This client is akin to having a helicopter parent treating your legal practice as their child. Over-involved and obsessed clients are micromanagers who struggle to relinquish control and operate from the perspective that ‘more is better’. If you fail to set clear boundaries and expectations early on with this client, they can quickly drain you of time, energy, and patience.
You will likely never be able to convince this client that their involvement is not helpful or necessary, but you can help manage their involvement. If you realize that the client has a useful skill set, you can help focus the client’s desire to be involved by asking them to complete specific tasks such as organizing legal documents or looking for specific legal research. It is also helpful to bill the over-involved or obsessed client very regularly if they are taking up a lot of your time and energy. Billing the client often helps the client understand the cost of the work they are asking you to do.
It is also important that you set realistic communication guidelines with these clients and that you meet any agreed-upon expectations. If they know how often they can expect to hear from you, and when and how it is appropriate to contact you, you may prevent a lot of unnecessary correspondence and frustration. Over-involved clients are likely to be most frustrated if they feel as if they do not know what is going on with their matter.