The Client Screening Process

You do not need to represent every client who approaches you. Utilizing a client screening process helps ensure that you are not taking on the wrong clients for your legal practice, and that clients are not taking on the wrong lawyer for their legal issue.

There are many reasons to screen a client and/or case including:

  • to determine conflicts;
  • to avoid difficult clients;
  • to prevent fraud;
  • to ensure you are not accepting matters outside your areas of competent practice; and
  • to ensure you will be paid for your services in accordance with a retainer agreement.

In this module, we will focus on avoiding difficult clients, ensuring that you are accepting matters within your area of competence, and ensuring payment for your services. Regarding conflicts, see Module 11 – Conflicts and regarding fraud prevention, see Module 6 – Client Identification and Verification. See also Module 13 – Dealing with Difficult Clients for a discussion on how to deal with clients who present challenges.