Tired of high maintenance clients?

How to find clients you love working with.

Published 03/05/2021

Published 03/05/2021


Working for clients who don’t make your heart sing? Providing services that bore you to tears? 

If so, you’re certainly not alone. According to Client Experience experts and The College of Law Training Fellows, Vivienne Corcoran and Timothy Corcoran (no relation), a colossal cohort of lawyers are struggling to take agency with their work. 

So if you’re not loving the work you do, or the people you do it for, it’s time to do something about it. Here’s how. 

You can choose your clients

When it comes to legal work, Vivienne says “I talk to professionals at all stages of their legal careers who don't enjoy their work. Perhaps they’re working for people that they don't particularly like, or the mix of clients and services they offer isn’t right. 

“This is often because they've bought into or joined a practice – and inherited its clients. 

“Whatever the case, the client-service mismatch is a two-fold loss. First, it affects their personal job satisfaction. And second, their firm’s profitability will be compromised.

“To escape this rut, you need to realise you have agency in this. You can influence who you work for and how that plays out. And you can choose the work you do, rather than simply accepting what you’ve been stuck with,” she says. 

Finding your ideal client – and figuring out their needs

With the right tools, it’s possible to figure out which clients align with your ideal service offering and which clients are most profitable for you. 

“To find your ideal client base, you need to consider which clients you can provide the most value to. From there, you need to look at what you need to change to draw these clients in.

“It comes down to knowing exactly what your ideal client is looking for. If you understand how and why they buy, you can work out what you need to do to attract them,” she says.

The art of saying ‘no’

“We help firms work out what they need to do to focus on this ideal client base – and that includes saying ‘no’ to those they don’t want to work with,” says Timothy.

“Perhaps for start-up firms, there’s a temptation to take on any client who walks through the door. But as you grow, you want to be confident that your expertise and your prospect’s needs are aligned. If not, you need to tell them the fit isn’t right – and move on.

If you’re saying ‘yes’ to every prospect, you may end up with more work than you can capably handle. And what’s more, it may not be the kind of work you want to do, or for the type of people you want to do it for,” he says.

So, how do you attract the right clients?

According to Vivienne and Timothy, it’s about looking at the market opportunities that are:

  • Compelling and lucrative
  • The best fit for your geographic footprint 
  • Align with your firm’s expertise 

Timothy says, “You need to adopt a more strategic and modern mindset. Forget the idea of ‘Hey, let's create some visibility for our brand and then the phone will ring’,” he says.

Vivienne explains, “You need to analyse the market – as well as yourself – to find a good fit. Then, and only then will you identify the tactics that will make you visible to the potential clients you want, and convert these into paid engagements.”

Want to love the work you do – every day?

Then it’s time to start homing in on your ideal clients. 

How and Why Clients Buy Legal Services is a 12-week course that teaches you how to grow your target client base and accelerate business growth. Delivered by The College of Law as both a short course, or as part of the Master of Legal Business program, this course will teach you how to:

  • Categorise your business’ client base 
  • Analyse you clients’ buying decision process
  • Evaluate how your clients assess their service experience
  • Assess contemporary marketing approaches to optimise reach
  • Download the brochure


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