• David Martin

Ten Traits of the Model Employee Benefits Attorney


We've talked about the model client. Now, let's discuss what the model employee benefits attorney should be. Watch today's video for 10 traits of the model attorney.

10 Traits of the Model Employee Benefits Attorney

1. The model employee benefits attorney is interested in the well-being of their client.

Not only should the model employee benefits attorney be interested in the well-being of their clients, but they should also value their client as a person and not be driven by the desire to just make money.


2. The model employee benefits attorney should keep their client informed.

Keeping your client informed should be the highest priority.

  • For example, we keep a task list reminder to send an update to clients every 30-45 days, even if the client does not request this and even if nothing has happened in their case. We want them to always know what is happening.

  • We also use a text messaging system for our clients. Their messages are confidentially sent to their electronic file, so everyone on the team is aware the client has an inquiry and can assist the client more quickly and efficiently.

  • Our client portal also allows clients to confidentially share documents in a safe and secure way. We meet face to face and have over-the-phone appointments with our clients.


3. The model employee benefits attorney should zealously advocate claims for their client.

Clients want their attorney to have a fire in their gut and to be a go-getter. ERISA/disability law is challenging. You need to be the attorney who pushes forward and drives toward accomplishments for your clients.


4. The model employee benefits attorney tells the truth– the good, bad, and the ugly.

The model employee benefits attorney doesn't tell their client what they think they want to hear about their case. Clients need and deserve to know the truth. When clients are misinformed about their case, their expectations can be misplaced as to what the attorney is able to accomplish for their specific case.


5. The model employee benefits attorney is diligent and thorough.

Clients want an attorney who is going to go through each document and find each bit of information and evidence that will support and benefit their case. After information and evidence have been found, clients what their employee benefits attorney to systematically develop the case and follow through.


6. The model employee benefits attorney is determined to prevail.

Zeal is always important when advocating for a client, but determination is what drives the model employee benefits attorney to go after it when they know the truth of the matter. You have an inner resolve that pushes you to want to prevail for the client. You can’t guarantee a win, but you can certainly guarantee to be determined.


7. The model employee benefits attorney explains matters in an understandable manner.

We pride ourselves in understanding the complexities of Employee Benefit Advocacy and being able to share and explain it to our clients. It is incredibly impressive to not only know about a certain area of law but to also be able to break it down so a client can understand what pertinent information is being said about their case.


8. The model employee benefits attorney stays current and knowledgeable.

Clients want you to remain current and knowledgeable in your area of law. The law IS a jealous mistress, especially in the area of Employee Benefits Advocacy. An entire section of this law can change because of a single Supreme Court decision. Because of how easily things change, staying up-to-date weekly and being knowledgeable of the law is extremely important for any employee benefits attorney.


9. The model employee benefits attorney seeks the best for their clients.

There are many circumstances when we have “what is best for the attorney?” and “what is best for the client?” The model employee benefits attorney needs to be perfectly able to put aside their own needs for the needs of their client.

  • Example: A client is destitute and really wants to resolve their case quickly, shy of taking it all the way to getting a judicial decision, but the attorney believes this is a strong case and that benefits and fees can be obtained. Here is what needs to happen. The attorney should thoroughly inform the client of all of the options. Then seek to do what is best for the client.


10. The model employee benefits attorney is smart with strategy and planning.

You cannot just have book smarts in Employee Benefit Advocacy. You must also have strategic and experience smarts. Knowing what strategies to employ sets the model employee benefits attorney apart.


If your client has an ERISA case lurking in their personal injury, malpractice, social security, employment, workers' compensation, or bankruptcy case, it is crucial that they hire a model employee benefits attorney.