A client recently told me my engagement letter was scary.
At my last firm, an engagement letter with attachments was about 12 pages long. That was a Big Law engagement letter, and I wanted something different for my solo practice.
“Scary” was a legitimate surprise to me. The letter I sent was about 2-1/2 pages long. I was proud of its brevity and plain English wording.
I studied my letter carefully. I asked a couple of people to read it, too. I remembered my college days in UGA’s advertising program when we discussed the letter.
I read everything David Ogilvy wrote about advertising. I admired him, especially his comment that “you should use their language” when engaging with customers.
I re-read the letter with that comment in mind. And I decided to write an entirely new engagement letter because my form came from my lawyer’s brain, not my I-own-a-business-and-need-to-think-like-my-customers brain.
I owe that client a big thanks. The “scary” comment highlighted something many lawyers forget — our clients are our customers.