Melissa and I received an unexpected thank you note and gift from the new College of Law at my alma mater, Jacksonville University. We have been doing a little to help with the start up of that program. Out of the blue came a couple of packages with nicely designed and personalized paper weights. Goodness knows, I have lots of paper on my desk to weigh down! But, regardless of the token of appreciation, it was nice to be appreciated. We have kept that in mind over the years at Magnus and we have an assortment of tokens with which to show appreciation. One of our most important items is an insulated mug we send to paralegals and support staff working with our clients. They are often unsung heroes and we certainly depend on their help when we are helping their bosses! We also show appreciation to those who refer business to us, first time clients and to clients who win their cases. (A side note, we have been cognizant of the need to keep these tokens as tokens and not costly, inappropriate, gifts which could be viewed as any kind of “kick back.” The issue of gifts being used to sway decisions surprised me long ago when I learned certain clients expected them while others had/have corporate or firm wide prohibitions on gifts.) But, it has been important to us to have that personal touch and I don’t think they raise to “kick back” level for anyone! In this case, being on the receiving end is special. Beyond verbal expressions of appreciation, there is usually not much more for us. Thus, I’ll treasure this unexpected token and display it proudly.
I was pleasantly surprised to receive the beautiful and thoughtful paperweight from Jacksonville University’s College of Law. Rarely have my efforts been rewarded with such an appreciative gesture! My friend, Teresa, is always thoughtful when she visits David and me. She never leaves our house without writing a thank you note and surprising us with a lovely “bread and butter” gift. Her thoughtfulness is unsurpassed among my friends. Magnus’ clients however do not usually thank me for my efforts on their behalf. When I am involved in selecting a jury for my clients’ cases, I rarely know the outcome of the trial and if I do know, it’s only because I follow up with them to inquire about what happened. Once in a while, a client will contact me to advise me of the outcome of the trial and at this time, I might or might not receive a “thanks for your help” comment. In contrast, there are the amazingly remarkable clients, such as Magnus’ gold standard of clients, Buddy Schulz, who are effusive in their praise. Buddy, and several other clients, not only thank us for our help, they write letters of recommendation for our website; they video record testimonial statements; and they invite me to lecture at a meeting of one of their professional organizations. If only the readers of this post could hear Buddy Schulz introduce me as I prepare to make a presentation! As my mom used to say, “I’d like to bottle his enthusiastic praise!” for Magnus, David, and me. It’s nice to be appreciated!