On Monday I was browsing the shelves of the law library, and I think I've discovered the most depressing set of books we own. The books are in the section that houses the call number KF311.Z9, which I can only assume is the Library of Congress classification for books with the subject "Lawyers stink."
The books have titles like, "How to Hire an Honest Lawyer---and Other Oxymorons," "The Terrible Truth About Lawyers: How Lawyers Really work and How to Deal with Them Successfully," "Taming the Lawyers," "Legal Street Smarts: How to Survive In a World of Lawyers," and "Mad at Your Lawyer?"
Books like these may only reinforce the smarmy reputation often associated with attorneys, but take heart: reading up on these portrayals of attorneys just may help you avoid common mistakes that frustrate clients and give rise to attorneys' bad reputations. For example, when the books note that attorneys regularly fail to adequately communicate with clients, reflect on where this perception might come from. "Timely" and "regular" communication are relative terms, and if your client has never worked with an attorney before, it might help if you explain with specificity what you mean when you say that you will be in touch with the client "soon."
In other words, reading the books listed above may help you anticipate the difficulties you may encounter as you and your client work together. A few minutes reading these may just be the secret to avoiding hours of reading these.