Did you remember to thank your legal staff for working remotely?

it’s not a rhetorical question. Your paralegal or legal assistant is the person who raised their hand and said they would be happy to help your achieve your profession goals and dreams. To me, that’s significant.

Yet, Ive run into so many lawyers who still haven’t figured out that they should be grateful. SMH

One attorney inquired if she should fire her paralegal because she didn’t work 40 hours and took a sick day while working from home.

Let me get this straight. Your employee is managing to produce 30 hours of work while transitioning to working at home and while sick and you think the remedy is to fire her? The first week at home?

Uh, no.

The thing to do is thank her for putting in those hours. She deserves praise and thanks.

Next, communicate your expectations and ask about the realities your legal staff is living with. Do you know anything about her life or needs? These times demand that you collaborate and be flexible with staff so you can work together.

Why? It’s the human thing to do. Everyone is grieving and hurt in some way. Don’t add to that by being unnecessarily inflexible. And, the virus won’t last forever. The behavior and attitudes you express now will impact the future of your law firm. Plenty of paralegals told me that they will be looking for new jobs because their employers were uncaring and thoughtless. You lose a trained worker, good will ( people talk) and productivity as you go through the process to hire and train a replacement. It’s easier to be grateful

Frankly I’ve been appalled at the comments I’ve read from some lawyers who are ridiculing or manipulating their staff. It’s not right, and certainly not good business.

Gratitude is the glue that holds relationships together in tough times like these. Say thanks for all you have and the people who are standing with you. Because if COVID has taught us anything, it’s that your safety, your health, your world is not guaranteed. Everything can change in an instant.

Thank you for reading and allowing me to be part of your journey b


Dina Lynch Eisenberg, JD, is the CEO of OutsourceEasier.com, an outsourcing training/consulting firm for successful lawyers and entrepreneurs based in Oakland, CA.

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