Effective Communication for Legal Professionals
Bill, Megan, and their guest Rehana Jamal – and Bill’s co-author – dive into strategies for clear, civil communication in the legal field. They aim to provide practical tools that lawyers, court staff, and anyone interacting with the justice system can use right away.
The episode focuses on BIFF, the High Conflict Institute’s proven method for responding to emotionally-charged messages. Bill lays out the BIFF framework and walks through examples of transforming aggressive emails into responses that are Brief, Informative, Friendly, and Firm.
Rehana weighs in with insights from her experience as an attorney and mediator. She highlights how BIFF builds relationships and saves time compared to reactionary, hostile communication.
Together, they make the case that small changes in how we communicate can transform legal conflicts and prevent escalation. Mastering constructive communication habits benefits lawyers, clients, court staff, and entire communities.
Questions we answer in this episode:
- What is the BIFF response method?
- When is it appropriate to apologize in a professional email?
- How can BIFF improve lawyer-client relationships?
- Does BIFF work for all areas of law?
- Can BIFF help manage stress for legal professionals?
- Hostile emails from clients often stem from feeling discounted – a BIFF response shows you care.
- Pausing before reacting gives you time to construct an informative, friendly email.
- BIFF responses rarely need to be more than a concise paragraph.
- Avoiding apologies in heated exchanges prevents misuse of your words.
- Speaking by phone resolves issues faster than extended email chains.
The legal field deals with conflict daily. This episode provides communication tools to handle clashes with skill and grace. Bill, Megan, and Rehana model a constructive approach that improves outcomes for all involved.
Links & Other Notes
- THE BOOK (available in paperback and e-book)
- BIFF for Lawyers and Law Offices: Your Guide to Respectful Written Communication with Clients, Opposing Counsel and Others
- CONSULTATION & COACHING
- Live Lab (1:1 coaching to learn verbal and written communication skills in high conflict situations)
- Consultations (1:1 educational consultation to discuss high conflict situations and cases with our high conflict experts)
- BIFF Response® for Lawyers: Using and Teaching Respectful Communication ($47 USD)
- Our website: https://www.highconflictinstitute.com/
- Submit a Question for Bill and Megan
- All of our books can be found in our online store or anywhere books are sold, including as e-books.
Note: We are not diagnosing anyone in our discussions, merely discussing patterns of behavior.