Legal cartoons and humorous comment (c) Paul Brennan. All rights reserved.

I decided on 101 reasons as I didn’t want to depress the entire legal profession by having 1,001.
Paul Brennan, Lawyer, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

# 76. They keep people holding

Legal cartoon, accountant, Paul Brennan
Holding Legal Receptionists, the do's and don't

Dear John

Every time, I call my lawyer I get put on hold sometimes for up to 20 minutes.   It seems to me that lawyers should do more to organize their time.

Croydon, UK

Dear K.M.

If I may correct you slightly, it is not the lawyer who puts you On-Hold; it is the Legal Receptionist over whom lawyers often have so little control. 

Facilitating client holding is a significant part of a Legal Receptionist’s duties.  It allows them time to whizz around all the other clients who they have On-Hold asking “Do you wish to hold?”  They have been trained not to wait for a reply.    

Lawyers over the centuries have tried all sorts of ways to improve client communication, the telephone being one of them.  However, even modern innovations such as voicemail, email and direct lines have caused lawyers to have even less time to deal with client telephone calls. 

For lawyers, On-Hold messaging has been a particular issue.  Messages such as “Your call is important to us” has only served to antagonize some clients.  Lawyers have tried to make their On-Hold messages a promotion for the law firm’s expertise and dedication but after a number of caller suicides such practices have for the most part, been abandoned.  On-Hold legal education was so successful that clients too often received the answer to their question and hung up.

Clients may need to accept being placed On-Hold as part of the legal process.  After all, it is one of the few free/pro bono services that lawyers provide.  Theoretically, a full hour on hold results in significant saving. 

Anyway, many clients avoid speaking to their lawyer and prefer being On-Hold.     


(c) Paul Brennan 2010.  Extract from John Fytit’s International Legal Problem Page written on this blog.

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