The Lost Art of Communication
I read an ABA article admonishing law students to sound less like a high school babysitter and more like a professional. This applies not only to attorneys; it applies to paralegals as well. Honestly, any professional needs to know how to communicate on a professional level.
Consider this – you go to the doctor because you are unwell. The doctor says, “We did some ummm, you know, we sent the blood over to that place that looks at it? The white stuff that’s in your blood is way too high. I dunno…I’m thinking maybe you’ll die in six weeks.”
First of all, that shows lack of empathy and concern. There was no professional diagnosis or thought of more tests. Second, the doctor showed lack of professional communication because the doctor didn’t know the proper terminology.
It works the same as legal professionals. You definitely do not want to be over a client’s head with legalese, but you don’t need to sound like the 15 year old that watches their five year old while they go out on date night.
Save the slang for your friends and family…and even then – use it on a sparing basis. You are a professional now and you have an image to maintain. Those are the people that send referrals to your supervising attorney. You need to sound like you know what you’re talking about at all times.