Why Do Lawyers Take So Long to Get Back to You?

As an experienced lawyer, I have often been asked why it takes so long for lawyers to get back to their clients. It can be frustrating for clients who are eagerly waiting for updates on their case, but there are valid reasons for the delay. In this article, I will explain some of the common reasons why lawyers may take a while to respond and when it may be a cause for concern. One of the main reasons for the delay is ongoing settlement negotiations or the procedural aspects of a case. Insurance companies often use delay tactics during negotiations in order to reach a more favorable agreement.

This can be especially difficult for individuals who have been seriously injured in accidents and are unable to work and pay their bills. While most personal injury claims are resolved within a year, complex litigation or cases involving serious injuries can significantly prolong the process. For example, if you have consulted a lawyer about a potential medical malpractice case, they may have expressed a strong interest in taking on your case. However, they will need to conduct a thorough investigation before making any decisions. This can take time, as they need to gather all the necessary evidence and information. Once the investigation is complete, your lawyer will contact you with the results.

However, there are times when your case may be time-sensitive and waiting for a response from your lawyer may not be an option. In such situations, it is important to understand the reasons behind the delay and whether it is a cause for concern.

Valid Reasons for Delay

There are several valid reasons why your lawyer may not respond to you right away. One of the most common reasons is that they are busy with other cases and may not have had the time to get back to you yet. As lawyers, we often have a heavy workload and it can be challenging to manage our time effectively. Another reason could be that your lawyer is waiting for a response from the other party or their legal team.

Legal processes and court proceedings can also be delayed due to various factors, such as a backlog of cases or limited resources. This is especially true in civil court systems where there is a high volume of cases. Furthermore, your lawyer may be involved in a lengthy trial or other procedures that require their full attention. In such cases, they may have instructed their receptionist to hold back calls and meetings with clients in order to focus on the task at hand.

When to Be Concerned

While there are valid reasons for delay, there are also times when it may be a cause for concern. If your case is time-sensitive and you have not heard back from your lawyer for an extended period of time, it is important to reach out to them and find out the reason for the delay. If you are not satisfied with their response or feel that they are not giving your case the attention it deserves, you can contact your local state bar association and file a complaint.

As lawyers, we have deadlines to respond to legal motions, and if we fail to do so, it can have serious consequences for our clients.

Dealing with Unresponsive Lawyers

If you find yourself in a situation where your lawyer is not responding to your calls or emails, there are steps you can take to address the issue. The first step is to send them a certified letter questioning the silence and informing them that you are prepared to find a new lawyer if necessary. It is also important to keep in mind that lawyers are human too and may have personal issues or medical problems that are preventing them from responding promptly. In such cases, it is best to be understanding and give them the time they need to address their personal matters. However, if you feel that your lawyer is intentionally ignoring you or not giving your case the attention it deserves, it may be time to find a new lawyer. Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous and dishonest lawyers who are only looking to make a quick profit from vulnerable clients.

If you have any doubts about your lawyer's intentions, it is best to trust your instincts and find someone else to represent you.


In conclusion, there are valid reasons why lawyers may take a while to get back to their clients. As clients, it is important to understand these reasons and be patient with our lawyers. However, if the delay is causing significant problems for your case, it is important to address the issue and take appropriate action. Remember, communication is key in any lawyer-client relationship, so do not hesitate to reach out to your lawyer if you have any concerns or questions about your case.

Ernest Carsten
Ernest Carsten

Hardcore beer fan. Unapologetic troublemaker. Avid coffee guru. Total bacon lover. Devoted travel fanatic. Professional music buff.