I get asked all of the time something like who is the best work injury lawyer in Chicago or best RSD attorney in Champaign. My answer is always that it depends on the specific facts of their case. In other words, we try to connect you with the best lawyer for your unique situation.
So while there are a bunch of firms that I think are fantastic, I won’t call anyone the best. But I do know who the worst firm in Chicago is.
Over the last week I’ve received calls from five different clients of one downtown law firm. All five are fed up with the terrible service that they are receiving and wanted my help in finding a new lawyer. Five! That’s an insane amount of unhappy clients and certainly is an indication of a larger problem because of course it’s not as if every unhappy client of theirs called me.
It was the same story over and over.
Caller 1. “I thought I was hiring the head of the firm, but they ended up assigning my case to someone who just passed the bar exam.”
Caller 2. “Five calls to their office and nobody called me back.”
Caller 3. “They’ve switched the lawyer handling my case three times in a year.”
Caller 4. “When I tried to ask a question about my case they told me they’d call me back. That was three weeks ago.”
Caller 5. “They told me to settle my case even though I have a surgery scheduled.”
It’s all stories of customer service nightmares and it’s a joke. These people put their lives in the hands of a firm expecting that they will have someone who will fight for them and it doesn’t happen.
The logical question is, how do they get all of these clients? Well, I get on average 1-2 calls from their unhappy clients a week and have been asking them over the last year how they ended up there in the first place. The answer is that they do a ton of marketing, they tell you what you want to hear to get you to sign up and they have an aggressive campaign to target lawyers in other practice areas to try to get them to refer cases with the promise of hefty referral fees. If you are a divorce lawyer and don’t know anything about work comp and this firm promises you a big, fat check for recommending them, you will probably think it all sounds great.
The good is that we were able to help out most of these people as their cases, except for one, weren’t too far along. The bad is that we don’t know the damage that has been caused to the case yet by the bad representation and in the very least, it’s put a strain on the injured workers and created a lot of unnecessary work that could eventually hurt their settlement leverage.
Bottom line is that if you have a lawyer who isn’t calling you back or doesn’t answer your questions or switches your representation within the firm or yells at you or does anything else that shouldn’t happen, leave them before it’s too late. It costs nothing to switch firms and can literally be the difference between winning and losing.