Edge International

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

Lawyers are notoriously slow to trust. But in law’s “new normal” that demands collaboration, trust problems become business problems no lawyer can afford. Here are ten factors 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.