat; PLEASE don’t talk down to your clients at all, assuming that because they don’t know legal proceedings they must clearly be stupid.

Again, luck with the site, Shawn!

Shawn J. Roberts

Thank you Darren, I appreciate the comments.

Give case studies – examples of what a process will be like. include customers point of view

You mean, lawyers are people too? I think its funny that a lot of people seek free legal advice about a specific question- but don’t necessarily considered it an “expert opinion”. If you had a health concern, you would probably research it online and then schedule an appointment with a Doctor. This site (and Eric Urbach’s at Action legal) helps navigate and pinpoint a problem before seeking an expert opinion- congrats– excellent site!

Shawn J. Roberts

Thank you Nichole, I appreciate the kind words. I like Eric’s Action Legal site also.

A good way to communicate is to always take the time to listen, and a quick answer isn’t always the best. Take some thought into your response. Also use simple and clear language.

Drew Grimes

I think what your doing right now with your web site, this ipad give away, twitter and whatever else that gets your name out there and asking other people for ideas on it.

Susan Urbach

This is a good way! With comments. There is a real “fear factor” with lawyers. Folks don’t understand the law or at least the jargon of the law. The other fear is the cost and exactly how much is something going to cost. Case in point that this author wrote about http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/26/how-do-lawyers-get-away-with-this-stuff/

“I picked an e-mail from the list. I had been charged for 0.2 hours at $300 an hour ($60) for one lawyer’s reply to an e-mail I’d written letting him know that I was not going to be available and would review his comments when I was back in my office. I wrote this as a courtesy to let them know my status. It demanded no reply, but I got one anyway. It said: “I hope everything is O.K. Take your time.” I thought it was nice of him. It never occurred to me I would be charged for it.”

It’s that kind of stuff that gives lawyers a bad rap. Looking forward to the blog!

Lets see if I can comment on this with my brand new ipod touch…

Shawn J. Roberts

You can, thanks!

Chris Berkel

I agree with Aaron, and see another related issue. Being in the communications industry I feel like there are some things that could be done to make sure that your clients are on the same page with you. One option is recording the consultation with your client through various systems that are available, convert it to a wav file and email it to your office administrator. Have your office administrator take all of the terms that are in the consultation and make a quick sheet identifying the terms you used regarding the consultation. Have your office administrator email the wav file to your client and provide the sheet that was created. This only costs about 2 minutes of time and money on your part, but keeps everyone on the same page with meanings, benefits, and consequences of the consultation. It keeps the necessary insulation and isolation between client and attorney while providing a personal touch that creates a client for life.

Greg Holkan

Here are a few suggestions:
1) This one’s probably pretty obvious, but legalese can be very opaque and intimidating to clients. Framing explanations in a way that non-lawyers can understand is important. This gets sticky when dealing with very precise issues, but it’s worth the effort in terms of lower levels of client frustration.

2) As you go along, you might save emails or letters that seem to communicate a given idea particularly well. These can be re-used to explain the issue to other clients, and can be put into a wiki or an F.A.Q.that people can browse. What’s nice about putting this information online is that it’s available to clients at all hours. You can also organize the content by category for easy browsing. It’s not legal advice, it’s a rough explanation of the law to help people grasp it. You could lock it so that only your clients get login credentials for this databank.

3) When initially speaking with a client about a given problem, you might include a short bulleted list in the email detailing specific problems or pitfalls to avoid. This could include certain kinds of paperwork the client should have ready, certain forms that they should fill out, things they should do, things they should not do, and things to expect. Having these ready beforehand can streamline the process somewhat. For things the client needs to have or needs to do, it can be like a checklist. Statistics show that checklists reduce errors by at least 15%. This way, the client won’t need to read through a long stream of documents or emails to try and understand what to do. A list makes it very easy for them to see and understand their role.

I don’t know if any of that was helpful or painfully obvious stuff you’re already doing. I obviously hope for the former and not the latter. You’ve got a nice site here, I’ll keep an eye out for those emails.

