Friday, July 10, 2015

Asking the Right Questions - An Important Skill Set for Attorneys

In 2010, Diversity Journal named attorney Suzzanne Uhland to its list of "Women Worth Watching." A partner in the firm of O’Melveny & Myers, LLP, serving in its San Francisco and Newport Beach, California, offices, Ms. Uhland possesses two decades of experience in corporate financial law matters such as insolvency, restructuring, and Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Her legal abilities have won praise from The Best Lawyers in America, Chambers and Partners USA, and other professional publications.

Among the most valuable skills any attorney can develop is the ability to ask pertinent questions of clients. In order to provide the best possible representation, an attorney needs to build a thorough understanding of a client’s business operations, ongoing concerns, and individual objectives. In a 2013 interview with the publication Law360, Ms. Uhland noted that she advised new colleagues to be sure to ask the right questions.

Experienced attorneys in all fields point to a few essential questions to ask. These include questions involving the client’s preferred methods of communication, the client’s greatest fears about the matter at hand, and why the client chose to approach a particular attorney. Attorneys should also find out about a corporate client’s management, production, and tax challenges. And, echoing Suzzanne Uhland’s advice to Law360, experts consistently urge attorneys to discuss exactly what each client hopes to accomplish, and how the attorney and client will know that they have attained that goal.