Law Practice

Column: Legal Secretary Isn't 'Furniture'


Many lawyers are frustrated when they deal with their legal assistants (and vice-versa). But a new column by a legal secretary seeks to narrow that gap by telling attorneys what their staff members wish they could tell the boss.

Legal assistants aren’t “furniture,” writes the anonymous 15-year-veteran in a New York Lawyer (reg. req.) reprint of a new Texas Lawyer monthly column. Not only should secretaries be given credit for intelligence, they should be recognized as individuals eager to do interesting work and be recognized for their accomplishments, she says.

For example, don’t spell out any words but proper names or punctuate when dictating. And taking your legal assistant out to lunch once a month to review open matters is a great way to encourage her interest in your work, the column continues. “No special occasion is required. Not only will she appreciate the gesture and the free food, but she’ll also feel truly invested in the cases.”

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