Balancing the Bar

Happiness and the Practice of Law

Email servant or attorney??

1 Comment

I sometimes wonder why it appears that I get so little done. Then, I started noticing the frequency and duration of my email correspondence and the mystery is solved.

Most days I receive return in excess of 50 emails and some days as many as 100.  No wonder my brain gets so tired.  It is as if I am doing nothing but email correspandance. Many days this can keep me from substantive work.

I have always pushed clients and other attorneys to use email in lieu of constant phone calls, but any more it is as if others view this as a way to not only get a response but to get it immediately

Just last week I notice people send emails more than once in a 4 hour period because I had not responded.   Have we gotten to the point where emails are considered  instant communication?  I ask you is this necessary? I have multiple clients all of which I strive to give the same level of service. If all of them are repetitively emailing me how can I practice law? The more they email me the less time I have to spend on whatever it is they are emailing me about. This is a vicious cycle.

I am struggling with a way to break this cycle.  Perhaps my deligence at reviewing and responding in a timely fashion is part of the issue.  I am thinking of instituting a new rule.  I am going to start picking up the phone or walking to soemone’s office if my email exchanges result in back and forth between myself and the other person.  I am also going to wait until the following day until I respond to any email received after 4 pm.   It remains to be seen if this will help.  I am sure there will be more blog entries about this.

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Author: Tabitha M. Hochscheid

Attorney since 1995, interested in Attorney Health and Well Being and related issues for lawyers and the general population. Developer and Committee Chair of the Cincinnati Bar Association Health and Well Being Committee.

One thought on “Email servant or attorney??

  1. I think you’ve hit on it–you trained people that you would respond quickly, so that’s what they expect. Retraining can be tough at first, but stick to it. You’ll be so glad you did! And congrats on taking steps to solve the problem.

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