This is a humorous and sarcastic blog written by a paralegal in a mid-sized law firm in a mid-tier market. The goal is to share some of the pitfalls and foibles encountered in my own day-to-day experiences. Feel free to contact me at aparalegalslife@gmail.com with comments. Complaints, not so much :)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tips for Attorneys - Basic Communication

Most of the complaints paralegals have about attorneys boil down to incomplete, untimely or even a complete absence of communication.  We need more information than is typically given.  Here's a few of my favorites:

"Send me that document in that case." - Oldie but goodie that most of us have surely encountered.  Why yes, I have cases, all of them with many documents.  I'll just send you everything in all the cases to be safe.

"This needs to be done soon."  - Measured in geologic time or nanoseconds?  Give deadlines, not something as vague and easily misunderstood as "soon". 

Incomplete instructions - If you want something folded, spindled and mutilated, say so.  Don't just tell me to fold and then get upset that spindle and mutilate weren't done. 

"Thank You."  I know we're here to do your bidding, and we get paid for it, but a little kindness can go a long way towards us not putting rat poison in your coffee.  If I can at least keep up the delusion that you appreciate my efforts, it makes the day suck marginally less.

Timing - tell us about a task that needs done as soon as you are aware that it needs doing.  If you know at 10 that a filing has to be done by 4, don't wait until 3:55 to say something.


Anonymous said...

Amen! Timing is one of my biggest complaints. Don't let a stack of documents sit on your desk for a week and then tell me about them the day before you need them organized, copied and summarized.
Also, prioritization. When I ask about the priority of several different projects, don't just look at me blankly and tell me it ALL needs to be done. I know that, jackass, but I only have 2 hands & 1 brain. And sadly, no cloning machine.

Anonymous said...

You have captured it perfectly. :)

Lynne DeVenny said...

Beautiful. I will have this cross-stitched and framed for the attorneys in my life :)

Rebecca said...

I think momalegal said it best "I know that, jackass, but I only have 2 hands, 1 brain and sadly, no cloning machine." Couldn't have said it better myself!