I work very closely with my secretary. She is my “left and right hand”. I could not be the attorney I am without her. And I know, because there was a period of time when she was not with me. In any event, I asked her to take a shot at a blog regarding the misunderstandings clients may have when it comes to her duties and responsibilities. In the spirit of the New Year, and as a type of New Year’s Resolution, here is her “partially tongue in cheek” response:
- Clients should not ask me to answer legal questions. I will relay all of your messages to my boss, but I can’t answer legal questions. The title “Legal Secretary” does not mean I can offer advice.
- I give my boss all of the clients’ messages. Clients will not get a faster response if they leave 50 “Call me back” messages as opposed to one. If he hasn’t called you back, it means he’s in court or a meeting.
- Please don’t ask me to take down a two page message. While I am sympathetic to what all of our clients are going through, I cannot possibly relate to my boss the detail of an incident. Another option would be to leave him a detailed voicemail.
- Please do not state to me that you think the attorney is not getting his messages. I give him every message. If you think he is not getting the messages, you think I am not giving the messages to him. I really do.
- Thank you for being polite. I know this is an emotional time for you and speaking with your attorney probably brings up a lot of emotional issues, but I appreciate that you take the time to be polite, as I will take the time to be polite to you also.
- Call me by my name and let me know if I can do the same. I usually get introduced to our clients at their first meeting with my attorney, but I do not always feel comfortable calling people by their first names. If you feel it is appropriate, please feel free to tell me that I may call you by your first name. And it makes me feel good when you remember my name.
- Leave your phone number. I know I may ask for your number over and over and over. I am not trying to hassle you. We have your number in the computer, but we get very busy and, especially if the attorney is returning your call from out of the office, it helps to have the number with the message.
- Last, but not least, don’t hesitate to send me flowers. Only kidding!!! But, if you think I did a great job, please tell me so. If you think I messed up, please tell me that also so it never happens again.
I hope that none of my clients are offended by this list. But I think that the purpose of a blog is to offer different perspectives, and who has a better perspective on the relationship I have with my clients than my secretary.