Wednesday, April 27, 2011

You're Only As Good As Your Support Staff

As the nation's leading legal blog among people who consistently confuse Al Pacino with Robert DeNiro, it is my obligation to remind readers of important events.  April 27th is Administrative Professionals Day.  Traditionally, it is a day to recognize the work of secretaries, administrative assistants, receptionists and other administrative support professionals.  It is a day you should let your staff know that you appreciate their hard work.

With increased caseloads, today's legal staffers often takes on an increasing amount of substantive work responsibilities.  As the old saying goes, good help can be hard to find. Employing good support staff can make or break your law practice.  They are your troops on the front line. The foundation in your shaky house of cards. Your staff reflects on you. Bad employees can cost you time and money.  A unpleasant curmudgeonly chain smoking secretary can have a negative impact on your client relationships.  A consistently late receptionist can be missing important calls, perhaps even a big case. Eventually, this will affect your bottom line. 

Not surprisingly, its best to keep productive staffers happy.  Your staff reflects on you. They can be your best marketing tool. So this Administrative Professional's day make sure you let your staff know how much you appreciate them. That does not mean a certificate for discounted legal services.   You completely forgot? No time to pick up that engraved paperweight?   Don't worry, we've got your back.  Here's some last minute ideas.  

Of course, our offices' personal favorite:


Anonymous said...


Oops. Thanks for the reminder

Anonymous said...

WHAT A NICE TIME TO HAND OUT BONUSES AND RAISES...I don't know the local Nutmeg attitude, but as a working stiff in Michigan, trinkets always irritated me. They were pro forma obligations which only underscored the boss' lack of true appreciation.

Adrian M. Baron said...


Excellent point. When I was working as a law clerk, I had received a plastic mini statue of Copius - God of Copier Machines.

Jennifer Crowley said...

Our office gives out bonuses around Christmas time.

If you can't give a bonus, a nice Amazon gift card is nice too. Let's me pick out what I want. My boss has horrible taste. Hope he doesn't read this tee hee

Motherunit said...

Totally agree with anonymous. Trinkets are irritating. "World's Best Secretary" cheap plastic trophies, shabby printed "certificate of achievement" - wow, what a treasure! One place I worked at would routinely give out a candy bar with a balloon tied to it. You expected them to pat you on the head and say "Good Girl!"

Adrian M. Baron said...

Note to self. Cancel helium tank, balloons and candy bar order

Ellen Wright said...

Definately gift cards-either to a known favorite restaurant or make it a VISA or AMEX so staff can use it anywhere without worry of expiring (which some do!)

Flowers work IF there are no allergies in the office-I have had trouble with that cropping up. (That's a real downer-you want to be nice and all you wind up doing is making the person miserable-NOT nice!)

Edible Arrangements works. Most tasty.

If you just have to do candy-make it small and high-end. Go for the REALLY good stuff. No Dunkin Donuts.

Then put that person up for special recognition at some point later in the year when they least expect it. A Thank You then-well, it goes a long way, Boss.