Kelly McGirt

I think the best thing that a lawyer can do is to be patient with their client and be open and honest with them. Sometimes we are dealing with a lot of emotion with whatever situation we are in and it helps to know that we can put our faith in someone who truly wants to help.

Remember that, unless they are a longtime client, they are probably scared. Whatever they are seeing a lawyer for is likely frightening on some level and that is something to remember when trying to communicate.

i would say simply sitting down and listening, letting the client ask a lot of questions. they are coming to you because they need help and believe you are the expert, so allow them the freedom to ask questions and make sure you are the right expert for them – if that makes sense. great site and good luck!

My wife works in legal marketing, and I’ve seen a missing piece to the communication puzzle.

Engage in conversation.

…and not just within the confines of a billable hour. I often see Q&A editorials from attorneys–even newsletters. What I don’t see is open two-way communication. I think this blog opens a door to that kind of communication. It’s public. It’s in text form. Anyone can participate. While you’re not going to give one-on-one advice here, you can discuss topics and toss around ideas.

Shawn J. Roberts


That is my goal in doing this website, engage in conversation, not just do a one way promotion of my law practice.


Allison Bailey

I would love to attend a “lawyer roundtable” event where attorneys can taken general questions from a specific group of people (that are a member of a organization like the OKCCoco or AMA…). I think it would actually motivate some of us to follow through on things we should be talking to an lawyer about anyway. Great site Shawn – I look forward to reading more!

Eric URbach

Great website, Shawn. I look forward to your posts.

Like others have posted, I feel lawyers forget that most times, the client they are talking to has never had a legal situation and needs very simple and plain communication.

We still need to have lunch soon!

Chris Poteet

Cool sign me up! Congrats on the website launch.

Garrett Johnson

I think lawyers could communicate better about their specialty areas and how they relate to common needs. While I’m familiar with the most popular areas, my knowledge of what they encompass is vague (and I suspect that I’m not alone). A table or infographic for finding the type of lawyer needed for a situation would be a big help.

Steve Trotto


The site looks great. Very nicely done. For a lay person the legal system can be very difficult to navigate. I suggest a website or a newsletter that will cover hot topics and explain them in terms that people not in the legal profession can understand.

I wish you success with the site. You are off to a great start.


Shawn J. Roberts

Steve, thank you for the comments, I will see what I can do in that area. Shawn

Josh Sorenson

I think maybe something they can do is just be friendly and talk to their clients in English. Legal jargon is not understood by half of the population.

The one thing I think lawyers could do is offer an online hub with the latest information for their clients. Something along the lines of a project management hub like Backpack etc.

As a lawyer, I often find myself talking to clients assuming they always understand what I am saying. Things that seem routine to me, can often be very confusing to the client. When communicating with our clients, we as lawyers need to be aware that our clients don’t always understand what we are talking about. We need to take time to make sure that the client fully understands the meaning, benefits and consequences of everything we do for them.

Shawn J. Roberts

Thanks Aaron, I think your correct.

Russell Beaty

Shawn, Nice job with the website, looks great. I am able to communicate effectively when I understand the importance of the issue to me. The first question I would ask is Why? Why do I need Estate planning, what happens if I don’t do anything? Why do I need to pay someone to look over a contract when I can get one off the web for free? I think it would be great to see some information on the importance of what is being offered to your clients. Maybe some news articles or a client feedback page that others can read to see how your services have helped others.

Nice job.

Shawn J. Roberts

Thank you for the comments Russell!

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Wow! Thank you! I always wanted to write in my site something like that. Can I take part of your post to my blog?

Shawn Lane

First of all I really like what you are doing with this site. Many attorney’s have a website that is boring and lacks content. The more content the better. It will help current and potential clients have a better understanding about you.

Several years ago I had to use several different attorneys. The one thing that help solve communication problems was the use of e-mail in a productive way. I learned early on that is was really tough for the attorney I was using to return a call to me in a timely manner. I would compose an e-mail with all my questions and would lay the e-mail out in a list form. This would help my attorney to respond quickly to the e-mail. We are all busy and it is tough for an attorney that is working on multiple cases and going to court to return every call the attorney receives that day.

