There are different types of clients. Clients are not treated the same by their representatives. Difficult clients unfortunately, may not get the best possible service from their representatives (despite the professionalism of those representatives). It is incumbent on a client (who is seeking the best possible representation) to ameliorate issues or potential issues that can exacerbate the relationship between themselves and their representatives.
Some clients are difficult by nature. This is difficult to address by the client because the same pathology manifests itself in self-delusion.
Luckily, most clients are difficult because they are in difficult circumstances. They can realize that these circumstances give rise to stress and anxiety and self-destructive behavior that can undermine the relationship between them and counsel.
Here's my suggestions for stressed-out clients dealing with lawyers:
1. Perseverance and patience is key. Most legal matters are complex and time consuming. You may be caught in bureaucratic machinery, or a judicial maze. It is essential that you persevere and not give up at the first sign of trouble. Given the burdens on the legal system, your problem likely will not be solved quickly.
2. Understand -- your lawyer has other matters to attend to. Your problem is of course paramount in your mind. Your lawyer, however, is likely dealing with the problems of dozens or even hundreds of other individuals. This may be of some insight when you may experience some frustration at the perceived inattention of your lawyer.
3. Empower yourself. The internet can provide extensive information on many legal issues, including family, immigration and criminal law. Review this so that you can have an intelligent conversation with your lawyer and can instruct him appropriately. This research can also inform you of the obstacles, difficulties and delays your matter may confront. This can also lessen your own anxiety.
4. Communicate ... but avoid repeated phone calls, allowing your lawyer an opportunity to return your first call. You should inquire as to the best method of communication (this could be an email). You should inquire with the lawyers assistant (you may know your file quite well, and can address certain questions) whenever possible.
I encourage all my clients to communicate via email. Putting your questions down in writing allows you to organize your thoughts (and allows your lawyer to respond cogently and coherently to those questions). Email also means that a record is made of communication.
Most Important: Understand what the lawyer is going to do for you and understand how much it will cost. Undestand what he or she needs from you. Don't leave these ambiguities unresolved.
5. Have a positive attitude. I'm not talking about the Secret here. But your lawyer is not a counsellor or a psychologist. He or she should be concentrating on solving your legal problem. To some extent that requires a technician; an unemotional, rational individual coolly assessing the problem that is facing the client. I don't believe that a client should unnecessarily burden their lawyer. Explain to them your particular circumstances and the importance of their work. Your lawyer will understand and do his or her best.