By Tara K. H. Rabiola, Cairns & Rabiola LLP
Technology plays a big role in the practice of a family law attorney. Most of us get email on our phones, which are always with us. Some of us get voicemails sent to our email, which of course, goes to our phone. Some of us text with clients from our personal phones. All these different means of communications have made the practice of family law a 24-hour a day exercise. By sending a quick email to your client from your phone at 7:30 p.m. on a Thursday evening or responding to a text on a Saturday morning, you are setting your client up to expect these types of communication any time they decide to contact you. It is often easier to fire off that quick response as soon as you see the email so it's one less thing in your inbox when you go into the office the next day. But, by doing that, you may end up with a client with unreasonable expectations and who is unhappy with your future response time.
While the advances in technology have allowed attorneys to work remotely and not be chained to their desks, we have to be careful to not become chained to our phones instead. It can be helpful to discuss expectations of response time with clients at your initial meeting. You can also delay the sending of an email. If you receive an email from a client in the evening that you would rather reply to so you don’t have to deal with it later, set it to actually send the following morning or save a draft and send it when you get into the office.
It is important to take advantage of the technology we have available; however, we also have to take advantage of time away from the office, time away from our clients and time with our friends and family.
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