One other suggestion is to have an online calendar that shows when your attorney is out of the office. This would be helpful in determining when it would be best to contact your attorney or even schedule a meeting. I can see how this works, but I just can’t seem to put it into words.

I look forward to see new content on your site.


Great idea! I’m not sure that attorney communication is hampered in dealing directly with the client. I think the communication problem happens when a client doesn’t understand what is happening between his client and opposing counsel and the court system. The behind the scenes stuff of plea bargains, trial continuances, jury vs. judge trial, etc.

Guilty or not, clients are frightened for themselves, their families, and their futures. It’s a difficult time for them that often gets lost on court officials and attorneys who see the same thing day in and day out.

If you want to change the typical opinion of attorneys, that would be the area to concentrate on – being both kind and honorable in all respects of your dealings with a client.

As for other suggestions, I’d suggest doing a series of short videos on what a client can expect from their attorney AND from the court system as a case progresses through the system.

I’d pick something everyone hears about (but hopefully hasn’t experienced) like a DUI charge or possession of marijuana, or a civil case of neighbor disputes.

Also, don’t be afraid to use a bit of humor and certainly don’t be afraid to share your sense of faith-based compassion.

Good luck. I’ll stay tuned.

Since I serve as an expert witness in drug trials, we could probably have some interesting discussions.

Steven Butler


Love your site. Design is appealing and your idea of engaging in non-traditional ways is enlightening. My recommendation for communicating with clients is to remember to listen. Communication is two way, but attorneys often forget to listen to their clients. It is hard to help if you take time to learn from your client. Good luck with the site!

Cliff Ravenscraft


You asked how lawyers could communicate with their clients. I think you about the launch one of the greatest forms of communication ever with your new podcast.

Let me explain.

I have a friend/client who just launched http://TalkToTheDentist.com a few months back. He’s a dentist and I will tell you that I’ve come to accept this man as a trusted adviser and a go to person for anything related to dentistry.

Why? Because he freely gives of his time to answer the questions that I need answered most and it doesn’t cost me anything for his expert advice.

I recently had an issue with a tooth where I was told I needed a root canal. From his podcast, I was able to discern the three options that I had in my position and all the benefits and drawbacks for each of those options.

Now, when I needed my work, did I go to him to have it done? No… 🙁 He’s in Florida and I’m in Kentucky.

So how does this benefit him? Well, first off… if I know anyone who has ANY tooth issue, I’m going to point them to this podcast. He’s building a major list of answers to all the most frequently asked questions that he deals with.

As word of mouth spreads, this guy helps more and more people around the world. It’s a way that he can “give” where it only costs him the time to produce his show once and then it can benefits hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of people around the world.

There’s a good chance that some of those people who will hear about his podcast will live in an area where they would desire to have this person, who they now trust, do their dental work.

Here’s the other thing. I have a dentist here in my town that I see, obviously. Now when she told me of my tooth issue, do you know how much time she spent telling me my options? FIVE MINUTES!!! That’s it!!!

Dr. Venlenzi spent an HOUR giving me all my options with benefits and drawbacks.

Now do I think Dr. Velenzi spends an hour explaining all these options to his patients, on a daily basis, that need work done? NOPE! He doesn’t have to at all! Why not? Well… Because he can point his clients to the podcast that he produced.

What about those clients who are less technically savvy? Well for TWENTY CENTS, he could burn that audio file onto a CD and hand it out to his patients to listen to in their car on the way home.

So you see where I’m going with all this?

You are are already heading down the perfect path of better communicating with your clients.

I pray it works out for you.


ps… I love that you are doing an iPad giveaway! Great marketing tool!

Shawn J. Roberts

Thank you Cliff, your comments mean a lot to me. I have actually heard you talk about this dentist before, it is a great example of providing valuable information and building trust! I really enjoy so much of the content you provide on the GSPN network (www.gspn.tv) and I have learned a lot.

Hey Shawn,
Your site looks great. As a recommendation for communication being punctual is key. If someone may come up it be known.


Shawn J. Roberts

Thanks Ryan, I agree with you.

