Clients often fear lawyers. Why? Legal matters affecting our lives cause stress. When stressed clients hire lawyers, they rely on them to resolve their issues. Attorneys often agree that clients nod and say they understand the process and relationship, when the reality may be that a client does not want to seem uneducated and overwhelmed by the process. Consumers hiring lawyers seem more likely to have a good experience and refer other business when the process is transparent and comforting. Recently I met an innovative attorney, Ms. Nicole Sartori[i], from The Fox Valley Law Center, Ltd.[ii], located in the Westfield Fox Valley Mall in Aurora.
I was shopping one weekend when I was shocked to see what appeared to be a law firm at the top of one of escalator near Macy’s. My first thought: “Wow, how easy and comfortable is this?” If people find the mall to be a comforting environment, would they be more likely to visit and retain a law firm in the mall? I asked the receptionist for a business card and quickly contacted Nicole Sartori. I interviewed Nicole who shared several innovative ideas that make sense to lawyers and their clients.
What makes your firm unique? Nicole: “The Fox Valley Law Center Ltd. is unique because we are open 7 days a week. Our location makes us unique. We are inside, yes, inside a mall. Our hours of operation (10am to 9pm Monday thru Saturday and 11am to 6pm on Sunday) set us apart from any of our competition. We try to have lawyers available for walk-in consultations for a wide range of practice areas during those peak times. If we do not do what someone needs, then we help him or her find someone who can. I dare anyone to call their lawyer on a Sunday and see when they get a phone call back.”
What inspired you to open your firm’s office in the mall? “I'm a busy working mom with 3 little kids. I am always looking for convenience and I think other members of the community are looking for the same.”
How do clients react to visiting an office in a mall? “We have gotten a very positive response from the general public since we opened in Oct. In our short opening, we have taken on a wide range of client matters. No two cases have been the same.”
What recent developments help you better serve your clients? “The ability to take credit card payments either at the office or in court with a cell phone makes it easier for the clients to retain our services.”
Is there anything else you would like to offer? “Most of our staff and two of our attorneys speak Spanish.”
As the Internet and social networks help professionals and their clients adapt to each other in commerce, innovative means and methods for delivering quality legal services will continue to change the landscape of how and where attorneys engage clients and do business.
There are many lawyers available to serve many clients. Matching the right lawyers with the right clients is easier when lawyers are flexible and can satisfy changing client expectations. Innovative lawyers who are reasonably flexible with practice management are likely to succeed in a dynamic marketplace.
The Fox Valley Law Center, Ltd. is revolutionizing the concept of how a law firm works. Their mission statement: A center that connects people with knowledgeable and affordable attorneys that concentrate in specific areas of the law at a time and place that is convenient. Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome: 7 days a week!