Open Communication Transforming Strategy at Law Firms

Updated January 23, 2024
12 min read
Open Communication Transforming Strategy at Law Firms


If you want to be an inspiring leader for your law firm, then take a close look at whether you’re using effective law firm communication management techniques with your team. Solid relationships among senior partners, attorneys, and legal assistants are the foundation of a successful law firm. That is why firm leaders need to take proactive steps to empower their employees to collaborate frequently to improve engagement and help everyone feel more comfortable at work. Effective communication in a law firm is the key to defining your expectations, building strong relationships among team members, and maintaining a positive employee experience.

Communication & Trustbuilding

Leaders already know that building trust among their teams contributes to a thriving and productive work environment. However, if communication in a law firm is not a top priority, team members may think that their leaders do not have clear expectations or do not acknowledge the value of their work. A law firm’s communication policy can help prevent a negative impact on team members’ attitudes and the quality of the work they produce.

Earning your team’s trust should be high on your list of priorities. So, be sure to articulate praise for team accomplishments and clearly convey your expectations regarding tasks and responsibilities. According to the Harvard Business Review, employees with a high level of trust in the leaders at their companies experience 74 percent less stress at work. This means that it’s important to focus on refining the methods of communication in a law firm.

10 Ways To Improve Communication at Your Law Firm

Although technology makes it easy to talk to your team no matter where they are located, maintaining a strong sense of human engagement is necessary. The following ten tips will help to enhance communication in a law firm and build trust among the team.

1. Hold office hours

For effective communication in a law firm, let your employees know that you have specific times set aside to listen to their ideas and concerns. When you meet with employees who take advantage of your office hours, really listen to what they say and provide actionable feedback that they can take away and apply. You should also ask questions about what is working and not working for them as a member of your team. 

2. Set consistent expectations

Clearly stated expectations are important to any business. However, if you want to successfully maintain healthy communication in a law firm, then you need to have follow-up conversations with your team members to determine whether they understand your directions and know how their tasks fit into the bigger picture. Applying the feedback that you get from one-on-one meetings and discussions with your team is a great way to set consistent expectations and prevent frustration among your workforce.

3. Define the vision you have for the firm’s future

Every member of your team should know the vision you have for the future of the firm. They should also know what they can do to help achieve the specific goals you have set to get them there. When you have department meetings and performance evaluations, make use of the time by asking if the team still understands and identifies with the primary purpose and core values you have established.

4. Publicly recognize success

When you recognize the effort and hard work your team puts in to meet a goal, you keep them motivated to perform their best. They will, in turn, urge those around them to also pursue excellence. Sharing the success stories of individual team members also gives your top talent a chance to share their insights and best practices with the rest of the firm. To further establish trust and effective communication in a law firm, give recognition — both personal and public — immediately after the employee has delivered results.

5. Promote collaboration and teamwork

Handing out projects and assignments that require teamwork and collaboration will increase your team’s overall focus and strengthen social connections. Through law firm communication management, you can challenge your employees to achieve goals that have concrete endpoints and are attainable if they work together as a team. You should also check in occasionally to see how they are progressing and whether they’re working as a cohesive unit.

6. Delegate, don’t micromanage

Micromanaging the tasks you assign will only disrupt the flow and waste everyone’s time. When you delegate work to an individual or group of people, make it clear that you are giving them complete ownership over executing the best strategy to achieve the goal. For the best law firm communication management, instead of giving your team an exhaustive to-do list, just give them a few general pointers and let them know you’ll lend support if they ask for it.

7. Provide helpful context

Instead of giving orders, encourage effective communication in a law firm by explaining the “why” behind what you’re asking your team to accomplish. Your team isn’t going to be passionate about accomplishing a task just because you ask them to. Having a clear purpose in addition to their goals and responsibilities will help individual employees comprehend how their roles impact the firm. Empowering your employees instead of micromanaging them will also push them to go above and beyond your expectations. Clear communication in a law firm can help the team come up with creative solutions to any challenges they encounter.

8. Give your team choices

As an important part of your law firm’s communication management, give your team choices. Show your employees that you trust them by allowing them to pick which projects they’ll work on. People get excited when they can focus their energy on tasks they’re interested in or care about most. Encourage your employees to self-organize into workgroups and evaluate the overall project when it’s finished to measure each individual’s contribution.

9. Keep everyone in the loop

Law firm leaders need to make an honest effort to share important information across all departments. Employees want to be informed about the firm’s progress on goals, new strategies being rolled out, and updates to internal processes. If your team is uncertain about the firm’s direction, it will lead to extra stress that can severely impact their overall focus and job satisfaction. Open communication in a law firm through daily reports or company-wide emails can help leaders improve employee engagement.

10. Urge your employees to build relationships

For effective communication in a law firm, encourage your employees to build interoffice relationships. Most employees feel pressured to focus on completing their tasks rather than making friends or socializing with people at work. However, studies show that when people intentionally build social relationships with their coworkers, their performance actually improves. Besides, managers who show an interest and genuine concern for their team’s personal well-being outperform others in the quality and quantity of their work.


Developing and refining ways to promote effective communication in a law firm is integral to ensuring your team’s success. If you want the employees at your firm to feel like they have all of the tools they need to problem-solve and excel at their work, then open communication needs to be at the core of your firm’s culture and values. Popularize an open and transparent law firm communication policy if you want to motivate and inspire your team. 

Article by
James DeZao
The Law Offices of James DeZao

James DeZao is the manager, owner, and partner of The Law Offices of James DeZao. His law firm is based in Parsippany, New Jersey, and proudly represents clients in Pine Brook, Morris County, and throughout the entire state. Although James primarily focuses on personal injury law, he also handles cases in various other practice areas, including medical malpractice, employment law, motor vehicle accidents, corporate law, and real estate. James has four children and three grandchildren and enjoys spending time with his family.