I think that a specific faq page would be helpful for clients to log in and see their specific case details on your site and read faq’s about their situation.

Shawn J. Roberts

Thank you Danny, several other have offered a similar suggestion, I need to look into that.

Clint Owens

Hi Shawn, just talked with Tim today and he told me of your new website. Hope all is going well. Maybe one idea (if not already proposed) would be to have updates of new laws passed by government that you think would be relevent to your client base. And on the funny side, if you know of laws still on the books that really don’t pertain to modern culture (like being fined for parking your horse in the wrong spot, etc.). Haha Anyways, good luck with the new site!

Clint Owens

Shawn J. Roberts

Thank you Clint, that is good idea, that could be some good material!

I think it would be great if every once in a while you took a law and/or bill (both old and new) that impacted small businesses and broke it down and describe exactly how it affects businesses.

Shawn J. Roberts

That is a good idea Tommy, I am going to try to do it.

Hi Shawn,

My suggestion is that for every document with detailing, complex, technical, or just uncommon information or procedures that you include a couple of summary sentences or paragraph that explain in common sense what the document is and what it means to the client. Give me the ‘why should i care’ statement, then I can read further with that higher-level understanding in my head.

Rhonda Howard

Shawn – Congrats on getting the website going. I would suggest two things based on what I hear my clients say about attorneys. The first is to use language and terms clients understand. The second is to be certain correspondence and documents do not appear canned. Clients want to know your best efforts and energies go into the legal work you have done for them and that the work is tailored to the issue they have. Rhonda

Shawn J. Roberts

Thank you Rhonda, I appreciate the comments!

Bill Stebbins

Congrats on the new site Shawn! Looks great!

Shawn J. Roberts

Thank you Bill!

Pam Martin

Love it Shawn! My only suggestion for a lawyer is to talk to me in terms I can understand. You know I fully trust you and your judgement in the areas in which you have helped us. But sometimes the legal “jargon” can make me nuts trying to figure it out!

Great website by the way. The only other suggestion I might make is to change these colors from Orange and Black to Crimson and Creme!!!!


Shawn J. Roberts

Thank you Pam. I hear that quite often about talking in understandable terms, something I need to work on.


The struggle I have with a lawyer is the quantifiable effort they are putting forth on my legal matter. I am asked to provide up front compensation and if the lawyer sees fit he may use the money at his disposal. I understand that legal matters cost money and things change day to day that might effect the decision at hand but how do I know at the end of the day my lawyer spent 5 consecutive hours on my case? Do you have any questions that I should ask to a lawyer that would clarify whether or not he would be a good representative to me and my family? Thanks for your time.


Shawn J. Roberts

Thank you John, I appreciate the thoughtful comments. I have some thoughts on this that I will post later, hopefully sometime this evening.

Shawn J. Roberts


You raise some good issues and I may write in more detail about this topic on the site in the future. For know, let me make a couple of comments. There has to be a reasonable level between the attorney and client for relationship to flourish. Trust is built through reputation, experience and conduct. Starting out the attorney-client relationship, I would ask any potential attorney (and I would certainly be willing to answer myself) the following questions:

1. How will you communicate with me about the matter? (how often, what form, etc. . .)
2. Will I be able to reach you if I need to talk with you? This may seem trivial, but nothing sours a relationship like the failure to be able consistently make contact with a person, especially your attorney. I am not sure what the reasonable turnaround time for a call back or return email is, but both parties need to have the same expectations.
3. How is your billing structured? (hourly rate if applicable, what increments, how often is work invoiced)
4. Can you show me an example of a Bill/Invoice? This answers several questions including how much detail you will about the services provided.
5. What are the goals for this relationship? What do we need to accomplish? If there is not a clear and mutual understanding of what will we will do and how we will know when it is done, the relationship is ship headed for shore – without knowing where the “shore” is.

These are certainly not all the questions you can ask, but a few to get started.

Thanks again for your comment.


Hi Shawn,

I left note on another page, not this one though.I was looking through your site, how cool! I like how it looks and how easy it is to navigate. Very important for lay people like me! Great job!
Question: Being in NJ, will I be able to use the information from your site with legal advice?


