Thursday, October 7, 2010

Great Client Expectations

The Pincus Family Law firm in Columbia, South Carolina grabbed headlines in several major legal news outlets today with its website truth in advertising - which is actually kind of refreshing.

Check out "Client Expectations (Realistic or Unrealistic)" for yourself, but some of those expectations seem like the stuff of dreams for many overworked paralegals, as well as other legal staffers, who really try hard to provide excellent customer service, even when some people make that task anything from somewhat to extremely difficult. (In fact, these expectations look like they were written by a paralegal.)

I thought I'd give you guys the Readers Digest Condensed version for legal staff, because I know you are very busy, and your time is very valuable.

Client Expectations (Real)
  • No, you can't have my home phone number.
  • I don't even check my personal email on weekends.
  • Yelling with cursing added for extra effect will result in the phone receiver being set gently in the cradle. You are welcome to call back when you stop yelling and cursing.
  • We return all phone calls if you tell us who you are in your voice mail message. If you are just yelling and cursing, you'll probably get caught up in the moment and forget to leave your name and number.
  • If you show up without an appointment, the chances of the person you want to see being in the office are slim, because he or she will be participating in previously scheduled activities, like court appearances, depositions, mediations, telephone conferences, and meetings with clients who have appointments.
  • We are happy to provide status reports, but we are sorry to report that not much has changed since the last one we gave you three hours ago.
  • We did give your messages to the attorney, all fifteen of them that you left in our firm's general delivery system between 3:17 and 5:43 this morning.
  • Only my dog thinks I'm perfect, and I love him for it.

Charles Dickens said, "No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else." Paralegals and legal staffers do lighten the burdens of others every day, but there will always be some folks who make that job a little harder than others. Set your personal and professional boundaries, and use your time away from the office to refuel - and get ready to start all over again bright and early Monday morning.

Sources: Above the Law; ABA Journal

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