According to Craig Koval, manager of operations at Jeffrey Freedman Attorneys, PLLC, compassion and understanding are the first order of business for our employees.
“We see clients who are at very bad places in their lives,” Koval said. “Otherwise, they wouldn’t need our help. Our job is to get them past these difficult times in a caring, efficient manner.”
Koval has seen many changes in the legal profession over the 20 years he has been working at the firm. We asked him about these changes:
Q: What has been the major change you’ve seen?
A: Competition has increased dramatically and clients assume all firms offer competent service and reasonable fees. The biggest way to stand out as a firm is by offering the best client service possible.
Q: How do you ensure your clients get the best service?
A: For various reasons attorneys may not be available to speak to a client when he or she calls. We have focused on having our paralegals and legal assistants become well versed in the area of law that they work in. In addition to being knowledgeable about the law, support staff are bound by the same rules of confidentiality as the attorneys, so clients should be just as comfortable working with them as they would a physicians’ assistant or nurse practitioner in the medical profession. All staff members are expected to treat clients and potential clients with patience, understanding and compassion.
Q: The firm used to have more offices that served a widespread geographical area, why has that changed?
A: Yes, we used to have 15 offices, but over the years technology has made multiple offices obsolete. Many of our clients are disabled, which makes it difficult for them to travel even to a local office. Now, however, they can talk to us on the phone or by email, and send us documents over the Internet. They don’t need to make a difficult trip to visit us at an office.
Q: How has technology affected business in other ways?
A: We’ve been able to revise our internal processes and procedures so we’ve become more efficient. The result is we can be more attentive to our clients’ needs and provide them with a better experience.
“The success of our business depends on our being successful with our clients’ legal needs, no matter what they may be — Social Security Disability claims, Veterans or long-term disability, personal injury, bankruptcy or employment discrimination,” Koval said. “A big share of our business comes from client referrals, that’s how we know we’re meeting our goals for client service.”