{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I have a pro bono client that likes to text me. Is that OK? What are some good reasons not to correspond over text? He’s very hard to get a hold of otherwise and he doesn’t use his e-mail.", "post_id": "5ff7454ccb1cc10021ad0254", "reply_count": 9, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d052", "bowl_name": "Law", "feed_type": "crowd" }

I have a pro bono client that likes to text me. Is that OK? What are some good reasons not to correspond over text? He’s very hard to get a hold of otherwise and he doesn’t use his e-mail.

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My clients text me. It’s not a big deal to me, but I also don’t have a ton of clients at any given time. It is important to capture text messages the same way you capture emails. There are a few apps that let you do that.

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A3: agreed. I’m an elder law attorney. So, it’s pretty low key. Things can move very quickly in the transactional work involved with seeking long-term care benefits. So, I am typically happy to communicate by whatever means gets that accomplished quickly.

I also use MyCase, which allows me to text them from the case management system. So, if I have a heavy texter I use that because then everything is automatically captured.

When I handled litigation text messages were typically a no go.

Never ever use you personal number to text a client. Use an office number that has a text function. We use 8x8 which allows us to text clients. I think Google has a function for this too.

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Yep very easy to generate a number using google voice. You definitely don’t want someone to have access to your personal number.

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Gonna be a no dog. My suggestion if you gave out a personal phone number is to advise the client that you job gave you a business phone to monitor all contacts. Get a Google number (it should be free if you have a gmail) and use that line.

Then advise them you check the number periodically throughout the day and that he can contact you on that line only from the hours of 9-5.

Anticipate getting texts to your personal number but you can work around it by using that. Explain any legal advice should be provided over the phone or via email/in person.

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I made the mistake of giving a client my cell number. First, I responded to the text by asking her to contact me at x number or email and please not use my personal number anymore.

It didn’t work. So when she texted me on my cell I would respond only through a text via my work phone, during work hours. After awhile she got the hint and started using the office text phone number.

Not sure the type of pro Bono case you have, but in some instances a cell phone provider will cut off a person’s access to calls but will allow them to text. So for eg legal aid clients, a lot of times that’s the only way they can contact their attorney. There are websites where you can look up their phone provider via entering their telephone number and it will give you an email address for that number eg 7571235555@att.com and you can use your email to text them that way. Sorry I can’t remember the name of the site right now.

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Two big reasons not to use text: first, hard to keep a record of (may expire, even if they don’t hard to search, etc.) and so any issues down the road about who said what are going to be harder to resolve than they should be (and IME pro bono clients can be quite prone to intentional or unintentional misunderstandings about things). Second, especially if it’s your personal number, it’s just invasive and makes it more difficult to keep work at work (haha, I know). More odd hours requests, harder to establish boundaries, etc.

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