Ten steps to trust: why it matters and how lawyers can achieve it

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By Gerry Riskin | Apr 15, 2011

Lawyers are notoriously slow to trust. But in law’s “new normal” that demands collabo- ration, trust problems become business problems no lawyer can afford. Here are ten fac- tors to consider in your effort to build greater levels of trust and achieve better outcomes in your client relationships.

Take a moment, if you will, and think back to a legal project that came up short, or a legal relationship that imploded, because some of the players didn’t trust each other. Review the life-cycle of that interaction, and try to parse the causes and consequences. What really happened? Was trust lacking from the outset? Did a promising opportunity fall victim to a loss of trust over time, or did things just seem to go belly-up all of a sudden?

This isn’t just an exercise in retroactive finger-pointing. This exercise matters, because trust is becoming an essential element in the success of any and all legal enterprises. The modern legal environment demands unprecedented levels of collaboration — among colleagues, between practice groups, among lawyers and firm administration, with clients, between lawyers and regulators, and even with adversaries.

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