In my early lawyering days as an assistant attorney general in North Carolina, I had the privilege of having one of the best, most efficient secretaries possible. (I even tried to get her fiancée a job in town, so they wouldn’t move out of state after the wedding. He “suggested” nicely that I mind my own business.) I had one problem with her, however. Whenever I would use the word “we”, she would kid me by saying something like “what do you mean we kimosabe? It’s your job, and I’m just here to do your typing” (on a real typewriter, if anyone remembers what they looked like).

I got that flashback when I saw the article over on Automatic Referrals suggesting the use of “we” over “I” when seeking referrals. Man, did old Silver rein in on that one.

The point is a good one, however, especially when I think about lawyers I know who are shy, and would hesitate to do anything so bold as to ask someone to refer work to them. The article states that a lot of professionals don’t ask for referrals because they don’t want to appear desperate for work, or unsuccessful, or needy.

So, the article suggests using “us”, “our” and “we” (as in your law firm can do or offer…) in ways that “takes the emphasis of the conversation off of you…”

But, “we” need to keep this to ourselves. I’d hate for my former secretary to think I didn’t learn my lesson after all these years.