Clients First — A Mission Against File Numbers


My law firm handles a large number of mortgage closings and probate administrations. Honestly, it is quite monotonous, dull work. We input information into the computer and the computer spits out all the magic documents. Then we do it again, and again, and again. As dull as it may be I make a point of instilling in my staff the mission of the law firm. Out mission, simply, is Clients First. Behind each mortgage is a young couple buying their first home. A spendthrift trying again to get their head above water with their credit card company. A divorcing couple splitting their only real asset. An investor looking to hit it rich with an old house. A necessary evil, sure, but we try hard to put a human side to each mortgage closing we push out the door. Each probate involves the death of a loved one, the tension of families revealing their greed to each other, the grieving that makes it ever so hard to hold that green certificate of death in your hands. We see each probate file as something that needs to be handled with great care and respect. Whenever I first meet with a family after a death the first words from my lips after extending my sympathy is that we are just here to talk about the process and your feelings in divvying up your loved one’s affairs. I’m often surprised just how many clients take me up on my free ear and shoulder. I have been looking around for other monotonous jobs and tried to look a little deeper at what defines excellent services in the face of boredom. It all comes down to people, people make life interesting. My favorite librarian that keeps those books in perfect order just waiting for a patron to ask her about a good book about Antarctic exploration. My accountant can discuss boats with me until the cows come home, even manages a smile when he tells me I owe money (I swear the IRS gives him a commission), probably because he is thinking of buying another boat. The firefighters (whose jobs are 95% boredom and 5% adrenaline) I know enjoy sharing current events, recipes and get-rich-quick ideas. What do these boring jobs have in common? People. Good people caring about helping others, but focused on the people they serve. Otherwise they would be easily replaced by machines.

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