What is Client-Centered Criminal Defense Representation?
One of the core values of the Law Office of Stephen P. Shepard, LLC is to provide clients with what is referred to as “client-centered representation.” Representation is “client-centered” when it furthers the client’s goals, addresses the client’s legal and non-legal needs, and actively involves the client in the decision-making process. Think of client-centered representation as a way of describing the working relationship between the criminal defense attorney and the client. In this relationship, the criminal defense attorney and client work together as a team or partners to achieve the client’s goals and fulfill the client’s specific needs. Client-centered representation differs from the traditional form of the attorney-client relationship in which the criminal defense attorney would generally “dictate” to the client how his or her goals were going to be achieved and needs fulfilled. The traditional form of the attorney-client relationship presents the client as a relatively powerless individual, while the client-centered representation model presents the client as an empowered decision maker who plays an important role in determining the outcome of his or her case.
How Does The Law Office of Stephen P. Shepard, LLC Provide Client-Centered Criminal Defense Representation?
Nearly every aspect of how the Law Office of Stephen P. Shepard, LLC operates has been carefully designed and tailored to follow the client-centered representation model. Everything from the way that the phone system is configured to the way that legal fees are determined was designed with client-centered representation in mind. Below are some specific examples of how the Law Office of Stephen P. Shepard, LLC provides client-centered representation.
- Free Initial Consultation. What could be a great and productive relationship between a client and his or her criminal defense attorney begins with the initial consultation. During the initial consultation, the criminal defense attorney discusses the prospective client’s case, explains the amount of work that would be involved, and quotes a fee for representation in that case. To encourage the formation of such relationships, The Law Office of Stephen P. Shepard, LLC offers free initial consultations (generally 60 minutes in length). To schedule your free initial consultation, please contact The Law Office of Stephen P. Shepard, LLC today!
- Individualized Service to Meet Each Client’s Needs. At some of the “big name” law firms, clients are merely treated as “accounts.” In other words, the client is viewed as a source of income. However, at the Law Office of Stephen P. Shepard, LLC, each and every client is viewed as a unique person and deserves to be treated as such. Therefore, the Law Office of Stephen P. Shepard, LLC strives to provide each and every client with individualized service. For example, whenever a client comes into the office, his or her favorite non-alcoholic beverage will be sitting on Stephen’s desk. As another example, each and every client is given a personalized welcome kit upon retaining the Law Office of Stephen P. Shepard, LLC. These personal and individualized touches, although seemingly simple, demonstrate to the client that he or she is truly valued as a person in the attorney-client relationship, not just another “account.”
- Flexible Meeting Times and Methods. Some clients work during regular business hours or have other commitments that may make it difficult for them to come into the office for an appointment. That’s why the Law Office of Stephen P. Shepard, LLC offers flexible meeting times: after-hours and weekend appointments are available. Similarly, some clients may live too far away from the office or may have transportation issues. To accommodate such clients, the Law Office of Stephen P. Shepard, LLC offers consultations by phone or Legaler.
- 24 / 7 / 365 Attorney Access. The Law Office of Stephen P. Shepard, LLC believes that a client may need to have access to his or attorney after regular business hours, on the weekend, or during holidays. That’s why Stephen strives to make himself available to his clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Each and every client is provided with Stephen’s personal cell phone number in the event that the client needs to reach Stephen outside of normal business hours. If a client calls during one of the few times that Stephen may be unavailable, then the client may leave a message that Stephen will return later that same day.
- Direct Access to Your Attorney. Every client of the Law Office of Stephen P. Shepard, LLC is provided with Stephen’s personal cell phone number to ensure that the client has direct access to his or her attorney. By providing each and every client with direct access to his or her attorney, the Law Office of Stephen P. Shepard, LLC creates an atmosphere that encourages growth of the attorney-client relationship and eliminates artificial barriers between the attorney and client.
- No Limit on Attorney-Client Communication. Unlike some law firms, the Law Office of Stephen P. Shepard, LLC does not charge the client for communicating with his or her attorney. Similarly, there is no limit on the amount of communication between the attorney and client. Why is unlimited attorney client-communication important? Because clients often have many needs, including the need to ask questions and relay concerns about their case, obtain specific information about their case, or just someone to listen how the case has affected their life. These needs are often extremely important to the client, and providing the client with unlimited communication with his or her attorney is the best way to meet those extremely important needs.
- Clio Portal Access.The Law Office of Stephen P. Shepard, LLC is extremely proud to offer Clio, a legal practice management solution, to its clients at no additional charge. The Clio Portal is a powerful and robust web-based application that allows clients to securely, easily, and conveniently access a wealth of information about their case. Clients can view motions and documents filed by their attorney, the State’s evidence, letters from the client’s attorney to the client, upcoming appointments and court dates, and a whole lot more. Additionally, the Clio Portal offers clients the convenience of paying their invoices online without having to make a phone call or a trip to the office.
Click here to view a screenshot of the Clio Portal in action.
To schedule your free initial consultation, please contact The Law Office of Stephen P. Shepard, LLC today!