(Closed) How to tell someone … nicely… that they look unprofessional?

posted 6 years ago in Career
Post # 3
Member
11233 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

Oh god. I would immediately call her law firm and ask for another lawyer. How did this woman even pass her classes, much less the bar, AND get hired somewhere if she looks sloppy and does sloppy work? How does her boss not talk to her about this? 

Post # 4
Member
368 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@vorpalette:  Agreed.

Your mother is paying for this work.  If anything about it is unacceptable, you need to let the law firm know.

Post # 5
Member
7770 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

If you are truly concerned, I think you could call the lawyer that you DO trust (that sent the lawyer in question to you) and express your concerns.  See what she has to say.  You do not want to burn bridges and it is possible that this lawyer will do a good job- I cannot imagine her showing up to court looking anything but professional. 

Also, OP, do you have a background in law?  How do you know the documents were incorrect (other than your analysis of the grammar, etc.- and that IS unacceptable and very strange).  I would call the lawyer that you trust and voice your concerns if you feel the need to take it further.

Post # 7
Member
11418 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I am not an attorney; however, the nature of the type of work I did for 25 years involved my having to work extremely closely with attorneys a great deal of the time.  The work you’re describing is completely unacceptable.  I used to say that the attorneys were the only individuals in the organizations where I worked whom I would ever permit to overrule my grammatical edits on any document.

Post # 8
Member
3586 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2000

@mrsbruff2b:  sweatpants? never. completely out of scope wear for meeting with a client.

Post # 9
Member
993 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

You should contact the firm immediately and let them know – show another lawyer or the original lawyer her work so they can see its unacceptable.  That’s terrible, don’t take the chance.

Post # 10
Member
3182 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

You have several reasons to be concerned but the thing about the make-up kind of threw me off. I would leave that part out if you take this up with the other attorney. 

Post # 11
Member
11233 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

@FauxPas2012: As much as I love my sweatpants, I won’t even wear them out of the house, much less to work/meet a client. That’s unacceptable, especially for a lawyer who’s billing hundreds of dollars per hour.

Post # 12
Member
7770 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

@mrsbruff2b:  What a headache!  Legal matters are stressful enough!  Sigh.  I know, I have super high expectations for attorneys because my dad is a super duper anal perfectionist attorney. 

Post # 13
Member
3718 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Here’s how I deal with typos (in the professional realm). One is an oops. Two is careless. Three means I stop reading, pick up the phone, and explain that it is totally unacceptable  I have done this 3 times in my professional life. People learn quickly, especially when you follow up with an email (ccing their boss), explaining the number of typos and why it is unacceptable.

No lie, I have been known to comment on work submitted to me “In general, I stop reading after three typos. There were three typos in the first 85 words. This is totally unacceptable. Please correct said document and provide me with an explanation of how this got past your quality control. As it is written, it is a waste of my time to review”. It is no well known in the field that “Pollywog has no problem objecting to our use of the English language”. They want my money, they have to spell correctly, write clearly, and use grammar.

Post # 14
Member
3718 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@mrsbruff2b:  In government speak, you reject the deliverable. So when you contract with a lawyer you have a cost reimbursement contract, you are paying for their time. If you paid for an hours worth of work, you should be given something that reflects an hours worth of work. Call the firm and ask for a specific explaination for the charges and how the work you were submitted reflects the quality of the firm. Ask questions. They will be so embarassed they will redo it.

Post # 15
Member
2905 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I wouldn’t be so concerned about her appearance – I’m a lawyer, and some of the smartest, most brilliant and skilled lawyers I know dress like absolute derelicts. It’s the absent minded professor thing, and they usually manage to pull it together in front of a jury. But multiple typos and grammatical errors are inexcusable. 

Post # 16
Member
6 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: December 2012

I’m in law school at the moment, and most of us don’t even dress like that to go to class.  The typos are also pretty unexcusable, but unfortunately not that surprising based on the limited amount I’ve already seen.  That said, people notice, and they judge, and I would find a reason to be concerned. 

How large is the firm?  At least where I am from, the larger firms, which have offices of 25-50 here, absolutely do not tolerate work like that, but smaller firms with lots of overworked partners and associates might, and aren’t really hurt by it.  If the firm is larger, focus on the quality of work when you talk to them and maybe mention how it reflects poorly on the firm itself.  If it’s smaller, I’d appeal to the relationship with the original recommending attorney first.  Of course all of this depends on the legal environment where you are being similar to mine.

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