Brandon P.

When a client fully understands what’s going on, they are more apt to trust those who are working for them. Often what separates the “higher-ups” (doctors and lawyers, for example) and us “laymen” is this feeling of “Oh you wouldn’t understand.” Then explain it to me! is what I want to shout.

I guess my suggestion is to do what you can to make the what and why of what you’re doing clear. Use layman’s terms, don’t talk to me like I know what you’re talking about, like I’m a lawyer. If I understand you, I will be able to trust you.

Matt Johnson


Congrats on the website. Looks great!

I would love to work with an attorney that made communication easy for me. That starts on my iPhone. I would like an app that enables me to:

1) Review documents
2) See a calendar that shows me all of my meetings/filings/court hearings etc
3) Communicate by text/email with my attorney
4) Record voice notes that can be retrieved by my attorney
5) Review all communication that’s taken place between me and the attorney

There would also be a website login where I could do the same from my desktop or laptop.

Shawn J. Roberts

Matt, I appreciate your comments; your thoughts on communication are very much in line with my preferences.

Mark D Mitchell

Nice job. Congrats. You’re on the right track. Especially in an uncertain time people instinctively seek the real deal. Does my lawyer have character? Will he be straight with me in good and bad situations? Does my attorney demonstrate empathetic service tailored to my specific legal and personal issue? Do communicate human interest to clients in addition to solid legal advice. Best regards.

Shawn J. Roberts

Thank you Mark, I really appreciate your comments!

Gerald Morgan

Better communication with clients starts with offering them the ability to have access to their attorney via various forms (i.e. phone, email, fax, etc.) for free. The donated time is offered to the clients for referrals.

Kurt McDowell

B2B marketing is an ever-changing animal. Social networking is a necessary “evil” for lack of a better term, but sometimes everyone is talking and no one is listening. We’ve established a criteria called the “17 Questions” which enables entrepreneurs and/or sales and marketing arms of businesses define their audience. These questions involve some soul-searching, but in the end, you will define your unique value to your audience, what kind of information you need to communicate, how it should be communicated, and how often. I’ll be happy to send the questions to you if you desire – for the 3G IPad (just kidding).


P.S. As business people, we tend to overvalue the technical aspects of our businesses (I’m guilty myself many times). We need to focus on one of three items: what will make my audience more successful, what will help my audience avoid trouble/failure, or what can I do to provide balance to my audience’s lives.

Shawn J. Roberts

The “3G iPad”?! I am “cheap”, I am only giving away the WiFi one 🙂 Seriously, thank you for your input Kurt.

Jeanette Carter

Forgot to make one suggestion for your site: The blue lettering on black background is very difficult to read, and it would help to make the font a little larger on your home page. Okay, I guess that was two suggestions, wasn’t it? ;o)

Shawn J. Roberts

Sure, I will look at those two things and try to make them better. I sensed the font might be a problem.

Jeanette Carter

Congrats on getting your new website up and operational! I know from personal experience that it’s not an easy task, so I commend you for the effort to get a site up that will add value to your relationship with clients and prospects.
I have appreciated your communication with all the legal matters you have handled for me, both ona personal and business level. When I refer you to friends, family and business associates, I always say that you are ‘not your typical attorney.’ You are very responsive and I always feel you are being straight with me, even when it’s not always what I want to hear. I appreciate that with you. And when you say you will do something at a specific time, you always come through.

Shawn J. Roberts

Thank you Jeanette, I appreciate your comments very much.

I agree with Tim – communicate in a way that’s easiest for your clients. It’s probably worth asking the client (or potential client) at the beginning of the relationship, ‘What’s your preferred method of communication?’ For me, I strongly prefer email and text (in part because I am horribly forgetful and email provides a searchable record).

And it may be helpful to say to a client (particularly if they don’t have a preference) that you have preferred methods of communication. If a client really doesn’t care, it’s probably helpful to say you prefer email, for instance. That creates an expectation such that if you don’t ever call, they don’t think you don’t love them. 🙂

Shawn J. Roberts

Great comments Jay, I was hoping to pick up some tips through this post and your material seems very solid! Thanks for the comment.


