The very nature of legal assistance requires good
rapport between the legal assistance attorney, the LN,
and the client.
Striving for greater respect and
understanding is a necessary ingredient of a successful
legal assistance program.
For naval personnel to have faith and confidence in
their lawyer and the LN, they must first know them and
understand their services.
It is at the level of daily
contacts with clients that the greatest opportunities for
fostering good rapport exist. Following are suggestions
for developing such relations in these daily contacts.
Very often a clients first impression of a Navy
lawyer is obtained through a telephone call or a visit to
the legal assistance office. As an LN, you should try to
clean, comfortable, and efficient looking? Do you and
the other personnel working in the outer office appear
to be competent and friendly? Are the offices
soundproof enough in the form of carpets, curtains, and
other materials so that clients problems can be
discussed quietly, discreetly, and in private? The clients
waiting room as well as the lawyers private office
should present a professional appearance.
The LNs telephone manners are very important. A
voice with a smile can encourage a prospect to follow
up his or her phone call with a visit. A gruff or impatient
telephone reception can discourage a prospective client
from ever seeing the legal assistance attorney. By
providing the receptionist with a checklist, the
receptionists contribution to the operation of the legal
assistance office can be materially increased and the job
made more interesting as well. See figure 11-1 for a
see your office as others might see it. Is it businesslike,
TELEPHONE RECEPTIONIST CHECKLIST
NOTE: The individual subject-matter checklists should be transcribed onto a rotary card file
(or onto 3 x 5 cards) and be available on the telephone receptionists desk. Any
change to the checklist, or addition of new subject-matter checklists, should
be made in the receptionists card file promptly.
1. WILLS AND ESTATES
a. Existing wills and codicils to existing wills
b. Existing wills and codicils to existing wills of spouse
c. Record of Emergency Data (or copy)
d. Insurance policies or detailed list including name of company, type of insurance, amount of coverage,
name of beneficiary, and policy number(s)
f. Stocks and trends or detailed list of investments and savings
2. DOMESTIC RELATIONS
(1) Certificate of marriage, or date and place of marriage, presiding official and name and address of at
least one witness
(2) Copies of any prior court papers concerning the marriage, support, and so forth
(3) Itemized budget containing all sources and amounts of income and average monthly expenses
(1) Birth certificate of child
(2) Any court or agency papers concerning the custody, support, or adoption of the child
Figure 11-1.Telephone receptionist checklist.