Thursday, January 28, 2010

Partner to associates: sometimes there's no substitute for face-mail

Writing emails is great but one partner reminds firm associates that sometimes there's no substitute for face-time with a client.  In a New York Times interview, Bryan Cave chairman Don Lents advises young lawyers that

“if you think you are going to have a difficult interaction with a colleague or a client, if you can do it face to face that’s better, because you can read the body language and other social signals.”

“In texting and e-mails or even videoconferencing, you can’t always gauge the reaction and sometimes things can have a tendency to be misunderstood, or they can ratchet up to a level of seriousness that you didn’t anticipate,” he added. “In person, you see that somebody reacting in a way that you didn’t expect. Then you can stop and figure out what’s going on, and adapt.”

The problem, says Lents, is a generation gap such that younger lawyers are so used to communicating electronically, they may not understand the importance of face-to-face meetings in terms of client relations.  You can read the rest  of Mr. Lents' thoughts hereregarding the pros and cons of email/texting versus in-person communication.

Hat tip to the online ABA Journal.

I am the scholarship dude.


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