Carrie Palmer

Hey Shawn – Great work. Looks fabulous. I will give a little constructive criticism… I’m an editor at heart, so type-os and misc snags always catch my eye. I think as lawyers and technogeeks, we have to be very attentive to detail, and people notice when we are not… I inserted a few things, in parens, below, you may want to edit!

Jay captured my thought perfectly and for this reason I am launching a website today that will be different. I am (an) attorney and I practice law(.) (B)ut this will not be standard legal website. Instead, my goal is to post interesting content that adds value to the (lives of) people who visit the site.

There will be legal content, but presented in a little different way- through video, audio (both audio files and a podcast. Also, if it(‘)s interesting in technology,

Great concept – can’t wait to see it take off and grow! Best to you. Carrie

Shawn J. Roberts

Thank you Carrie, I am making those changes.



Website looks great! As far as communication with clients goes, I think you have a leg up already. Being proactive in your use of technology helps you establish yourself in the marketplace and generate new clients. I think clients expect their attorenys to be productive and efficient when providing competent legal services and I think using technology gives an attorney that option and advantage. Good luck with the site and the new practice. I wish you well!!!


Sid Burgess

My suggestion is simple. Use Google Apps or a platform like Basecamp. I.e., have a place where clients can see what the documents look like, where they are at, dates that are important, and comment or reply to questions. I love Basecamp because it is designed to be used B to C but it is a little more confusing to clients. Google Docs, Calendar, etc are pretty simple to use and can be shared easily. I want to be able to grab or view any documents that are being drawn up on my behalf so that I may review them at my leisure. Just my two cents!

Love the blog Shawn!

Shawn J. Roberts

Thanks Sid for taking the time to comment and I love that suggestion, will be looking into it.


Tim Priebe

Shawn, great to see the website launching! We definitely enjoyed working with you on it.

One of the things I think that any business person should do, lawyers included, is communicate with a client on whatever platform they are most comfortable. If a client initiates a conversation with you on Facebook or Twitter, keep the conversation on there as long as possible.

I’m sure there are legal issues that at some point have to be communicated in a specific way, but I think that keeping in mind where your client is most comfortable is huge.

Of course, I think you do pretty good at that already, Shawn.

Shawn J. Roberts

Thanks Tim, you guys made this happen!

Alan J. Goldfarb

Hello Shawn and Craig:

I really like your new website!

It’s really state of the art-well done!

Alan J. Goldfarb

Drew Houghton


I love the new site and the concept. iPad aside, I would have left a comment because I agree with your purpose and vision. Unfortunately, I have not had the time to do as you plan yet you are a good source of inspiration (and constructive competition).

I look forward to contributing to your site in the future. Congrats again on a site well-done.

As for your specific inquiry, one thing I do and recommend if your practice permits, is provide my cell phone to clients. The number one criticism of lawyers with the Bar Association is “he never called me back.” I give them my cell phone and there is no excuse. Even if you don’t give out your cell phone, call your clients back promptly. In many instances, their case is the center of their universe and they think of nothing but their case. I try to empathize with that. Another thing I do is get my voicemails by email through my phone system. This was problematic for my iPhone because the format is not quicktime compatible. Then I discovered a great alternative. There is a site out there for all you iPhone users which converts your voicemails to a format you can listen to on your iPhone while out of the office. This is very valuable for promptly returning client’s calls. Here is the site for anyone interested and it’s free (small donation removes advertising in the emails you get with your voicemail attached): http://www.iphoneconvert.com

Congratulations Shawn! Talk to you soon.
Drew Houghton

Shawn J. Roberts

Thank you Drew, I really appreciate you taking the time to comment! I know how work gets in the way of doing things like this, I have been trying to launch this for awhile.


I would say make it more open, obviously you have to charge, but some people don’t want to talk to a lawyer because they assume you are going to screw them straight away. Tell them upfront if you can help them and how much you plan on charging them.

Shawn J. Roberts

Thank you for commenting John, you are the first one . . . ever!