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With external counsel, lines between social activities and professional dealings

“We may want to get to know our clients socially. In fact, many of our client relationships are the result of years of social relationships, through sports or charitable organizations.” Two ideas seem mashed together in this quote by two law firm partners, from Met. Corp. Counsel, Vol. 16, May 2008 at 10.

Once you have retained a lawyer, do you want to spend time with him or her other than on business? Is it a purely professional transaction or also a personal friendship? The trick is not to let personal feelings over-ride effective management of the relationship.

The second idea has to do with how partners find clients: sometimes they meet through an activity unrelated to legal business (See my post of April 17, 2006: golf outings and tickets.).