Advice for Young Lawyers and a Belated Amends: Email
I promise not to walk down memory lane about paper, pen, ink, envelopes, stamps and the leisurely way we all used to communicate with one another.
I will only refer you to humorist Dave Barry's review of SEND: The Essential Guide to Email for Office and Home by David Shipley and Will Schwalbe from the coming week's New York Times Book Review.
(to buy it, click here)
Thank goodness Shipley and Schwalbe have included in their concise and lively tome, “Five Ways to Apologize for an Inexcusably Tardy E-Mail Reply.”
Dave Barry's Belated Amends
"On that last topic," writes Barry,
the authors advise that “it’s always better to send a hideously late response — even an inadequate one — rather than none at all, if you have any interest in maintaining a relationship.”
With that in mind, I want to state the following: Bill Osinski, I’m sorry I never replied to you regarding that thing you e-mailed me two years ago. I got swamped. It got so bad that I was doing my e-mail in the “Small World” ride. But that is no excuse, so I’m stating here in The New York Times Book Review that I am worthless scum.
Victoria Pynchon's Amends
I'm glad Dave Barry had only one such amends to make. I have three currently keeping me awake at night (you'd think it would be more efficient to just get up out of bed and respond). I'm certain there are more of which I'm blissfully unaware.
My friends are so used to the apology accompanied by the "worthless scum" admission, that I have to do Dave Barry one better and include in my amends a promise that in the future I will really really really make an effort never again be inexcusably tardy.
Apologees, you know who you are.
More Unsolicited Advice for Young Attorneys
Because I'm getting a lot of "hits" to this post, I'm providing my readers with additional resources on effective use of email -- 20 Rules of Writing Effective Business Emails by Paul Soltoff of SendTec Marketing; the copyblogger's warnings about Five Grammatical Errors that Make You Look Dumb (yes in email too); Is Email Marketing Right for Lawyers from Tom Kane's Legal Marketing Blog and Between Lawyers' dated (2005) but still essential E-Filing and the Learning Curve.